For 2021 - Please note that these rules are subject to change to ensure that we adhere to the current Government Covid 19 guidelines


1. The age of the performer is taken as on the 1st September preceding the Festival. The maximum age of a performer is *18 for solos, duets and trios/quartets and *21 for groups.

*For 2021 - the maximum age for solos, duets and trios/quartets is 19. For groups the age limit is 22.

2. Dance Performers must be amateurs and students who do not derive the main part of their income from teaching or the performance of dance.

3. Closing dates. All ENTRIES must be received by the advertised closing date each year. Entry fees are not returnable.

4. Performers may only enter once in any solo class, but may enter twice in a duet or trio/quartet class.

5. Substitution of another name for one in the programme will NOT be permitted for solo entries. In duets & trios/quartets a substitution of ONE name may be made. Please be aware that certificates may not reflect any changes.

6. Performers must dance in the order given in the programme, and must be ready to perform 15 minutes earlier than the class is timetabled. All performers must report to the announcer prior to the commencement of the class. If necessary performers must change costumes before adjudication.


Certificates and report forms will be issued digitally.

They will be available to view and download in the Certificates section of your SFPA account at the end of each day.


The music track for each entry is to be uploaded to the Music section of your SFPA account by the dates announced each year.

Please check that the correct music is uploaded to each entry.

Please bring a backup recording in case of problems on a USB/phone and have this in the auditorium ready in case of any issues.

No responsibility can be accepted for incorrect uploading of recordings

A sound level will be set at the opening of the day and can only be varied at the request of the adjudicator.

9. Time Limits. Times will be checked from the first note of music. A penalty of 2 marks will be deducted if the time limit is exceeded.

10. All Character work will be based on Classical technique.

11. Synopsis for Character classes should be emailed to the Festival Office at least 2 weeks before the festival  - we ask that you do not hand in any paperwork to Festival staff backstage. Please make sure that they are clearly marked with the dancer's name and the class code..

12. If prerecorded music is used in any Song and Dance section, it must NOT include any singing or chanting. Prerecorded music used in any Tap section must NOT include any recorded tap or similar sound effect. In the Stage class sections, singing is allowed on a recording but live singing over pre recorded singing is not allowed.

13. The stage and stage wings are out of bounds to all except authorised persons and performers about to perform. Performers who have danced must leave and only return to the wings three numbers before the end of the class. Authorised persons include one assistant from each school who may accompany children for the purpose of assisting with wardrobe or properties or if the child is under 7 years of age.  

*FOR 2021 - Additional rules will be in place - these will be advertised before the Festival and displayed at the Theatre.

14. Props at Roedean Theatre. Props must be transported to the backstage area via the stage left entrance and not via the dressing rooms.  Props must be collected immediately after the performance in accordance with Health and Safety.  All Props must be labelled with dancer's name and dance school.

15. Performers are required to be responsible for their own props, which MUST be removed from the wings at the end of each class. During Senior Groups 21 years & under, only one teacher and assistant will be permitted in the wings during their school’s performance.

Props should be: Flame resistant and not exceeding 20kgs.

Appropriate to and fully integrated within the performance.

Hand props should be relevant and showing appropriate size, shape and period and will be judged by the way they are handled.

Dangerous props such as a naked flame, glass, talcum powder, rice and real flowers may not be used and any props requiring the stage to be swept after use are forbidden.

All props used are at the teacher’s and dancer’s own risk. (The festival cannot be held responsible for any injury or accident caused by the props).

Props must not block any fire exits or entry to and from the backstage area.

16. A re-dance will only be permitted at the discretion of the adjudicator.

17. No Pointe work is allowed in the Junior Sections.

18. Costumes must be suitable for both the age of the performer and the style of the dance maintaining an appropriate level of decency: Of the correct length, well-fitted with headdresses/ hairstyles that complement the performance.Tutus must be well fitted, sit on the hips with the skirt length in proportion to the dancer. Elaborate tutus, large headdresses, ‘flashy’ tiaras, arm cuffs, tattoos and body piercings are unsuitable unless relevant to the theme of the dance. Loss of an item of costume or loose shoe ribbons will mark down the performance. Correct underwear is essential at all times.

19. No recording may be made by members of the public of any festival performance. Photography and filming is prohibited during a performance and adjudication. Photographs may be taken by our official photographers unless the parent notifies the festival office a minimum of 7 days before the commencement of the Festival that they do not wish their child to be photographed.

20. Trophies shall remain the property of Sussex Festival. They should be carefully preserved and returned cleaned and polished to the Awards Secretary at least one month in advance of the Festival or when requested by the Awards Secretary. If returning by post please obtain proof of

posting and a tracking number. Failure to return the trophies promptly could result in the trophy holder being prohibited from performing in the festival. Trophy holders will be financially responsible for the safe return of the trophy and will be personally responsible for the cost of having their names inscribed thereon, if they wish.

21. The stage may not be used for rehearsal during the lunch or tea breaks. Stage lighting is set for full stage lighting coverage and may NOT be varied.


This festival is affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals and will participate in its Group Licence to cover payment of fees for the use of recorded music at its events.


All performers using music from shows in current production are subject to copyright law.

Songs from shows in current production may be sung as a concert item, i.e. with no costume or movement, without need for copyright permission.

Where movement or costumes are included in a performance copyright permission is required and the Festival Committee only accepts these entries on the basis that the appropriate copyright permission has been sought.



October 2020


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