EVERYBODY SING AND DANCE NOW
FIRST TIMERS GUIDE TO A COMPETITION
So you have decided to enter an eisteddfod.
Congratulations! Eisteddfods are a fun way of showing off your skills, getting to know more people in the performing arts community and building confidence through performing.
Healthy competition is always a good thing to show you your strengths and help you work on your weaknesses. With the make-up, the costumes, the new routines and new competition, eisteddfods can be a scary new world for performers – as well as parents!
Entering the Eisteddfod
The best way to decide what Eisteddfod/section/style of song or dance to enter is to talk to your teacher. They know what is best for you! Sometimes your teacher will enter you in the eisteddfod on your behalf and other times it is up to you.
Sections: Specially Restricted, Restricted, Open and Elite.
What Do These Mean?
Specially restricted this is when you have never won that genre of dance in any age group.
Restricted this is when you have won your genre once before in any age group.
Open if you have won your chosen genre more than once in any age group.
Elite means you have won an open section in that genre in the previous year.
Then There Are Age Groups !!
Your age group is often determined by either the age that your child is at the commencement of the eisteddfod or the date that entries to the competition close.
Often the ages are grouped together i.e 8/u is usually 7 and 8 yr olds
10/u is 9 and 10 yr olds etc, etc.
Everybody Sing and Dance Now is an odd age competition.
5/U 7/U 9/U 11/U 13/U 15/U and Open Age.
If it is your first time entering an Eisteddfod you will enter into the specially restricted section in your age groups, if that competition has it.
If not you will enter restricted. (EBSDN has no specially restricted)
Good tip: Make sure that your teacher/studio owner/manager/receptionist checks your entries as they are more familiar with rules and can check you’ve entered correctly.
Entry forms will have rules and regulations of entering their competition – make sure you read these! as every competition has a different set of rules.
Trust me, I have said for years !! "Why can't all competitions have the same rules"
I know your saying it now, we all have.
Your preparation for the competition starts by understanding what is expected of performers.
Arriving on the day. It is best to arrive at least an hour before your section – in general younger performers will be earlier on in the day and older performers are on later.
Have your hair and make-up done before you arrive so all you need to do is hand in your music, get dressed, stretch if your a dancer or warm your voice if you are a singer to warm up.
When you arrive on the day you will be assigned a dressing room or change room.
Please Note. Children are not to be changed in the hall for child protection purposes and basic courtesy.
Also remember and I know it is hard, no taking selfies with your performer in the change areas, you don't want a half naked picture of someone else's child all over social media - eek!!
Oh before I forget, you can't take pictures or videos of your child performing, I know....I know. They have professionals to do that for you.
Be respectful of other people’s space many people leave eisteddfods missing a shoe or part of a costume.
If you have all your things together and label what you can you will hopefully avoid losing anything!
A great way to keep everything together is with a dream duffel or a costume roller garment bag that has space for your costume and extra pockets for shoes, head pieces etc.
Some teachers will prefer the garment bags to be black rather than clear so the costumes are not seen before performing.
Teachers will also prefer that you do not walk around in your costume before your performance or that you wear a gown/cape over your costume. It also just ruins the fun and it creates some anonymity for the judges, they don’t know what you’re going to do, what your wearing, they aren’t going to have any preconceived ideas about your routine. Also you will soon learn, costumes cost a lot of money and you don't want to eat in your costume and have tomato sauce drip down your costume before you go on stage and as a parent, you just paid $150 or more for the costume!!!!
Handing In Your Music
An announcement will be made at the end of the section before yours asking people to hand in their music.
Make sure that you clearly label your music to avoid mistakes – there is nothing worse then having a problem with your music and being thrown off before a performance!
Great Tip - your music should be labelled as follows!
Write on your CD in black maker, your name and genre, if you start on stage, have a tag (music you dance off to) or if you have props.
i.e Katy Jones - Jazz - Starts on Stage - No tag - No props
These are all things that the people at the music desk need to know, as they are volunteers and have no idea what you are performing too, what side you start on or if you have a tag.
Make sure you include the section number and your entrant number for that section.
Please label your case and CD.
Please don’t put stickers on your CD.
Some players won’t play your music because they will think there is something wrong with the CD!
Running Of The Section
After all performances have been completed an announcement will be made for the music in the next section. Then at some competitions the judges will announce the scores.
At other competitions, they might do 5 sections and then announce.
You can receive the following places from the judges.
First, second, third etc. and highly commended (HC) – which is awarded to someone that a judge wants to reward for their effort.
Places are subject to change depending on how many people are entered in a section for example if there are only two people some judges may only give 1st place or if there are 20 people multiple highly commended places can be given.
A good tip - each adjudicator will judge you on different things.
The judge’s decision is final, that is how they saw it on the day, it is one person’s opinion it is not the only opinion, opinions will vary from one competition to another, don’t be disheartened each judge likes different things.
The rules and regulations of eisteddfods also state that no one is to speak to the adjudicators which includes teachers and parents.
An important rule in Eisteddfod Etiquette… Do not enter or leave the room or move around during a performance. There is nothing worse than being distracted on stage by people moving around and it just shows a lack of respect for the dancers who have worked hard!
Most Important Of All…
The old cliché stands true – the number one rule of performing is to smile and have fun!
Competitions are a great way to meet new people and you will make lifelong friends in the singing and dance community!
If you smile and are having fun it will shine through your performance and that could be the difference between you and other performers to get you a place!
A well seasoned performer said - What they had learnt through their years of performing at an eisteddfod and offered the following advice.
”Don’t let anyone or anything get you down, if you love what you do, dream big and work hard and you can achieve your dreams!”
Take on the advice given at the end of your performance on your report – it will help you to become the best performer you can be!
By coming to an Eisteddfod be prepared and with a clear idea of the proceedings and then on the day you can focus more and your child can concentrate on doing the best they can.
A good tip - Parents allow plenty of time to get to the event and allow plenty of time to park.
As a Stressed Parent looking for parking = A Stressed Child = Stressed Parent and we don’t want that.
Allow at least 1 hour for arrival time prior to event to allow for parking and that much needed, tea or coffee!