Different Types of Dance Competitions

Dance competitions allow dancers to show off their best dancing in front of an esteemed panel of judges. These judges score each routine using several criteria and provide feedback that helps dancers further their dancing.

Dancers compete at competitive levels based on their experience and age, typically broken into petites (age group commonly 8&under), juniors, teens, and seniors categories.

Dance Styles

Dance competitions span an expansive spectrum of dance styles, age groups and levels. While certain forms such as ballet are more widely practiced and can be found across cities, folk dancing or hip hop may be less available. Dance competitions allow competitors to compete across several categories: solo/duo/trio/small group production.

One of the most popular dance styles includes ballroom, Latin and jazz. Ballroom dancing involves partner work and footwork with elegant postures and movements; this form of dance can be highly structured and disciplined but is an excellent way to build confidence and boost self-esteem.

At an average dance competition, couples will typically compete in both Smooth and Latin/Rhythm (commonly known as Standard or American style). Each couple will perform two 90 second dances per event. Beginner or newcomer levels may be designated Bronze competitions while more experienced couples often achieve Silver or Gold standing.

Every dance performance is evaluated by three professional or experienced dancers, teachers or choreographers who usually score out of 100, adding them together for an overall score. Furthermore, special awards may also be granted by judges for potential and onstage presence.

Jazz dancing allows dancers to showcase their strength and agility, typically to upbeat music. It features elements such as grand battements, various leaps, parallel positions and forced arch.

Dancers may compete in street dance or funk competitions set to music such as house and funk. This form of dancing features more relaxed upper body movement while emphasizing fast footwork techniques.

Contemporary dance is an emerging yet engaging form of artistic expression, blending contemporary techniques with expressive movement to produce dynamic performances. Dancers who choose this form can express themselves creatively while exploring artistic expression through dance.


Dancers compete in many forms, from soloists to large groups. Most competitions provide different competitive levels based on age and experience for dancers at similar stages; these categories make sure dancers will compete against dancers of similar levels rather than an experienced dancer competing against an inexperienced beginner. Some competitions also provide levels based on number of performers; soloists require one performer while duos and trios need two performers each.

Each routine is judged by an adjudicators panel composed of experienced competitors and teachers from various licensing agencies. Dancers are evaluated on both the difficulty and overall showmanship of their routine performance; with total scores determined by adding up each judge’s evaluations.

Judging criteria may differ between competitions, but typically cover aspects such as stage presentation and timing, transitions, movement techniques, props costumes and music. Judges usually use the Skating system of scoring which assigns one point per element in a routine routine and typically award the couple who scores highest with that routine the winning couple title.

Most competitions offer more than a final ranking: they also host an awards ceremony to recognize top performing dancers in each category, often including an awards ceremony that recognizes those with top adjudication scores in each category and may present these finalists with non-adjudication related awards such as money. This money may help cover future dance expenses like competition entry fees or tuition payments.

Some dancers may receive additional awards such as trophies, medals or plaques for their performances. Many will also receive feedback from judges that is beneficial in developing their dancing – this may come in the form of written text or audio recording.

Some dance competitions are hosted by local studios while others can span across multiple states or nations. Large competitions often organized by independent competition production companies are organized across cities around the world with multiple stops on a tour itinerary to generate profits while offering multiple-day competitions which can often prove very costly for dancers to attend.


Competition judges, whether professional dancers or teachers, must possess extensive knowledge in a range of dance styles in order to accurately score and provide feedback at dance competitions. Many competitions provide a list of approved judges that only judge at their events to help ensure dancers compete against similar level competitors and judge accurately. Furthermore, most competitions offer a syllabus detailing allowed attire and dance moves within each category – this ensures disqualification if dancers engage in moves not authorized for that category.

Three judges are typically hired to evaluate and score different routines during performances. At each performance, judges speak into microphones while recording commentary and critiques for dancers; at the conclusion of an event they send these documents back to the studio owner via zip drive – similar to sportscasters providing play-by-play commentary during games.

Special awards may also be won, and are determined by more subjective measures than just your overall score. Special award recipients often aren’t among the highest placed dancers but stand out due to their ability to entertain, capture an audience’s attention and show off their talent!

Although most are familiar with Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards at dance competitions, other types of awards are sometimes given out at these events as well. Some competitions use High Silver or Platinum awards; others go even further and award Diamond or Titanium titles! Competition organizers do this to keep things interesting for their audiences!

Most dance competitions offer multiple levels of awards for dancers in different categories; usually beginning with bronze awards and progressing up through bronze, silver and even sometimes gold awards depending on each competition’s judging system and what they consider to be the best dancer in that particular category.


At most competitions, awards will be distributed. Each dancer will be recognized individually based on how well they performed their solo, duo or trio performance (if applicable) while group or line performers may also receive group awards depending on how they placed in their particular size category – small group, large group, production etc depending on competition rules.

Other than placement awards, special awards may also be given out at competitions. These awards don’t have anything to do with scoring but instead celebrate something the judges really liked about a routine — maybe an interesting piece of choreography or performance, or simply their onstage presence! Usually these memorable accolades make winning such awards even sweeter.

Additionally, many dance competitions provide title awards like online casinos reviewed on yoakimbridge.com do for winners). These titles may include Mr. and Miss Dance for petites (usually aged 8-19), juniors (9-11), teens (12-14) or seniors (15-19). Winners of these titles may receive anything from free convention entry the following year to an invitation to compete at nationals as part of their prize package.

Dance competitions frequently award dancers with judging awards for receiving the highest overall scores in their category, giving an indication of who possesses the most talent within that specific division.

Most competitions will feature a professional judging panel who observe each routine and assign scores accordingly, then compile these scores into an overall list to determine who wins each division. Judges usually write down their scores on an open score sheet in front of all participants so as to be objective and fair with their scoring, making sure no one feels they were being unfairly scored against. Dancers will often receive feedback after performing from judges regarding what to work on for improvement as well as receiving critique from them afterwards.