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Event details

The Mabel Ryan Awards will take place on 27 November. This year, we are delighted to have exclusive use of the superb Central School of Ballet facilities in central London including the light and airy Gable Studio Theatre. We really look forward to welcoming our young dancers to the competition.

Email for more information.

Competition details

Competitor Entries/Tickets:

Entries open Thursday 15 September
Entries close Wednesday 19 October
Entries to be submitted by the teacher only
Late entries will not be accepted.
Entry Categories / Criteria

Note: All ages are taken as at 1 September 2022

Lower Junior Mabel Ryan

  • Maximum age 12 years
  • The competitor must have passed Grade 2 or Grade 3 (but no higher) in the Cecchetti Method with a minimum mark of 70%
  • A competitor who has won the Lower Junior Award may not enter again.

Junior Mabel Ryan Awards 

  • Maximum age 12 years
  • The competitor must have passed Grade 4 in the Cecchetti Method.
  • A competitor who has won the Junior Award may not enter the Junior Award again.

Middle Mabel Ryan Awards

  • Minimum age 13 years, maximum age 14 years
  • The competitor must have passed Grade 5 in the Cecchetti Method.
  • A competitor who has won the Middle Award may not enter the Middle Award again.

Senior Mabel Ryan Awards

  • Minimum age 15 years, maximum age 17 years
  • The competitor must have passed Grade 6 in the Cecchetti Method. The work will be set and judged at INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.
  • Candidates have a choice of some of the elements of the work that they show - refer to the confirmation email which will be sent automatically on receipt of your entry
  • A competitor who has won the Senior Award may not enter the Senior Award again.


Winners will be announced on the day.


Health and safety

Safe dance practice is paramount.

Competitors should ensure they are fully warmed up before dancing so that they can perform safely and avoid injury.


Teachers will be notified of any COVID related restrictions or guidance nearer to the event date.

We will be closely following any government regulations keeping your safety at the forefront at all times.

We respectfully ask that you adhere to any additional requests.

Every effort will be made to hold this as a live competition at the venue. However, if any restrictions out of our control are subsequently put in place the committee reserves the right to move to an online format if necessary.

Uniform guidelines


  • A plain tank-style leotard in a colour of the candidate's choice (Sleeveless, no cross straps or sparkling adornments).
  • Ballet tights and shoes in skin tone or pink.
  • Ballet tights and shoe colour should match.
  • Ballet shoes must have elastics NOT ribbons.
  • Long hair should be neatly dressed with no ribbons or adornments of any sort.
  • Short hair should be suitably dressed away from the face, with the optional use of a plain hair band, the same colour as the leotard.


  • A plain leotard of the candidate's choice.
  • Plain ballet tights in a dark colour e.g. black, navy, burgundy etc.
  • Black or white socks with black or white ballet shoes.
  • Hair should be neatly dressed, and long hair tied back.


No jewellery or body ornaments are permitted for any award.
Make up is not permitted in the Junior Awards.
Please note that nothing must be added to the feet to enhance the shape and size of the instep.

Competition T-shirt

Competitors may purchase a specially commissioned Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards T-Shirt. The T-shirts are priced at £14.50 and are the colour, royal blue.

To view the design of the competition t-shirt, please click here.

T-shirt should be ordered by 8 November.

Sizing information

T-shirts are available in the following sizes:

Child – chest 28 inches (recommended ages 5-6)

Child – chest 30 inches (recommended ages 7-8)

Child – chest 32 inches (recommended ages 9-11)

Child – chest 34 inches (recommended ages 12-14)

Adult small – chest 34-36 inches

Please note, sizing is true to size.



Gildan Kids/Adult SoftStyle® Ringspun T-Shirt

Material: 100% ringspun cotton.*

Weight: White 144 gsm, Cols 153 gsm


  • Ribbed collar
  • Taped neck and shoulders
  • Tubular body
  • Twin needle sleeves and hem.
  • Tear out label
  • Side seams on the child – chest 28 size only.

Collection information

T-shirts can be collected from the registration desk on 27 November. T-shirts must be collected by the dancer specified in the checkout process.


T-shirts are made to order, and we regret no refunds/exchanges are available.

Further details

In the event that a teacher has a potential candidate who, due to the disruptive effects of the pandemic, does not fit definitively into a specific entry category, the teacher may contact the organisers who will exercise their discretion in accepting an entry.

Set work, dances and music

On completion of the entry form and payment of the entry fee, a confirmation email will be sent via email (to the address provided) in order to access the following:

  • Set Work notes
  • Set dance videos
  • Download the dance music
  • Competitor consent form (to be completed by the parent/carer of the competitor)
  • Competition T-Shirt

Competitors may choose to purchase a competition T-Shirt. Details will follow in due course.

Audience tickets

Two ticket types are available to purchase:

  • Specific category tickets - £15
  • All-day tickets - £40

Specific category tickets offer entry to watch the specified category only and all-day tickets offer entry to view all categories throughout the day.

Please note, children under the age of 5 years olds are not permitted in the audience.

Wristbands will be issued to audience members for each category and can be collected at the registration desk on arrival at the event. Wristbands will act as tickets, and we kindly ask you to wear them at all times during the event – lost wristbands may result in denied entry.

If you have purchased tickets for multiple categories, you will be given multiple wristbands.

Seating is unreserved.

For access arrangements, please contact

Terms and Conditions

  • Competitors must be studying with an ISTD Cecchetti member in the UK and must be entered by the Principal of that School.
  • Competitors currently attending full-time vocational schools may not enter for the Mabel Ryan Awards.
  • Competitors holding a higher examination than that stated as necessary for the Junior, Middle and Senior Mabel Ryan Awards are not debarred entry for that reason.
  • The Official Pianist will play for the dances in all the Awards.
  • All entries are to be submitted by the teacher and not by the parents/guardian. Receipt for acknowledgement of entry will be emailed to the teacher
  • Teachers and competitors shall agree to abide by ALL the rules laid down for the Competition and shall accept the Adjudicator's decision as final. No individual feedback will be given.
  • Anyone competing in this event do so at their own risk and parents/carers will be asked to confirm their child is fit to participate. The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing will not accept any responsibility for any injury.
  • Principals and Teachers – Please ensure all teachers involved in preparing pupils for the competition, are fully aware of and understand the competition rules. The integrity of the teacher is relied upon to ensure that the rules are followed by all participants to enable the smooth running of the event.
  • Set work and dances are the property of the ISTD and must not be used, copied or replicated for any other use.
  • We regret that once purchased, tickets for both competitors and audience members are non-refundable.
  • Upon submission of your application on your competitor’s behalf, you are agreeing to the criteria set above and you agree to adhere to the Terms and Conditions.
  • The competition relies on a certain number of entries being received. If insufficient entries are received the competition may not be viable and in this case, entry fees will be returned. Competitors must be made aware of this in advance. If the competition cannot take place teachers will be advised by email by Monday 28 October 2022. In this case, competition fees will be refunded to teachers to return to their pupils.

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