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Competition Rules

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

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 goes to W.I.D.A.
  • Musicians employed by the Feis Committee will be solely under the direction and management of the Feis Committee on the day of the feis.
  • WIDA 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

  • 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.
  • Beginner, Primary and Intermediate 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 Primary for the Reel under 25.
  • Dancers may only participate in one premiership at a feis (except Oireachtasi participation in Intermediate Premiership and Open Championship is allowed at Oireachtasi).
  • Dancers may only participate in Premiership and Open Championship if they danced at least 2 solos in the grade competitions(except Oirechatasi whithout Open Grade competitions).
  • As of July 1st 2009 only dancers who place 1st in Beginner, Primary and Intermediate  Grades in a qualifying competition (5 or more participants) may progress to the next grade. This rule applies until further notice at ALL WIDA feisanna.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dancers can not dance two of the same figure dance in the same age group. For example, if a dancer dances an U25 2hand, she can not exit the stage and dance another 2hand in the U25 age group.
  • 4 and 6 - Hand Figures can either be traditional book dances or individually choreographed dances.
  • Figures can be danced to any soft shoe music
  • Figures must be done in soft shoes. Dancing a figure dance in hard shoes will result in immediate disqualification.


Premiership / Championship Rules

The following three dances determine which grade premiership a dancer may enter :
Reel, Light Jig, Treble Jig

Beginner Premiership is for dancers who are in beginner for 2 or 3 of the above dances.

Primary Premiership is for dancers who are in primary for 2 or 3 of the above dances.

Intermediate Premiership is for dancers who are in intermediate for 2 or 3 of the above dances.

If a dancer is in 3 different grades for the listed dances then they enter the premiership of the middle grade.

Example: Beginner - Treble Jig      Primary - Light Jig     Open - Reel       Premiership - Primary.

Preliminary Championship (at Local Feiseanna Only -  Not Regional/National or International Events!)

is for dancers who are open for 4 dances, 2 of which have to be of the above dances.
Dancers eligible for the Preliminary Championships must win 2 Preliminary Championships with a minimum of 3 participants before they are eligible to dance Open Championships at Local Feiseanna.

This new level will be introduced from September 1st 2010 and a dancer who currently dances in Open and has not won an Open Championship in front of 3 judges with a minimum of 3 participants may drop down to Preliminary Championship.
If a dancer is Open level for 4 dances but in a lower grade for 2 or 3 of the above dances (Reel, Light Jig, Treble Jig) then the dancer continues to compete in the Intermediate premiership until they have reached Open level for at least 2 of these qualifying dances.

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)

4. Steps

  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Rocks are only allowed in St. Patrick's Day.
  • In primary competitions the following movements in addition to the beginners material are allowed:
  • Front clicks, through clicks (passing clicks), rocks, quarter turns.
  • Not adhering to the guidelines given in 4.4, 4.5 and 4.6 will result in deduction of points and the respective dancer cannot place 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
  • In intermediate and open competitions all movements are allowed.
  • Single jigs and light jig steps may only be comprised of basic moves regardless of the level. The allowed moves are: 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).
  • 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.
  • Dancers who transfer to another school may not dance or teach any material they learned at their previous school in their new school (except traditional sets). Failure to follow this rule will lead to disqualification. The steps danced by a student in their new school must be visually different from those of their former school. If required a comparison may be requested by the former teacher to address any concerns that may be raised (the comparison will be adjudicated by a panel of independent WIDA teachers).

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.
  1. Beginners Reel, Light Jig, Slip Jig, Single Jig: 121
  2. Beginners Treble Jig: 85
  3. Beginners Hornpipe: 128
  4. Open Reel, Slip Jig, Hornpipe: 113
  5. 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.