2020 November Feis has been cancelled due to necessary restructuring and improvements. We're continuing to work on shipping awards and the 2021 calendar.

Rulebook Update: Advance by rank as well as score

There are now two ways to advance in Digital Feis: by score and by ranking. We recommend but do not require a dancer to advance by score. Advancement by ranking is based on a balance of the requirements from research into all open platform organizations.

Using scores for advancement

An important aspect of Digital Feis is our emphasis on raw adjudication scores and comments, not just Irish points, for advancement. Dancers earn scores out of 100; these scores are used to advance levels. Dancers are first assessed in Knowledge, Timing, Lower Body Technique, Upper Body Technique, and Presentation, and are given a score out of 20 in each category.

  • 18–20, Outstanding. I have mastered this category, for this dance, at this level.
  • 15–17, Strong Area. I am accomplished at this; it is one of my strengths.
  • 12–14, Satisfactory. I am doing a good job of learning this, and will keep improving.
  • 7–11, Weak Area. I am having trouble with this right now, but I am looking forward to getting better.
  • 0–6, Incomplete or inappropriate. Used when a dancer is dancing unsafely, when a dance is not the required length, or the dancer has insisted on competing in an inappropriate level after being warned.

Using ranking for advancement

  • First Place: Beginner, Primary, and Novice dancers must have 7 dancers in a competition to advance with a first place.
  • Second Place: Beginner, Primary, and Novice dancers must have 10 dancers in a competition to advance with a second place.
  • Third Place: Beginner, Primary, and Novice dancers must have 15 dancers in a competition to advance with a third place.
  • Prizewinner dancers must earn a first place in the following dances in order to advance to Champion, which must have at least 7 dancers in them: two soft shoe dances of contrasting rhythms, two hardshoe dances, and one traditional set.

Teachers and dancers may choose to advance a dancer in the way that most benefits the dancer’s progress and education. We hope this helps our dancers advance in the way they need.

For more Digital Feis rules, see our Rulebook.

Six competitions announced for Digital Feis in 2019

Six competitions have been announced for Digital Feis in 2019. Below, you’ll find a detailed schedule with shortened turnaround times for results and medals to assist you in planning your dancing year.

2019 Entries Due Entries Public Adjudication Tabulation Results Announced Awards Mailed
January Jan. 20 Jan. 22 Jan. 23–26 Jan. 27 Jan. 28 Jan. 29
March Mar. 24 Mar. 26 Mar. 27–30 Mar. 31 Apr. 1 Apr. 2
May May 19 May 21 May 22–25 May 26 May 27 May 28
July July 21 July 23 July 24–27 July 28 July 29 July 30
September Sep. 22 Sep. 24 Sep. 25–28 Sep. 29 Sep. 30 Oct. 1
November Nov. 17 Nov. 19 Nov. 20–23 Nov. 24 Nov. 25 Nov

You can also view our newly-updated Worldwide Open Feis List, which lists open platform Irish dancing competitions hosted around the world.

Keeping track of Digital Feis Irish dancing levels, plus gorgeous new results sheets

Juggling open platform levels driving you crazy? Let us keep track of your Digital Feis levels. Our gorgeous new official records are updated after every Digital Feis you participate in — and shared with you via easy-to-print PDF.

We’ve also given our scoresheets a serious upgrade! No more hard-to-read spreadsheets: look at these gorgeous things! So pretty.

They even include enough of a margin to hole-punch and put in a binder. If you don’t think that’s exciting, well — it’s at least super convenient.

February Digital Feis wraps up, April’s coming up fast

Whew! February Feis is judged, medals are shipped, and we’ve just sent out our February Feis survey — which we’ll be doing after every event. Did you compete in February? Take our survey here:

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I’m beat, but I always feel good after running a feis. Every event is a chance to learn something new for a dancer, and that’s definitely still true for myself and our judges.

How well are we communicating a dancer’s needs? We want a dancer to walk away from this experience empowered to make change. They should feel secure about where they are, and where they can go.

How was the process? Tutorials for recording and sharing videos are still on our always-extending, never-ending to-do list. There are lots of things I’d like our website to do, and every feis, we get one step closer.

How useful is this for the open platform and independent Irish dance communities? The more dancers that join us, the better the odds of having enough dancers per competition to advance a level in an outside organization. Many independent schools have found their way to Digital Feis — they’re actually our biggest group — and I’m so happy they’re feeling confident here. Independent schools are often removed from open platform competition hubs, so Digital Feis is a great way to stay connected with others.

What are your thoughts? Anything we could do better? Join the Digital Feis Community on Facebook to ask questions or share your system. Faster turnaround time for results is big on my list, and we have a few new judges lined up for training later this year.


February Feis deadline extended

By unanimous vote, the deadline for February Feis entries is extended to Wednesday, February 28.

Dancer with thumbs up, smiling

If you were planning on getting your entries in by February 22, please do so — we love early entries. But if you need more time, breathe easy.

Advancing with Digital Feis: By the Numbers

Digital Feis suggests dancers move up a level when they earn an 80 in that dance. An 80 is the adjudicator saying “Yes, this dancer is ready to advance.”

That’s not the only way to advance in Irish dancing. In fact, it’s unusual! Most Irish dancing organizations require a certain placement (first, second, or third) and a certain number of dancers in a competition.

Digital Feis wants to make sure it’s possible to advance with our results, based on the rules of your open platform organization. We’ll start with numbers.

  • Right now, we want at least 7 dancers in all grade solo competitions. This includes Beginner, Primary, Novice, and Prizewinner. This meets most open platform minimums for advancing with first place.
  • Long term, we want at least 15 dancers in these competitions. This meets most open platform minimums for advancing with first, second, and third place.

Because of this, Digital Feis will merge age groups where developmentally appropriate to form qualifying competitions. We will not merge children’s and adult competitions.

Let’s take a look at each organization’s basic requirements. Continue…

Find your June, July & August feiseanna — and make sure Digital Feis is one of them

There are so many summer feis options for open platform and independent Irish dancers! (We’ve only seen one winter feis for our Australian friends so far; make sure to add Digital Feis to your winter calendar.)

Don’t miss the next Digital Feis on August 24

Date Name Location Organization
August 24 2017 August Digital Feis Anywhere you want it to be! Independent

This quarter’s Digital Feis is due on August 24, 2017. We’ll start taking entries on August 1, but you can start planning and recording any time before the due date.

Looking for a live feis near you? Here’s the list of live events we’ve collected: Continue…

Two (now three!) new feiseanna and one amazing Instagram

A tale of two (or three) feiseanna

Two Three new independent American feiseanna have been announced! The first two are on July 15, 2017.

The first, put on by My Pulse, My Passion School of Dance, will be hosted at the Vail Leavitt Music Hall in Riverhead, New York (Eastern Suffolk, Long Island). Riverhead has plenty of hotels nearby, as well as an aquarium, racetrack, water park, outlet mall, and plenty of activities. This is definitely a fun destination for a full weekend! Continue…

Festival firsts: bringing a dramatic Belfast style to America

On May 12–14, 2017, the Festival Dance Teachers Association (FDTA) held their first North American workshop in Galloway, New Jersey.

FDTA instructors Deborah Anderson of the Zephaniah Dancers and Elizabeth Lynn of the Seven Towers School of Irish Dancing shared their choreography, technique, and humor throughout the weekend. Their American students included dancers and teachers from Connecticut, New Jersey, and Illinois.

Festival dancing, a Northern Ireland specialty, has been enjoying a boost in popularity due to appearances on Jigs & Wigs as well as the Innova Irish Dance Company’s success on Britain’s Got Talent. Lauren Smyth has also become the first Festival-style Irish dancer to earn the principal female lead role in Riverdance. This has not gone unnoticed in America. Continue…