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Spirit of Dance reserves the right to change the category of a routine if it is determined to be improperly placed.

  • Acro: Acrobatic/rhythmic gymnastic movements, incorporating dance technique and choreography for fluidity.
  • Ballet: Choreography consisting of classical ballet technique, classical steps and movement wearing soft ballet slippers/shoes.
  • Clogging: A rhythmic, percussive style of dance done in clogging shoes, keeping time with the music. Pre-recorded sounds are prohibited.
  • Contemporary: Fusion of ballet and/or jazz techniques with modern elements, demonstrating emotion, balance and control.
  • Hip-Hop: Routines consisting of hip-hop/free style dance movements.
  • International: Traditional/Ethnic dance reflective of the cultural folkloric style of a region or people.
  • Jazz: Routines utilizing traditional jazz technique. May not contain more than 3 acrobatic tricks.
  • Lyrical: Demonstrating ballet or jazz technique with musical interpretation and storytelling elements through fluid movement. No more than 3 acro/lifts allowed.
  • Modern: Consisting of modern technique and abstract style of movement.
  • Musical Theatre: Musical, Broadway, or Theatrical style performance interpreted through music, song, spoken word, characterization, and dance.
  • Pointe: Dancers execute classical ballet technique or contemporary ballet technique wearing pointe shoes with at least 50% danced en pointe.
  • Tap: Routines executing tap technique & syncopation using tap shoes. Pre-recorded taps sounds are prohibited.
  • Song & Dance: Vocal presentation simultaneously performed with dance of any style. Background vocals may be used in pre-recorded music, but lead vocals are not permitted.
  • Open: Any dance style that does not fit into the above categories, consisting of a dance style or a combination of styles.

Pro-Am: Studio Owners, Teachers, Choreographers, Professional Performers, or past Professionals who are or have been paid income for their services are categorized as Pro-Am and must compete in the Pro-Am category, regardless of the number of non-professional dancers also in the group. The Pro-Am category will not be eligible for high score or cash awards.

Student teachers and/or those who are or have been paid less than 1/3 of their income as a teacher or performer may compete with student dancers in a duo, trio, or group. The average age for the entry however, must then be bumped up to the next age category. If there is a question as to this ruling, please call SDA for clarification.

    • Small Group 4-9 dancers

    • Large Group 10-19 dancers

    • Ultra Group 20+ dancers

    • Production 10+ dancers
*A minimum of 4 minutes long with a maximum of 8 minutes, Production numbers convey a recurring theme through music or story, incorporating any style of dance/multiple styles with a specific theme. A Production encompasses the full use of the stage, multiple entrances, exits, crossovers, and multiple focal points; a specialty number, usually performed by the entire team of dancers.


3 Levels of Competition

  • SDA offers a NOVICE classification in which to enter dancers. This level is for the true Novice. Dancers with 2 or less years of dance training, and new to competition may enter into the NOVICE level. The Novice level is eligible to receive Overall Awards, however will receive prizes in scholarship vouchers.
  • The INTERMEDIATE level is for those dancers not yet ready to compete at the highest level. Best suited for dancers with very limited competition experience who dance less than 5 hours per week. Overall Awards will be presented with prizes in the form of scholarship vouchers.
  • All other dancers should be entered in the COMPETITIVE level. This level is for the more experienced dancers with competition experience, taking multiple classes per week. The Competitive level will receive Overall Awards and Cash Prizes, (see OverAll Awards for more information).

As Studio Directors/Teachers best know their students and their students’ abilites, level placement is left to your discretion. We ask that you honestly evaluate the 3 level options before choosing. Spirit of Dance Awards and SDA’s judges reserve the right to “bump” up any routine deemed to be improperly placed, making the routine ineligible for OverAll Awards.

Regional and National Title Award Category

To be eligible for “Title”, dancers must enter in the TITLE category of their age division. This is considered a separate category and is for solo dancers only. Dancers may not enter more than one routine in the TITLE category, however, may compete additional solo routines in the SOLO category.

One Regional Title winner will be awarded, along with “1st Runner Up”, and “2nd Runner Up”. Winners will receive a trophy and cash award, along with a TITLE Jacket.

All dancers participating in a Regional Title category are eligible to compete the same routine at Nationals. Please note that in order to compete in the Title Category at Nationals, dancers must compete in a Regional Title Category. Entries competing in the Title Category are not eligible for “Overall Awards” in the SOLO division of their age category.

Young Choreographer

Young Choreographers between the ages of 15-20 may enter a piece(s) for which they have choreographed for themselves or for others! One Young Choreographer will be acknowledged and awarded a trophy by our judges at each SDA Regional event. There is no additional fee for a young choreographer to be considered.