Share This


National Federation of Festivals Logo

Affiliated to the British & International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech

Important Dates


1st March 2019 - Closing date for entries into the 2019 Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts Speech and Drama section.


7th-10th May 2019 - The Speech and Drama section of the Wharfedale Festival will take place at either The Craiglands Hotel, Cowpasture Road or The Kings Hall, Station Road, Ilkley.

2nd-3rd, 9th-10th November 2019 - Advance notice of the Wharfedale Festival's Dance Championship including our heat of Miss Dance 2019 to be held in Guiseley Theatre, Guiseley.


Dance Championship: 4, 5, 11, 12 November, 2017: Guiseley Theatre

This month has seen the Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts Dance Championship, an annual event which takes place over two weekends at Guiseley Theatre each November.

Dancers from all over the north of England arrived en masse to perform before an enthusiastic crowd of their peers and supporters showing talents in many disciplines. On show were examples from Ballet, Tap, National, Classical, Modern, Character, Cabaret, Song and Dance, Greek and more, all demonstrated by dancers aged from under five years to those aged 16 plus either individually or in combinations of duos, trios and groups – a veritable feast. And you have not lived if you have never experienced the ‘Kinder Class’ ballet for the under fives!

One of the major attractions of this Festival is the opportunity to enter the heats for the ‘Miss Dance of Great Britain’ Competition. As ever this was vastly oversubscribed: Mrs Wailes is allowed to take up to 45 entries for this but confided that had it been allowed, she could have taken 145! This takes place on the first Saturday evening and gives the winning dancer aged 16 and over the opportunity to compete in the Winter Gardens at Blackpool next June against other finalists. A prize of thousands of pounds is awarded but more importantly, doors are opened to a career in dance. Our winner this year was Grace Hawkesworth from Wakefield with second place going to Imogen Amos from Leeds.

The Championship in Guiseley gives its own awards to performers and this year dancers from Nottingham, Kendal and Lancashire were represented in addition to those from local schools. Many of those who have to travel to take part decide to spend the weekend in our area and have sent emails expressing their enthusiasm for performing, their appreciation of the adjudicator and the anticipation of returning for next year, whether or not they were winners.

Adjudicator Denise Skinner of the IDTA thanked Organiser Ivy Wailes and her team for two weekends of excellent dancing. The team in particular, who were on duty from 7am until 9pm every day on both weekends, deserved enormous credit for their hard work and stamina and for so many hours of dedication to giving children the opportunity to shine. The fact that the Dance Championship is always so well attended is a tribute to them.
                                                                                                                                Pat Dibb
                                                                                                                                General Secretary, WFPA


Search the Wharfedale Festival

Festival Secretaries

General Secretary
Mrs Patricia Dibb
01943 865180


Speech & Drama Secretaries
Mrs Julie James
01943 433444

Mrs Elizabeth Whiteley
01943 830780

Piano & Song Festival Organiser

Piano & Song Festival Organiser

Mrs Evelyn van Terheyden
11, Oaklands,
Westwood Drive,
Ilkley. LS29 9RE

Telephone: 01943 600470
Mobile: 07951 533653


Piano & Song Festival

Dance Championship


Mrs Ivy Wailes
Highfield House
184 Walton Park
Harrogate HG3 1RJ

Telephone: 01423 870616
Mobile: 07503150502 


Dance Championship

Latest News

Duke of York Community Award

The Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts has been awarded the Duke of York Community Initiative Award for our work with Special Educational Needs children/young people.

The Duke of York Community Initiative Award