John Egan visits the John Flanagan Memorial Feis
The John Flanaghan feis was established by teacher Marion Flanagan as a charitable event in memory of her late father who died in 1999, and each year a charity is selected to which funds from the feis are donated. It is the only feis in the Southern England region whose proceeds are all donated to charity, this year it is Cancer Research UK.
The venue on this occasion was the Oxford Academy. The awards for dance championships were delivered in the school’s library against a backdrop of shelf upon shelf of reference books covering a vast range of topics.
Marion and her team of dancers and parent helpers certainly rose to the challenge of keeping the programme on track on both days. She was also helped by her own two young dancer daughters, Ellie-Kate and Ciarra and her husband, Jimmy McCarthy.
When they weren’t on stage dancing, her daughters seemed to be in perpetual motion, ferrying messages between dance halls and presentation announcers, and ensuring the podium had appropriate championship trophies in place ready for the next age group.
Dancing took place in three separate halls, including a tiered theatre for the open championships.
Flexibility was the byword in the movement of dancers and audience around the venue. Nothing was left to chance and this was helped by having a generous team of six adjudicators and three musicians.
The result was an overall popular and successful feis in a friendly atmosphere with positive feedback from the punters.
For more photos from the feis, pick up your copy of The Irish World.