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Syllabus and Entry details

Monday 29th July - Sunday 4th  August 2024

 Age for the festival is taken from 1st September 2023

We are following the new marking system, grade bands and discipline names inline with All England Dance.

Entries open on Sunday 25th February at 10am

Prices per dance
SOLOS: £9.50 | DUETS: £15 | TRIOS & QUARTETS £21 


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*NB: Solo Under 5 years have two sections available - Classical (Ballet, Character, Greek) and Theatre (Tap, Modern and Song and Dance) - the time limit however differs as Song and Dance is 2 mins whereas the others are 1min 30.

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The age of the eldest competitor in a Duet, Trio / Quartet or Group determines the correct age group.

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Awards:  Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed competitions (at the adjudicators discretion).

Payments to be made online only.   A link for the booking system will be made available on line and via social media. Once all 7 days have been filled, the booking system will close. Entry opening date to be announced.

Genre Descriptors


Ballet (Classical Ballet)

Classical Ballet should include elements of both adage and allegro.  Stylised ballet is a communication of an idea through movement, danced with/without the use of hand props, and could reflect elements such as the Hornpipe, Spanish and Tarantella for example.  Soft or pointe shoes must be worn (depending on age and technical proficiency).  The use of classical repertoire is not allowed.  Music should be drawn from the classical genre and be suited to the range of vocabulary steps utilised. Pointe work is not allowed for any competitor under 13 years old.


  • Dancers should demonstrate the principles of classical ballet, which include secure posture and alignment, turn-out, weight distribution and placement.

  • A well-schooled port de bras is an essential component that should exhibit correct shaping, flow, and coordination of the head and eye line.

  • Attention should be paid to the grouping of fingers and relaxation of the hands.


In this section you may portray a character, fictional or non-fictional, or you may choose to interpret an animal or an element from nature, a feeling, an emotion or something more abstract. The fundamental element of the performance should always be focused on the storytelling and development of the narrative. Demi-character could be presented within this section.


  • The acting skills and an ability to communicate using the whole body should be visible throughout.  The performance must be visceral.

  • The character should be expressed through body and facial expression with a clear sense of purpose behind the movement.

We would normally expect a classical genre to be utilised for this section, however on the odd occasion other forms of dance may be used if they aid the characterisation.  The technique must be consistent throughout and appropriate to the piece as a whole.  The chosen dance technique MUST serve the purpose of storytelling, a hybrid and creative utilisation of different dance techniques will be accepted.

Some examples:

  • A tap dance to the song ‘Mr Bojangles’ would not be suitable if the movement does not convey a story.

  • The use of tap to portray the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland (as in the Christopher Wheeldon ballet) would be suitable.

  • A modern dance with lyrics is not a narrative dance – although it may interpret the lyrics.  However, a dance performance that focused on global warming for instance, that used the jazz vocabulary, could be used as a narrative piece if the overriding purpose of the choreography was to tell a story.

  • La Fille Mal Gardee contains a clog dance which is a character piece.

  • A piece exploring the issues/characters within West Side Story that utilises a hybrid of jazz and classical ballet work could be construed as a narrative piece.

  • Lip-synching to a song, in a characterised manner, is not a character dance.


Exception: Classical Greek would not be accepted here as the genre already utilises characterisation and interpretation as part of its own performance criteria. However, in a hybrid form, a character piece could draw from Classical Greek vocabulary if suited to the mood and feel of the characterisation.


All choreographers are asked to consider the appropriateness of the topic to the age of the dancer. Alongside, sensitivity and thought must be given to the context in which the performance is presented and to ensuring that chosen themes are also appropriate to a competition aimed at young performers.


National/Global Dance

All traditional music, songs, and techniques appropriate to the country of choice are acceptable.  Younger competitors are expected to demonstrate traditional performances.  Seniors may introduce theatrical performances that are clearly based on a national tradition.  The choice for this section is broad and encompasses both traditional folk dances and dances drawn from the rich body of cultural dance practices from around the world.


  • Deliver a performance which captures the essence of the chosen country.  Footwork and body movements should have an authentic feel with the arms co-ordinating in the correct style.

  • A theme maybe used but is not compulsory and small props which help to create an authentic story can be incorporated into the performance.

  • The floor patterns and choreography should mirror those used in the chosen area (as appropriate to the specific region/style).

  • The musical choice should incorporate the spirit of the country but doesn’t have to be a traditional folk piece.


Classical Greek

Based upon the technique of Ruby Ginner, classical Greek is performed barefoot and is essentially showing the use of opposition and relaxation through the movement which was core to Ginner’s work.  Dances should reflect the title.  Myths, studies from nature and modern-day themes are acceptable, together with the accompaniment of many different genres of music or the spoken word, provided the movements are given their appropriate interpretation and relate to one or more of the seven styles of this technique which are:

  • Lyric

  • Athletic

  • Bacchic

  • Pyrrhic

  • Choric

  • Ritual

  • Tragic

The choreography should be based upon the natural movements of the body such as Standing, Walking, Running, Skipping, Leaping, Jumping and Spinning, whilst experiencing the cultural connections to other arts such as Sculpture, Ceramics, Painting, Poetry, and Music.  Aspects of the performance should include expression, use of breath and musical understanding.  Also demonstrated should be balance, strength & control, relaxation, elevation, and flexibility through the spine.


  • The dancer should demonstrate the correct technical and artistic requirements for the relevant styles: lyrical, athletic, bacchic, pyrrhic, tragic, choric and ritual.

  • The use of breathing, weight and relaxation and full use of the body should be evident throughout.  The use of the spine, body turn, and precision of line should be secure.

  • The quality of the movement dynamics should match the chosen style, whilst showing fluidity and sensitivity where relevant.

  • A connection and response to the chosen music, words or sound should be demonstrated.


Musical Theatre

Musical theatre encompasses the ‘triple threat’ abilities of performers and adjudicators will consider the following aspects:

  • Vocal ability and technique.

  • Acting through song and connection to the words.

  • Acting through dance and/or movement.

The choice of the material should be both suitable in terms of age and cultural identity.  Characterisation and believability are integral to the performance, and it is important that the song choice is relevant to the performer.  The lyrics are important, and clarity of diction should be thought about.  Breath control and pitching are also a key element and need suitable training.  The key of the accompaniment should be within the range of the performer and it is permissible to change this to suit the voice type.  Dance should not be included for the sake of it and should flow naturally out of the lyrics and characterisation.  Pedestrian movement and staging are considered appropriate, and each action should have a clear purpose and intention.  Any genre of dance can be utilised, the focus should be that the genre enhances the role that is being played and is in keeping with the character and era of the chosen material.  Ensure that the performer understands the context, period, and location of the song and/or musical.


For younger candidates in Pre Junior, A and B sections, it is acceptable for the performers to choose songs that are not necessarily drawn from musical theatre.



● Suitability of the song choice to age of performer.

● Vocal placing and pitching.

● Characterisation and connection to the words.

● Appropriate use of movement and/or dance.

● Understanding the context of the piece.



Tap encompasses many different styles – often dictated by the choice of accompaniment.  The use of the body and/or arm lines and overall performance should work in unity to form a cohesive presentation that is informed by the style of tap that has been utilised.  Tap dances should be rhythmic, show clearly defined rhythmic patterns and precision in beating and footwork.  There should be variance in the use of tonal quality which may, or may not, be influenced by the accompaniment.


  • Timing and musicality.

  • Tonality and use of light and shade.

  • Clarity of beating and articulation of footwork.

  • Stylistic interpretation and use of the body as a whole.


Jazz utilises the underpinning of a clear jazz technique in its presentation.  There is plenty of scope for freedom in the style, choice of music and theme, if relevant.  The term, theatrical jazz, refers to the fundamental jazz dance techniques which evolved from musical theatre into more contemporary hybrids such as modern dance and which may incorporate influences from contemporary dance.  The term Theatre Jazz does not dictate that the source material must be derived from musical theatre and the two should not be confused (although it is clearly permissible to use this style in the genre).  Choreography should reflect the rhythms and dynamics of the music, clear sustained technique in turns, kicks and elevated steps and should avoid being solely based on limbering movements.  Tricks can be utilised, but should have purpose to the piece, ensure that focus and consideration is given on the linking steps in between to help with flow in the transitions.


  • Clarity of line through the limbs and body.

  • Control in technique (turns, kicks, elevation).

  • Use of dynamics and rhythmicality.

  • Stamina and consistency in performance.

Lyrical Modern/Jazz 

Lyrical modern allows the dancer to interpret the music and lyrics through movement and encourages a sense of musicality and connection between the dancer and the accompaniment.  The use of breath is important and strong technical application will allow for simplicity and space in the presentation.  Highlights in the movement should match that of the orchestration/musical arrangement.


Lyrical modern is a pure interpretation of the music and should therefore show fluidity, resistance, suspension, relaxation, purpose and create physical shapes that are aesthetically pleasing.  Vocal or non-vocal music may be utilised, however if interpreting the lyrics, the performance should be consistent throughout.  The choreography should have a continuous sense of flow showing breadth, expansion, and release.  Whilst the use of floor work is permitted, it should be kept to a minimum.  Ask yourself, does the music suggest going to the floor?


Music should be age appropriate and the size of orchestration and emotive content should relate to the age and ability of the dancer.


  • The dancer should demonstrate a sustained technique, extension, and continuity of line where relevant and fluidity in the movement.

  • The music should be embodied fully within the performance and the two elements should work in harmony with one another.

  • A range and richness in dynamics should be ever present in the work.

  • Throughout, the use of space and freedom in the movement should be evident.

  • The emotive response should come within and not be forced or contrived.


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