Awards and Rules

Registration Guidlines

How to Register:
Registration can be completed by using our REGISTRATION page on this website. Forms may also be downloaded and mailed. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE BY THE COMPLETION DEADLINE. Entries received after the deadline will be subject to a 10% late fee.

All mailed entry forms MUST be accompanied by credit card information. If you intend to pay by cashiers check, you must notify us. A check must arrive in our office by the deadline date. Entries will not be processed until check or credit card payment is received.

In addition to registering, a CONSENT FORM must be completed, signed and returned to us by the entry date. Representatives and parents must sign the form on behalf of all competing students. The form can be completed and turned in at check-in at the event or mailed in with registration (if registering via usps mail).

Registration fees & Payment:
COMPETITION FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. NO EXCEPTIONS. Payments can be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Amex. and Discover), money order or cashiers check. No studio personal checks will be accepted. All entries MUST be accompanied by competition fees. Entries received without full payment, including those submitted through online registration, will not be processed.

Who may register:
ODC accepts entries from the following: dance studios, independent competitors, and high school/college dance teams.

Entry changes & Accommodations:
Entry changes must be requested no later that two weeks prior to the competition date. Ant changes after that may not be accepted.

ODC will try to accommodate all entries; however, due to possible time constraints we may be unable to do so. In such cases, priority will be given in the following order: Groups (may include small, large, line or production), Duets/Trios, Soloists.

Competition Scheduling:
ODC reserves the right to limit the number of entries and/or to close an event once we have reached capacity for the amount of time we have available. Allotted time for each event will vary by city and venue. All participants must be available on all days of competition. ODC reserves the right to cancel a competition if a minimum number of entries are not received. In the event of a cancellation, all monies paid to ODC will be refunded.

Early Bird Rebate:
To qualify for our special Early Bird Rebate the following conditions must be met:

  • Payments must be made IN FULL sixty days prior to the deadline.
  • Payments must be made on time.
  • Entries submitted must total a minimum of $1,000 to qualify.
  • The Consent Release Form must be signed by all parents and studio representatives and must be submitted by the early bird deadline.
  • Rebates only apply to regional competitions.

Still need help?
Ovation Dance Challenge is glad to provide additional clarification on our registration guidelines. If you have further questions, please feel free to email us at or you may also contact us vis the information on our Contact page.

Payment Policies and Information

Competition fees are non-refundable. Once the payment for entry registration has been processed, ODC will send the Studio Owner or registrant a confirmation of payment within 24 hours via email. ODC respects the privacy of our clients and will never share your email address.

Competition Fee

You must create an account to view competition fees. Discounts are available to Studio Directors, with qualifying registrations. Details of discounts are available upon request.

General Rules

1. There is no limit to the number of regional competitions a studio and/or independent dancer may compete in.

2. All contestant must conduct themselves in a professional manner. Any unsportsmanlike conduct will result in disqualification.

3. In the event that the competition is ahead of schedule or re-ordering has occurred, competing dancers must be ready to perform two hours prior to scheduled time. Contestants must perform on his/her designated day and in the order stated in the program unless officials of ODC change the line-up.

4. A solo performer may not compete against his/herself in a given category. In a duet/trio, at least one dancer must be different when competing in same category. It is permissible to compete against yourself in Groups and Lines. At the National Finals, dancers can be replaced, if necessary, as long as 50% or more of the original dancers are in the routine. Teachers are required to notify ODC of these replacements.

5. Under no circumstance will any performer be allowed to re-perform any routine unless the number has been interrupted by a technical error on the part of ODC, an electrical failure, or any extenuating circumstance on the part of ODC solely, that heretofore is unseen. Conditions of the stage are not the responsibility of ODC, and will not be considered in the re-performance of an entry.

6. LIABILITY: ODC, its’ staff, its’ sponsors, the hotel, the theatre or site of convention/competition will not be held responsible for any accident or injury that may occur to anyone participating or attending these events. ODC cannot be held responsible for unforeseen flaws in theatre stages that may inadvertently lend to the causing of an accident. Persons entering the competition and/or participating as a spectator or in any other aspect MUST assume the responsibility for any unforeseen injury. It is the responsibility of the dance teacher and/or person in charge of a participating group to educate all entrants, their parents and attendees on the rules and policies of ODC.

7. ODC must have a CONSENT FORM signed before students will be allowed to compete. Representatives and parents must sign the form on behalf of all competing students. The form can be downloaded at the link above and is due by the entry deadline date. The Consent Form can be mailed in with registration (if registering by mail) or may be turned in during check-in at the competition.

8. Prior to each competition, students will be emailed to directors and also available online. schedules will be available no later than one week prior to competition.

9. Upon entering and competing in ODC, all teachers/dancers give permission and consent to ODC to use any photographs or videos/film take for promotional advertising or other commercial use.

10. Personal videotaping and photography is strictly prohibited during performances. Any persons caught videotaping or photographing will have their associated studio’s routine disqualified from the competition. Professional videos and photographs will be available for purchase during the competition. Photos and videos MAY be taken during the awards ceremonies for all divisions.

11. ODC uses a 40’x30’ Marley Stage. Routines may not take place physically above 6 feet. The use of special microphones or sound equipment (other than that which is provided by ODC) is prohibited.

12. At every venue, ODC will set up a reserved seating/hospitality section for all studio representatives. This section is reserved for their use only and is not open to students or parents.

13. No coaching from anywhere by anyone during performance. This will be enforced and points will be deducted.

14. The use of props is allowed in all categories. Props must be carried on by performer or studio representative and must be in place and/or removed within two minutes. Live animals, liquids, gels, glitters, dangerous props and weapons are not allowed. Simulated weapons with dull safe edges are acceptable with approval from ODC. The act of throwing or shooting anything off the front of the stage is not allowed. The use of fire in any form is not allowed. Fog, smoke, helium balloons or special lighting is not allowed unless approved by ODC.

15. Choreography, costuming, music lyrics and/or dance themes must be appropriate for our family audience.

Age Divisions

Age divisions shall be determined by averaging the age of all dancers as of January 1st of the current year. For groups, please round down or drop the decimal. The youngest dancer in any group must perform a minimum of 75% of the entire routine. Age divisions are detailed in the chart below.

Age DivisionsAge
Minis8 years and under
Junior9 to 11 years old
Teens12 to 14 years old
Seniors15 to 18 years old
Adult19 years and over
Pro-AmTeachers and Professionals

Competition Levels

The Elite level is for dancers who have previously competed in competition and who have more than 6 hours of dance training, (including rehearsal time and All dance catagories), per week. Dancers competing in 10 or more routines must be placed in the Advanced Division. Any dancer competing in this division may not compete in the Novice Division.

  • Elite Soloists are limited to 3 entries and must be in different categories of competition. Only their highest score is eligible for the Top 10.

The Intermediate Level is for dancers who take no more than 6 hours of dance training, (including rehearsal time and All dance catagories), per week. Dancers at this level will be limited to 9 routines per contest.

  • Intermediate Soloists are limited to 2 entries and must be in different categories of competition. Only their highest score is eligible for the Top 10.

The Novice Level is for dancers that take no more than 3 hours of dance training,(including rehearsal time and All dance catagories), per week and who have competed less than 2 years. Dancers in this level will be limited to no more than 5 rountines per contest and only one solo. No cash awards will be awarded in this division.  


The Pro-Am Level involves at least one professional dancer or teacher over the age of 18 dancing with or without students. This competition level will not be considered for overall high score or for cash winnings.

General Categories

CategoriesNumber of Dancers
Small Group4-9
Large Group10-19
Line20 and over
Production20 and over

 If category changes must be made due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. injury), prior to the event or during the event weekend, it is the responsibility of the studio owner to report immediately to the contest administrator with changes in level, age or number of participating dancers. They will only be able to compete if their category Award session has not been completed.

For example, you entered as a small group with 4 dancers, and one of your dancers are unable to compete. The studio owner must report to the contest administrator that the small group “Baby I’m a Star” #220 in the age 11 intermediate category will now compete as a trio.  IF and only IF the trio Award session has not been completed, the trio may compete for overalls. If the Award session has been completed, they will only be allowed to perform for an adjudication.

Competition Genres

A routine that demonstrates Jazz Technique, which may include classical, contemporary, hip-hop, funk, pop or lock. Routines must consist primarily of jazz technique.

A routine that demonstrates Tap Technique and basic tap floor work. No Tap sounds on recorded performance music. Routines displaying clogging technique should be considered for the clogging category.

A routine that demonstrates ballet technique, which should incorporate classical movements but may include some contemporary and interpretive movement. (Ballet Shoes only.)

A routine that demonstrates ballet done en Pointe, containing classical technique.

A routine consisting of contemporary modern movement, which demonstrates control and balance throughout and utilizes modern-specific technique such as contractions, tilts, etc.

A routine that combines jazz and ballet techniques in fluid, controlled movement. Often has a story element that relates to the lyrics and emotion of the song.

HIP-HOP & Commercial Hip-Hop
A routine that consists of fundamental Hip hop technique, and/or a routine that utilizes “trendy” styles of dance including, but not limited to: funk, pop, lock, jazz and break dancing.

A routine in which the dancer(s) portrays a character or interprets a song from a Broadway or Theatrical Production while incorporating dance technique and movement.

A routine incorporating clogging technique and movement.

A routine consisting of sharp, clean movements, kicks and jumps in drill team fashion. If poms are used they should be used consistently throughout the routine.

A routine that utilizes any combination of dance techniques listed above or any dance style not previously listed.

A routine involving all parents and incorporating any style of dance listed above. The category will be judged solely against other parent acts and will not be considered for overall high score or cash awards.

A routine that incorporates modern vocabulary while also incorporating ballet technique.

Any routine containing 3 or more tumbling passes will be automatically reclassified and considered for the Acro category unless already registered in the Open category.

The use of Props is allowed in all categories. Props must be carried on by performer or studio representative and must be in place and/or removed within two minutes. Live animals, liquids, gels, glitters, dangerous props and weapons are not allowed. Simulated weapons with dull safe edges are acceptable with the approval of ODC. The act of throwing or shooting anything off the front of the stage is not allowed. The use of fire in any form is not allowed. Fog, smoke, helium balloons or special lighting is not allowed unless approved by ODC.

Choreography, costuming, music lyrics and/or dance themes must be appropriate for our family audience.

Judging and Scoring

All entries are judged and scored by a panel of qualified and competent judges. The method of judging is solely within the discretion of ODC. All judges’ scores are final and are unchangeable. If in a group, you have an equal amount of dancers from the Elite and Intermediate categories, then that act must be entered and judged in the Elite Division. Example: In a small group, you have 4 dancers of Elite Level and 3 of Intermediate Level. This group must be placed in the Elite Level.

Dancers will be judged by a panel of 3 judges with a maximum score of 100 points per judge. Each act is evaluated based on the following:

Judging CategoryMaximum Points Per Judge
Technique30 Points
Performance20 Points
Musicality/Precision20 Points
Choreography20 Points
Overall10 Points

Ties for overall scores will be broken by technique scores. In the event of a technique score tie, judges will make the final decision.

Overall scoring is achieved by totaling all three judges’ given points for each dance routine entry. A single dance entry can receive up to a maximum of 300 points (maximum of 100 points per judge). This total judging score, in relation to the competition level the dance entry is registered as, will determine the placement award of every dance entry. All entries will receive one of the following placement awards detailed below:

AwardNoviceIntermediateElite & Pro-Am
Standing "O"--291 to 300291 to 300
Platinum280 to 300280 to 290.9284 to 290.9
High Gold273 to 279.9273 to 279.9277 to 283.9
Gold265 to 272.9265 to 272.9269 to 276.9
High Silver264.9 and below264.9 and below259 to 268.9
Silver----258.9 and below

*The Pro-Am Level will not be considered for overall high score or for cash winnings.

Every entry will receive a video/audio critique and score sheet from each judge. Studios will receive a USB flash drive at the end of the competition which will contain all video/audio critiques, score sheets and judges notes. ODC is not responsible for any flash drives or CDs not claimed at the end of competition.

Music Guidelines

1. For your convenience, ODC accepts music in a variety of formats.

a) UPLOAD CONTENT: ODC is proud to offer you the ability to upload your music directly into our system from our registration page. Simply click on the link provided on the registration page to upload all of your music.

b) FLASH DRIVES: ODC will accept music at registration on USB drives. If you are turning music in using a USB drive, we ask that you please make sure your files are named, and that the flash drive contain no additional content. You can turn in flash drives at the event when you check in. Please label your USB drive clearly with your studio name.

c) COMPACT DISC (CD): Entries utilizing CD’s must make sure that each routine must be submitted in the form of a newly mastered CD. A back up CD is required in case of malfunction. CD’s must include the title of the dance, studio name/studio code and entry number. Please use studio labels provided by ODC for labeling, or use a fine tip black marker. DO NOT use your own stickers or tape as they can cause CD malfunction. Each entry must be provided on an individual track. NO MULTIPLE TRACK CD’S PLEASE.

Entry Number – Studio Code – Routine Name

2. ODC is not responsible for unedited music. Please have all music edited and cued for a professional quality performance.

3. Music speed will not be adjusted.

4. All music for each day’s event must be turned in to the registration desk upon arriving at the competition. Holding music is not permitted and could result in a point deduction.

5. ODC is not responsible for the quality of your music.

6. A 10 point deduction will apply for all entries exceeding the maximum time limits.
Maximum times limits are as follows:

Number of DancersTime Allowed
Solo/Duets/Trio3.00 minutes
Small Groups4.00 minutes
Large Groups5.00 minutes
Lines6.30 minutes
Production8.00 minutes

7. Teachers must use professional judgment with music selection. Music containing lyrics of an explicit or sexual nature is prohibited and the entry will be disqualified. This also applies to Choreography ODC or its’ judges finds age-inappropriate.

8. It is the responsibility of the studio to obtain music copyrights and pay fees to the appropriate organizations such as ASCAP or BMI.

Awards and Prizes

Each entry will receive a trophy for their performance. Groups will receive one trophy. Duets and Trios will receive either two, or three trophies respectively; one trophy for each participant in the routine. Soloists will receive one trophy. Individual or adjudicated awards will be handed out for every entry in each category.

Top Score Awards will be given in 4 Elite and Intermediate Level age divisions: Petite, Junior, Teen, and Senior. There MUST be a minimum of 5 entries in a competitive division to receive cash prizes.

Top Score Awards will be given in 4 Novice Level age divisions: Petite, Junior, Teen, and Senior. No cash awards are given in the Novice or Adult/Pro-Am divisions.

Judges Choice Awards will be given out at the discretion of the judges in Elite, Intermediate and Novice Levels of competition.

Soloists may enter 3 solos provided that they are not in the same style category. However, they may only “place” with one of their solos. A Soloist cannot win Overall as well as 1st Runner-up.

ODC is proud to offer a title competition at no additional cost to dancers. We believe in rewarding well rounded dancers who display excellence in technique, performance and execution of routines in multiple genres. 

  • To be eligible for title a dancer must perform at least 2 solos in different genres and be registered in a group routine. Dancers who perform 3 or more solos will have their two highest scoring routines (of different genres) used to obtain a cumulative score.
  • Solos registered in the Open category MUST be in a noticeably different genre than the other solo performed. (i.e.: A dancer cannot perform a lyrical solo in both the Lyrical & Open categories.)  There needs to be a visible difference in the style of the two solos entered. Ovation reserves the right to disqualify any solo for title consideration if it is registered in Open and does not demonstrate a difference in style.
  • Both solos must score a Platinum and have a combined score of at least 575 for Elite dancers and 568 for Intermediate dancers to be awarded the Ovation title.
  • Dancers must be registered as an Intermediate or Elite dancer. Novice dancers are not eligible for title awards.