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Running a Successful Eisteddfod

Running an Eisteddfod can be very rewarding, but it also can be crazy, intense and if not planned well feel like everything’s out of control. If the day runs late, people are unhappy and it can be overwhelming. Recently we spoke to Nadia Vella-Taranto who runs the Sydney Stars on Show Eisteddfod, to get some tips on how she runs a successful Eisteddfod. She shared some key do’s and don’ts that might help you in running an Eisteddfod.

Some key things to do so the Eisteddfod is a success.

  • Create a time-true schedule, and stick to it! Everyone hates an eisteddfod that goes for hours longer than it should!
  • Be selective about the sections you are going to run according to the number of days your eisteddfod will run.
  • Have a good team in place to help you beforehand and on the day; and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. This includes the adjudicators you choose.
  • Have a good relationship with the venue organisers. They could be your best asset on the day.
  • Run a fair and friendly eisteddfod. Teachers, parents and students have to want to come back next year!

Some key things you shouldn’t do

  • Don’t allow more groups to enter than you have time!
  • Don’t hire adjudicators who haven’t been recommended to you. They will really keep the momentum of the day going. And you want to make sure they are giving positive, and critical feedback when required. The wrong adjudicator can really ruin your whole eisteddfod.
  • Don’t have long breaks in between sessions if you don’t need to. Keep the day moving efficiently.
  • Don’t ignore comments from the dance principals/teachers who have brought their dancers to your event.
  • Don’t cut corners in hiring good audio equipment and videographers. For example, Cd players that continually skip or speakers that crackle. If the dancers can’t hear the music well on stage it can really upset performances, and having to fix poor equipment will slow down your day also.

“Successful Eisteddfods need to have a schedule that is stuck to, positive adjudicators who are marking fairly, lots of accolades for the dancers – especially in the younger sections, and family-friendly environment and positivity all-round.” Nadia said.

What can you as a Dance School do to make the Eisteddfod a success?

  • Make sure to get your entries in early, as sometimes you can miss out.
  • Ask questions of the organiser if you need to before the event.
  • Bring duplicate copies of your CDs, and always bring a backup on an iPod.
  • Make sure you follow the rules set by the organisers, this includes song time limits, dressing room behaviour and generally ensuring your parents and students are on their best behaviour throughout the event.
  • Have a relationship with the organiser if you can. If you have negative feedback, address it with them personally. Even an email after the event. Remember they are probably learning as they go too, and your feedback will help them learn to be better next time. Negative posts on social media don’t help anyone or our dance industry at all!

Nadia says “My aim is to provide a friendly and fun weekend of dance that encourages and promotes our children to grow in confidence through performing! I love what I do! Seeing dancers from all studios giving it their best, meeting other dance teachers, and of course seeing my students shine on stage.”

If you have any tips or thoughts on a successful Eisteddfod why not drop us a line. Email Sam

Thanks to Nadia for sharing her thoughts. Sydney Stars on Show runs every year in October. For more information. Email Nadia

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