Rules Of The Competition


  1. This competition is for amateurs and students who do not derive the main part of their income from the teaching or performance of dance.
  2. Entries arising from Novice, County or other Championship sections are not eligible.
  3. Competitors may perform once in any section (except Groups) and in only five Solos, four Duets and four Trio / Quartet sections overall.


  1. The age of competitors is taken as on 31st August 2023. Accuracy in birth dates is essential. Submission of incorrect ages may lead to disqualification and, in cases of doubt, a birth certificate may have to be produced.
  2. No dancer in a solo section may dance in a higher age category.
  3. The age of the eldest competitor in a Duet, Trio / Quartet or Small Group / Group determines the correct age group.
  4. Pointe work is not allowed for any competitor under 13 years old.
  5. Dancers under 13 may not be included in Contemporary or Modern Ballet sections.
  6. Where teachers wish, for artistic reasons, to include a younger dancer in a Contemporary or Contemporary Ballet group they should enter the group in the Narrative section.
  7. A minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 dancers constitutes a Small Group and a minimum of 11 and a maximum of 30 dancers constitutes a Group.
  8. Schools may enter twice in their age group for each dance technique in a Group Section with a maximum overall (throughout all sections) of 20 Junior Groups, 25 Intermediate Groups and 25 Senior Groups.
  9. Within these overall maximum limits, schools may enter group dances in their age groups in both Small Group and Group sections (2 x Small Groups and 2 x Groups).
  10. A school with a Small Group or Group placed 1st at the National Finals may enter a Group with the same choreography in the next competition, but thereafter not for the subsequent two competitions, regardless of the placing achieved on the second occasion. A change of age group or genre will not circumvent this rule.


  1. Pre-recorded music used in any Musical Theatre performance must not include any singing or chanting.
  2. Teachers are also reminded that pre-recorded music used in any tap sections must not include any recorded tap or similar sound effect.
  3. Fixed tap (single sound) only may be used for tap dancing. The intentional loosening of taps is not permitted.

Residues on the stage

  1. The use of talc and / or oil or any other substance anywhere on the body or a prop, which could leave a residue on the floor compromises safety and is strictly prohibited.
  2. The use of rosin needs to be carefully considered. You will be advised of any venue-specific policies and will be expected to adhere to them.

Time limits

  1. Time limits for dances must not be exceeded. Times will be checked from the first note or word of the accompaniment, or – if it should occur first – the first movement of the dancer, to the dancer’s last movement at the completion of the dance. A musical exit may be included on the recording only where it falls within the overall time limit.
  2. Overtime dances will not receive a mark.
  3. Titles, and any synopsis for performances, must be submitted on the online portal and when requested in advance, will be spoken by the announcer. The portal will only accept a synopsis of 30 words. Timing will begin as soon as the announcer has finished speaking.


  1. Scenery, sets and staging are not allowed. Props are allowed but any prop that needs assembling side of stage will not be permitted. The weight limit for any prop is 10kg.
  2. All props are the responsibility of the teacher and are used at their own risk. AED will not accept any responsibility for accidents caused by props either on or off stage.
  3. All props should be brought to the wings at the start of the session for which they are required and removed at the end of the same session. We have no facilities for storage at either regional or national finals.
  4. The stage management will be responsible for managing props – the time allowed is 20 seconds (for setting and removing props) and this will be rigorously enforced. Over-elaborate props which exceed these limits may mean the dance will be penalised.
  5. The use of strobe lighting, smoke, pyro and naked flame during any performance is not allowed. All props must be rendered fire-resistant before arrival at the theatre.


  1. The Competition does not accept liability for the infringement of copyright, recording or performing rights arising out of any competitor’s accompaniment, choreography or performance. It contributes to a Group Licence to cover payment of fees for the use of recorded music at its events. Teachers and choreographers using music created from commercial recordings are advised that they are responsible for seeking permission to re-record from the recording companies concerned.
  2. According to the British and International Federation of Festivals the All England Dance competition is not covered by the blanket copyright agreement in respect of music/songs from shows and as a result, teachers / performers need to obtain their own license for such items from Phonographic Performance Ltd. Teachers should ring the office, 07380 350080, with any queries on this matter.


  1. Music must be uploaded via the entry system housed on the AED Teacher Portal. It is the responsibility of the dance teacher to upload the correct music. All uploaded music can be checked within the teacher portal. It is advisable to bring a digital back up in case of accident (not a CD or tape).
  2. Photography, filming, video or tape recording, and the use of mobile phones during any performance are prohibited. However, by entry to the Competition, competitors agree to perform before the cameras of the media or agents of the Competition
  3. Detailed genre descriptors for each style have been developed by AED. Teachers / choreographers must read these carefully and ensure their work fits into the published guidelines, which can be freely accessed on the AED website.


  1. Communication with the Adjudicators concerning any matters relating to the Competition by competitors, teachers or other interested parties prior to or during the Competition is strictly prohibited.

Regional & National Finals

  1. Competitors must report to the stage management / holding area thirty minutes before they are due to dance and be ready in the wings before their number is announced: absentees risk disqualification.
  2. Competitors may only dance out of the published programme order where AED identifies an issue.
  3. Dancers will not be permitted to dance again except in Pre-Junior sections.
  4. The stage and stage wings are out of bounds to all except authorised persons and competitors about to perform. Competitors who have performed may be asked to leave the wings and return shortly before the end of the section.
  5. Authorised persons include one chaperone who may accompany each child in Pre-Junior sections (6 years and under).
  6. Any other person wishing to accompany an older dancer, for whatever reason, must obtain permission from AED in advance and will be issued with appropriate identification.
  7. AED may combine Sections or run age groups consecutively when entries are small or may divide Sections when entries are large.
  8. It is not permitted to enter the same dance section in more than one Regional Final, even if different dances in that technique have received a qualification mark at different authorised festival.
  9. When entering a Small Group or Group a list of all dancers must be submitted on the AED portal.
  10. SUBSTITUTION – Every dance routine performed in the Competition must be the same as that which qualified at a Nominated Festival. Solo dancers may not be substituted, but in the event of the unavoidable absence of a partner, one substitute will be allowed in a Duet, Trio or Quartet and up to 40% of the dancers in a Group. In Duets, Trios or Quartets where a substitution from local festival to Regional Final has been made, a further substitution from Regional Final to National Final can only be made by reverting to the original dance formation. Changes should be notified to AED before the commencement of the Final.
  11. Where any complaint arises out of the Regional or National Finals please consult the complaints procedure on the AED website.


  1. AED is happy for schools, parents and supporters to cheer group performances as long as all groups are supported equally, encouragement is always welcome. However, there should be NO cheering during solos, duet, trios and quartets. AED wish to respect the integrity of the art form.