The Torbay Dance Festival




• Novice Festival 23rd and 24th of March
Open Festival 2nd – 8th/9th ofApril

The committee reserves the right to change any of the dates.


Dance entries for Novice and Open festivals will open on 5th Jan and close on 21st,  unless we are full before this date.

Download the Festival Schedules here:

Dance Festival Committee
Dance Chair:
Karen Walker
23 Windmill Gardens
Paignton, TQ3 1BL
Tel: 01803 522174
or 07890 200960
Entry Secretary:
Debbie Harding
138 Grasmere Way
Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6YU
Dee Beale, Kathryn Bestwick, Carolyne Clark, Ken Dowell, Rosemary Dowell, Debbie Harding, Russell Hulme, Vanessa Martin, Wendy Penning, Georgena Pole, Sarah Smith, Karen Walker, Alison Witherley


The Committee and/or Theatre Staff reserve the right to refuse entry.

Session Ticket £6.00 Concessions (Seniors) £5.00
Daily Ticket £12.00 Concessions (Seniors) £10.00

Open Festival Programmes cost £5 and Novice Festival Programmes cost £4  if purchased from a local source. It is possible to purchase a programme via the website entry system and will be posted to your address. The costs for ordering the open festival program is £10 and £8.00 for the novice festival. 

This Festival does not charge children for entry to the auditorium.  Children must be accompanied at all times and parents/guardians/carers are reminded of their responsibility under our Safeguarding Policy in this respect.


D1 The Festival does not accept liability for the infringement of copyright, recording or performing rights arising out of an entrant’s accompaniment or performance.
D2 No performer may present more than one performance in any solo class but may appear twice in one class in duet, trio and quartet classes and up to 3 times in a group class.
D3 Performers may only enter solo performances in their own age group.
D4 Dancers who enter the Performance class may not enter any other solo, duet, trio or quartet classes, but may appear in group classes.
D5 Pointe work is not allowed in any section under 13 years or in any novice class.
D6 A group must contain a minimum of 5 performers
D7 A performer may not perform a dance more than once during the course of the festival with the exception of Championship performances. A performer may repeat a winning dance for a maximum of 2 years.
D8 Time limits are the maximum allowed and must be observed. All dances will be timed and monitored and marks will be deducted if timings are exceeded.
Solos 10 and under – 1.5 minutes with an extra 30 seconds in musical theatre classes
Solos 11 and over – 2 minutes with an extra 30 seconds in musical theatre classes
Novice Solo 10 and under – 1.5 minutes
Novice Solo 11 and over – 2 minutes
Duets, Trios and Quartets – 2.5 minutes with an extra 30 seconds in musical theatre classes
Groups 4 minutes with an extra 30 seconds in musical theatre classes
Championship solos 1.5/2 minutes
D9 Dancing out of section can only take place before the allotted class time (not after the class has taken place) and will only be allowed at the discretion of the Dance Committee Chair, if the request can be accommodated. All requests to dance out of section should be made in writing, with a valid reason and made as far in advance of the festival start as possible. Dancing out of section will result in a report and mark only (no cup or medal if the out of section dancer happened to gain the highest mark in that section). In an All England qualifying year, a qualifying mark may be awarded . A Championship place may be awarded by the adjudicator.
D10 A performer not ready to dance in the order of the programme may be disqualified. All performers should be ready to dance 30 minutes ahead of the scheduled section time.
D11 A re-dance within a section will be permitted by agreement with a Dance Committee representative
D12 During improvisation classes, no one except festival personnel and performers in the current class will be allowed backstage or in the backstage dressing rooms.
D13 Novice classes are open to performers who have not won a section of the same genre. Please ensure the Dance Section Chair is notified if a dancer becomes ineligible to enter the novice class after an entry has been made and the entry will be transferred to the relevant open age class. The exception to this is in respect of Novice Group Performers who may perform in a 2024 Novice Festival group if their Novice status changes at North Cornwall or Exeter Festivals in 2024.
D14 All music should be uploaded at the time of entry. CDs will no longer be accepted. Back up music should be held on a phone. Please ensure the Character or Greek title/introduction is clearly written and given to the announcer and is no longer than 30 words. Lengthy titles or introductions beyond 30 words will be counted against the dance time. The teacher is responsible for the quality of the upload which will be taken into account by the adjudicator.
D15 Backing music for all Musical Theatre sections must not contain any vocal.
D16 Side stage and wings are out of bounds to all except performers in the current class and Festival personnel. Exceptions to this rule allowing one parent/carer/teacher to accompany a dancer side stage are
Open section dancers aged 6 years and under
Novice section dancers aged 9 years and under
Open section dancers aged 7 and over or Novice section dancers aged 10 years and over where additional needs require them to be supported. All requests to accompany Open section dancers 7 and over and Novice section 10 and over must be made in writing to the Dance Committee Chair before the start of the festival
Group sections, where it is requested that a teacher or other responsible adult accompanies their group to ensure appropriate discipline
D17 All large props should be brought backstage at the start of the festival day and be removed by the end of the day. Please do not bring props before the day that they are required as they may cause a hazard and will be removed. Please note that no prop should weigh more that 10kg. No prop should make any mess on stage. The Committee reserves the right to refuse props that do not comply with these requirements.
D18 Stage group rehearsals without music will be allowed for 10 and under groups only and will take place in lunch and dinner breaks. A booking sheet will be held at the foyer desk and teachers may sign up for stage slots.
D19 Dancers who are unfamiliar with the stage may look at it to become familiar before the festival starts each morning between 9.00 and 9.20 am.
D20 Teacher passes for auditorium entry will be provided free of charge. Dance School Principals will be contacted prior to the festival to provide names of staff who require a pass. No free teacher entry to the auditorium will be permitted without a pass.
D21 Certificates and adjudication sheets are to be collected by teachers only. If there is no dance school teacher representative at the festival, agreement must be made in advance for another representative of the dance school to collect these.
D22 Individual winners and dance school principals are responsible for the return of all cups, cleaned and undamaged. The committee reserves the right not to award a trophy to any individual or school.
D23 We are an inclusive festival and welcome performers with additional needs. Notification of the nature of any condition and any adaptations required must be stated at entry for the Performance class and by email to the Chair of the Dance Committee for all other classes when entries are submitted, in order that provision may be made, if possible.



All England Dance has kindly agreed to allow us to add their dance genre descriptors to our website. Please ensure that choreographers are aware that these are the genre descriptors used by adjudicators in their marking of performances


Novice Festival adjudicator: Karen Blackburn

Karen received her formative training at The Phyllis & Hilda Skinns Ballet School (Hull) and with Louise Browne (York Scholars). At the age of twelve, she was the British Junior Ballet Champion, a silver medalist at the All England Dance Finals (Sunshine Festival) and runner-up at the IDTA Miss Dance of Great Britain. Upon graduating, she furthered her professional training at the Urdang Academy of Ballet & Performing Arts and performed as a classical and contemporary dancer for several years, touring nationally and internationally. As a freelance choreographer, Karen has devised award-winning pieces for many UK dance schools alongside ensemble pieces for youth theatre company productions. 

Miss Jodie Clark

In addition, she created the first-ever summer season show at Alton Towers with commercial works for Dansez, Euro Disney and Adidas. ​ Karen is a Royal Ballet School Affiliate Teacher, a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance, Rambert Grades and Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT). She holds a Masters Degree in Dance Research for Professional Practitioners and is passionate about holistic, student-centred training, focusing on creativity and individuality, encouraging self-esteem, confidence and a love of dance. Karen is also an examiner for The Dang Theatre and Dance Syllabus and an adjudicator with the British and International Federation of Festivals and All England Dance.

Open Festival adjudicator: Jill Redford

JILL REDFORD A.R.A.D. F.I.S.T.D. P.G.C. Cert Ed (Post Compulsory), Certificate in Dance Education. Ass. Board Speech and Drama. Jill was Arts Awards Ballet champion at the age of twelve and then went on to train Bird College of Performing Arts, gaining her teaching qualifications including Advanced R.A.D.

She was lucky to have an all round training in dance/singing and acting from some wonderful teachers – Pauline Bird, Rosemary Woodd, Pat Izen, Jenny Taylor, Doreen Bird, Gwen Carter, Susan Towns and Marjorie Field. Jill also studied at the Place with Matt Mattox. 

Miss Jodie Clark

After a professional career on stage and TV in the UK and abroad working in the theatre with such stars as Peter Butterworth, Bernie Clifton, John Hanson and Lenny Henry Jill decided to teach, owning her own school in Sussex. After her first son was born she handed her school on. Jill now works as a freelance teacher/choreographer/adjudicator/performer. She has choreographed for the Edinburgh Festival for fashion shows and many musicals. Miss Redford is an Equity member, an examiner for the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and adjudicator for the British Federation of Festivals, which includes being a member of the All England panel of adjudicators. Many of Miss Redford’s ex pupils are now studying at Theatre Colleges or are working in the business. In 2021 Jill was honoured to receive a fellowship award from the British and International Federation of Festivals.