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RULES 2024

1. The Festival is for amateurs.  For the purposes of this Festival, an amateur is one who is considered not to derive his/her main income from performing dance.


2. The age of competitors is determined as on 31st August of the year preceding the date of the Festival.  Entry into the incorrect age group may lead to disqualification. In cases of doubt, the competitor may be required to produce a birth certificate to confirm age.


3. Entries will be accepted through the 'Festival Connect' online registration system accessed via the RTWDF website here. In the event of over subscription, the Committee will use a postcode radius system (postcode of the school, including that of any private entries) to accept entries, working its way out of Tunbridge Wells and surrounding areas until the entries are at full capacity.


4. Competitors may perform not more than: 


  • once in their own age group for each solo technique (classical or stage);

  • once in each technique in a duet class;

  • once in each technique in a trio/quartet class. 


    The age of the eldest competitor determines the correct class of entry. 


5. The organisers reserve the right to divide, amalgamate or split classes, should the occasion arise, and have the power to interpret or qualify any of these rules should they deem it appropriate. In the event that a solo age group is split, the two classes will be held on the same day wherever possible.


6. The timetable will be set by the Committee and will not be subject to alteration.  Requests from competitors regarding preferred dates and times, or alterations to the published timetable, will not be accommodated for any reason.


7. Competitors must report to the stage steward at least 15 minutes before the class is due to start.  Competitors must dance in the correct order and be ready in the wings two dances before their own.  Absentees risk disqualification. 


8. In the event that they are unable to attend their class, competitors are invited to call the Festival representative to let them know or to place a message on the RTWDF Facebook page.  The Festival programme will include a telephone number to call that will be available during Festival hours.  


9. Competitors aged 11 years or over may not be allowed to re-dance except for a technical reason determined by the stage steward. Competitors aged under 11 years may be allowed to re-dance, at the discretion of the adjudicator.


10.Acrobatic work is not allowed but gymnastic work is acceptable at the discretion of the adjudicator provided it is combined with modern dance technique. 


11. Pointe work is not allowed for any competitor under the age of 13 years. 


12. The organisers reserve the right to refuse entry or stop a performance where the content, props or costume are thought to be unsuitable.


13. Time limits for dances must not be exceeded. Times will be checked from the first note or word of the accompaniment or the first movement of the dancer, whichever is sooner. Marks will be lost if the time limit is exceeded. 


14. The competition does not accept liability for the infringement of copyright recording or performing rights arising out of any competitor’s accompaniment or performance. It contributes to a Group Licence to cover payment of fees for the use of recorded music at its events. Teachers and choreographers using music created from commercial recordings are advised that they are themselves responsible for seeking permission to re-record from the recording companies concerned. 


15. Whilst a new system is being introduced to enable music to be uploaded online in advance of the competition, competitors are requested to also bring their music with them in the event of technical difficulties.  Recorded accompaniment must be either on an audio CD and have nothing else but a single recording at the beginning of the appropriate disc or on a mobile device.  CDs must be clearly identified on the surface OR on a mobile device.


16. Pre-recorded music used in any song and dance section must not include any singing or chanting. Pre-recorded music in tap sections must not use any recorded tap or similar effect. 


17. The choice and interpretation of the accompaniment, as well as the quality of recording, will be taken into account by the Adjudicator. 


18. When requested, the steward will announce the title of the dance and, if appropriate, a short synopsis not exceeding thirty words. 


19. Adjudicator’s decision is final and no discussion or correspondence concerning such a decision may ensue. The Adjudicator reserves the right not to award a place or medal if, in their opinion, the standard of dance is insufficiently high, or individuals infringe the rules. 


20. Communication with the Adjudicator concerning any matters relating to the competition by the competitors, teachers or other parties during the competition is prohibited. Any concerns should be raised with the Festival Committee.


21. The competition may make awards to performers in categories of its choice. Parents/teachers are responsible for the return of trophies to the Festival by the end of January of the following year.  Failure to do so will result in a charge of £30 per trophy payable to RTWDF. 


22. Photography, filming, video or sound recording is prohibited in the auditorium.  However, competitors must be prepared to perform before cameras of the media or agents of the competition. 


23. The stage and stage wings are out of bounds to all except authorised persons and persons about to perform. Competitors who have danced must leave the area and only return for adjudication. Authorised persons are members of the RTWDF Committee, licenced chaperones and teachers. School designated chaperones must accompany their dance groups to the side of the stage – limited to 3 for any group dance. Dancers should seek Committee permission before using the stage during break times. 


24. In compliance with the Theatre’s health and safety regulations, members of the public and competitors will not be allowed entry to the Assembly Hall before 8.30am on any morning of the competition.  


25. Entrance to the auditorium will only be allowed between performances and not whilst adjudication is taking place. Competitors may be allowed into the auditorium if their costumes are covered and adequate footwear is worn.  Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult and fully supervised.


26. Children will not be allowed to play or rehearse in the foyer or lower ground floor level at the front of the theatre.  


27. Parents, relatives or friends who attend the Festival with a dancer must pay the appropriate entry money at the time of entering the venue.  Competitors who are dancing or supporting teachers (max. four persons per day per school) on the day will not be required to pay the appropriate entry money. 


28. The Festival carries public liability insurance and a certificate to that effect will be displayed in the foyer of the Assembly Hall during the Festival.


29. Parents should be aware that the ONLY AREAS OF THE THEATRE SUPERVISED BY RTWDF personnel are the side of stage and performing areas. In all other areas of the theatre (including the dressing rooms, auditorium, toilets, corridors etc.) parents and teachers are reminded that the safety of vulnerable people and personal belongings are their responsibility during the festival. The Festival accepts no responsibility for the personal effects of entrants or their helpers. 


30. All competitors will need to comply with the Child Licencing arrangements as defined by Kent County Council in compliance with legislation. Failure to comply with the KCC requirements will result in competitors being disqualified. The Festival will be registered for a Body of Persons Approval (BOPA). 


31. RTWDF has a designated fully trained Safeguarding Officer and any safeguarding issues or concerns will be handled by a named person.  


32. RTWDF will ensure that there are registered chaperones at the side of the stage and in the performance area at all times. 


33. A separate dressing room will be provided for males and also a family dressing room for both sexes, should it be required.  Only females will be allowed to enter the regular dressing rooms, apart from the specifically arranged ones for male or family members. In the interests of safeguarding, the Festival reserves the right to question any person within the backstage area and, where deemed appropriate, request them to leave. 


34. The organisers are not liable for any loss or damage to articles, clothing or personal injury during the Festival unless proven negligent.  


35. During the Festival week, the RTWDF Committee reserves the right to start any class up to an hour earlier than advertised in this programme. Please ensure that all dancers and visitors are aware to avoid any disappointment.

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