The Challenge

The deets on the comp

General Rules:

  1. There is no admission fee.
  2. Programs are sold at each event.
  3. The use of flash photography and videotaping is not permitted.
  4. Dancers will not be allowed to dance ahead of their category. Contestants must perform as scheduled. A minimum of 15 minutes (5 numbers) will be scheduled for costume changes. Dancers or studios causing unwarranted delays to the set schedule may receive further deductions. **If we are scheduled in studio blocks due to covid-19 restrictions this rule will not apply**
  5. Elevation Dance Challenge is not responsible for any lost or stolen items or for any injury sustained at the event.
  6. Cellular phones must be turned off during the competition.
  7. No food, drink or smoking will be permitted within the theatre.
  8. Each studio will be responsible for keeping their dressing room clean.
  9. All participants and their families will conduct themselves in a sportsman like manner at all times.
  10. Solo, duet & trio contestants may not compete against themselves in the same discipline. A second routine in the same discipline must dance in a higher age division. Group routines from the same studio may compete against each other [Note: only 1/2 can be the same dancers].
  11. Props are permitted. No knives, swords, fire, food, confetti, liquid, gel, water, aerosol, or glitter may be used that would affect the dancing surface are permitted on stage. No Helium balloons, special fog or smoke. Props must be placed and removed within 2 minutes. Please refrain from wearing studio jackets while placing or removing props on stage.  Props must be freestanding. Scenery or backdrops requiring the use of theatre fly bars or special lighting are not to be used. Larger props are to be handled by the studio. Elevation Dance Challenge staff is not responsible for any props. If the stage is littered after your performance you should be prepared to remove it immediately following the routine.
  12. Contestants grant permission to Elevation Dance Challenge to use their photos for advertising in connection with this competition.
  13. Every competition will be held on a first come first serve basis and will have a limited number of entries. At Elevation Dance Challenge’s discretion, we reserve the right to refuse individual or studio entries.
  14. No limit of entries per studio. However, a minimum of 7 groups and 20 entries in total must be registered in order to be included in the Top Studio Award in each the Competitive Level 1 and Competitive Level 2 divisions.
  15. Competitor must compete on scheduled day and time. Elevation Dance Challenge reserves the right to move a competition location/date or to add/subtract days due to unforeseen circumstances. If enough entries are not received by Elevation Dance Challenge, we reserve the right to cancel any competition.
  16. You will receive confirmation of your entries from our office via email with a preliminary schedule. All changes are to be made at this time and emailed to the Elevations Dance Challenge office. The final schedule will be sent out a minimum two weeks prior to the event – although we do aim to provide a final schedule as early as four weeks prior to the event. NO CHANGES PERMITTED ONCE FINAL SCHEDULE IS SENT. This rule will be strictly enforced.
  17. All prize money is awarded to the studio only!
  18. A studio representative must be present at award ceremonies to receive ribbons and special awards. Judges scores and studio awards reports will be emailed out following the event. Elevation Dance Challenge will not incur any shipping and/or mailing expenses.  **Should a virtual awards ceremony be necessary due to covid-19 restrictions all trophies/awards will be delivered following the event.**
  19. A competitor making a second attempt to a routine may be judged, but not eligible for overalls, Novice division is excluded from this rule but only one 2nd attempt is allowed.
  20. Only teachers and studio approved prop assistants can be backstage, all others will be asked to leave. Dancers are not allowed backstage, unless your routine is within the next 2 to 3 numbers. A backstage manager will be present at all times to monitor this.
  21. At Elevation Dance Challenge the decisions of the judges are final.
  22. All scores resulting in ties will be broken by the judges.
  23. FAMILY FRIENDLY POLICY: Elevation Dance Challenge is dedicated to providing an environment that is FAMILY FRIENDLY. We realize that dance is an art form and crosses a broad range of styles and tastes. However, movements, music and costuming must be age appropriate and suitable for family viewing. If a routine or costuming is deemed too suggestive or not age appropriate, deductions will be taken. The use of dance themes such as rape, suicide, domestic violence, murder, sex, anorexia and dark undertones chosen and/or presented to audiences with a lack of “artistic discretion” is considered inappropriate. Again, we recognize this is extremely subjective and sensitive. Therefore, Elevation Dance Challenge will individually address these performances as they surface at each particular event. Any questions or concerns regarding routines should be brought to the attention of the show director, by teacher or studio director ONLY.
  24. Upon entering Elevation Dance Challenge, it is agreed that teachers, competitors, parents, and relatives will not hold Elevation Dance Challenge directors, employees, the host facility and all involved in the competition responsible or liable for any damages, loss or personal injury which they may sustain while participating in any activity connected with this competition, no matter how caused, to either spectators or contestants. Dancers compete at their own risk.
  25. Teachers and studio directors are responsible to ensure that all tricks and movements performed by their dancers are technically appropriate to each dancer’s level or ability. Elevation Dance Challenge and the host facility will not be held responsible for any injury that may be sustained during any dancers’ performances.


Jazz: Routine consists of jazz technique.  3 Acro tricks are permitted.  These are defined as any trick in which the feet pass over the head or vice-versa.

Tap: Routine consists of tap technique.  The use of pre-recorded tap sounds is not permitted. 3 Acro tricks are permitted.  

Classical Ballet: Routine consists of classical ballet technique and is performed on demi-pointe.  No Acro tricks are permitted.

Pointe: Defined as ballet, but with the use of pointe shoes.  No Acro tricks are permitted.

Character Ballet: Routine incorporates ballet technique, the portrayal of a character and is based on a story.  This routine may be performed on demi-pointe or on pointe.  3 Acro tricks are permitted.

Contemporary Ballet: Routine incorporates ballet technique infused with modern and contemporary style. No Acro tricks are permitted.

Lyrical: Routine incorporates a lyrical style.  The dance should have a theme or story to project through the selected music.  3 Acro tricks are permitted.

Modern: Choreography is based on the interpretation of the music using modern technique. 3 Acro tricks are permitted.

Contemporary: A routine that is a combination of strong ballet fundamentals combined with modern techniques.  The routine should have a theme or story line to project through selected music. 3 Acro tricks are permitted.

Musical Theatre:  The routine contains characterization through lip-synching, acting and choreography.

Song & Dance: The routine may contain characterization through singing, acting and choreography.  Microphones may be used and will be supplied be Elevation Dance Challenge.

Acro: Routine incorporates dance and gymnastics.  40% of the routine must be dance choreography.

Hip/Hop – Street Dance: Routine incorporates hip-hop style, street dancing, break-dancing, etc.

Open: A routine that doesn’t fit into any of the above categories.  No more than 5 Acro tricks will be permitted including all tricks in a tumbling line. This is not a category for second routines of the same discipline.


1 dancer
2 – 3 dancers
4-9 dancers
10 – 14 dancers
15 or more dancers
A routine that contains 15+ dancers incorporating any style of dance with a theme or story which is portrayed throughout the entire dance. Must exceed the time limit of a group or line.

Time Limits:

3 ½ minutes
3 ½ minutes
4 minutes
4 minutes
4 minutes
15 minute maximum

All times includes entrance and exits. [Must specify time during entry process].

Age/Average Age:

Average age is determined as of December 31st 2020.  Decimal points are dropped.

Age divisions are as follows:

5 years, 6 years, 7 years, 8 years, 9 years, 10 years, 11 years, 12 years, 13 years, 14 years, 15 years, 16 years, 17 years and older

Elevation Dance Challenge reserves the right to combine age divisions based on the number of entries received. Birth certificates should be available upon request.


Novice – Competitive Level 1 and 2

A novice dancer is a performer that is new to the competition scene. A Novice Soloist may have competed before but not in a solo, duet or trio of any dance style. (Note: If performed a novice tap solo last season and this year the same soloist is performing a jazz solo, the dancer is NOT considered Novice). A novice group or line must be a minimum of 75% novice. Solo, duet or Trio entries must be 100% novice.  Separate overalls will be awarded for the Novice categories in Competitive Level 1 & 2.

Competitive Level 1

Competitive Level 1 dancers are performers whose training is 5 hours or less per week. A Competitive Level 1 group or line must be a minimum of 75% Competitive Level 1. Solo, duet, or trio entries must be 100% Competitive Level 1. Separate overalls will be awarded for Competitive Level 1 categories. (NOTE: Because no competition can possibly know how many hours a child dances or for how many years they have danced, teachers are left to their own sound judgment when entering routines.) Separate overalls will be awarded for Competitive Level 1 categories.

Competitive Level 2

Competitive Level 2 dancers are performers whose training is 6 hours or more per week. Separate overalls will be awarded for Competitive Level 2 categories.

Professional Dancers

A dancer who is paid for performing and/or teaching as a source of primary income. Professional dancers are not consider for overalls or calculated in the top studio award. Competitive dancers who are teachers / assistants are still allowed to dance on a competitive basis within their own studio and are entitled to dance in a regular category.


Dancers 20 years or older. Adult dancers have separate overalls.  Their marks are not calculated in the top studio award.

Highschool Division

This is a separate classification open to all dancers competing with their local high schools.


  • All competitors will be adjudicated and receive a ribbon for their achievement of either a bronze, silver, gold, emerald, diamond or platinum mark.
  • The top three competitors in each category will be placed. Dancers in groups will receive a ribbon for their mark. The studio will receive a trophy for groups placing 1st in their categories.  Solos/Duet/Trios members will also be placed top three in their categories and each dancer will receive their own placement ribbons for 2nd and 3rd place and trophies for 1st place.
  • Novice Competitive Level 1 & 2 classifications will be offered and rewarded in categories and overalls.
  • Highschool classification is offered and rewarded in categories and separate overalls.
  • Overall Competitive Level 1 & 2 awards will be presented to the top three marks in each age division in the categories of solo, duet/trio, small group, large group, line depending on entries. Dancers will each receive a ribbon for their placement and the studio will receive a trophy.  Solos/Duets/Trios will each receive their own placement trophy.
  • Overall age divisions are: Mini (3-7yrs), Junior (8-10yrs), Intermediate (11-14yrs), and Senior (15-18yrs).
  • Elevation Dance Challenge reserves the right to combine overall age divisions and categories based on the number of entries.
  • Special Awards will be presented at each awards ceremony.
  • Elevation Dance Challenge will award “Best Of Style” awards in both Competitive Level 1 and Competitive Level 2 classifications!
  • NEW THIS YEAR – Elevation Dance Challenge will present Judges Choice “Standout Routine” of each session!
  • Adjudicators Choice Awards will be presented at the last awards ceremony such as: Outstanding Choreography, Best Costume, Most Entertaining, Most Potential in each age division and in both Competitive Level 1 and Competitive Level 2.
  • Studio Spirit Award will also be presented and is chosen by the staff of Elevation Dance Challenge.
  • Top Studio Award will be presented in BOTH the Competitive Level 1 and Competitive Level 2 classifications!!!  This award is calculated by the average of ALL entries in the specified classification.  Adult and Novice entries are not included in calculating the total average.
  • A penalty of 1 mark may be deducted from each judge for the following:
    • Routines that exceed time limits.
    • Dancing out of schedule. [Please check the schedule thoroughly as program times are sent out prior to the competition date]. Any changes must be addressed and approved by Elevation Dance Challenge in advance.
    • Tap sounds in music during tap routines.
    • Acrobatic tricks where not permitted.
    • Inappropriate elements (choreography, costuming, music and/or dance themes that are deemed inappropriate for “General” audience viewing).


There will be a panel of 3 judges, from the dance community.  Judges will give each routine a critique and a mark out of 100 points.  Routines are marked on: technical difficulty, execution, musicality, personality, overall performance level and costuming.  Marking from the judges is as follows:


85-86.9 points: GOLD

87-89.9 points – EMERALD

90-92.9 – DIAMOND



Competition Wizard

Each studio will receive Competition Wizard videos for all routines with judges’ critiques. Watch the dance and hear the judges’ comments at the same time. Competition Wizard also provides for purchase all event media (photos and videos) for all routines.  Please visit for more information.


Teachers may upload their music via Competition Wizard prior to the event! Backup music should be available the day of the event by way of either USB or Ipod. There will be a technician and stage manager available at all locations.