Competition Entry

35th John Gasson Jig Competition 2023

This competition is organised in memory of John Gasson, who was tragically killed on his way to Sidmouth Festival in 1987. John was a fine jig dancer. Whether dancing or playing, his personal standards were high, and raising the general standard of display dancing was something very dear to him. Hopefully this competition will continue to raise the standard. This competition is sponsored by Janet Dowling, Dave and Fee Lock, His Old School Friends, Chris and Tracey Rose, The Seven Champions, The Outside Capering Crew, Kerry Fletcher and Dixie Lee.

This year’s competition will take place on Sunday 6th August 2023 at 3pm in the Blackmore Dance Marquee.

Competition Entry

To enter the competition for 2023 please download the pdf entry form by clicking here or the word doc copy by clicking here.

Rules of the Competition

  1. The competition is for English jig dancing and is not open to step dancing or Irish jig dancing.
  2. Members of teams booked at the festival may enter.
  3. Dancers must be accompanied by live music.
  4. The competition will be held on Sunday 6th August 2023, in the Blackmore Gardens Dance Marquee at 3.00pm. Report time 2.30pm.
  5. Closing date for entries is Saturday 5th August 2023 at 6pm unless it is already full.  Entries will be limited so send them to before Wednesday 2nd August 2023 or hand into Artists Reception. Telephone: Tracey 07885 832567 to let me know you have handed in the form.
  6. Entrants will be judged according to the following criteria: Dance technique, Performance, Music and Artistic appreciation.
  7. The judges’ decision is final.
  8. The winners of the John Gasson Memorial Trophy and the Doubles Trophy may not enter the competition in the winning category the following year but are required to start that Competition with the winning jig of the previous year. You are expected to keep your dancing to that winning standard.
  9. The Solo Jig Competition is for a maximum of two people per jig including musician.  The Double Jig Competition is for a maximum of two dancers and one musician per jig. No more than 2 (solo jig) or 3 (double jig) people may be on the stage for the competition.  You cannot have an additional speaker, sign holder or any other additional person in any way, in any part of the performance.

The judges will have a wide range of expertise covering the criteria to be assessed.

Competition Categories

2nd Solo Jig Competition:
sponsored by Dixie Lee, Kerry Fletcher, Chris and Tracey Rose.

Double Jig Competition – sponsored by Dave and Fee Lock and The Seven Champions.

Best New Entrant Prize – sponsored by His Old School Friends. This is for the best new dancer who must not have entered the competition before but the musician may have. 

Audience Appeal Prize – sponsored by the Outside Capering Crew. This is intended to recognise that the “best” jig by technical standard is not necessarily the one with the most audience appeal.  The judging criteria is deliberately flexible, it may be that the jig is chosen for its impressiveness or for some particular feature or it may be a very simple dance but performed with a warmth of spirit or good humour, or with a special audience rapport.  The performance must be technically competent, but not necessarily excellent.  The prize will not be given for a “spoof” dance, created primarily for an audience of fellow dancers, though it might well be given for a novelty jig in the spirit and tradition of, say, the Bampton Fool’s Jig.

Best Dancer Aged Over 40 Years of Age Prize – sponsored by Janet Dowling.  The dancer can either be entering the double or solo jig sections and will be entered for all the above categories as appropriate and this additional category.

Although this is a competition, the aim is that everyone will benefit from the resulting improvement in their dancing.

Trophies to be returned by Tracey Rose by Saturday 3rd August 2024.

There is a limit on the number of entries, so please do not delay your entry; if you know you want to enter but have not yet decided on the jig, send in the form to get your place and let Tracey know by 2nd August what your jig will be. 

Please email Tracey Rose on as soon as possible and before Wednesday 2nd August 2023 to let me know you will be entering.  Any queries telephone 01795 530335 / 07885832567.  Please report to Blackmore Gardens Marquee at 2.30 pm for the running order.