This weekend will see the start of the All England regional finals. They are taking place in the following areas: South, South East, London North, Midlands and North and West.
Pupils across the country take part in various dance festivals (competitions) in the their local areas, some of which are qualifiers for the All England competition. Over two years the dancers will repeat their dances at different festivals , trying to improve and achieve the best score out of 100 they are able to. Dancers need to acquire a particular score in order to be able to qualify to attend their regional finals which take place every two years. The score depends on age - so it could be 84/100 (for the small ones) to 86/100 for the older dancers. It really is quite an achievement to be able to dance at the regional finals.
At the regional finals, the normal structure of the competition changes at little.
1) There are 3 adjudicators instead of one. They mark independently as described here: Each of three judges marks completely independently. They can give:
DSC (Distinction with Special Commendation)
D (Distinction), or
We also ask them to note their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th , 5th and 6th Places.
The mark slips are then collected and the results calculated by the Regional Director and Assistant.
Placings are worked out by adding together the places given – the dance with the lowest total being placed 1st.
Qualifying for National Finals:
All Groups with Honours.
1st place in Baby Sections, regardless of mark, and 2nd and 3rd places with Honours.
All other sections: 1st, 2nd and 3rd places with Honours.
Honours are awarded when 2 of the 3 judges give it an Honours mark, i.e. a majority.
2) There are normally a few sections adjudicated at once. For example you may finish your section and have to wait for the Under 7's to do their Ballet and some national duets before you are all brought on stage to hear the adjudication. It could even mean you having two dances being adjudicated at once - this year my daughter has her Greek, my son has his Song and Dance following straight after then her Modern straight after that! eek!
As written earlier, the dancers who receive honours and are placed in 1st, 2nd or 3rd are then eligible to compete at the All England Finals in London in the Summer holidays. It's a fabulous occasion where you really are watching some of the most talented young dancers in England. Here, a similar format is used, often with special guest adjudicators. There are various awards along with being placed in your section including Tap Dancer of the Year and Most Promising Baby.
This week I am preparing the make up box, checking the costumes and organising the CD's all ready for the regional finals for both my children #proudmum I can't wait!