Important Information Before You Register 


In 2016, Spirit of Dance Awards proudly began a new program, “Trophies for a Cause”.

Studios may choose to trade in their adjudicated trophies to support a charity of their choice. Giving back is something that we all strive to do, and this is your chance to raise funds for a special cause that is important to you and your dancers! All funds that would have spent on trophies will be donated by SDA to the charity specified by your studio.

SDA will award to each studio participating in this program a FRAMED CERTIFICATE to proudly display at your studio! What a wonderful opportunity give back to your community and to have fun while doing so!   Download Form Here

  • This program applies to Adjudication trophies only; Overall trophies will be awarded to dancers.
  • You may choose to donate all of your adjudicated trophies, or a portion of them.
  • Please note that all charities must be established, registered, non-profit organizations. More information can be found on
  • All forms must be completed and received in our office NO LATER than 14 days prior to event.

Please call the office with any questions.

WE THANK YOU!                                                                       

UPDATE: 11/8/2019
Since just 2016 when “Trophies For A Cause” was first initiated, over $35,000 has been raised, with more than 199+ studios participating, and 150+ charities receiving donations!

We are thrilled to have this opportunity to facilitate such donations on behalf of so many wonderful participants. Thank you again!


As the Studio Directors/Teachers you best know your students and their abilities, so therefore level placement is left to your discretion. We ask that you honestly evaluate the level options before placing your dancers. 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.

We are happy to now offer the SPIRIT CLASS for dancers with special considerations and life challenges, whether intellectual or physical. Teacher assistance may be permitted in this category. Please contact the SDA office before the competition if assistance will be needed. Overall Awards will be presented with prizes in the form of scholarship vouchers to be used for future entry fees with Spirit of Dance Awards.

SDA offers a NOVICE classification in which to enter dancers. This level is for the true Novice. Dancers with 2 or fewer 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 for future SDA entry fees.

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 and/or who dance less than 5 hours per week. Overall Awards will be presented with prizes in the form of scholarship vouchers for future SDA entry fees.

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).

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 a 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.



• Please contact the SDA office for entry fee information. Entry fees may also be accessed through your password protected DanceBug account.

• All entries must be completed no less than 30 days prior to the first day of a scheduled event; 45 days prior to receive studio rebate. Entries received after the deadline will be accepted at the director’s discretion and are subject to the after deadline entry fees. No exceptions.

• Independent Entries will be accepted. Independent Entries must also adhere to the SDA policies and guidelines.

• Please note: by checking the policy box during the online registration process, the Studio Owner/Director or otherwise authorized representative agrees to the policies of Spirit of Dance Awards. As the Studio Director/Teacher, you acknowledge and release the owners, directors, and all employees of Spirit of Dance (Awards), Performance Arts, Inc., of any and all claims and/or liability for property damages/loss, or any injuries that may be sustained by any persons associated with your studio while participating in any activity connected with this competition; including but not limited to yourself/family, staff/family, your studio, your employees/family, your dancers and families, as well as those associated with your studio. All participants also release the rights to the use of their photos and/or videos by Spirit of Dance (Awards), Performance Arts, Inc., for promotional purposes.

• SDA reserves the right to cancel an event, add additional days/times, or to change the location due to unforeseen circumstances.

• Entries submitted without proper entry fees will not be considered valid entries until full payment is received. One bank check or money order will be accepted for payment, as well as credit card payments; Mastercard, Visa, EmEx, Discover. Credit card payments may be done online through our secure portal. Once payments have been processed, refunds will not be issued. Credits will be issued at the discretion of the director. Entries will not be scheduled until payment is received in full. No exceptions.

• We will confirm receipt of entries with all studios by email. If you do not receive a confirmation, it is strongly advised that you contact us. All schedule and competition information will be sent via email. Please be sure that your email address is correct in your DanceBug account.

• Dancers are not limited in the numbers of entries; however, soloists cannot compete against themselves in any one performance category. We will gladly try to accommodate all reasonable schedule requests however, if an entry dances “out of category,” it may not be eligible for overall awards. Requests must be made at the time of entry and not after the schedule is released.

• All entries must be suitable for family viewing. Routines with content displaying violence, social prejudice, or are sexually suggestive, may be deemed inappropriate and will result in point reduction or disqualification at the discretion of the director. All music must also contain clean and appropriate lyric content.

• All dancers must be ready to dance at least 45-50 minutes before their scheduled performance time, and must check in backstage at least 15-20 minutes before dancing.

• Music must be uploaded through DanceBug prior to the event (by Thursday 12 noon of  that week). Backup music must also be readily available at the venue (or turned in to the judges table), for all entries performing.

• Additional breaks may be taken if the competition is running more than 30 minutes ahead of schedule, to allow sufficient time for dancers.

• If a dancer leaves the stage before the completion of his/her dance, a second attempt will be allowed at the discretion of the director.

• Stage props are allowed with the following limitations; props must be set up and recovered within two minutes. Props should be handled as such that they do not interfere with the other dancers on stage or in the wings. Props must be carried/placed as not to cause damage to the Marley flooring. Prior approval is necessary if additional time is needed. Dangerous props, including, but not limited to, fire, water, knives, glass, swords, and pyrotechnics, are prohibited. If debris is left behind, representatives from the studio must retrieve the debris in a timely manner. For any prop violations, point reductions may be applied as determined by the director.

• Photos and video recording are not permitted. This rule will be strictly enforced to protect the integrity of the choreographers and the safety of the dancers. Studios may be penalized for failing to adhere, at the director’s discretion. Please make this policy clear to your dancers' families.

• Dressing areas will be assigned by the SDA staff at all events, (unless space does not permit). Studios are not permitted to reserve dressing space. Please be respectful of others space as well as their belongings. All studios are expected to keep their respective areas clean and litter-free. Thank you.

• Food and drinks are not permitted in any auditoriums. Smoking is strictly prohibited on school or private property at any time. These policies are set by the venues and are expected to be adhered to. Violations may result in point deductions as determined by the director. Please advise your families.

• Courteous conduct and good sportsmanship is expected from every participant, from the teachers and choreographers to the youngest competitors. We thank you.

• Please feel free to contact the SDA office with any questions or concerns.



The age division for a dancer(s) is determined by the first day of the corresponding year; age(s) as of January 1st.

The age and category will remain the same for the championships in July. Age divisions for groups, duos and trios are determined by averaging the ages of the total group. Averages ending in a decimal will round down to the nearest age division. If necessary, performers may be required to show proof of birth date. The director reserves the right to change an age category, regardless of average age. If determined that a group has been improperly placed, it may result in a point reduction penalty, at the discretion of the director. Professional dancers/instructors are not eligible to compete in student categories.

Student teachers and/or those who are or have been paid less than 1/3 of their income as a student-teacher or performer may compete with student dancers in a duo, trio, or group. The average age of the entry, however, must then be bumped up to the next age category.

For further information regarding Pro-Am status, please refer to the Performance Categories page. For questions regarding age placement, please call. All decisions by the director are final.


  • Mini: 6 & under                                                     
  • Primary: 7-9
  • Junior: 10-12
  • Teen: 13-15
  • Senior: 16-18
  • Young Adult: 19-22
  • Adult: 23+
  • Pro-Am

Solo, Duo & Trio - maximum performance time of 3 minutes
Small, Large, and Ultra Group entries - maximum performance time of 3½ minutes
Production entries - minimum time of 4 minutes, maximum time of 8 minutes
Extended time entries - maximum of 10 minutes (with a minimum of 4 dancers).

Penalties may be assessed if time limits are exceeded.

Music should be uploaded and is preferred, online through your DanceBug registration.

If for any reason this is not possible, flashdrives or CD’s will be accepted, however these are not preferred.

• CD’s: must furnish one quality CD per song/per entry. Quality back-up CD’s must be readily available in the event of a malfunction. CD’s must be delivered in individual protective cases/sleeves at the time of registration by the studio representative and should be clearly marked with the studio name or code. Each CD is to be labeled with entry number, studio letter code, and entry title. CD’s with multiple tracks will not be accepted. No other music should precede or follow the entry song.

• Flashdrives must be clearly marked with the entry title, studio code, and entry number. Please mark clearly with the studio name or code. Backup music must also be available if needed.

• All music must be recorded universally, compatible with playback for all sound equipment. Music must also be edited to properly to accommodate each routine; correct pitch/speed, fade in/out, etc. SDA sound technicians will not be responsible for providing any special effects.

• All music must be suitable for family audiences containing clean and appropriate lyric content.

• Please do not submit your only copy of music. SDA assumes no responsibility for lost or damaged music. SDA sound technicians are not responsible for mislabeled music or for the sound quality of poorly/incorrectly recorded music.

• Please be sure to have backup music readily available at the venue. for all entries performing.



SMALL GROUP: 4-9 dancers
LARGE GROUP: 10-19 dancers
ULTRA GROUP: 20+ dancers
PRODUCTION: 10+ dancers

Acrobatic/rhythmic gymnastics movements, incorporating dance technique and choreography for fluidity.

Choreography consisting of classical ballet technique, classical steps, and movement wearing soft ballet slippers/shoes.

A rhythmic, percussive style of dance done in clogging shoes, keeping time with the music. Pre-recorded sounds are prohibited.

Fusion of ballet and/or jazz techniques with modern elements, demonstrating emotion, balance, and control.

Routines consisting of hip-hop, street dance, and freestyle movements. 

Traditional/Ethnic dance reflective of the cultural folkloric style of a region or people.

Routines utilizing traditional jazz technique. May not contain more than 3 acrobatic tricks.

Demonstrating ballet or jazz technique with musical interpretation and storytelling elements through fluid movement. No more than 3 acro/lifts allowed.

Consisting of modern technique and abstract style of movement.

Musical, Broadway, or Theatrical style performance interpreted through music, song, spoken word, characterization, and dance.

Dancers execute classical ballet technique or contemporary ballet technique wearing pointe shoes with at least 50% danced en pointe.

Routines executing tap technique & syncopation using tap shoes. Pre-recorded taps sounds are prohibited.

Vocal presentation simultaneously performed with a dance of any style. Background vocals may be used in pre-recorded music, but lead vocals are not permitted.

Any dance style that does not fit into the above categories, consisting of a dance style or a combination of styles.

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 a 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.

To be eligible for “Regional Title,” dancers must enter into the Title category of their age division. This is considered a separate category and is for solo dancers only. Dancers competing in the Title category are not eligible for Overall Awards in the Solo division of their respective age division. Dancers may not enter more than one routine into the Title category, however may compete additional solo routines in the Solo category, for which they may be considered for Overall Awards. Both the Title category and the Solo category are eligible for the Overall Awards for the event in their respective age group division; Junior/12 & under (mini, primary, junior), and Senior/13+ (teen, senior, young adult).

Please note: The Title Category is a Competitive Level, and only those dancers competing at the Competitive Level are eligible to participate. The Adult age division is not eligible for the Title category.

One Regional Title winner will be awarded, along with “1st Runner Up” and “2nd Runner Up” placements. A trophy, cash award, and a Regional Title Jacket will be awarded to the Title winner.

All dancers participating in a Regional Title category are also eligible to compete using the same routine again at Nationals, for the Title Dancer of The Year. Please note that to be eligible to compete in the Title Dancer of The Year Category at Nationals, dancers must have competed previously in the Regional Title Category.

Participating dancers will be asked to submit a headshot, prior to Nationals. All those who previously competed in a Regional Title category are eligible to compete at Nationals using the same routine.

A brief, informal intro video recording will be made (during Nationals) to play before they dance on stage.

All participants will receive a tote bag, a t-shirt, and are invited to the Dance Team Luncheon (at no additional cost). Participants are also invited to perform with the Title Dance Team during the Grand Showcase. Dancers must be available for choreography on the first day of Nationals and for all scheduled rehearsals to participate in the Title Dance during the Grand Showcase.

There will be a mandatory audition class on the first day of Nationals for which entrants will be scored. Each of their scores will then be added to their adjudicated Title Entry score to receive a final total.

There will be a special Title Awards Night at Nationals. Dancers may dress in semi-formal attire for this awards ceremony. Title Winners will be asked to assist during the awards ceremonies during the remainder of the Nationals Competition wearing their Title Jackets.

Please note: Dancers competing in the Title category are not eligible for Overall Awards in their respective solo age division for that entry. (However, they may compete using another solo dance in the Solo category for which they are eligible.) Title solos do however qualify for Overall solo/duo/trio of the event in their respective age division; Junior 12 & under and Senior 13+.







All entries will be judged by three qualified professionals from the dance industry and a fourth specialty judge. Awards given by the specialty judge will not have any bearing on final placements.

At Spirit of Dance Awards, the adjudicators’ comments are collected by Video Judge and will be available for viewing (with critiques) online through your DanceBug account.



Scoring is based on a possible score of 300 points as a perfect score. Awards will be presented based on the following combined scores:

Ultimate Award:  284-300
High Gold:  266-283.99
Gold:  248-265.99
High Silver:  230-247.99
Silver:  212-229.99
Bronze:  195-211.99

All entries will be judged on the following criteria:

Technique: 40%
Performance/Entertainment: 30%
Choreography: 20%
Overall Appearance: 10%

Written score sheets, as well as video recorded critiques, will be used by the judges. Critiques are for feedback only and will not be considered when calculating the scores. All score sheets and written critiques will be given to studio directors/teachers at the judges' table, for each performing group, following the award ceremonies.

The decisions of the judges are final and cannot be contested. Judges are not permitted to discuss scores with directors, teachers, or dancers.

Overall Awards will be presented in each age division/entry division in all levels; Spirit Class, Novice, Intermediate, and Competitive. Additionally, Overall High Score Awards for the event are also given for Junior ages 12 & Under (mini, primary, and junior), and for Senior ages 13+ (teen, senior, and young adult) at the Competitive level.

Any cash Awards for the Competitive Division, and Scholarship Awards for the Spirit Class, Novice, and Intermediate levels will be awarded in each category, provided there are 10 or more entries in the category. All cash awards as well as scholarship awards will be mailed out directly to the studio after the event.

At each regional event, the panel of judges will award the entries that (they felt) best entertained, inspired, and impressed them the most throughout the weekend. These do not necessarily have to be the highest-scoring entries, but rather routines that they enjoyed watching, and would love to see again.

There will be several chosen in each age division; ages 12 and under & ages 13+. These entries are then invited to enter the Judges Choice Battle in the Grand Showcase during SDA Nationals, for a chance to win the $1000 Grand Prize!

Young Choreographers between the ages of 13-21 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. Please note the Young Choreographer in the space provided, when entering your routines in the DanceBug system.

Choreographers will be awarded at each Regional event in the 12& under Junior Age Division, as well as in the 13+ Senior Age Division.

Scholarships will be awarded by the Host throughout the event. Among the Scholarships are, The Holloywood Summer Tour, Be Discovered, and The SDA Class Experience (Spirit of Dance Awards Convention).

Solo Dancers aged 15+, scoring a top Ultimate Award, may be selected as SDA Ultimate Class Assistants. Class Assistants will have the opportunity to assist the faculty at SDA Conventions in the fall and at Nationals Master Classes.




Privacy Policy: We respect and are committed to protecting your privacy. We will never sell or share any of the personally identifiable information collected while visiting our site. Any information you provide will only be used to fulfill your specific request. Only authorized employees have access to this information.

Security Policy: Your payment and personal information are safe. Our Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software is the industry standard and among the best software available for secure commerce transactions. All personal information, including credit card number, name, and address, is encrypted and cannot be read over the internet. Such information will only be accessed by authorized employees, agents, and contractors who have agreed to keep information secure and confidential. Please note: we do not retain any credit card information after transaction.

Merchandise Return Policy: Merchandise and trophies purchased at competitions cannot be returned unless defective. Merchandise/trophies purchased on-line may be returned, providing the garment has not been worn or damaged and must be accompanied by the original receipt within 14 days.

Shipping/Delivery Policy: All merchandise ordered will ship within approximately 5 days, providing the item is in stock. We will determine the most efficient shipping carrier for your order; US Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx. Sorry, but we cannot ship to PO Boxes. Shipping costs are determined by the current rates as set by the USPS (or other carriers).

Spirit of Dance Awards
, Performance Arts, Inc. and their employees are not liable for personal injury or property loss to any participant or spectator.

Questions? Please don't hesitate to contact us at director@spiritof or 781-924-1314.