Virtual Broom Dance Competition 2020

Welcome to the virtual Dartmoor broom dance competition page.

We are very sad that the Dartmoor Folk Festival won’t be running this year, nothing can replace the great music, company and atmosphere of the festival, but we thought at least we could try and keep the wonderful step dance and broom dance traditions running.

So we’re going to be taking to the internet to bring you step & broom dancers from their own homes competing in the competition.

If you are interested in competing in the competition please read the information below, if you have any more questions please email [email protected]

More details will be posted nearer the time.



When? 8th August

What time? 11am (UTC+1)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE VIRTUAL BROOM DANCE COMPETITION (Update - you can apply right up to the morning of the competition, but the sooner the better)

If you are not familiar with the broom dance competition please look at the section below called “How the competition usually works

How the virtual competition works: The participants will be in a zoom meeting and will be called one by one to dance.  We will send you a digital recording of the tune in advance. You will dance to the recording played on a device in your home.  The Step Dance competition will also be broadcast on facebook so that people who aren’t participating can watch, but the Broom Dance competition won't be broadcast live. Only participants and judges will be able to view the dancing. It will be recorded and we will ask permission before making any of it public.

What you’ll need

  1. A webcam for showing your lovely dancing. Positioned to show the whole of the broom, viewed from the front but slightly to the side so the judges get a clear view of the dancing at all times. 
  2. A microphone for hearing your lovely dancing and how it fits to the music.  
  3. A means to play the music so both you and the judges can hear it. (This doesn’t have to be a high tech solution, just something that can play the music placed so you and the microphone can hear it) 
  4. A broom.  This doesn’t need to be fancy, just a standard household broom will do, although you can decorate it if you wish.
  5. An internet connection… obviously. We recommend a good wifi connection is used, and other apps / programs that may interfere with the signal are disabled. For example, incoming emails or messages can cause the video to freeze, this would obviously cause problems which we'd have no control over.

Cyber security: no one wants to read this bit but you should definitely read this bit.  The Adult competition will be streamed live on youtube and will be recorded to document the event and to be used on social media, broadcast etc. This means that you need to consider carefully if you are happy with your image being used in this way.  You should also consider carefully what else can be seen by the camera whether this is relatives, children, precious possessions or something you like to keep to yourself, remember it will be made public.

How the broom dance competition usually works: In normal years we run a morning workshop at the festival where we teach the dance ready for children to enter the competition in the afternoon. The competition is open to children of primary school age (just finished year 6 this summer) There is a specific tune used for the competition, The Keel Row. There is an introduction (1A), then three times through the tune (2As & 2Bs, 3 times), then speeds up to finish (1A & 1B). The judges will decide the winner, although may ask to see specific entrants dance again if the decision is close. 

CLICK HERE for an instructional video by Richard De Salis.

CLICK HERE to play the tune so you can practice.