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Impressions of the Ruby Ginner Awards

Impressions of the Ruby Ginner Awards

6 April 2011

We hear from audience members, an adjudicator and two young competitors reporting from this prestigious event.

The Ruby Ginner Awards 2010 took place on 7th November. This year, for the first time, the event was held at the Michael Hall Theatre, Forest Row, East Sussex. Although a little further to travel for most competitors, it proved to be an excellent venue. The theatre environment and atmosphere lifted the performances of all the dancers and helped to create a showcase of Classical Greek Dance talent.

The day was organised by Penny Childs, who did a great job as always. We were delighted to have Francesca Filpi and Jacqui Ison as our adjudicators. Both ladies were supportive, encouraging and enthusiastic, making all the dancers feel comfortable. The pianists for the day were Mrs Pat Linehan and Mr John Hoskins, both of whom were fantastic. Read on to hear more about the day.

A View from the Audience

The Ruby Ginner Awards is always an interesting event and, as in all forms of dance, the standard gets better and better.

This year in keeping with all the large ISTD prestigious events, the Awards were held in a theatre. The Michael Hall Theatre, Forest Row proved to be an excellent choice, and gave a new dimension to the classes held on the stage, plus good viewing for the many people in the audience.

What a pleasure to watch the large classes of children of all ages, who were very secure in the Greek technique, also expressing a sense of dance and musicality and real joy of movement, which seems to be sadly lacking in a great many of our dancers today. So much of the movement reminded one of Mark Morris, the most musical of choreographers, showing the great value that Greek dance has for today’s performers.

Sunday trains are not very encouraging to travellers, but all worthwhile to spend a few hours watching young people dancing with such enjoyment and ability. Grooming and technique was a high standard throughout. It was very interesting to see the musical interpretation on stage but so difficult to hear what the piece is saying to you all in one short hearing. Trying to listen for note values, rhythm, phrasing and pitch, and not get caught out on a high poise when the last note goes down in the base.

We were privileged in having Francesca Filpi, sparing the time from her busy schedule at The Royal Ballet, and Jacqui Ison to adjudicate, both giving such encouraging and helpful criticism to all the competitors.

The really enjoyable classes were taken by Lucy Pohl, Carol Vasko, Penny Childs and Sarah-Jane Blackwell, accompanied by wonderfully inspiring music throughout the day played by Pat Linehan and John Hoskins.

Robert Harrold and Mollie Webb

An Adjudicator’s View

I have always felt honoured to be asked to adjudicate at any festival. So, when I was invited to co-adjudicate at the Ruby Ginner Awards on 7th November 2010, I felt very privileged, but also some trepidation. This was, after all, a whole day focused on just one dance genre, and one of the most prestigious events in the calendar of the ISTD Classical Greek Dance Faculty.

However, I need not have had any fears. The day was wonderful from start to finish, and, along with the enthusiastic audience, my co-adjudicator, the lovely Francesca Filpi, and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The day was further lit up by the presence of Rona Hart and Robert Harrold, both of whom have given so much of their lives to the promotion and advancement of dance.

We were entertained and inspired by some beautiful class work prepared and demonstrated by Lucy Pohl, Penny Childs, Sarah-Jane Blackwell and Carol Vasko.

At the end of the day I was more convinced than ever that Classical Greek, although less popular and less widely taught than other dance styles, is a wonderful subject to study and not forgetting those wonderful myths! The dance style evokes beauty, line and design, musicality, expression and strength which I felt was shown by all the dancers. They all worked very hard and I would like to thank them for sharing their lovely dancing with me.

Jacqui Ison

Two young competitors give us their view

We are Megan Peters and Phoebe Woolley and we attend the Redhurst Schools of Dancing in East Grinstead.

On Sunday 7th November we danced in The Ruby Ginner Awards – a Classical Greek competition for dancers from schools across the country. This year it took place at an exciting new venue, Michael Hall Theatre, Forest Row.

We arrived at the theatre and got ready. We needed to wear stage make-up so our faces could be seen from the audience. We are familiar with Michael Hall as we use it for our school dance shows; however, it was different and exciting as we were competing in front of two very important people we needed to impress! We were honoured to dance for the adjudicators Francesca Filpi and Jacqui Ison, because Francesca Filpi dances with The Royal Ballet and Jacqui Ison is a Federation Adjudicator, but they were both extremely encouraging and friendly.

We were both in group D, the last class on the programme, which put pressure on us to reach the high standard that had been maintained throughout the day. Although we were nervous to begin with, Carol Vasko, our class teacher, made us feel relaxed and we soon got into the very enjoyable class. To start with we were taught a few sequences to show our ability and strength, these we performed a line at a time. We then created a nature rhythm in two big groups, on the theme of a bonfire. After both groups had danced, we listened to a piece of music once and then improvised a dance to it. Finally we performed our set sequences, which we had been practicing in class; this was exhilarating, as we had to perform them in two’s. By the end of the class we were all exhausted from the effort we had put in. Once the class had finished the adjudicators came on stage to announce the results. We were thrilled to hear that Megan was awarded Highly Commended and Phoebe was the overall class Winner, so was presented with the Rita Brown Shield!

The day ran smoothly thanks to the organiser, Penny Childs, and all the class teachers throughout the day, both pianists – Mrs Pat who played for the morning classes and Mr Hoskins who played for the afternoon classes – and everyone who helped backstage.

It was a lovely atmosphere and wonderful to be able to dance in the Theatre. We thoroughly enjoyed our day and hope to return next year.

Megan Peters (13) and Phoebe Woolley (14) 

Ruby Ginner Awards 2010



Class A

Class Award

The Sonia Bond Shield

Tallulah Treadaway (Roshe)


Aylish Moore (Roshe)



Cynthia Carr Trophy

Polly Allen (Roshe)


Bonny Lowy (Roshe)


Class B

Class Award

Buckhurst Hill/Woodford Trophy

Emily Pohl (Buck/Wd)


Lauran Taylor-Griffin (Buck/Wd)

Araminta Sum (Kilburn)



Kay Ball Trophy

Amelia Hawkesby (Kilburn)


Lauren Halil (Buck/Wd)


Class C

Class Award

Rachel Robinson Shield

Georgette Fletcher (Avril Earl)


Emma Penn (Bastet)



Barbara Coates Trophy

Ella Beardsley (Kilburn)


Holly Page (Butterworth)

Olivia Downer (Kilburn)


Class D

Class Award

Rita Brown Shield

Phoebe Woolley (Redhurst)


Catie Barry (Buck/Wd)



Buckhurst/Woodford Trophy

Eloise Atkins (Kilburn)


Madeline de Marchis (Mayhew)


Class E

Class Award

Henrietta Fairhead Trophy

Nicoletta Cremona (Kilburn)


Iona Andrews (Kilburn)



Richard Muncey Award

Maisey Hodges (Mayhew)


Lewis Star (Kilburn)


Class F

Class Award

Rona Hart Cup

Carina Howard (Roshe)


Lucy Renouf (Roshe)



Karen Collings Award

Genevieve Cutcliffe (Roshe)


Charlotte Dunn (Roshe)


Class G

Class Award

Doris McBride Trophy

Jessie Waterfield (Kilburn)


Francesca Brookes (Buck/Wd)



Roz Jennings Trophy

Rhian Thomas (Kilburn)


Rosalind Ford (Stretton)


Special Awards


Kay Ball Shield

Imogen Burn, Class A (Kilburn)

Tanya Allen Trophy

Jessie Waterfield, Class G (Kilburn)



Kay Ball Shield

Amelia Hawkesby, Class B (Kilburn)

Tanya Allen Trophy

Maya Holmes, Class D (Avril Earl)

Boys Trophy

Alasdair Ayre, Class B (Mayhew)

Prof Cawadias Shield

Lewis Star, Class E (Kilburn)

Biddy Pinchard Cup

Lauren Halil, Class B (Buck/Wd)

Christine Orange Cup

Rosalind Ford, Class G (Stretton)


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