The composing a dance competition results are in!

Thank you to all who competed and of course to Bethanne and Idwal Williams for adjudicating. Congratulations to Alison Allen the winner, and all the runners up. You can read the full adjudication below and we look forward to being able to give the dances a go as we keep dancing whilst keeping to Covid-19 restrictions. If you follow us on Facebook (CDWC/WFDS) you can view a video of Dawnswyr Caernarfon dancers performing  (Stuck in) The House and Garden, the winning dance.

Adjudicating Composing a Dance for dancing during the Covid-19 restrictions.

First of all, thank you to those who competed, 9 in all.

Our expectation was a dance that

.1)       Felt Welsh in pattern and instruction.

.2)       Could be danced during the “Covid-19” restrictions in Wales and that this was clearly stated in the instructions. e.g. a minimum of 2m is required between each dancer throughout the dance.

.3)       Was suitable for dancing by a number of people, who were not in a bubble, during a fitness session during October.

.4)       The instructions were in sync with the music noted. e.g. if the music was AABB (4 x 8 bars) the instructions would also follow this sequence.

.5)       The instructions are clear. i.e. that we would be able to dance without having to wonder what exactly the patterns were supposed to be.

.6)       Offered something different and fresh.


There was a wide variety of dance form – solo, pairs and sets.  However, we felt that some had been written before the restrictions came into force and did not take into account the requirements (constraints) of the restrictive life due to Covid-19. eg moving to the bottom of a set of 4 couples means traveling about 8m and taking about 6 to 8 bars, not the 4 bars as normal.

Most of the dances would work in normal times and we were, in general pleased.

Two comments.  It is surprising how much space is required in a hall for several pairs or a longways set to dance whilst adhering to the “2m rule”. {One way to help keep the 2m apart is to put markers on the floor of the hall just over 2m apart.}  And secondly – should we hey in these times?


Dawns Maes Mawr (pen-name – Mai)

A 4 Couple longways set. The only mention of the restrictions was “taking into account the limitations of Covid-19” at the beginning. There was no suggestion on how to do this with a few movements, the crossing at the bottom, obviously, completely ignoring the “2m rule”.  Unfortunately, the dance did not correspond to run of the music. A1 and then B1 for the dance whilst “Tŷ a Gardd” is AABB and “Y Dyn Meddw” is AABBCC. We also felt there was too much setting. There are a few errors in the instructions (see Part 1, Tune 2, B1 – “left” should be “right” since they have crossed at the bottom. There is not enough music – 8 bars only) to dance between 12 and 16 meters when casting, crossing over at bottom and returning to position (the length of the set must be at least 8m).

Dawns y Pedwar Gwynt (Pen-name – Ahoi)

Form: – “Everyone standing in a space two meters apart and facing in the same direction.”

This is a solo dance for any number of individuals with all the dancers 2m apart throughout the dance to the tune “Rownd yr Horn”.

A simple “dance” with clear instructions other than the “horse” (a term, that as it happens, was not needed). The melody and the idea that everybody turns a ¼ clockwise and then repeating the dance, three times, took us back to Glan-llyn (the Urdd residential camp) 50 years ago!  A tight figure of 8 could have added to the dance since what we have is a series of short movements.

An easy dance to start an evening and give everyone the chance to dance, warm up and relax before the rest of the evening’s dancing.

Dawns yr Enfys (Pen-name – Bwa’r Arch)

A 3 Couple Longways Set with the lines 4m apart

There was a useful diagram and instructions to help keep to the “2m rule”.

A simple dance without really offering anything new and in sync with the music. The tune is new to us. We feel that the “Everyone to step” instruction in C1 is there to fill time. What about, at least, suggesting a step or, even better, a new pattern? In C2 we suggest that couples 2 and 3 move out as Couple 1 moves in, or there will be a problem keeping the 2m as Couple 1 starts to slide down.

The dance is repeated twice with Couple1 moving to the bottom each time.  In our opinion it cannot be adapted to four couples on the available music.

(Pen-name – Mynis Mynt)

A 4 Couple Longways Set to be danced to “Doed a Ddêl” and, we assume “Y Derwydd ” (not “Hogiau’r Foelas” as noted).

“Well spaced” is the instruction at the beginning of the dance but what this actually means is left to us to decide. The order of instructions is 1A 1B 2A 2B but the music is AABB.

The patterns would be acceptable in “normal” times but it is not possible to dance them in the 8 bars allocated. There is no suggestion that couples 2, 3 and 4 should move up to their new places to accommodate Couple 1 at the bottom. A large hall is required for 1 set of this dance – at least 12m by 14m!

Mandy’s Farewell to Fairbourne (Pen-name – The Meadows)

A “1 couple longways dance” is noted at the beginning but it appears to be a couple dance. The tune is a waltz, “Farewel i’r Marian” (Farewell to the Shore) but the instructions state that 3 steps to the bar should be used.

An interesting dance with several slightly different patterns from the usual. There is no feeling of Welshness here, other than the melody and the name of the dance and there is no suggestion that this was composed for couples to dance within the current restrictions and the need to abide by the distance rules. There is a shortage of music for many movements eg it takes more than 6 steps to change places when passing right shoulder and then turn ¼ turn left if you want to keep 2m apart all of the time. In addition, there are regular handshakes. There is no suggestion on how to place the other couples in the room under Covid-19 restrictions.

(Stuck in) The House and Garden(Pen-name – F. Penkman)

To be danced to the tune “Tŷ a Gardd” (which translated is “House and Garden”).

The humour (or tongue in cheek) can be seen from the start with the name and then more interest is created with the diagram (“bubble”), showing the location of the 6 dancers, 2 couples and 2 individuals, around the circle, with a small clever note below. The humour is woven throughout the rest of the instructions by naming the patterns with a title associated with the pandemic.

It took a little time before we realised what was happening with the “hand washing”. (The author must have been to Austria!).

The rest of the instructions were clear on first reading. This is a dance for the period but a some advantage is taken by saying that the couples are in a “bubble” i.e. one couple from one house and the other from another and thus spinning while the two individuals step. The requirement to ​​”socially distance” is stated at the outset and the dancers keep their distance throughout, thus keeping the 2m apart all the time. It is not necessary to have Couples (the only thing that they do different is spin) and the same effect would be had with 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 people 2m equi-distanced around the circumference of the circle.

We would like to see everyone face out or towards the front in the chorus in these times.

An interesting and imaginative dance. The music is suitable for the dance and in sync with the 16 bars of A for each of the three parts and the 16 bars of the B for the chorus.

Dawns Rheol Chwe (Pen-name – Chwiorydd)

This is a 3 Couple Longways Set (despite the unexpected guidance at the beginning). The composed tune, “Ffair i Chwe “, 48 bars which is different as the left hand takes the melody in the “B” and the key signature is Ab. The tempo of 184 in a 6/8 jig makes this a lively and energetic dance.

The author asks the dancers to wear a face cover and not hold hands. Dancing wearing a face cover is very difficult and does not need to be done in a fitness session. The idea of ​​keeping 2m apart had not arisen.

Here we find most of the patterns we would expect in a Welsh dance, hey (a weave), figure of eight, circle etc.

The instructions and patterns are clear. The movement in B1 is stated to be a hey but the actual instructions are to dance a figure of 8. We have never heard of the “horse step” in B2 but fortunately we could “step as we choose” instead of being like a horse. We assume, from the instructions that follow, that the “loose chain” about the “hexagon” in C1 is from a simple weave passing right and left.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to dance most of the patterns on the 8 bars available to them if you have to keep 2m apart whilst doing so.  We suggest that Couple 2 should be improper at the start of the dance as Couple 3 will be improper when ascending to position 2 to repeat the dance.

At another time this would have been an entertaining dance to do, but we must admit, we have a feeling that we have seen these patterns before.

St Mellons (Pen-name Deo Volente)

Unfortunately, it is a mere mortal who is judging, not god.

This is a “1 couple dance” using a “gentle” reel step throughout the dance to the tune “St Mellons” (include with the instruction) – a 32 bar reel and a tempo of 95 -.

There is no consideration or reference to the rules of Covid-19. There is no clear feeling that this is Welsh neither from the dance nor from the instructions (e.g. “Up a Double and fall back).  In our opinion it would be necessary to play the tune twice through even if we wanted to dance it in “normal” times.  The first instruction noted for A1 would take the 8 bars available and then there are two further patterns identified against the A1.

The instructions – the Diamond – in B1 are unclear i.e. what needs to be done, what way to face before starting and halfway through? What is a “middle line” for one couple?

Although it’s a graceful dance we get “Back to back” and then a “Swing” for the last 8 bars which is completely out of keeping with the rest of the dance.

Dawns Enfys yn y Ffenest (Pen-name – Gartharwyr)

This is an adaptation of the “Meillionen” patterns for two couples.

What struck us immediately was how appropriate it was to compose a dance to the song “Enfys yn y Ffenest” (translated – “Rainbow in the Window”) by Tudur Dylan Jones and Einir Dafydd.

On reaching their positions, from the side, the dancers are reminded that there should be 2m between them. This means that they are unable to “lead up” (i.e. hold hands) in Verse 1 and the Bridge.  here. Thus “All forward and back” would be more appropriate.

The Meillionen” clap is used in the “Chorus” and obviously because of the 2m (underlined) they can’t actually hit each other’s hands (though this is not specified). A set and turn single is added here before clapping the second time and after the Tudor second clapping due to the length of the chorus – a nice touch.

It is difficult to walk the arch in 8 steps (what about 4 reel steps?) at the “Bridge”, if keeping 2m distance, as Couple 1 cast and Couple 2 moves (not “lead”) up. Also, the Meillionen siding requires that the other couple moves away slightly to keep the 2m. But this is a small matter.

Very interesting and with a little effort it is possible to keep the 2m distance

As the song is a recording to be listened to the tempo tends to vary slightly.  This creates an interesting challenge for the dancers. Do try it out.


After some thought, it was decided, for whatever reasons, that 5 of the dances do not meet our expectations and thus the other four had to be put in order.

1st                (Stuck in) The House and Garden(Pen-name – F. Penkman) – for several reasons – it works, adheres to the Covid-19 rules, the story is relevant and there is humour – different and fresh

2nd          (very close) Dawns Enfys yn y Ffenest(Pen-name – Gartharwyr) – it works, adheres to the Covid-19 rules and the story and song are relevant – again different and fresh

3rd          (equal) Dawns y Pedwar Gwynt (Pen-name – Ahoi) and Dawns yr Enfys(Pen-name – Bwa’r Arch) – they both work and adhere to the Covid-19 rules – but not quite up to the what the other two gave.

Bethanne ac Idwal Williams