Below you will find information on Rules and Regulations, Divisions, Dance and Talent Categories, Acrobatic Categories, Awards, Cash Prizes, and Scholarships.

Rules and Regulations

1. Dancer Level Classification

A. Amatuer (competitive): Dancers that have had prior competition experience and/or study dance for a minimum of 4 hours per week should use this category.Dancers who study 6 hours or more per week (including rehearsal time and all dance categories) should be c

B. Novice (beginner): Any dancer(s) that is new to the competition experience and/or is considered to be a beginner dancer by that dancer’s teacher and/or studio director. USTD is not a “Level” competition and as such, the use of this category will be up to the sole discretion of the teacher and/or studio director. Groups containing a combination of novice and amateur dancers may also utilize the novice category should the teacher and/or studio director feel it be necessary. Novice routines will not be eligible for Overall High Score Awards and are not permitted to enter Title categories. Please contact USTD offices for any further clarification.

C. Adult Professional: Any person age 19 or over and who is a member of a professional dance society, studio owner, staff member employed by a studio or school to teach, or any person who otherwise makes their career in dance.

2. General Entries

A. Entry Registration: Entries may be submitted via USTD’s Online Registration System OR by sending in Entry Forms (PDF) both of which can be accessed under the “Registration” tab on www.USTD.com

B. Entry Fees: Entry Fees can be paid online via credit card (Master/Visa/Discover) or by sending in a Studio Check, Bank Check, or Money Order. Entry forms must be accompanied by a studio check or money order and paid in full- No Exceptions! Individual checks will not be accepted. A $35.00 fee will be assessed for any check that is returned insufficient funds. Entries must be received (30) days prior to the first date of each regional Championship and postmarked accordingly; No refunds will be made after that time. Entries received after the cut-off date are subject to return or based on acceptance, must be paid by cash, money order, or certified check (Delivery confirmation is suggested). NO REFUNDS.

C. Entry Submissions: All competitors may submit more than one entry in any division, however only one entry is permitted in Title Divisions.

D. A 10% rebate will be granted for all entries received prior to January 15th 2017. Rebate will only be honored for the entries submitted. Changes in entries and additions after January 15th 2017  will not qualify for additional rebates. Rebates will apply to Regional Events only. There is no rebate for the National event.

3. Title Entries

A. Dance Title Entries will be limited to; Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Ballet, Pointe, and Hip Hop and will compete equally to determine Winner and Runner Ups in each respective Title Division. Any rule infraction will result in automatic disqualification Regional and/or Nationals. Floor Props are NOT permitted in Title Divisions.

B. Title Divisions are a separate category from standard solo categories and as such, routines entered into standard solo categories may not be duplicated and performed again in Title Division (and vice versa). Title and Solo are considered two different categories and require two different routines should a competitor decide to compete in both.

C. Awards in Title Division categories will be limited to; Winner, 1st , 2nd , and 3rd Place (Runner Up) competitors. (Should there be 5 dancers in a given Title Division, there may also be a 4th Runner Up award presented). Title Winners/Runner Up competitors will receive; a crown, sash, trophy, and flowers. There are no additional medals or trophy’s awarded in Title Divisions to competitors that are neither a Winner or Runner Up. Competitors do not have to win the Title or become a Runner Up in order to compete in Title Divisions at Nationals, however, they do need to qualify with a cumulative score of 85 or higher to do so. Should a competitor be the only participant in a Title Division, that competitor must achieve a cumulative score of 90 or Higher to win the Title. All qualified competitors will be publicly acknowledged and be presented with a Certificate of Acknowledgment inviting them to compete in the Title Division at Nationals.

D. Competitors may only choose one DANCE Title Division to compete in at a given event, however, competitors will be permitted to compete in one DANCE Title Division AND one ACROBATIC Title Division should they wish to.

E. Competitors who win a National Title may not compete for that same Title again in the future.

F. Title entries must be registered and paid for no more than 30 days prior to the event date and changes and/or additions to the performance order will not be permitted in Title Divisions at any time.

G. Acrobatic Title Divisions will compete separately as competitors entered in these Divisions are qualifying for the Acrobatic Nationals. Competitors may choose to compete in the Acrobatic Title Division as well as the Dance Title Division. Competitors competing in the Acrobatic Title Division will be judged solely on the Acrobatic portion of the routine as defined herein.

H. Studios must enter a minimum of two Duo/Trios OR one Group to be eligible to register competitors into Title Division. Should a studio have either the two Duo/Trios or one Group, they may enter any number of competitors into Title Divisions. It is not necessary for the Title competitor to be a part of the Duo/Trios and/or Group routine. Please Note: Any Studio that has already met the Title requirements at a USTD Regional event will be permitted to enter competitors in Title Divisions at additional USTD Regional events without having to enter the minimum Title requirements.

I. Additions, holds or changes to order of performance at events will not be permitted. Song Title selection however, may be changed or altered prior to performance.

J. Regional competitors that successfully qualify in an International Title Division (i.e. International Princess) at Regionals, may choose to enter their age respective United States Dance Title Division (i.e. Junior Miss Dance) at Nationals without having to re-qualify. By the same token, Regional competitors that successfully qualify in a Regional United States Dance Title Division (i.e. Junior Miss Dance) at Regionals, may choose to enter their age respective International Title Division (i.e International Princess) at Nationals without having to re-qualify.

4. “The Miss Dance of the United States Competition”

A. The Miss Dance of the United States Competition will be hosted by the United States Tournament of Dance at the US National Championships. Specific rules pertaining to the Miss Dance of the United States Competition will be sent directly to those studios that have qualified competitors in the Miss Dance Title Division at their respective Regional event and are registered for the upcoming National Championships.

5. Time Limits

A. Solo, Duo/Trio, Title: 3 minutes (maximum)

B. Groups and Lines: 4 minutes (maximum)

C. Production: 5 minutes

D. Director’s Invitational: Entries submitted that do not fit the above listed time limits request to use this category for up to 8 minutes. Use of this category is subject to approval by the USTD. Submission of a Director’s Invitational entry does not guarantee acceptance. Contact USTD office for more information. For routines over 8 minutes in length, please contact USTD office for additional approval.

6. Adjudication Process

A. Judges: A minimum of three qualified judges will adjudicate all events. USTD Adjudicators are well-trained professionals with a strong knowledge of all facets of dance. USTD Judges Qualifications must include; academic training and certification, practical and diverse training, industry work experience and an overall good personality.

B. Scrutineer: A professional scrutineer will tabulate scores from three judges following each routine. Any penalties or infractions of USTD rules will result in the competitor(s) being dropped one full placement in the final Regional or National markings. Copies of the scrutineer sheets may be obtained by any teacher or studio owner by contacting the USTD office.

C. Judges Critiques: All judge’s critiques will include video comments and score sheet. Video critiques will be sent to the studio following each event. USTD reserves the right to provide written comments and score sheet in place of video critiques in the event that video services are not available. Scores are consistent with the level of talent. Score sheets will be given to the teacher or studio owner at the end of the competition. If the teacher or studio owner is not present, score sheets will be mailed to the studio unless prior arrangements have been made by the teacher or studio owner.

7. Scoring Classification

A. High Point Gold: 95 to 100

B. Gold: 90 to94

C. High Point Silver: 85 to 89

D. Silver: 80 to 84

E. High Point Bronze: 75 to 79

F. Bronze: 70 to 74

8. US National Qualification Process

A. General Entries: A High Point Bronze or higher must be achieved at the Regional Championship in order to compete at the US Nationals.

B. Title Entries: All Title competitors who “qualify” in a Regional Title Category will receive a “Certification of Acknowledgement” inviting them to compete in the United States or International Title Divisions at Nationals. Please note, a competitor does not need to win the Title or be a runner up to be eligible to compete at the National Level, they must however qualify their score.

9. Props

A. Floor props are permitted in all categories with the EXCEPTION OF TITLE DIVISIONS. Hand props are permitted in all categories.

B. Over-sized Scenery: Over-sized scenery and large production sets will be required to use the Production or Director’s Invitational categories. Please contact USTD offices for clarification if necessary.

10. Music

A. Format: Music for routines will be accepted on CD, iPod, MP3, USB, etc…

B. Submitting Music: Must be submitted to the Sound Technician’s Table 30 minutes prior to the start of each session.

C. Labeling Music: Must be clearly labeled with the competitor’s name (if solo), studio name, and routine title.

D. Back-up Music: All competitors must have a back-up readily available in the event of a technical difficulty with submitted music.

E. Dance routines (if multiple or specialty mics are needed, please contact USTD office prior to the competition) . Contact USTD office for all other music requests.

11. Competition Welcome Packets

A. Competing Studios will receive competition welcome packet upon arrival to the event.

B. Competition packets will contain the following information; Welcome Letter , Sponsor Information, Event Program and US Nationals Information.

12. Schedule

A. It is the competitor’s responsibility to be in attendance in advance of the advertised time schedule and be ready to dance at least 1 hour prior to the scheduled time.

B. All entries will perform at the scheduled time once the competition program has posted. During the competition, a “hold” on any routine will only be for a reasonable costume delay.

13. Dressing Rooms

A. Competitors and competitors’ parents will be responsible for keeping the dressing room areas absolutely clean. Any competitors that fail to keep the dressing rooms clean and free of debris are subject to immediate disqualification.

14. Photography & Video

A. The use of photo and video cameras (including phone and tablet devices) are strictly prohibited during competition performances. This rule has been implemented to protect the dancers from photos and/or videos being posted online as well as the artistic rights of the choreographers and competitors that have worked so hard to exhibit their performance. USTD video and photo representatives and sub-contractors will be responsible for all photo and video of performance routines.

15. Warm-Up/Practicing

A. Stretches, spacing, placement of competitors, etc., may not be done on the competition floor/stage prior to, during, or following any event. Please be courteous to others if practicing in hallways or other outside areas.

16. Age-Appropriate Routines

A. USTD is a “Family Friendly” event, as such if the adjudicators or competition director’s feel that the costuming, song lyrics, or choreography in a routine are too suggestive, sexual, violent or otherwise not “Age Appropriate” a mark down in placement or immediate disqualification may occur. The Judges Decision is FINAL.

17. Dance Floor Debris

A. If the dance floor/stage should become littered with sequins, feathers, sparkles, etc.., following a performance, it becomes the responsibility of the studio/competitors of that routine to remove it in a quick and expeditious manner.

18. Change of Venue

A. USTD reserves the right to add or delete competition dates as well as move a competition site due to unseen circumstances.

19. Media Release

A. Upon registration, all USTD competitors, teachers, studio owners, parents, and attendees grant permission to USTD to use photographs and/or video clips of the competition for press releases issued to local/national television networks, radio stations, newspapers, and magazines for promotional purposes and considerations.

20. Code of Conduct

No responsibility for loss or theft of articles left in any Event Space will be accepted by the United States Tournament of Dance, Inc., neither can they be held liable for injury sustained by persons attending any USTD Event, Everyone does so at their own risk. All persons attending this event, whether as spectators, competitors, or officials, shall be bound by the rules outlined herein, and by participating in this event, automatically become obliged to adhere to them. Teachers and Competitors are cautioned to see that requirements of the Competition are followed. USTD will not tolerate any individual that acts irresponsibly or flagrantly violates these rules. USTD reserves the right to take any steps necessary to maintain a safe and orderly event.

Disclaimer

No responsibility for loss or theft of articles left in any Event Space will be accepted by the United States Tournament of Dance, Inc., neither can they be held liable for injury sustained by persons attending any USTD Event, Everyone does so at their own risk. All persons attending this event, whether as spectators, competitors, or officials, shall be bound by the rules outlined herein, and by participating in this event, automatically become obliged to adhere to them. Teachers and Competitors are cautioned to see that the requirements of the Competition are followed. USTD will not tolerate any individual that acts irresponsibly or flagrantly violates these rules. USTD reserves the right to take any steps necessary to maintain a safe and orderly event.

Divisions

General Divisions

Solo Male
Solo Female
Duo/Trio
Small Group (4-8 Competitors)
Large Group (9-14 Competitors)
Line (15 or more Competitors)
Intro to Competition (unlimited # of competitors – Performance only/non-adjudicated)
Dancers with Special Needs (unlimited # competitors –  Performers only/non-adjudicated)

Regional – Dance Title Divisions

Miss Dance
Mr. Dance
Teen Miss Dance
Teen Mr. Dance
Junior Miss Dance
Junior Mr. Dance
Petite Miss Dance
Young Mr. Dance

Regional – Dance International Title Divisions

International Queen of Dance
International King of Dance
International Princess of Dance
International Prince of Dance

Regional – Acrobatic Title Divisions

Miss Acrobat
Mr. Acrobat
Teen Miss Acrobat
Teen Mr. Acrobat
Junior Miss Acrobat
Junior Mr. Acrobat
Petite Miss Acrobat
Young Mr. Acrobat

Nationals – United States Title Divisions (Dance)

Miss Dance of the United States
Mr. Dance of the United States
Junior Miss Dance of the United States
Junior Mr. Dance of the United States
Petite Miss Dance of the United States
Young Mr. Dance of the United States

Nationals – International Title Divisions (Dance)

International Queen of Dance
International King of Dance
International Princess of Dance
International  Prince of Dance

Nationals – United States Title Divisions (Acrobatic)

Miss Acrobat of the United States
Mr. Acrobat of the United States
Junior Miss Acrobat of the United States
Junior Mr. Acrobat of the United States
Petite Miss Acrobat of the United States
Young Mr. Acrobat of the United States

General Age Divisions

The Competitor’s age as of January 1, 2017 will prevail.

8 & Under
9-10
11-12
13-15
16-19

*At the discretion of the Director, Solo Divisions may be split into individual age categories if needed.
* To determine the age, add all of the ages and divide by the total number of dancers, dropping the decimal. A competitor’s age may not be more than one age level higher or lower than the average. Teachers will have the option to move a routine 1 level higher at their discretion.

Title Age Divisions

The Competitor’s age as of January 1, 2017 will prevail.

(Petite Miss Dance) (Young Mr. Dance) (Petite Miss Acrobat) (Young Mr. Acrobat) – (8 & Under)
(Jr. Miss Dance) (Jr. Mr. Dance)(Jr. Miss  Acrobat) (Jr. Mr. Acrobat) – (9-12)
(Teen Miss Dance) (Teen Mr. Dance) (Teen Miss Acrobat) Teen Mr. Acrobat) – (13-15)
(Miss Dance) (Mr. Dance) (Miss Acrobat)(Mr. Acrobat) – (16-19)
(International Princess of Dance) (International Prince of Dance) – (12 & Under)
(International Queen of Dance)(International King of Dance) – (13 & Over)

Dance and Talent Categories

Please Note

THE ACROBATIC NATIONAL AND DANCE NATIONAL ARE SEPARATE EVENTS, THEREFORE ALL ACRO/GYMNASTICS CATEGORIES (AS DEFINED IN THE ACROBATIC SECTION) THAT HAVE QUALIFIED AT A US REGIONAL MUST COMPETE AT THE ACROBATIC NATIONALS –  NO EXCEPTIONS! UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL A ROUTINE BE PERMITTED TO COMPETE IN ANY DANCE & TALENT CATEGORY IF IT CONTAINS 4 OR MORE AERIAL TRICKS. SEE ACROBATIC CATEGORIES FOR CLARIFICATION OF THIS RULE.

Adagio

Primarily lift work between a male and a female competitor. A lift is defined as one partner supporting another, whereas both feet are off the ground.

Ballet

A routine interpreting music from a Broadway of Movie Musical, while using theater dance styles together with musical comedy techniques.

Baton

The use of Batons and/or Baton twirling props (no fire or swords allowed), must include; technique, dance moves, and choreography.

Cheerleading

A routine that uses; precise, sharp, dance movements, as well as; jumps, leaps, precision, and vocal cheering. No floor props.

Clogging

A routine that uses clogging technique.

Contemporary

A routine consisting of Lyrical, Jazz, and Modern elements.

Costume

Is based on overall impression, fit, and how costume(s) relate to the performance. Judging will take place during the performance.

Dancers with Special Needs

This is a non-adjudicated “performance only” category that allows dancers with Special Needs the opportunity to perform on USTD’s stage and in front of a live audience. This category will not be judged and each participant will receive an award acknowledging them as “Official Participants.” All time limits apply; however, it will not be necessary to include birthdays, number of dancers, or type of dance when entering. The fee will be $100.00 flat per routine despite the number of dancers.

Director’s Invitational

To be used routines which do not fit existing categories and age divisions. Please contact USTD office for authorization to use this category. Routines that have a variance of ages and that do not fit existing age divisions (see General Age Divisions) may be eligible for this category. Age divisions must reflect the age of the MAJORITY of dancers. Furthermore, routines that do not fit existing time limits (see Time Limits #5 in General Rules & Regulations section) may also be eligible for this category. Director’s Invitational routines may be up to 8 minutes in length.  For routines over 8 minutes in length, please contact USTD office for additional approval.

Drill Team

Precision marching in military and/or dance style, using high energy with sharp & Precise movements. Solos are not permitted in this category.

Ethnic Folkloric

Routine consisting of dance styles of particular ethnic group, i.e. Polka, Spanish, Hawaiian, etc…

Hip Hop

(Street Jazz/Rap) a freestyle routine choreographed to contemporary music; use of music video style is also acceptable. Routines that are suggestive, sexual, violent, or otherwise not age appropriate will be disqualified at the Director’s discretion.

Introduction to Competition Class

This is a non-adjudicated “performance only” category that allows recreational dancers the opportunity to perform on USTD’s stage and in front of a live audience to help ready them for future competitive categories. This category will not be judged and each participant will receive an award acknowledging them as “Official Participant.” Each registered studio may enter 1 intro category routine per event. All time limits apply, however, it will not be necessary to include birthdays, number of dancers, or type of dance when entering. The fee will be $100.00 flat per routine despite the number of dancers.

Jazz

A routine that uses Jazz technique, isolation, free-form movement.

Lip Sync

An entertainment vehicle whereby the competitor, using; lip, mouth, facial, and body gestures, enacts a performance pretending they are the voice on the tape or CD, and tries to convince the audience that they are the original artist. Acting, action, movement, and dance must be an integral part of the performance.

Lyrical

A routine encompassing the use of balance, flexibility, and control, where dancers interpret the lyrics or moods of the music – demonstrating fluidity and control of movement.

Modern

A style of dance that favors music coming from the expression of inner feeling. Stretch and flex in legs and feet, together with use of contraction and extension; the dancers ability to handle unique costume features, and the ability to work both on and off center to create interesting lines.

Musical Theatre

A routine interpreting music from a Broadway of Movie Musical, while using theater dance styles together with musical comedy techniques.

Open

For routines that do not fit existing categories or a routine which is a combination of 2 or more of our dance and talent categories (excluding Acro/gymnastics).

Photogenic

Only one photo is permitted (minimum 5 x 7 maximum 8 x 10) and may be black and white or color. Photos will be returned at the competition. Please label all photos with individual or group name, studio, address, phone, age, or group age.

Parents

This category is for Groups and Lines only! Any and all dance styles are permitted. Entry fee for this category will be waived at all US Regional competitions, however standard entry feeswill apply at the US Nationals. Parents Groups are not eligible for any High Score, Overall High Score, Choreography, or Diamond Awards (Regionals or Nationals).

Pointe

Routine must consist of Pointe work, using classical or contemporary styles and music.

Pom Pom

A routine which includes; marching, dancing, kicks, leaps, etc.

Production

Any routine consisting of over-sized floor props and sets must be placed in this category regardless of the style of dance.

Song and Dance

A routine that includes singing, but may not be more than 50% of the routine. Tapes and CD’s may not have vocal on it while the singing is in progress.

Tap

A routine that is comprised entirely of Tap technique.

Vocal

Routine should show pitch, range, etc… Accompaniment must be on Tape or CD, with no vocals on Tape or CD.

Acrobatic Categories

Understanding the difference between ACROBATIC Nationals and DANCE Nationals as defined by USTD Rules and Regulations

  • What constitutes the use of an Acro/Gymnastics category? A routine that contain 4 or more Aerials. (Please note that if there are multiple competitors performing an aerial at exactly the same time in the routine it only counts as one).
  • What is an Aerial as defined by USTD Rules & Regulations? An Acrobatic move in which both the hands and feet are off the floor simultaneously, such as a side aerial or a back-tuck.
  • What is not considered an Aerial as defined by USTD Rules & Regulations? Back Hand-Spring, cartwheel, front or back walkovers, etc…
  • Acrobatic Awards: Acro/Gymnastics routines will compete during the Dance Nationals, however, will only be eligible for the following Acrobatic Awards; Acrobatic Superior High Score Awards (respective age categories), Best Acrobatic Choreography (Junior & Senior Division), Best Flexibility & Contortion (Junior & Senior Division), Best Technical Execution (Junior & Senior Division), US Acrobatic Emerald Award (Junior & Senior Division). The Emerald Awards will take place of the Diamond Awards in the Dance Divisions, and lastly 14 Acrobats will be chosen for the Acrobatic portion of the United States Dance Team.

Acro/Gymnastics

A routine that mixes acro/gymnastics and 1 facet of dance, each must be approximately the same length or any Acro routine that uses over-sized floor props and/or sets.

Director’s Invitational Acro/Gymnastics

To be used for Acro/Gymnastic routines which do not fit in existing Acro/Gymnastic categories (see Director’s Invitational under Dance & Talent).

Contortion

Included here is very wide display of flexibility involving extreme and dramatic bending, stretching, arching, and balancing of the human body. Extreme back-bends and front bending are demonstrated in this category. Judging criteria will focus on proper placement in chest stands, over splits, and contortion positions in elbow stands, handstands, etc… Contortion is most commonly combined with Acrobatic elements and gymnastics passes. It may be blended with some ballet like arms and gestures, however the focus must concentrate on Aro/Gymnastics and contortion technique.

Awards - Cash Prizes - Scholarships

US Regionals

Currently being updated.

US Nationals

Cash Awards
Cash Awards will be awarded in ALL group and line heats containing 5 or more entries. The highest scoring group or line int he heat will receive a $100.00 check in addition to the High Score Trophy. The group or line does not have to win an overall of the competition nor achieve a specific score to be awarded the cash award, for example, if the highest scoring routine in a heat containing 5 or more groups or lines is a high point silver with a numeric score of 88, that group or line will receive the Cash Award. Furthermore, Cash Awards will be awarded despite the total number of entries entered in the entire competition.

Sterling Award
The Sterling Award will be awarded to competitors entered in the Miss Dance Title Division (ONLY) who have qualified by achieving a score of 85 or higher in a Miss Dance Regional Title Division. The Sterling Award will serve as that competitor’s ticket to Atlantic City for their change to compete in the Miss Dance of the United States Preliminaries. Please note, competitors in this category do not have to win the Title a the Regional to earn the Sterling Award.

NOTE: All USTD Competitions are adjudicated events, therefore, entrants will receive; High Gold, Gold, High Silver, Silver, High Bronze, or Bronze based independently on their individual performance. Title Divisions however, are truly competitive categories whereas Awards will only be presented to the Winner & 1st – 3rd Runner/Up’s despite the number of competitors.

Medals
Will be awarded to all Solo’s and Duo/Trios (inc. Photogenic & Costume categories). Each individual in Do/Trio will receive a Medal.

 Trophy’s
Will be awarded to all groups & Lines (1 Trophy per Group or Line).

Ribbons
Will be awarded to all individual competitors in Groups & Lines.

High Point Awards
Will be awarded to all individuals (Solo/Duo/Trio/Group or Line) earning a High Point Award. High Point Award are awarded in; Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

High Score Trophy
Will be presented to any Heat having three or more entries (with the exception of Title, Division, Photogenic, and Costume Categories).

Special Awards
Are presented by the Special Awards Judge to competitors that have expressed unique and special characteristics pertaining to their performance.

All Around High
Score Awards are Cups presented to the highest scoreing number of the entire competition in the respective Age Divisions (8 & under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-15, 16-19).

Choreography
Glass Awards presented at the end of each session for innovative and unique choreography.

Top Studio Award
Plaque and $250.00 Scholarship awarded to the studio earning the highest number of Gold Awards or highest scoring cumulative total.

Title Winners/R/up
Will receive; Trophy, Crown, and sash.