The newly established Bucks Dance Festival took place on Sunday 24th July 2011 at Chalfonts Community College which proved to be an excellent venue. Set in a semi rural area with good parking facilities, a sizeable stage and extremely helpful and well organised stewards this looked a promising start. Expecting a few hitches to occur on this one day festival, I am delighted to report there were none! Timing of classes was spot on, audience and dancers behaviour was excellent and the overall atmosphere was enjoyment and pleasure.
The standard was varied, mostly good and some very outstanding work from several dancers. In the novice 9yrs & under Gwenllian Minton (Leanne Hughes) danced a very stylish Modern solo scoring unusually for novice an 85. Isabella Parsell (Jacqui Ison) performed beautifully gaining 1st place in Ballet, Song & Dance, National and Tap, for which she won highest mark of the festival with 88. Not to be outdone, her sister Inez won her Modern, National,Song & Dance and Tap. Other notable performances were from Hannah Panksztelo & Marie Beveridge (Pink Academy) in a convincing presentation of their duet – “A mother cares for her sick child”, Ballet solo from Alexandra Willcocks (Sue Coles), Hannah Walker & Eve Bennett (Sue Coles) Tap duet, Bethany Cave (Jacqui Ison) Modern solo, Georgia Kemp & Alice Obergan (Pink Academy) Modern duet, Lily Hewitt & Gabriella Gee (Leanne Hughes), Lyrical duet. Particularly promi sing and consistent work was presented by Marie Beveridge(Pink Academy) who won Lyrical, Modern, Character, Modern trio with Jordan West & Alice Oberidge and Modern Duet with Chloe Moss. Marie also won the prizewinners class, held at the end of the day with her Character solo. Runners up were Inez Parsell and Bethany Cave. The Hayers Cup went to Eldeca Marczin-Bundy (Pink Academy) for most promising dancer.
It was a very pleasing day and I really must congratulate Rachel Kemp and Julia Ali for its successful first year. Attention to detail was admirable and I wish them all the best for next year and hope that it continues to expand in entries. A pleasure to adjudicate.
We entered a local dance festival and found ourselves helping with the running of the day. I then thought we could run our own festival….so that’s just what we did!
Preparations started ‘November 2010’ and a committee of staff/parents was formed. We held meetings on a monthly basis to discuss the requirement’s, planning and objectives to run the first dance festival in this area.
Rachel approached the British Federation of festivals (BIFF) and applied for a provisional membership. Kris Taylor (BIFF Representative) visited Julia Ali (Manager) and I who then submitted a report on our school along with our plans of the BUCKS festival to BIFF,to allocate us with a membership to run our festival in affiliation with BIFF. We were very fortunate and received our provisional membership.
A date was put into place, hours were then spent trying to locate a venue suitable to run a festival with approx 5-6 rooms, and endless correspondence was sent to source and give other dance schools the opportunity to participate in our festival. We finally approached over 50 schools. We then went on to find a suitable BIFF Adjudicator.
Meetings were held with members of other festivals, committee members, venue staff, to ascertain what specifications had to implemented to run a successful festival.
A ‘plan of the day’ was compiled for all roles with requirements per role, ie: Main entrance : programmes, entrance tickets, Music desk, Scribe’s, Back stage manager, runners, certificate table, Dance wear stand, Photographer, Dressing rooms, Cafe, First Aid, Fire warden, Trophy presentations and much more…….Fortunately we were lucky and had approximately 15-20 volunteers on the day!
Our pupils that entered the festival spent endless hours rehearsing solos, duets, trios & groups. We entered and choreographed 57 routines. The festival had a total of 114 entrants, not bad for our first attempt. (Watch this space for 2012).
Huge thank you to everyone that made this festival possible! Special thanks to Miss Hannah for choreographing the lower schools routines, Dawn for our banner donations, Helen for all our printing, Julia managing the project and Tracy for smooth running of the office and sorting costumes, Terri for our programme, Gary and Denise for all our lovely medals & trophies, and Clare Jennings for adjudicating the festival.
After eight months of free time dedicated to managing this festival its been a long process but an enjoyable one and I must say its all been worth it, just to see the children perform all their lovely routines on stage after all their efforts!!
We will be forwarding a survey to all the schools that took part in this years festival. To all the other dance schools out there, come on join us next year for a bigger festival in 2012!
Director of the festival.