Here's the answer to some frequently asked questions that might help you understand what the Festival is about and how we 'tick'.
WHEN IS THE FESTIVAL STAGED?
The Festival is staged annually in November. The 2021 festival will take place across the weekends of the 13th/14th and 20th/21st November.
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WHERE IS THE FESTIVAL STAGED?
Our venue is Central Hall, the University of York. A glorious 1200 capacity venue thatperfectlyaccommodates the Festival and allows performers to see the entire event. Find out more.
WHO CAN TAKE PART?
The Festival is open to primary, secondary and specialist schools, colleges/FE providers as well as community dance settings that have an inclusive admissions policy (ie no audition or requirement for previous experience). All ages and abilities are welcome.
Our youngest dancer has been 4 years old and our oldest 19. Groups are limited to 50 children/young people.
IS IT A COMPETITION?
Definitely not! This is an opportunity for children and young people to share their creative talents and have the opportunity to understand how they might progress their skills/interest in dance. Primaries get to see secondaries, secondaries get to see FE provision and FE get to learn about University/HE options. It's all about progression!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Taking part in YSDF costs £130 per performance group (2019 price).
The fee includes:
Participation in YSDF
Free places on a twilight training session for teachers/coordinator
Free tickets for supervising staff at the event
Free tickets for performers
Access to news and special offers from our partners (Yorkshire Dance, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and One Dance UK)
A certificate of appreciation to mark your school/group's involvement in the event
Some schools utilise their PE & Sport Premium Funding to cover costs. Read more.
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE DAY?
IN THE MORNING
Each school rehearses during an allocated 20 minute dress & technical rehearsal between 8.15am and 1.50pm.
BETWEEN REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE
Schools/groups are free to decide how they spend their time between rehearsal and the performance. Some may opt to instruct parents to bring their child to the venue for rehearsal, wait for them and then take them home and return at around 2pm whilst others may opt to stay on site with their group (if they are travelling a long distance). Where possible we'll try to arrange activities to fill the time and enhance the experience still further.
The safety and wellbeing of groups is the responsibility of the school/group staff during this time. We will make sure that a space is available for groups staying between rehearsal and performance.
IN THE AFTERNOON
The Festival begins at 3.00pm with an estimated finish time of 5.10pm (this can vary depending upon the length of pieces presented).
The auditorium doors open at 2.30pm. We ask all children, young people and audience members to stay for the duration of the festival so that those performing at the end have the same support and ‘buzz’ as those at the beginning.
Groups will have the opportunity to see the entire festival on each day as they're seated in the auditorium.
HOW DO I REGISTER TO TAKE PART?
When registration for YSDF opens (normally in March of each year) we'll ask you to complete an online registration form. We recommend that you sign up for news and update to make sure you're the first to know.
Once you send in your form an invoice for the registration fee will be raised. Once we receive payment we'll confirm your place in the festival and allocate a performance day.
WHAT KIND OF PERFORMANCE?
We place no restriction on performance content (other than it being suitable for a family audience in terms of:
content, costume and music choice.
The content and style will more often than not be determined by the ages and ability of your group.
Each performance should last no longer than 5 minutes.
We are unable to monitor the content of the performance ahead of the day but, if during rehearsals, we feel that changes need to be made, we'll ask you to make necessary alterations.
IS THERE A THEME?
We set a theme each year that we think will be a fantastic starting point for choreography. Where you take it is entirely up to you - all we ask for you to consider the appropriateness of content to a family audience.
We arrange a twilight training session with a professional dancer/choreographer. As well as offering new ideas on approaching choreography and dance development, the session will give you some ideas about how the theme might be interpreted.
Dance Education: A guide for governors and trustees