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Mid America Competition Levels

Grade Levels


First Feis: The First Feis level has been established for dancers who are competing in their very first Feis. Once a dancer competes in the First Feis category, the dancer must move into Beginner 1 or Beginner 2. 

  • Costume - First Feis dancers are required to wear school costumes in competitions. (No solo dresses allowed.)

  • Dances - Competition dances are light shoe only - reel, light jig & slip jig. 

Beginner I (Beginner) Grade: A beginner is a competitor who has not yet taken a full year of Irish Dance lessons, thereby giving beginners a full year with such status. A Beginner I dancer must move into the Beginner 2/Advanced Beginner category the next year.


Beginner 2 (Advanced Beginner) Grade: ​


Novice Grade:


Prizewinner (Open) Grade:

A competitor who does not qualify as a beginner, advanced beginner or as a novice.


Adult Beginner: An adult beginner is a competitor who never took Irish dancing lessons as a juvenile and is over 18 years of age.

Championship Levels

Preliminary Championships

In the MidAmerica region, dancers are eligible to move to Preliminary Champ (often called PC) with their teacher's permission (IDTAMA) after winning 1st place in each of the 4 main Prizewinner dances (reel, slip-jig, treble jig, and hornpipe) at any NAFC recognized Feis. (Trad Set, Light Jig, Single Jig are not counted toward PC advancement.)

  • Competition Rounds: PC Dancers are typically required to dance 2 rounds: 1) hard & 2) soft shoe.

  • Adjudicators: PC Competitions are judged by a panel of 3 judges. 

  • Awards: Places are given to the top half of the competition (Eg. if there are 12 competitors, there will be 6 places. In the case of an uneven number, most feiseanna will round up to the higher "half" - in which case, if there are 15 dancers, there will be 8 places.

  • Round Awards:  (NOTE: Round awards do not count toward Oireachtas qualifcation requirements.)

  • Set Dance Specials - Some feiseanna offer a Set Dance special (SD) for PC dancers (Eg. 615SD) who wish to compete in set. These competitions operate similar to Grade comps in that they are judged by a single judge and places are awarded for the top 3-5 dancers, depending on the feis. (NOTE: Set Dance Specials do not count toward Oireachtas qualification requirements).

  • Advancement - A dancer who wins two first place awards will move on to Open Championship at the next Feis they enter, or as soon as the second win is achieved, in any age category, in the following years. (Exception: In the case of back-to-back feiseanna (successive days), the first win in the first Feis will not change the dancer’s status for the second Feis.)

  • Mid America Oireachtas Qualifications: To qualify for the solo competition level of the Mid America Oireachtas, PC dancers must place in the overall top half of one Mid America feis during the Oireachtas calendar year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 of the following year. (For more info, see Oireachtas

Open Championship:​

A PC dancer is eligible to move into Open Championship after winning two first place awards (overall) in a PC competition that has at least 5 competitors.  (The timing of this move can determined by different factors, such as teacher discretion and/or the dates when the wins were achieved.) 

  • Competition Rounds: Dancers are typically required to dance 3 rounds: 1) hard shoe 2) soft shoe 3) open set​ dance

  • Adjudicators: PC Competitions are judged by a panel of 3 judges. 

  • Round Awards: 

  • ​​Mid America Oireachtas Qualifications: To

A Mid-America region feis may choose to combine boys and girls in Open Championship competitions when there are less than 5 dancers registered in a particular age category. (IDTAMA, 1/1/17) 30.

Additional Mid America Feis Rules for Championship Competitions:

  • The boys’ open championship age categories will match the girls’ open championship age categories. (IDTAMA, 1/1/17) 32.

  • Any competitor in Preliminary or Open Championship must have a minimum of 8 rotations or 10 minutes between their rounds. (IDTAMA, 1/1/17)

"Specials"Specials are additional competitions that are offered at the discretion of each individual feis:

  • Open Set Specials 

  • Treble Reel

  • Rockin' Reel

  • Dance-Offs 

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