Virtual Step Dance Competition 2020

Welcome to the virtual Dartmoor step 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 & broom dancing traditions running.

So we’re going to be taking to the internet to bring you step 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]

If you are interested in watching the competition please watch this space, details will be posted nearer the time.


When? 8th August

What time? 2:00 pm (UTC+1)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE VIRTUAL STEP 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 step 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 digital recordings of the stepdance tunes in advance. You will dance to recordings of the tunes played on a device in your home.  The competition will have the usual format of all the dancers dancing once in two rounds and then the judges calling finalists for the last round.  The competition will also be broadcast on facebook so that people who aren’t participating can watch.

What you’ll need

  1. A webcam for showing your lovely dancing.  
  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 15 inch board to dance on.  This doesn’t need to be fancy just a piece of ply cut to size is fine.
  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 Step Dance competition will be streamed live on facebook 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. If you or your child does not want to be broadcast please let us know in advance, so the host can turn your video feed off.

How the competition usually works: There are three rounds in the competition.  In each round each dancer will set twice and step twice.  This means that they will dance to one time through the music.  In the first half they perform a setting step with a break and then repeat it, in the second half they perform a step with a break and then repeat it.  The last round is the final with fewer dancers that are picked by the judges.  Junior competitors all dance in two rounds. In each round every dancer dances to the same tune, there is a different tune for each round.  The dancers are expected to perform different steps in each round.  The judges are looking for keeping in time with the music, variety of steps and a general sense of "dartmoorstepdancyness". If dancers accidentally step off the board they are disqualified.

Click on the links below to play the tunes so you can practice at home. 

ROUND 1 - Uncle George's Hornpipe

ROUND 2 - Tommy Robert's Hornpipe

ROUND 3 - Cokey's Hornpipe

ALL 3 TUNES so you can dance the three steps right through if you want

CLICK HERE for a video of Jason Rice dancing the Bob Cann steps that we usually teach at the festival workshop.