Space City Feis coming July 15, 2017

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Our judge:

Molly Blonn,

Molly has danced many, many  years as an open champion dancer in Texas and beyond, winning many awards for her dancing.  She has also taught Irish dance for other teachers.

As a courtesy to dancers  from other organizations not part of the open platform system, please consult with your teachers before entering this feis.  We are not responsible or liable for dancers entering a feis not approved by their governing body.

Tew Academy of Irish dance is pleased to announce our annual “Space City” feis.

The Houston Open Platform Feis and Championships will be held May 7, 2016 at 9 a.m..  Location is The Gilruth Center at Johnson Space Center.

Registration closes May 1, 2016.

Come join us for a dance of Irish dance and music competition,  a choreography workshop and discussion on current Irish dance topics.  There will also be a ceili later on Saturday night.

Competition Rules

All competitors & members of the public who attend any Tew Academy event are hereby agreeing that their image may be used for printing, internet & public broadcasting at the discretion of Tew Academy and these images may only be used with the written approval of Tew Academy.

  1. General
    • Feiseanna are open to ALL dancers from ALL organisations in the world.
    • In matters pertaining to dance the adjudicators’ decision is final.
    • If someone wants to object to an adjudicator’s decision the objection has to be presented in writing on the day of the feis together with a fee of $15. If the objection is upheld, the fee will be returned; if not, the fee will be retained by Tew Academy.
    • Musicians employed by the Feis Committee will be solely under the direction and management of the Feis Committee on the day of the feis.
    • Tew Academy reserves the right to refuse an entry.
  2. Conduct at feis
    • No smoking, drinking of alcohol or use of hairspray in the dancing hall.
    • The use of flash, videos, digital or motion picture cameras is prohibited except during award presentations, introduction and breaks. This is in accordance with child protection laws and prevents misuse
    • Musicians and adjudicators may not be approached except by the Feis Committee.
    • Teachers, parents, instructors are not allowed to give instruction or direction to dancers while they are competing.
    • Only competitors in the current event and the Feis Committee are allowed at side stage during a competition
  3. Competitions General
    • Beginner, Novice and Prizewinner competitions are open to those dancers who have not moved up from that respective grade in that dance for any organisation.
    • Dancers may participate in two grades per dance at a feis in the same age group. E. g. Beginner and novice for the Reel under 25.
    • In Beginners through prizewinner competitions where there are five or more competitors, first and second place winners will move up to the next level in that dance.
    • Awards will be determined in proportion to the number of competitors.
    • Dancers must be in FULL costume including shoes when receiving awards.
    • Dancers and teams must dance in numerical order.
    • If a dancer fails to start at the correct time after introduction is played, OR if a dancer stops, then this dancer cannot be placed in the top 3 positions. Exceptions will be made at the Adjudicator’s discretion in case of accidental falling, costume malfunctions etc. Any dancer who does a false/earlystart will be awarded only one point for the round. A false/earlystart is defined as any movement made before the acutal start of the step from the usual standing position, with the exception of pointing the toe (which may be done at any time during the introduction, if desired). This is the ONLY exception. The following common movements will be penalised, amongst others: going up on toes, taking a step before beginning the dance etc.
    • A dancer will be penalised for “barging” / intentional bumping. This will be at the Adjudicator’s discretion.
    • In the Solo Competitions dancers will dance 32 bars of each dance (excepting the Traditional Set). The dancers will be in a line on stage and they will come forward two at a time to dance their steps. There will be no break in the music between each two dancers.
    • The Feis Committee reserve the right to merge, cancel or add age groups and competitions on the day of the feis.
    • Amended / merged competitions and age groups will count for grade promotion purposes.
    • In solo grade competitions where there are 20 or more dancers competing in any dance, the competition will be split into an A and a B competition. The split will be determined by date of birth.

    Age Groups

    • Age group is determined by age as of January 1st of the current year. I.e. if a dancer is 14 years of age on January 1st they dance under 15 for the year.
    • The Feis Committee reserve the right to merge, cancel or add age groups and competitions on the day of the feis.
    • Amended / merged competitions and age groups will count for grade promotion purposes.
    • In solo grade competitions where there are 20 or more dancers competing in any dance, the competition will be split into an A and a B competition. The split will be determined by date of birth.


    • All official Céilí Dances (as described in the book “Ár rinncide foirne” or otherwise accepted by Tew Academy) can be entered for the Céilí Competitions as well as all other Tew Academy.- approved Céilí Dances.
    • Céilí teams may only have 50% of the team from another age group. Of these 50 % only half may be of an older age group.
    • In Céili dances teams must dance either basic jump over 2,3s for the dance or a combination of promenade step and jump back 2,3s. Teams must not combine Jump over 2,3s with promenade step or jump back 2,3s. Teams that fail to follow this rule will be placed at the bottom of a result.
    • Each time a movement starting with Promenade step begins, it should be started with the right foot
    • Length of the dances:
      • All progressive dances (e.g. Fairy Reel): once through
      • Cross Reel, Duke Reel, 8-hand Jig, 8-Hand Reel, 4-hand Reel, High Cauled Cap, Humours of Bandon, Morris Reel, 16-Hand Reel, St. Patrick’s Day, Trip to the Cottage, Tara Reel: up to and including 1st Tops doing 1st figure
      • Gates of Derry: up to and including the Gates after the Telescope
      • Glencar Reel: once through
      • Lannigan’s Ball: once through
      • Sweets of May: up to and including See Saw
      • Three Tunes: up to and including Hook and Chain

    Figure (2-, 3-, 4-Hand)

    • The  age groups will be determined by entry numbers.
    • 2-Hands and 3-Hands must be 48 bars in length
    • 4-Hands must be 96 bars in length
    • Dancers cannot dance two of the same figure dance in the same age group. For example, if a dancer dances an U25 2hand, they can not exit the stage and dance another 2hand in the U25 age group in the same category.
    • 4 – Hand Figures can either be traditional book dances or individually choreographed dances.
    • Figures (=2-, 3-, 4-,) can only be danced to Reel music, the exception are traditional Ceili dances that are danced as a 4-hand (e.g. Humours of Bandon)
    • Figures must be done in soft shoes. Dancing a figure dance in hard shoes will result in immediate disqualification.
    • New: From January 1st, 2012 the 2- and 3-Hands will be divided into two categories:
      • Traditional 2- and 3-Hands: Traditional footwork has to be used, no modern steps
      • Modern 2- and 3-Hands: Modern steps may be used.

      A dancer may enter in both categories at the same event (e.g. a traditional and a modern 2-Hand) 4-hands must use traditional footwork only.

    Figure Choreography

    • Figure Choreographies are free Céilí choreographies. Traditional céilí footwork and traditional Irish music have to be used, no modern steps. Own music or music by the feis musician but only instrumental music may be used. Minimum of 10, maximum of 16 dancers. Minimum of 3 and a half minutes and a maximum of 5 minutes for the performance.

    Preliminary/Open Championship Rules

    Preliminary Championships Participants in the Preliminary Championships have to dance the Reel(48) or Slip Jig(40) and either a Treble Jig(48) or Hornpipe(40).

    • Open Championships Participants in the age groups Under 12 and over in Championships at local feiseanna have to dance either a Reel or a Slip Jig and either a Treble Jig or Hornpipe and a Modern Set Dance if a set dance is required at the feis. This will be at the judges’ discretion. If there are 10 or more dancers in the championship a recall is required . Recall = 50 %. The dancers with the highest scores in the first two rounds will then be recalled to dance a Modern Set. For dancers in the age groups Under 10 and younger  please check the current syllabus. 10 dancer = 5 recalls   11 dancers = 6 recalls

    Any dancer who has won an Open Championship at any time in front of 3 judges and a minimum of 3 participants is ineligible to dance Preliminary Championship.
    Dances for Preliminary Championships are: Reel (48 bars)  o r  Slip Jig (40 bars)  a n d Treble Jig (48 bars) o r Hornpipe (40 bars)
    Open Championship: is for dancers who have won 2 Preliminary Championships or have won an Open Championship at any time in front of 3 judges and a minimum of 3 participants. (Exception: Regional/National or International Events – any capable dancer may enter in the Open Championship)

  4. Steps in Solo Competitions
    • Dancers can but do not have to dance a lead around and a sidestep; they can dance any 32 / 40 / 48 bars if they prefer to do so.
    • Dancers must when doing steps right and left for the entire step. A dancer may be disqualified if they start a left foot of a step and switch back to the right foot after the first bar. Set dance steps must also be completed on the right and left foot. A dancer may be asked by an adjudicator to dance again their step to confirm that they have complied with this ruling.
    • As of January 1st 2010 ALL lead rounds in dances must be RIGHT and LEFT foot. Failure to follow this in competition will make the dancer ineligible to finish in the top three of a solo or championship result. Light Jig, Beginners Reel and  Beginners Slip Jig are excepted from this rule.
    • Dancers in all levels have to dance 32 bars in the respective dance, excepting the Traditional and Open Set.
    • Participants in the Open Championships have to dance 40 bars in the Slip Jig and Hornpipe and 48 bars in the Reel and Treble Jig. Dancers from the age groups “over 25” have to dance 32 bars in the Slip Jig  and Hornpipe and 40 bars in the Reel and Treble Jig.
    • All traditional and modern sets are danced step on right and left foot and set on right foot only except in Open traditional set where the set is also danced on the left foot.
    • Movements on the points (toe stands, toe walks etc.) are not allowed for dancers under 11 as of January 1st of the current year. In the DOUBLE year age group under 12, under 11 dancers are allowed to do toe movements.
    • In beginners competitions the following movements are allowed: Skips, threes, sevens, hops, jump over / leap, cuts, points, single heels, jump, stamp, toes (at the back, no weight), kick the heel (as in St. Patrick’s Day).
  5. Speed
    • Dancers in beginners competitions have to dance to beginners speed.
    • The Reel and Slip Jig in primary and intermediate competitions are danced to open speed.
    • Participants in primary competitions can choose either beginners or open speed for the Treble Jig and the Hornpipe.
    • Adults in any age group over 35 can choose either beginners or open speed for the Treble Jig and the Hornpipe.
      • Beginners Reel, Slip Jig, Single Jig: 116
      • Light Jig: 116
      • Beginners Treble Jig: 85
      • Beginners Hornpipe: 138
      • Open Reel, Slip Jig, Hornpipe: 113
      • Open Treble Jig: 73

      Variations may occur on day of Feis. Neither musicians nor the Feis Committee can be held liable for variations in speed.

Costume Rules

  • Beginner dancers should wear a simple skirt and dresses, light embroidery and designs ok..
  • Novice/Prizewinner dancers may wear a school dress or embroidered costume with traditional designs from the Book of Kells.
  • No  diamontes are allowed on ANY of the above costume that would change their appearance in any way. No school logos or name are allowed to appear anywhere on the costume. Failure to follow the above rules will mean a dancer will be unable to place in the top three of a result.
  • Footwear: Soft Shoes: Footwear worn for all soft shoe competitions including team events must be of a plain black leather construction. No patent leather or colored shoes are permitted. Hard Shoes: Footwear worn in all hard shoe competitions must be of a plain black leather construction. No patent leather or coloured shoes are permitted.  The actual shoe itself must be all black in coloor.
  • The following rules apply to all dancers taking part in Tew Academy open platform competitions:
  • Dress and skirt length have to be appropriate so as not to cause offense or embarrassment. Necklines must also not be too low. The final decision as to what is appropriate will be determined by the adjudicator who is judging the feis.
  • A dancer will be allowed to re-dance if a Costume malfunction occurs as long as the dancer waits for the adjudicator to ring the bell. If a dancer stops dancing due to a costume malfunction without the adjudicator’s permission, the dancer will be disqualified from the competition.
  • Recommendations
  • Traditional celtic design be incorporated in costumes (STRONGLY recommended)


Music competition.

There will be a music competition for all contemporary instruments used in modern Irish music including the fiddle, accordion, flute, whistle, bodhran, etc.  Musicians must be prepared to play 32 bars of the following: reel, jig, polka, slide, hornpipe or set dance of their choice.  Registration here.

Open workshop!!!
Compete on Saturday, have a workshop discussion with Irish dance judges about common corrections and advice on how to correct them.

Venders are encouraged to come to our feis too! We are looking for photographers, tee shirt makers, music venders, etc. Fees are $50 for the day.

Our judges are judges certified specifically for our feis in addition to any other credential they may already have.  Our judges and have the following qualifications:

Over ten years dancing as a championship level dancer in competition.  Have at least four years verifiable teaching experience either on their own or under a qualified teacher.  They have a working knowledge of solo dancing and ceili dancing requirements as prescribed by our feis.

Music will be canned CD music of the proper time signature.  Sets will be limited to the speed set forth on the “100 percent pure set dance” CD.

Tew Academy

Feis sign up sheet can be found spacecityregistrationform1211-2



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