Frequently asked questions

NO! Please do not let this put you off. In fact, if you have never participated in a dance competition, this is the perfect way to start. This is a fun, friendly competition which is focused on your children enjoying their performance.

No, you can enter another heat if your ‘nearest’ is on a date you cannot attend, for example, on a school inset day or a clash with a school trip. But we do ask that you try to attend your nearest where possible.

Yes. But we do reserve the right to impose limits where required. We want as many people as possible to participate but if a heat is getting full. we will start putting limits on the number of groups per school.


We also ask that the composition of the groups are different. It is OK for some pupils to feature in more than one dance (max 2) but we expect multiple entries to engage a wider range of pupils. Please note that the entry fee is per entry.

Yes – new for 2015/16 we are glad to announce the secondary competition has been split.

Yes, they will compete in the KS4/5 group. If a group even has one yr10 pupil in – it will go into KS4/5. So a group of 25 yr7 pupils with 1 from yr10 will still compete in KS4/5

We have a very simple judging criteria which you can see on this website at our rules & judging page. We always arrange an impartial judging panel, usually comprised of local experts (teachers , lecturers, instructors etc). The GBDO team do not play any part in the judging process! It’s very discrete with the judges sat in the audience. On the night we will announce the winners and then email a full spreadsheet of all the scores.

Yes, props, costumes, face paint etc. are permitted but you will need to provide these yourself for all performances. Some theatres frown on messy substances, so please check with us prior to performance so we can liaise with the relevant technical team.

New for 2024, we will not accept glitter / confetti etc. Nothing can be left on the stage after the performance. It causes too many delays to the competition.

Whilst acceptable, large props can be difficult as backstage space is limited. You will also have to take away with you at the end of the night – they cannot be left under any circumstances.

Yes, we pay a PRS fee to allow you to use licensed music. But music must be appropriate without cursing etc (and the theme should also be appropriate for all ages).

You will need to send digitally around 2 weeks before the performance. You will need to bring a spare copy on the night.

We do need the music as an MP3 (or something similar) – we cannot use spotify links etc.

Yes in most cases the venues enable us to assign all schools there own dressing room – but please be warned they are often cosy!
Yes we ask that you do have a suitable number of adults – we request that you stick to a ratio of around 1:8 (1:6 for KS1 groups). It can be very congested back-stage so we do need to stick to this limit. These chaperones will be able to watch the performance from the wings. Other parents can usually secure a ticket via the venue box office (we will circulate details).
Links to theatre/venue website pages with technical information including stage sizes will be available in September/October.
We will send out a detailed risk assessment to all schools that qualify for their regional heats.

No – we’ve never needed one! We are very proud of the supportive environment at our heats – with schools cheering each other on. That’s what it’s all about and it’s a lovely atmosphere for performance.

Schools should encourage their students to also be respectful on social media, we take a dim view of any nastiness online and will not hesitate to disqualify a school if absolutely necessary.