Louisville, Homewood Suites, and First Oireachtas - iNeed a Playdate Louisville, Homewood Suites, and First Oireachtas iNeed a Playdate a Blog for Northeast Ohio Moms


Louisville, Homewood Suites, and First Oireachtas

Louisville, Homewood Suites, and First Oireachtas

About a year ago, my kids started Irish dance class.

When they started, I wasn't sure how far it would go. I found the studio on Groupon while looking for a deal on a spa day. My daughter had taken classes before, but I never took her back after winter break. So, there was a studio in our city, young energetic teachers, and her best friend was willing to try too! Seemed like a giant win.

I brought the idea up to my son about trying it for the month and he said, "Sure! Let's try for a year." He is still at it! He won't perform or compete, but he helps his sister practice.

Irish dancers at Mid America Oireachtas

Rowan performed at her first Feis at the start of summer. She did well, as in she got up and performed in her first official competitions. At the end of summer, her teachers asked her and her best friend to perform at Oireachtas.

What's Oireachtas? (O-ROCK-TUS)

Oireachtas translates to gathering. And, it's a dance competition when referring to Irish dance. Outside of the Irish Dance world, it is the national parliament or the legislature of the Republic of Ireland. 

This is an honor to be asked by their teachers to join an 8-hand Ceili girl team. And, my daughter performed with a mixed team with the two boys in their age group.

I didn't realize what a big deal this was when they were asked. I'm thrilled that they still want to go to class, but this is not a cheap sport when it comes to competition. Justifying the costs on a budget often overshadowed the experience for me. Seeing her perform and enjoying herself made the sacrifices worth it.

Off to Kentucky!

Louisville, Kentucky

Kentucky is a five-hour road trip from Cleveland. While I was prepared to go down and drive back, my Husband in his infinite wisdom said, "hell, no!" get rooms for two nights. Fortuitously, I was contacted by LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Columbus to see if we wanted to stop by someday. That someday became the day after Oireachtas.

I wish I would have taken advantage of the room rates that were offered to attendees but I was being stubborn. I was going to stay 15-minutes away at my favorite hotel. Thank goodness for Hotel.com's free cancellation policy. I changed my reservation no less than five times! Adding and taking away nights and even changing hotels altogether.

Ultimately we decided on Homewood Suites because her friend would be staying there. This was perfect. It was within walking distance from the convention center and if we had stayed two nights, there is a galley kitchen in all the rooms! I could have cooked in the room!

Homewood Suits by Hilton

Homewood Suites by Hilton in Louisville, Kentucky

We didn't stay two nights. Instead, I made my husband drive two hours to my Aunt's house to sleep in a tiny bed and go to mass with her Sunday morning. She lives an hour from Columbus. How could we not visit family!

Downtown Lousiville is beautiful! I can't wait to come back. We walked around a lot.

Sightseeing in Louisville, Kentucky

Sightseeing in Louisville, Kentucky

Sightseeing in Louisville, Kentucky

But, didn't spend nearly enough time exploring the city to write about it.


Mid America Oireachtas in Louisville, Kentucky

The big event was c-r-a-z-y! Not knowing what to expect, I was blown away by the sheer size of the event. According to the event's website, there were over 70 schools from 14 states. There were thousands of dancers and families

Mid America Oireachtas in Louisville, Kentucky

Mid America Oireachtas in Louisville, Kentucky

Mid America Oireachtas in Louisville, Kentucky

On the way to the stages, you have to pass all of the vendors. If you know anything about Irish dance, it's probably the elaborate dresses and tiaras. It could very well be why my daughter sticks with dance.

As we passed the vendors, the sparkling, glittery crowns caught the attention of my daughter and her friend. The headpieces are expensive. And, with good reason, most are handmade. That does not mean that I am rushing to buy one. The begging started. I thought I was being clever by saying that I would buy them each one if their team placed first.

Irish dance bling

The girls have been practicing once a week since September. Two months, once a week isn't a whole lot of time. I didn't think they had a snowball chance in hell to place first.

Looking back, I see how that could have been mean. And, after their performances, the girls got their crowns from the other adults in their life. The ones who, appropriately, felt that I was being too insensitive. The results were still six hours away from finding out where they placed.

Irish dancer showing off her tiara at Mid America Oireachtas in Louisville, Kentucky

The girls' team didn't place first this time. While both were disappointed, it didn't dampen their desire to go back to class and try again next year.

While they are competing, in the long run, they only have to do better than the last time they perform. And, there is nowhere to go but up.

 First Feis and a printable check-list

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