Enforced Rules and Conditions

The competition committee will enforce the following rules. Failure to abide by these rules could lead to disqualification.


All competitors dance completely at their own risk.

Costumes, choreography and musical lyrics must be appropriate for a family audience.

NOVICE is a competitor who has NOT won 1st, 2nd, or 3rd prize in the sections(s) they wish to enter since the 14th of June 2016 (within the last 3 years) in any competition. Any competitor(s) that have placed for the first time AFTER June 15th, 2019, may remain in novice for the 2019 Southern Dance Festival.

6 years and under sections are excluded from this rule.

RE: Neoclassical/Contemporary split dancers that have been placed in a previous combined section must enter the open section if dancing the same style of dance, i.e. a dancer that has placed in a Neoclassical /Contemporary section with a Contemporary dance must enter the (Open) Contemporary section, but if they have never been placed with a Neoclassical, they may enter a novice Neoclassical section.

If a competitor leaves the stage before the end of an item other than through any fault of the Committee, they may return at the end of the section and dance for a crit only.

Only short tutus may be worn in Classical solo items.

Competitors must appear in the order in which their names are listed in the programme and may only appear once in any section, including Duos/Trios and Troupes. Competitors arriving after their number has been called, but before the end of the section, will be allowed to dance at the end of the section for a crit only. Proceedings will not be delayed due to the late arrival of competitors or music.

Tap shoes must not be worn in the auditorium. Tap shoes are permitted in the rehearsal area, provided they are covered with socks. Absolutely NO TAP PLATES are to come into contact with the wooden floor.

Any item already performed must not be repeated in any section, including Special Sections. VCE Dance items must not be repeated in the Choreographic Championship.

Any audience member whose conduct is off-putting to competitors will be asked to leave, and if they are also competitors, they could face disqualification. Inappropriate behaviour will not be accepted at any time.

A competitor may not dance a routine from a previous teacher, having left that school, unless permission in writing has been granted by the former teacher.

In a medical emergency or accident situation, the Committee reserves the right to call an ambulance. Any cost incurred will be charged to the parent concerned. An ambulance subscription is recommended.

Respect for all committees, volunteers, and school property is expected at all times. This rule is to be strictly adhered to. Unpleasant behaviour will NOT be tolerated. Any offenders will be asked to leave, and their school may face disqualification.


COMMUNICATION WITH THE ADJUDICATOR at any time during the competition by any person other than members of the Festival Committee is strictly forbidden. Any breach of this rule could result in disqualification.

Competitors will not be eligible for Southern Dance Festival if they have been taught or coached by an adjudicator after January 1st, 2019. Competitors may not perform any routine choreographed by an adjudicator.

The Committee reserves the right to substitute an Adjudicator or appoint a co-adjudicator when necessary.


Age before 1st January 2019 (closing date for entries 14th June 2019).

The Committee reserves the right to ask for the birth certificate of any competitor in any section, including Troupes.

In solo sections, competitors may only enter in their own age group and only in Novice or Open (not both).


The Festival will not be liable for any copyright infringements.

No cameras, video cameras, mobile phones, or any other recording devices are to be used in the auditorium.


LATE ENTRIES will be accepted with a late fee up to ten days after the closing date. After that time, no late entries will be accepted under any circumstances.

No refund of entry fees unless the fault of the Committee.

It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure they enter in the correct section. No competitor will be moved to a different section after the closing date unless:

  • a. It is the fault of the Committee, or
  • b. they cannot, under our rules, dance in the section they are entered.

If less than three entries are received in a section, the Committee reserves the right to delete the section or where possible combine it with another section.


Song and Dance and Song and Tap sections must not have recorded vocals in ANY part of the item. However, recorded vocals may be used throughout the Revuette but not while competitors are singing. Pre-recorded music must not contain tapping beats for any tap item.

All items will be timed from the commencement of performance. (Commencement of performance will be either commencement of music or when the competitor begins to perform, whichever comes first.) If an item is overtime, the competitor will be disqualified.

The use of the provided sound system for pre-recorded music is compulsory.

All music must be submitted in CD format or iPod—iPod only if a teacher is there to operate it. Tapes will not be accepted.

CDs are to have one (1) item recorded per disk. Please present to the ‘check-in’ area in a protective sleeve. The disk is to be named and free from scratches.

iPods must be cued to the exact spot and are the teacher’s responsibility to play and stop through the system our venue provides us. Your teacher must ‘check-in’ (where a numbered card will be allocated) and retain their iPod, bringing it to the side stage for the performance. iPods must also be removed from their case—if the headphone jack is blocked by the case, it can cause the music to cut in and out.

All care will be taken; however, the Committee will take no responsibility for loss of iPod or CDs skipping due to scratches or CDs not formatted correctly. All stops/starts are to be recorded into the track.

Please make sure a backup disk is on hand.


Any protest must be lodged in writing backstage within one hour of the completion of the section, accompanied by a deposit of $20. If the protest should be deemed frivolous, the $20 will be donated to the Festival’s charity. 



NO glass (including mirrors), loose glitter, fresh fruit, flowers, hay, or vegetables will be permitted. This rule will be strictly enforced. Teachers in doubt should contact the Committee when submitting entries.

Troupe and solo props should be kept to a reasonable size, i.e. can be handled easily by the competitor(s). Props must be supplied by the competitor(s)—tables and chairs, etc., at the venue, are school property and are not to be used.

No person(s) other than the competitor(s) is permitted on stage during solo or duo/trio performances to assist the competitor(s).

Lighting effects that require a change to the lighting board will be prohibited; however, minor special effects will be considered but only with permission from the Committee prior to the Festival.

A full curtain is permitted only for Troupes and Championship sections. A half curtain is permitted for any item, provided that props are involved in the item and the half curtain is operated by a teacher. The Committee will not be available to operate the half curtain.



No competitor may dance in both halves of divided Troupe sections. Should this occur, the Committee will be compelled to disqualify BOTH troupes.

All teachers entering Troupes must present to the Festival Secretary a list of all troupe members (in age groups), together with the name and date of birth of each competitor. Please use an email. 

Complimentary competitor’s passes will not be provided unless the troupe list reaches the Committee by the 1st of September. Requests for troupe passes after the 1st of September (and replacement passes) are for $5 per pass. A competitor's pass may not entitle entry to the theatre for all sections and competitors may be asked to vacate if insufficient seats for paying customers.

Troupe rehearsals must only be conducted in the rehearsal space and NOT in the backstage waiting room. The rehearsal area should only be used for short rehearsals and not for lengthy class practices. Priority will be given to items in the current section or the section about to commence.

Southern Dance Festival Inc. is a competition for Amateur competitors. A student who is working or who has worked as a paid performer may be permitted to enter at the discretion of the Committee, providing details of the student’s paid employment are declared at the time of entry. The Committee will base their decision upon whether or not the student’s entry is consistent with the spirit of the Amateur status of the festival.

Qualified and/or Senior Performing Arts Teachers are not permitted to enter in any section.

One person only with a pass/entry wristband will be allowed to the side stage with competitors in Solo, Duo/Trio sections for the duration of the item. Coaching from off-stage during a performance will not be allowed.

Championship sections – During Championship sections, only the competitor onstage may have one person at the side stage. All other competitor(s), teacher(s), etc., will need to wait in the green room.


  • Solos and Duo/Trios, except Song and Dance – 3 minutes 
  • Song and Dance Solos and Duos/Trios – 4 minutes
  • Tap Championship and Song and Dance Championship – 4 minutes
  • Ballet, Jazz, and Choreographic Championship – 3 minutes
  • VCE Dance – 5 minutes
  • Troupes – 5 minutes
  • Character Ballet Troupes – 15 minutes
  • Revuette – 15 minutes