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General Rules
Additional Rules for Novice Festivals
Additional Rules for Championships

General Rules




Fees must accompany entry forms with the names of the competitors en bloc from the teacher before the closing date.


No independent entries will be accepted.


The Organiser reserves the right to refuse entries which are not in the best interests of the competition.


Non BTDA schools may enter at the discretion of the organiser.


Organisers have the right to refuse late entries.


Timing must be strictly adhered to, random checks will be made.  A bell will be used to signify the time limit, the dancer must leave the stage when the bell is rung otherwise they will be disqualified.


No pointe work is permitted in any Novice sections, A and B in open competition and Junior Championships.  It is compulsory that candidates are en pointe in Senior Championship sections, however candidates who are not proficient at pointe work should NOT enter.


Candidates may only enter once in any one solo section.


In duet and trios sections candidates may enter more than once with the same partner providing there is a change of subject.


A competitors age will be taken on the first day of the competition.  In duets, trios, groups and troupes the eldest performer determines the age group of the routine.


When entering groups and troupes please write descriptive titles on the entry forms as these sections can also be split according to subjects at the organisers discretion.


In the event that only 1 entry is received for a section, the organiser has the right to combine sections which will then be adjudicated overall, or the entry fee paid will be refunded.


The organiser reserves the right to change, alter or combine parts of the programme as necessary. In these cases the combined sections will be adjudicated seperately. .

14 The running order will not will not be changed, should candidates fail to appear at their specified time the entry could be foreited.


Competitors are required to be at the competition at least one hour before their section is due to perform.  Organisers have the right to continue the running of the competition up to one hour early.


Only competitors and Teachers with a current CRB are allowed on the side and back of the stage.


The Association can offer no guarantee as to the day or time at which a section will be presented, once the final programme has been drawn up this must be adhered to.


Sound equipment is permitted in BTDA competitions.


Piano or instrumental music without any talking or singing must be used in the tap, ballet and song and dance disciplines in solo, duet and trio sections.  Singing and spoken word in National is allowed according to the authenticity of the country.  Lyrical, modern, and acrobatic have a freedom of choice of music.


A full and flowing skirt or circular culottes must be worn by female competitors in Lyrical solo sections.


Ballet groups must be instrumental music.  Cabaret troupes have a freedom of choice of music and the use of playbacks is allowed.


Love songs must not be used for Baby and Junior competitors in all categories (Instrumental permitted) in relation to their age.


Any entries that do not comply with the above will not be placed by the adjudicator.




Teachers are responsible for their own PPL and PRS licenses at any BTDA competition.


Titles of the National, Greek and Character dances are to be clearly written on the entry forms and are to be submitted in all sections.


Character dances must be based on classical technique.


Jinks taps are not permitted.


The Adjudicators decision is final, the organisers will not be drawn into any discussions regarding this.


No recording or photography will be permitted under any circumstances.


No fees are returnable.


BTDA accepts no liability for any item of equipment or clothing etc. which may be damaged or stolen at any time during the competition.


Birth certificates may be asked for if the need arises.


Certificates may only be collected by the teacher or an assistant during the lunch and tea breaks or at the end of the day.


All entry forms require the signature of the parent, which will legally ensure their responsibility for the return in good condition of any trophy awarded.


Any trophy collected by a pupil or teacher may be kept for 11 months and must be returned 1 month before the next festival.   Teachers are responsible to ensure that parents abide by the rules they have signed.


Teachers are responsible for the return of trophies to the competition in which they were gained.  Failure to do so will result in a charge per trophy payable to BTDA.


Teachers must ensure that any student who is likely to receive a trophy or award, is present at the presentations.



Students wearing personal jewellery will be penalized.

Students with body art must ensure that it is concealed.


An own arrangement must be the complete work of the student without any outside coaching from a teacher. The teacher must ensure that the student adheres to the festival rules.


Teachers are responsible for their students behavior at all times. The teacher is responsible for checking the dressing rooms, to ensure everything is in order before leaving the premises.


A candidate cannot be entered into a section where the dance has been set by the person adjudicating the section.  In cases where the adjudicator is not known at time of entry, it is the Teachers responsibility to withdraw that person if the aforementioned situation arises.  A full refund will be given on these occasions.


Eating and drinking in the changing rooms is forbidden.


Everyone helping or assisting in the running of the competition is obliged to hold a current CRB Certificate.


No visible coaching is allowed.


In the event of over subscribing, in sections with over 30 entries, BTDA reserves the right to split the sections


Every candidate must have a separate tape, with a bow for each dance. The candidate/ teacher must ensure the tape is cued in and ready to play when given in to the tape player.  Running the tape back for a bow must be the responsibility of the teacher and not the designated tape player.  The adjudicator(s) will be marking the whole performance from entrance to exit.


Marking of Groups and Troupes will be based on performance value.


The organiser can not be held responsible if a recording does not play in any equipment supplied by the competition. Teachers are advised to have a backup tape/CD available.


At the organisers discretion a candidate may dance out of section for a mark only. The performance can not be held over to be included in the adjudication of the section


BTDA requests that adjudicators work only once in a particular area in the same year.


Only the sections listed in the Rule Book will be held at the competition. Any area wishing to offer other subjects must be held separately as  Performing Arts.   


Performances using music from shows in current production are subject to copyright law. Songs from shows in current production may be sung without copyright permission providing costumes and movements are not used.




Championships are open to BTDA registered schools only.


A candidate cannot enter a Championship Heat without first taking part in a BTDA competition.


The candidate can only enter a discipline in the Championship Heats that they have previously entered in a BTDA competition in solo form.





If a student is placed 1st or 2nd in any area championship heat they are eligible to perform at the finals, if they cannot compete 3rd and 4th places may be eligible and the candidate will be notified by Head Office.

If a student is placed 3rd with 88 marks or over at any area heat they will be eligible to perform at the finals.


Each finalist will have to pay a £6.00 transfer fee for their first entry to the finals. A fee of £3.00 will be payable for each additional entry.  This will be collected by their teacher on completion of the final programme.


If a student gains entry to the championship finals and then leaves his/her dancing school before the final their place will be forfeited.  It will not be possible for them to enter another heat with another teacher for the remainder of the Championship year.


Cabaret heats - no less than 6 entries will be accepted for Junior and Inter sections and 4 entries for Senior sections. 

Classical heats - no less than 4 entries will be accepted for Junior, Inter  and Senior sections. 


If an area cannot produce the amount of entries required for each section then the heat in that discipline will not take place.


In sections of less than 6 entries only 1st and 2nd places will be awarded.


The championship heats are to be treated independently of the rest of the festival and should be held on a separate day.  No other sections are to be held on championship day.


Area heats and National Finals competitors will receive special certificates.  Heat competitors will gain a mark and a report sheet.


The results and presentation of awards for heats and for the National Finals will be given at the end of the event.


Area heats and National Finals competitors must be present for the awards, failure to do so will result in forfeiting any award achieved.


A candidate will forfeit their place at the finals if they can not attend all their qualifying sections.


Teachers must inform Head Office immediately if a student is unable to perform at the National Finals for any reason.


A championship student may, if he or she wishes and with their teachers approval, change their dance between the heat and the National Final.


Championship Finals - an official video recording will be made for the BTDA archives.


Candidates are not permitted to dance out of turn, or leave the stage, in championships.


Every candidate must have a separate tape, with a bow for each dance. The candidate/ teacher must ensure the tape is cued in and ready to play when given in to the tape player.  Running the tape back for a bow must be the responsibility of the teacher and not the designated tape player.  The adjudicator(s) will be marking the whole performance from entrance to exit. 


Adjudicators can only adjudicate at one area heat per year and are not permitted to adjudicate at that year’s finals having done so.




A Novice is a dancer who has never gained a 1st or 2nd place in any festival reaching 83 marks.  Therefore a dancer gaining a 1st or 2nd place with under 83 marks in a particular subject is still eligible to enter the novice section in that particular discipline.


A novice who gains a 1st or 2nd place in one section will not be restricted from entering other sections in a novice competition.


If a dancer enters a championship section in a particular discipline they lose their novice status in that subject only.


The novice status does not only apply to BTDA competitions but to other competitions as well.


In novice duets and trios all competitors must be novice as per solo entry.



In novice groups and troupes 75% of the competitors must be Novice as per their solo entry.


A baby retains their Novice status regardless of places gained in either Novice or Open competitions.  When they proceed to A Section they retain their Novice status until such a time as they gain a 1st or 2nd place with 83 marks rule 1 (shown above) then applies.