May Heydays at Evesham:
Dance-writing competition

Competition Rules

  1. Anyone may submit one dance.
  2. The preferred writing format is the Cecil Sharp layout of instructions, e.g.
    A11-4First and second couples hands-four.
    5-6Partners set.
    7-8First and second men turn their partners half-way.
    A2All that again

    The instructions should be in Microsoft Word format or PDF.  Plain text is acceptable so long as it is formatted as above.
    Do not include your name or any other identification in the document.

  3. The dance must be the original work of the person submitting it and must not have been previously published, in print or on a website (including social media).
  4. The dance must be suitable for an ordinary UK dance club, rather than for a display team or workshop.  A reference to May Heydays in the dance title would be appreciated.
  5. In 2020, the dance must be "Playford-style", by which loose term we mean a dance which might have been published between 1651 and 1801.
  6. The submitter may give a tune, either new or existing, or a description of the music required (such as 3 x 32 bar smooth jigs).
  7. If necessary, a preliminary selection will be made by the festival organisers to cut the dances down to a number manageable during the time available for demonstration at the festival.
  8. Only the name of the dance will be used before and during the judging process.  The director will have exclusive knowledge of the names of the writers.  The director is therefore not entitled to vote.  Writers' names will be made public after the voting.
  9. The dances selected to be called and judged at the Festival will all be called by the same caller, as nominated by the festival.
  10. The dancers at that session will vote on the dances to select a winner, in a manner to be determined by the festival organisers prior to the demonstration.  Dancers will be asked to evaluate each dance and its figures using the competition criteria (as stipulated in these rules), rather than the tune used.
  11. Any dance submitted (and any original tune) remains the copyright of the author, but the festival reserves the right to publish dances (and any associated tunes) in printed form and/or online as dance videos or instructions and musical notation.
  12. The single prize will be two tickets for May Heydays in a future year.
  13. Any pre-selection and the results of the subsequent ballot will be considered final.
  14. The closing date has yet to be decided.  Entries may be made by email to You must enable JavaScript to see this e-mail address. or by post to: Director, May Heydays, 14 Thread Mill Lane, Pymore, Bridport DT6 5QT.

Other information

Contestants might like to read Colin Hume's notes on Composing Dances.