Dancing school based in Dorchester, Dorset offering dance classes, performing arts, musical theatre, tap, ballet, street dance, cheerleading, singing, boys dance classes and adult dance classes.

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As an optional next step on from our termly classes, students can work to prepare routines to enter into Dance Festivals.  These competitions provide a really enjoyable and rewarding performance opportunity, students will use the skills learnt in their weekly classes to experience how the creative process works from first inspirations through to a polished stage ready routine.  They will see great improvement in their technique, and sense of performance and work with costume, props, stage makeup and exciting choreography.  Festival will most definitely promise to be an absolute highlight for your young stage enthusiast.


Welcome to Festival! 

We have two paths of involvement, and you can choose either or both

1: SDTQ: Solos, Duets, Trios, & Quartet routines in a variety of genres.






Musical Theatre 





Choose your favourite dance genre and decide if you would like to go solo or join up with other students to create a duet, trio or quartet. We will then help team you up with one of our wonderful teachers to start rehearsing!  STUDIO time is booked via our website with availability throughout the year, your teacher and Miss Emilie will be able to guide you through every step of the way to get you stage ready.


2: SPC: Our Studio Performance Company is a pre-arranged rehearsal package casting students suitably into our range of group routines.

Wings & Wands / Introduction Level Dance: 1 routine

Junior 1 / Junior 2: 2 routines

Junior 3 / Junior 4: 3 routines

Seniors / Premiers: 4 routines

SPC kick starts with a Summer Intensive during the summer holidays, thereafter you will need to keep Sundays plus a few of other after school days free up until October half term for ongoing rehearsals.

SPC PLUS is designed for our students who would like to be involved in more than their standard number of routines. Every season our creative team prepare between 20 and 30 STUDIO Performance Company dances…..just let us know how many PLUS routines to cast you in! 

(Please note that each SPC PLUS routine will incur additional rehearsal costs though at a reduced price.)


Our STUDIO festival season 

The first and main festival of our season is: Weymouth Dance Festival taking place in October half term.  New SDTQ routines will always commence at Weymouth, and rehearsals for these must be underway by July 1st in order to be entered for the current season. Once a routine has competed at Weymouth, you can then continue it on at as many or few consecutive festivals as you wish.

  1. Weymouth – October half term
  2. Exeter – February half term
  3. Torbay – Easter holidays (SDTQ only)
  4. Cheltenham Regional Semi Finals  – May half term / Bournemouth
  5. Mid Somerset – Summer Holidays (SDTQ only)

Who can take part? 

 Festival is open to all of our students aged 3-21 (taken on September 1st 2020).  Where applicable, we ask that our students please prioritise their current I.S.T.D dance examinations studied in classes before adding festival to their schedules.  The exam experience will not only greatly enhance the student’s technical and artistic ability which is very beneficial for the stage, but unlike festival, will provide accredited qualifications which can be used for further study post school, (exams are not applicable to Wings & Wands, Introduction Level Dance, TRIX, Urban and STUDIO BROS).  STDQ students will need to be training with us in the genre that they wish to prepare a routine for.  STUDIO Theatre students may prepare Modern, Tap and Musical Theatre pieces, and STUDIO Classical Ballet students: Ballet and National.  Some genres, for example Contemporary, Lyrical, and Greek cross over between Theatre and Classical, Miss Emilie and the team will be able to guide you if you are uncertain.  During your rehearsal time, your teacher will be predominantly setting choreography ready for the stage and will rely on students being equip with their skills already gained from their regular classes.  If students would like to join SPC but are not training in a certain genre, this is where clever casting comes in, each group is always cast using the company’s best strengths. The important thing for us is that everyone can be included.

Ingredients for the perfect festival recipe 

 Before getting started, its good to know exactly what is needed and what sort of work goes into creating each and every one of our festival routines.


  • Some inspired ideas
  • Good planning and preparation (expect a few emails and to do lists!)
  • Plenty of practice both at THE STUDIO and home
  • Commitment and good attendance
  • Suitable music choices
  • Skilfully edited tracks
  • Beautiful and suitable costumes
  • Possibly some props
  • Correct hair styling
  • Stage makeup
  • The right shoes, undergarments and accessories
  • Forward planning for your available time and budget
  • Plenty of family support and encouragement
  • Teamwork… even when competing against one another, 

we stick together…. kindness, helpfulness and pride at all times all the way.


Now you know what its all about, please check out the finer details

SDTQ rehearsals 

 You can book your rehearsal time on THE STUDIO website: https://www.thestudiodorset.com/product-category/studio-hire/. Each sessions is 30 minutes long and covers the cost of using THE STUDIO facility.  Once your teacher has been allocated to you, they will get in touch to explain how they would like to work with you, things like how many sessions to book, how best to keep in contact, their payment and cancellation policy, and what to bring along to rehearsals etc. Please note that private appointments are closed to parents and spectators to allow student and teacher the best possible, productive working environment, parents will be invited to watch the final few minutes to take any notes or recordings to help with home practice.  Once your teacher feels you are at the point where your routine is ready and needs only regular run throughs to keep things maintained and building in strength, you will have the option to join a SDTQ study group with other students who are at a similar stage with their routine. Your teacher will then get in touch closer to the competition to do a final spruce and polish.

The life of a routine 

 Festival for us is pretty popular, we have lots of students wanting to learn lots of things and, its of course important to be able to accommodate the time everybody needs and keep standards high for our school’s reputation. With this at the forefront, each of our routines have a 2 year minimum replacement lifetime per genre, this will not only enable us to manage our workload, but also give the student the chance to fully strengthen and develop their routine to its potential while keeping an eye on the cost for you. This is only the minimum lifetime for a routine, depending on the student and if the style and theme is still age appropriate, we would recommend keeping routines for slightly longer if possible.  Your teacher will always be able to develop an existing routine to match your progressing ability.

Exclusive but inclusive 

Students need to be learning their dance and theatre skills with us in order to join us for festival, this is the exclusive bit, but, we are also very inclusive, and this is a rare thing for a dance and theatre school. We of course need to asses suitability and utilise our student’s strengths, but  festival at THE STUDIO is fundamentally open to any of our active students who are prepared for a touch of hard work. From as tiny as Wings & Wand through to our experienced Premiers, we welcome you all.


 Music choice and also a good quality edit is really important, music needs to be age appropriate, suitable for the student and the correct length according to the rules. Working with our students every week, we get the chance to understand their personality and their strengths, and together with our training and experience will be able to select a great routine for them.  Music editing is one of the most time consuming elements of the creation process, to get it right can sometimes take hours, so please note that any new music will incur an editing cost, this fee will be shared between the family for use until the routine is retired, and THE STUDIO for future use in THE STUDIO library once the student has finished using the routine.  Music used from THE STUDIO library is free of charge and we have hundreds of fantastic pieces for our students to enjoy using.  In addition to choosing and if necessarily editing our music, quite a bit more goes on to get it ready for the competition.  We will compose playlists and shared files so that teachers and families have easy access, each track will then be put onto two disks to provide your master and backup copies to compete with.  This needs to be correctly labelled with your personal competitor information and checked on two separate devices to make absolutely sure that your performance goes smoothly, nothing can throw a performer more than faulty music. Groups don’t need to worry about music, all the arrangements come within your SPC package. For continuity in quality and ease of organisation, all music arrangements fall under the responsibility of THE STUDIO.


 Similar to the right music arrangements, costuming also plays a very important role in the overall presentation of a routine.  Again it needs to be suitable for the style of the dance, age appropriate, but also a little special to make students feel confident on the stage.  From our collective years of experience putting performers onto the stage, we have learnt what goes down well with the judges, what works and what doesn’t, and what will make our students really stand out from the line up.  We have a wonderful STUDIO wardrobe full of variety and vibrancy for our students to access for their festival routines, Miss Emilie and your teacher will work together to coordinate the perfect outfit to bring your routine to life.  For continuity in quality and ease of organisation, all costume arrangements fall under the responsibility of THE STUDIO. 

Being stage ready 

 The festival experience is a fabulous confidence booster for those involved, but, if not prepared properly can have the opposite effect.  As teachers and parents we have a responsibility to protect the students against this so If either Miss Emilie or your teacher/choreography has concerns about a routine being ready in time for performance, its not a worry by any means, we would simply discuss getting in some additional practice or postponing to a forthcoming festival. First and foremost, we want to keep everything enjoyable and stress free for everyone. We have a final start date of June 1st for all routines entering in the current season, any routines started beyond this will roll over to the following season in order to give them the required preparation time. For the start of each festival season, we book a local theatre venue to give the students some valuable rehearsal time on a proper large stage and in front of a supportive audience (all of you!).  They will get to experience what it will be like on the day both back stage and on stage and get a feel for using wings and making smooth entrances and exits. Be sure to clear your diary for this and invite all of your friends and family to come and enjoy the work of our talented young performers.

Having humility 

 Its lovely to win, who doesn’t like the feeling that winning gives you? Be it as competitor, a parent, or a teacher, us human beings have an in built desire to succeed which is both normal and healthy.  However, if an experience makes you more confident, teaches you a new skill, improves your ability, makes you some new friends, lays you some happy lifelong memories but doesn’t necessarily get you a medal, then we think its most definitely an experience well worth doing.  Festival is fundamentally a competition but please remember that there is a more colourful picture to consider, the creative process for a festival entry is months and months of learning and improving, whereas the presentation of all that hard work is albeit fantastic, but just minutes of stage time.  And the outcome? Well its often in the hands of the gods, when all is said and done the adjudicator is only one opinion, yes a very knowledgable one, but simply, one single personal choice made at that moment in time. Unlike examinations where a strict marking structure is there to follow, adjudicators simply pick their favourite performance, a different judge on a different day might pick an entirely different 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line up.  So, as well as the experience of getting prepared for the stage, we like our students to also learn about humility and being able to cope healthily with both ends of the competitive spectrum, and understand the true value of what winning is.

Top tips 

 Time is forever too short in our busy lifestyles so our top guidance for SDTQ’s is to definitely go for quality over quantity, two well prepared entries will be far more rewarding for you than several less rehearsed ones. We welcome students to have an extensive repertoire, but ask families to make sure they can plan for the time and also the cost required to get everything right and ready.  

Try and plan for your SDTQ sessions to run regularly to keep continuity in learning and make progress quicker, and also get the most out of your STDQ sessions by practicing lots at home, this will reduce the amount of sessions you need to book. 

A device for filming your routines will be invaluable, ipods/tablets etc make great gifts for festival students of any age and help them to remember their routine and track their progress. 

Keep a notes: if you record each correction that you are given and keep crossing them off, your routine will end up pretty perfect!

If your planning to team up with other students for duets/trios/quarts, its worth having a chat with the other families first to see if your schedules are compatible, sometimes trying to arrange rehearsal time can be problematic if everyone has lots of different commitments.

For SPC, be careful not to book your summer holiday towards the end of the school holidays when our intensive rehearsals fire up.

SPC Picnic…… 

Something new for this year! The summer holidays can be a long stretch of time away from your STUDIO buddies so, the day before we start SPC rehearsals, we will plan a get together picnic at THE STUDIO to give us a chance to regroup and catch up. This won’t be absolutely essential for cast members to attend but lovely if they can.  SPC cast lists and various other information will also be available on this day, don’t forget lunch and a picnic blanket!

And finally…… 

The last thing to tell you about is the very prestigious “All England” Dance Festival.

This is a biannual event which we are extremely proud to have attended numerous times, its the next level of competition for dances which have scored high enough for semi finals.

We’ve never quite made it to the All England finals in London, this is exceptional tough but anything is possible with a little faith trust and pixie dust.

“A wonderful stage opportunity that will strengthen students both technically and artistically.”

Weymouth Festival 2019 Results 


  • The Fleet Award – 21 & Under Contemporary Group “Million Eyes”
  • The Heritage Award – 14 & Under Modern Group “Beggin’”
  • The Ridgeway Award – 14 & Under song and dance group “Voulez Vous”
  • The Jurassic Award – 21 & Under Modern Group “Greatest Show”
  • Under 7’s Cabaret Cup – Poppy Jones Modern Solo “Rainbow Brite”

1st Places 

  • Kitty Sanders – Greek Solo “En Bateaux”
  • SPC  Contemporary Group “Million Eyes”
  • SPC Modern Group “Beggin’”
  • SPC  Song & Dance Group “Hard Knock Life”
  • SPC Song & Dance Group “Voulez Vous”
  • SPC Tap Group “Tiger Feet”
  • Kitty Sanders and Katy Nolen-Stone – Song & Dance Duet “When I Grow Up” 
  • SPC Modern Group “Greatest Show”
  • Poppy Jones – Modern Solo “Rainbow Brite” 
  • Mia Briant – Ballet Solo “Can’t Help Falling In Love” 
  • SPC Classical Group “Peter Rabbit” 

2nd Places 

  • SPC Ballet Group “Spoonful Of Sugar” 
  • SPC Modern Group “Backstreets Back” 
  • Mia Briant – Contemporary Solo “Human” 
  • SPC Song & Dance Group “I Just Can’t Wait!”
  • Grace Fleetwood – Contemporary Solo “Somebody That I Used To Know” 
  • SPC Tap Group “Minions”
  • Sophie Gardener – Tap Solo “Stuck Like Glue”
  • Kitty Sanders, Katy Nolen-Stone, Kaitlin Hiller and Beth Hornby- Classical Quartet “Adventure To The Countryside”
  • Kitty Sanders – Modern Solo “Top Cat”
  • Mia Briant – Tap Solo “Gaa Gaa”
  • SPC Classical Group “La Guimbarde” 
  • Erin Goodchild – Modern Solo “Almost Lover” 
  • Erin Goodchild and Anna Stell – Tap Duet “Gotcha”
  • SPC Tap Group “Can’t Hold Us” 

3rd Places 

  • Kitty Sanders and Mollie Hicks – Modern Duet “Shadow”
  • SPC Classical Group “Dervish”
  • Meadow Noble – Tap Solo “Gypsy Rhapsody”
  • SPC Song & Dance Group “Good Morning”
  • Mia Large – Tap Solo “My Boy Lollipop” 
  • SPC Tap Group”Bring The Family” 
  • Indi-Roe Anderson – Tap Solo “Walk The Dinosaur” 
  • Ruby Sohawon – Modern Solo “Bones” 
  • Mia Briant and Erin Goodchild – Tap Duet “Avenue C”
  • SPC Tap Group “Fan” 
  • Kitty Sanders and Kaitlin Hiller – Tap Duet “Beautiful Briny Sea”

4th Places 

  • Meadow Noble – Modern Solo “Defying Gravity”
  • Mia Briant – Lyrical Solo “White Tiger”
  • Kitty Sanders – Character Solo “A Day At The Seaside” 
  • Poppy Sanders – Tap Solo “Get Happy”
  • Mollie Hicks – Tap Solo “The Flik Machine”
  • Niamh Roff – Tap Solo “The Mask”
  • Lola Maddison – Modern Solo “Relight My Fire” 

Exeter Festival 2020 results 

  • 1st Place: Erin Goodchild – Tap Solo
  • 1st Place: Mia Briant & Erin Goodchild – Tap Duet
  • 2nd Place: Mia Briant – Modern Solo

Please click here for the printable version of our festival policy (2020/21), including prices and terms & conditions.

Additional Festival Info for COVID 19

Child protection Policy from the Festival: weymouth_dance_festival_child_protection_policy_2020