Join us in a city near you and take the Ultimate Challenge!
- – Safe, welcoming, inclusive events
- – INCREDIBLE Studio Owner Rebates and Incentives
- – Over $125,000.00 in cash scholarships awarded annually!
- – exciting National championship FEATURING DANCE-OFF, GALA AND DANCER OF THE Year events
Schedule, Fees & Deadlines
Schedule Of Events
1 OR 2 DAY EVENTS
A 1 event is typically on Saturday. A typical 2 day event is 12 & Under on Saturday and 13 & Over on Sunday.
3 OR 4 DAY EVENTS
A 3 or 4 day schedule will begin with Teen and/or Senior solos on Thursday/Friday afternoon after 3:00pm, 12 & Under on Saturday and 13 & Over on Sunday.
NOTE: This is an outline and all schedules are subject to change due to number of entries. Final schedules are sent to studios and available on our website 7 days prior to the start of event.
Categories & Time Limits
|Number of Dancers
|Time Limit (Minutes)
Age Divisions & Classifications
DETERMINING AGE DIVISIONS: All ages are as of January 1st, 2024. The age of the entry is determined by the average age of the dancers, dropping the decimal. Our online registration program calculates the average age for you.
“Bump Rule”: Duo – Production entries may not compete more than one division below the age of the oldest dancer in the entry, regardless of the calculated average age. For example, any entry having one or more dancers that fall into Senior (16-21), must compete as Teen (13-15), one age division below the oldest dancer. Our system will bump these entries up for you.
- 6 & Under
- Young: Ages 7-9
- Junior: Ages 10-12
- Teen: Ages 13-15
- Senior: Ages 16-19
- Adult: Ages 20+
ADA offers multiple level classifications of competition, a place for every dancer!
COMPETITIVE: Dancers wishing to compete for medal standing, Overall High Scores, Choreography and Costume awards, Ultimate Challenge and cash scholarships.
NOVICE: Beginner dancers with limited to no previous competition experience. Group – Production must be at least 75% Novice dancers. High Score Novice awards will be based on the amount of entries and ADA reserves the right to group all Novice Solo-Production entries in overall standings.
CDA rules may vary, click here for more details
PRO-AM: Dancers who are 21 years or older, studio owners, teachers, or professional performers. In addition, if you currently choreograph/assist 5 or more routines at your studio or are paid for any choreography, teaching, performing outside of your studio, you must enter under this classification. We ask that you use your best judgment. One professional makes the entire routine Pro-Am. Pro-Am is eligible for regional costume and choreography awards, but will only be eligible for Overall High Score Pro-Am if there are 4 or more Pro-Am entries.
MEDAL STANDING ONLY: Dancers who wish to compete for an adjudication, judges’ critiques and Special Awards. These entries are not eligible for High Score awards.
NON-COMPETITIVE: Dancers who wish to compete only for judges’ critiques and Special Awards. These entries are not eligible for High Score awards. This classification can be used by a dancer who is performing a second solo in the same subject/style, or for teachers who wish to perform and not compete.
Important Information Pertaining to Classifications
The Novice and Competitive classifications have been developed to afford different levels of dancers the opportunity to participate in ADA events and to separate the classifications to present high score awards to each.
A Novice entry does not use a different scoring scale or is scored higher based on their classification. All entries are adjudicated by the same standard as far as scoring, however the adjudicator’s critiques will be geared towards the level of training in each classification.
While these placements are at the studio’s discretion, we appreciate the honest and fair leveling of your dancers.
Three scoring judges with up to 100 points each:
195-209 Honorable Mention
210-229 Bronze Medal
230-239 High Bronze Medal
240-254 Silver Medal
255-269 High Silver Medal
270-284 Gold Medal
285-300 Ultimate Gold Medal
Ultimate Challenge Medals
All soloists are eligible at NO EXTRA CHARGE! Soloists that receive a score between 290-300 (Teen & Senior)/ 287-300 (Young & Junior) will receive an Ultimate Challenge medallion. The Ultimate Challenge is the most elite award you can receive as a soloist at American Dance Awards, as it is our qualification to compete for America’s Dancer of the Year at Nationals! There is no limit on how many competitors can receive an Ultimate Challenge score, and there are no guarantees that an Ultimate Challenge score will be awarded in a Regional.
Any soloist who receives an Ultimate Challenge score regionally is invited to compete for America’s Dancer of the Year in their respective age division at our National Championships. They will be awarded with an Ultimate Challenge Medal and a Dancer of the Year jacket! All Ultimate Challenge medal recipients are expected to compete for America’s Dancer of the Year at the National level.
Please note: If there are no Ultimate Challenge scores in an age division, the soloist(s) with the highest score will receive an ADA Regional Dancer of the Year jacket and an invitation to compete at Nationals.
High Score in Category Awards
4 or more entries – 1st place certificate presented
7 or more entries – 1st & 2nd place certificates presented
10 or more entries – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place certificates presented
All entries must score a Gold or Silver medal to receive a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place certificate.
High Score by Classification
High Score awards will be presented based on the number of entries in each classification (Novice, Competitive, Pro-Am). Awards are determined by performance score only.
Regional High Score Cash Scholarships
High Score Solo (12 & Under and 13 & Over) – $75 scholarship
The following awards will be presented in age divisions Young, Junior, Teen, Senior as determined by performance score:
High Score Duo/Trio – $75 scholarship
High Score Small Group – $100 scholarship
High Score Large Group, Class, Extended, Production – $150 scholarship
Overall Highest Adjudication
Performance & Choreography score combined!
Top 3 Small Group – Production entries will be awarded in 12 & Under and 13 & Over, with 1st place receiving a $300 cash scholarship!
All scholarships are given at the discretion of American Dance Awards, determined by the number of entries in a category. ADA reserves the right to combine high score awards based on the number of entries.
Additional Awards: High Score 6 & Under, Costume Awards, Solo Choreography Awards, Diamond Choreography Awards, Young Choreography Awards, Special Awards
Diamond Choreography Awards
Choreography Awards are presented at each regional event, called the Diamond Choreography Awards. They are presented to the choreographers with the top scores in Duo – Production, in 12 & under and 13 & over.
As regional Diamond Choreography awards are the qualification for America’s Choreographer of the Year at Nationals, entries must be choreographed by weekly, in-house teachers and/or studio owners to be eligible for Diamond awards. “In-house” is defined by a teacher who has scheduled weekly teaching hours through the duration of the season at your studio. Guest choreographers are not eligible.
Diamond Choreography winners are eligible to compete at the National Championships for America’s Choreographer of the Year, a $2,000.00 cash scholarship!
Young Choreography Awards
Choreographers age 21 years old and younger may enter their Duo – Production choreography in the Young Choreographer category. There is no limit to the number of entries a Young Choreographer may submit. Winners from each regional event are eligible to compete for America’s Young Choreographer of the Year at the Championships for a $1,000.00 cash scholarship! Young Choreographers are not eligible for Diamond Awards.
Special Awards – An American Dance Awards Tradition!
Our 4th judge is a Special Awards judge, who records critiques but does not score. This judge presents awards for such qualities as outstanding precision, showmanship, use of staging and patterns, technical execution, emotional connection, and more! This awards presentation is full of valuable insights, teaching moments, and special recognitions. At American Dance Awards, our Special Awards are always personal and truly special.
As the spirit of American Dance Awards is inspiration, and in an effort to continuously inspire new choreographic efforts, the following rules apply:
Any high score winning solo cannot repeat the same choreography or music the following year unless it is for medal standing only or non-competitive.
Any high score Duo – Production routines having the same music, concept, choreography and dancers will not be eligible the following year unless 50% of the dancers and choreography have changed.
Dancers cannot win another Ultimate Challenge jacket (or a regional title) again in another city during the same season. They will be eligible for medal standings and High Score solo.
No dancer will be eligible for more than one place in the Solo High Score awards, the highest scoring solo will prevail.
National Title Winners from the previous season are not eligible to compete for a title, Ultimate Challenge, or High Score award in any city. Young DOTY National Winners will be eligible to compete in Junior DOTY at Nationals, after giving up their title.
Dancers may only hold a National Title once in an age level.
Please note – all Regional and National cash prizes are mailed to the studio in the form of a check. ADA does not hold winnings as credits to be applied.
Rules & Regulations
Upon entering the American Dance Awards or the Canadian Dance Awards, it is agreed that all students, parents, relatives and teachers will not hold the American Dance Awards, Canadian Dance Awards, staff, directors, or the host facilities responsible for any injury or loss of property during the event.
Studios are responsible for distributing the following rules to all participating families:
- 1. NO CAMERAS OF ANY TYPE WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE DRESSING AREAS OR THEATRE. Anyone concealing a camera and asked more than once to remove it from the dressing areas or auditorium will result in removal from the auditorium and/or disqualification of their school.
- 2. Parents/students are not to contact the ADA office via phone, email or social accounts. All inquiries will be made through their participating studios, for clarity and efficiency of communication.
- 3. Upon entering any American Dance Awards LLC sponsored event, it is agreed that all students, parents, relatives and teachers will not hold American Dance Awards LLC, it’s staff/directors or the host facilities responsible for any injury or loss of property during the event.
- 4. There is no limit to the number of entries a studio or dancer may submit, with the following exceptions: Soloists may not compete in the same subject more than once. If they have a second solo in the same subject, it must enter as Non-Competitive. No soloist will compete more than three (3) solos in any single ADA event (CDA rules may vary). Duo-Class entries will not compete against themselves in the same subject, unless 50% of the group changes. A second Duo-Class in the same subject may be entered as Non-Competitive or in an age level above. Production entries may have the same dancers and compete more than once in the same category.
- 5. Age appropriate music, choreography and costumes will be utilized. All entries must be considered family entertainment. Any entry not considered family entertainment will be penalized and/or disqualified at the sole discretion of the ADA judging panel and/or directors.
- 6. All studios will abide by the Music Policies as listed above.
- 7. All entries will check in with the Stage Manager at least five (5) numbers prior to their scheduled performance. ADA does not hold entries unless previously arranged by Studio Owner/Teacher with the Stage Manager.
- 8. The results of a competition are final. No teacher, student or parent will question the judging panel or Directors.
- 9. All parents, teachers and students will hold the art of dance in the highest regard. There will be no derogatory statements aimed at another studio or fellow dancers at any time. ADA is a supportive and encouraging environment.
- 10. Any teacher, parent or student walking in front of the judges’ table during a performance will be disqualified and asked to leave the event.
- 11. All dancers will graciously accept and say thank you when presented with an award.
- 12. Any studio, dancer or parent that abuses the dressing area will be disqualified and/or asked to leave the event. Each studio and participant will be responsible for the complete clean up of their dressing areas.
- 13. There will be no coaching from the wings or audience.
- 14. All participants accept the manner and method of judging set forth by the directors. The directors have the right to change the manner or method at any time they deem necessary. The directors reserve the right to add/combine high score awards when they deem necessary.
- 15. There will be no claiming of an area for changing or private warm-up. Dressing rooms and hallways are shared space.
- 16. Dancers will not sit on the floor in the vicinity of the judge’s tables in any auditorium.
- 17. With the exception of the judges and staff, there will be no food or drink allowed in the auditorium.
- 18. There will be no spray painting of props/shoes in the building or parking lot.
- 19. Any dancers that are 13 & Over and leave the stage during a performance are only eligible for a medal standing.
- 20. Soloists will be divided into categories by genre and exact age.
- 21. There will be no use of knives, swords, or other dangerous items/props.
- 22. Props are allowed, but must be free standing. If there is any “litter” on the stage after a performance, a crew must be ready for clean-up immediately following the performance. Rehearse setting props – they must be set up & removed as quickly as possible. Make sure there are enough people setting the scene to insure it is done as fast as possible. No person setting props will wear a studio jacket, shirt, or logo. Dancers should not set props.
- 23. If a judge feels an entry is not in the correct subject (jazz, lyrical, modern, etc.), the entry will not be penalized. When awards are presented, the host will announce the style or subject the entry was adjudicated as. If the entry is entered in the ADA National Championships, the entry must be entered in the category in which it was adjudicated at the regional event.
- 24. All participants give their permission for any photograph or video taken of them by American Dance Awards LLC to be used in promotion. This includes ads, television, sales videos, website, social media, newsletters, brochures and any other form of marketing both print and digital on behalf of American Dance Awards LLC.