15th – 23rd February 2020

The Assembly Hall

Royal Tunbridge Wells








The Royal Tunbridge Wells Dance Festival offers a Ballet Bursary Award.  Originally supported by Kent Youth Ballet, this award gives competitors an opportunity to win a valuable prize.


Competitors in the age groups 8 – 16+ years* (inclusive) will be eligible to compete for this Award if:


  1. they have been placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in their solo ballet during the week of the Festival, AND

  2. the dancing school they attend is within a twenty mile radius of Tunbridge Wells.


The Bursary Class will take place on the last Sunday of the Festival – competitors being required to perform their dance.  The presentation will be made later that afternoon at the Cup Award Ceremony.


There will be only one Award consisting of theatre vouchers to the value £250.  


The winner will also receive the Kent Youth Ballet Cup.




The Royal Tunbridge Wells Dance Festival offers a Tap Bursary Award.  This award is sponsored by Tonbridge Festival Committee in remembrance of Connie Turner and gives competitors an opportunity to win a valuable prize.


Competitors in the age groups 8 – 16+ years* (inclusive) will be eligible to compete for this Award if:


  1. they have been placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in their solo tap during the week of the Festival, AND

  2. the dancing school they attend is within a twenty mile radius of Tunbridge Wells.


The Bursary Class will take place on the last Sunday of the Festival – competitors being required to perform their dance. The presentation will be made later that afternoon at the Cup Award Ceremony.


There will be only one Award consisting of theatre vouchers to the value £250.  


The winner will also receive the Connie Turner Tap Bursary Award Cup.


*please note competitors can only take part in one of our three Bursary classes

*any competitor who wins a bursary will be ineligible to enter again 



The Royal Tunbridge Wells Dance Festival offers a senior bursary award designed to help fund the winning applicant in his/her pursuit of a stage career.  Previously known as the RTWDF Senior Bursary Award, the award has been renamed to better reflect its intention.  All applications must be received by the organisers by the final deadline of midday on 

Friday 21st February 2020.  Forms are available on the front desk at the Festival venue or on our website and, once completed, should be sent to the Festival Committee. 


Award Rules:


1.    Applicants must be aged 15 or over as at 1 January 2020 and must provide evidence that they have either (a) been offered a place for the forthcoming academic year to undertake a full-time dance education (b) be already undertaking a full-time dance education.


2.    Applicants must have performed at least one solo discipline at the Royal Tunbridge Wells Dance Festival in at least four of the previous five years (i.e. 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019).


3.    Applicants will be invited to enter the Bursary Class which will consist of two solos of different dance disciplines, one of which must be classical (as defined at RTWDF General Rule 4).  Time limits are detailed on Page 8 of this Syllabus.  


4.    The Award will be given at the Adjudicator’s discretion.  The Adjudicator reserves the right not to give the Award if a deserving applicant is not found.


5.    The Award will be handed to winning applicants on sight of a letter of acceptance or proof of attendance on a full-time programme from the appropriate training establishment. 


RTWDF Professional Dance Training Bursary Award Application Forms are available to download from the Festival website  Completed forms should be handed into the Festival Committee Room during the Festival week, before midday on Friday 21st February 2020. 




1. The Festival is for amateurs.  For the purposes of this Festival, an amateur is one who is considered not to:  


    a) derive his/her main income from performing dance; 

    b) be undertaking a full-time further education in dance; 

    c) be attending a full-time dance or theatre school.    


    Please note that separate criteria apply for applicants to the Senior Professional Dance Training Award who are aged over 16 years.


2. The age of competitors is taken from 1st September 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 allocated on a first come, first served basis on the RTWDF online registration system.  In the event of over subscription, the registration site will close early and entries may no longer be accepted.  


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. 


    Solo techniques are defined as follows:  


     Classical:    Ballet*, Character, Greek, National, Contemporary

     Stage:    Modern**, Lyrical Modern**, Tap, Musical Theatre


 *     competitors up to and including age 12 may dance a classical ballet.  Competitors age 13 years and over may dance a ballet – any style as set out in Dance Techniques – Page 8 

 **     competitors up to and including age 12 years may enter the single modern class performing either a modern jazz or a lyrical modern (the classes will not be separated).  Competitors aged 13 years and over may enter both/either modern sections.


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 and present their music at that time.  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.  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 CDs created from commercial recordings are advised that they are themselves responsible for seeking permission to re-record from the recording companies concerned.   


15.   Recorded accompaniment must be on an audio CD and have nothing else but a single recording at the beginning of the appropriate disc.  CDs must be clearly identified on the surface and should be handed to the stage steward at the music collection point at least 15 minutes before the commencement of the class. 


16.    Pre-recorded music used in any song and dance section must not include any singing or chanting on the CD.  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.  


21.   The competition may make awards to performers in categories of its choice.  Parents 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. 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 Festival.  


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. two persons per day named by school in advance) 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.  No men will be allowed entry to any female dressing room.  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. Please ensure that all dancers and visitors are aware to avoid any disappointment.       

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Classical    ballet, contemporary, national, Greek, character

Stage    modern jazz, lyrical modern, tap, musical theatre

Dance Techniques


Classical Ballet:

Dances should include adage and allegro.  Titles, characterisations and hand-held props are not allowed.  Costumes should ensure that every aspect of classical technique is clearly visible.  Repertoire is not allowed. 


Stylised Ballet:

The communication of an idea through movement, danced with Classical Ballet technique when using hand props or with traditional style, such as Hornpipe, Spanish, Scottish, Tarantella.  Soft or pointe shoes must be worn. 


Modern Ballet:

A fusion of Modern and Classical Ballet genres combining the classical technique, which may be performed with a parallel line of leg and contemporary movement. This form may be performed bare foot but usually requires the use of soft or pointe shoes. 



Technically the work may reference Limon / Horton / Graham / Cunningham / Release / Flying Low / GaGa or any other recognised Contemporary technique and should be underpinned with a strong classical base.  The work should show an understanding of choreographic content and a clear reference to the defined principles of contraction and release, fall and rebound, use of breath and gravity and successive or initiated movement.  Whilst there is an athletic strength to the work, acrobatic work should be minimal and used only to enhance the choreographic work. 



All traditional music, songs and technique 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. 



Following the technique of Ruby Ginner, classical Greek is performed barefoot and essentially showing the use of opposition and relaxation through the movements.  Dances should reflect the title.  Myths and Nature Themes are acceptable provided the movements are given their appropriate interpretation that relates to one or more of the seven different styles in this technique. 



A dramatic, artistic or sometimes humorous presentation of : • A story /character from any book, poem, play, film, history, cartoon, original created theme, etc.   • The mannerisms and essential features of animals, birds, insects, reptiles, virus, and topical interpretations of abstract themes. Appropriate technique for the character should be used. 



An all-inclusive term applied to an ever-evolving performing art.  It includes lyrical modern, Jazz, Stage Contemporary, Hip Hop and all styles of Modern Theatre Dance.  Acrobatic, Gymnastic, and Street Dance are also acceptable when combined with a recognisable dance technique and a theatrical quality.  All routines should observe safe dance practice. 


Lyrical Modern:

Based on Modern technique, lyrical modern should show flowing movements that express the emotion of the music.  Gymnastic and acrobatic work is not allowed.  Floor work should be kept to a minimum. 



All styles and developments in technique, including characterisation and humour, are encouraged providing the projection, beating and presentation of the routine is fully sustained and appropriate. 


Song & Dance/Musical Theatre:

The song sets the scene, mood and style of the dance.  Pitch and accuracy whilst singing are essential.  The dance should provide continuity and reflect the words of the song, which should be sustained throughout.  The overall performance should show a combination of Song, Dance and Drama/Acting.  


Marking System


75 – 77 marks     Fair

78 – 80 marks    Moderate

81 – 83 marks    Merit

84 – 86 marks    Commended

87 – 89 marks     Distinction

90 marks and over    Outstanding



Medals will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.  A fourth place and accompanying medal may be given at the Adjudicator’s discretion.  If a fourth place is not announced at the time of adjudication, no place or medal will be given.


Entries and Class Sizes


Entries may be restricted due to time constraints and allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Should a particular class be over-subscribed, the organisers reserve the right to split the class.


Festival entries may be made on our website where teachers/individuals can register and make their entries online.  Confirmation of receipt of entries will be made by email and confirmation of places made after the entry closing date at which point payment will be collected.  Full details are available on our website


The registration entry site will open at 10:00 on Sunday 13th October 2019 and the final closing date is midnight 31st October 2019.  


Please note that, based on previous years’ experience, it is highly likely that the entry site will close early (as soon as the subscription limit is reached).



Confirmation of entries


  • each school/private entrant will be able to see the entries they have made with confirmation of group/troupe dates and times via the on-line entry system.  


  • solo/duet/trio/quartet entries will be confirmed to individuals via the school;


  • each school must provide a list of named teachers who will be issued with badges to facilitate free entry to the Assembly Hall during the Festival week.  Teachers are advised that their appointed chaperones will be required to pay the entrance fee and must be advised of such to avoid any embarrassment or difficulty at the front desk.


Safeguarding Policy


  • each school/private entrant will receive a class time notification email providing a link to the Festival’s Safeguarding Policy clearly stated emphasising that the responsibility for the safe keeping of the children remains with the parent until such point where the parent is no longer allowed to accompany the child.  Teachers should encourage parents to read the details carefully.


Data Privacy Notice


  • Each school/private entrant will receive a class time notification email providing a link to the Festival’s Data Privacy Notice clearly stating that we are GDPR compliant and follow the latest regulations for the safe management, sharing and storage of all data collected from each entrant. The full details of this privacy notice can be found on our website via the homepage: