Genre Descriptions


Ballet - Classical: should include Adage and Allegro. Costumes should ensure that every aspect of classical technique is clearly visible. Repertoire is not allowed.

Ballet – Modern: A fusion of Modern and Classical Ballet disciplines; combining the classical technique, which may be performed with a parallel line of leg and contemporary movement. Soft or pointe shoes must be worn.

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

Cabaret Genres: Acro, Commercial, Lyrical, Modern, Song & Dance, and Tap.

Character: A classical dance style portraying 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.

When requested in advance, the announcer will announce the title of the dance and a short synopsis; this should not exceed 30 words.

Classical Genres: Ballet; all listed, Character, Contemporary, Greek, and National.

Commercial: This section will include all styles of commercial dance, e.g.; Hip Hop, Street ect.

Contemporary: Technically the piece performed may; but does not have to, allude to traditionally recognised techniques but should be underpinned with a strong classical base. The piece performed should have a clear reference to the defined principles of contraction and release, fall and rebound, use of breath and gravity and successive or initiated movement. Experimentation and abstract portrayals are encouraged.

Greek: Following the technique of Ruby Ginner, Classical Greek is performed barefoot and essentially showing the use of opposition and relaxation through the movement. 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.

 The seven styles of Greek dance are:

  • Lyric
  • Athletic
  • Bacchic
  • Pyrrhic
  • Choric
  • Ritual
  • Tragic

Interpretation: Music will be provided by the Adjudicator and the order of competitors will be drawn by ballot. The competitors will listen to the chosen piece of music twice and then perform their choreographic interpretation.

Interpretive Collaboration: Music will be set by the Adjudicator; competitors will be able to listen to the piece freely throughout the lunch break to enable them and their partner (who will be drawn by ballot prior to lunch) time to choreograph their performance piece.

Lyrical: Lyrical Modern work should show flowing movements that purely express the emotion of the music. Gymnastic and acrobatic work is not allowed, and floor work should be kept to an absolute minimum 

Modern: The range of choreographic styles and techniques is diverse. Modern, Lyrical, Jazz, Commercial, Hip Hop and all styles of Modern Theatre Dance are appropriate. These styles are informed by the choice of music, and from that the choreography should reflect the movement vocabulary. Acrobatic/Gymnastic movements are acceptable but must be combined with a recognisable dance technique and a theatrical and artistic quality. However acrobatic ‘tricks’ should be minimal and not become the main focus of the choreography. All routines should observe safe dance practice and MUST be appropriate for the age and ability of the performer. Suggestive music and choreographic content are not acceptable for a festival platform. Music with offensive lyrics is also not suitable.

National: 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.

Novice: Novices are deemed to be a competitor who has never gained a 1st place at any other festival; only one entry is permitted per classical and cabaret sections (see above for genre descriptors and also rule 9).

Song and Dance/Musical Theatre: The song performed should set the scene, style and mood of the piece to be performed. Pitch and accuracy whilst singing are essential. A more indepth description and expectation can be found on All England Dance website.

Tap: All styles and developments in technique, including characterisation and humour, are encouraged providing the rhythms, clarity of beating and presentation of the routine is fully sustained and appropriate to the chosen musical style 

Choreography Sections: (87 - 97)

Competitors are required to complete the questionnaire; this will sent with the Festivak entry pack, you must answer all questions. The completed form should be emailed or handed into the secretary Tina Wootton-Porter no later than on the 1st day of the Festival. Competitors failure in completing; or the secretary not receiving questionnaires on the first day of the festival may result in competitors risking disqualification.

Music cannot be from competitor’s current or previous professionally choreographed pieces; this must be the child’s interpretation, not ideas given to them; as this is not their own complete choreographic interpretation. All material performed must come from the competitor, which will ensure that teachers, older students or other influences are not involved in this process and in-turn creating a fair and enjoyable section.

After all competitors have danced in their respective sections they must stand on stage and answer upto three questions asked by the Adjudicator. These questions will not necessarily be the same as you have answered on the questionnaire (which the festival has devised). The Adjudicator may devise questions from the questionnaire and your performance (for example; the adjudicator may want you to elaborate on how you created your piece or maybe you have invented a new move or complex rhythm, (cross phrasing, syncopation, use of miss beats, tacit of dancer and or music), impressive it may be, but make sure you can validate any difficult or clever sections. Dancers with advanced movements or creative patterning, levels or rhythm, will be asked how they approached and what their influences were. The winning dance may not be the best performance, but could still be the winner. The choreography sections are not about technique & performance; but are about the whole picture i.e. the best interpretation of your ideas and visions on your chosen subject; your portrayal of your chosen topic is up to you using dance and movement effectively.

There are thousands of questions the Adjudicator could ask you, so if you haven’t thought about why, where, when, who you are, surroundings (scene portrayed), why you used certain steps, etc….. then you may not be able to answer the Adjudicator’s questions, which will affect your outcome overall in the section.

For Choreography Partnership sections the eldest choreographer will determine eligible age class. This section is for between two and four choreographers who contribute to the completed performance piece. In the Choreography for Others section the age of the choreographer will determine the age class. Choreographic material can be set as any of the following: solo, duet, trio, quartet, or group depending on the choreographer’s visions, using amateur dancers up to 21 Years. Competitor’s choosing to choreograph a group piece should adhere to the following guidelines; - a minimum of five dancers & a maximum of 12 dancers see rule 10.