Whether you prefer to dance solo or with a team, whether you prefer the classic style of ballroom or modern jazz, there's sure to be something for you in this list of dance competitions.
An Annual List of Dance Competitions
The following are just a few of the dance competitions available each year:
- StarQuest hosts 40 regional competitions to determine who will win a place in the "World Finals." Performance categories include ballet, jazz, tap, pointe, hip hop, folkloric, production, character, clogging, and cheerleading. The competition features four age groups and opportunities for adult dancers and parents to participate.
- I Love Dance offers 25 competitions around the U.S., hosting its events in hotels. Solo performers, duos, and groups can perform tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical/modern, song and dance, or acrobatic routines. They also feature a student choreography category.
- Star Power Talent Competition provides almost 40 regional opportunities to qualify for the world championships. Performance categories include ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theater, pom pom, drill team, and baton. The Future Stars division is intended for dancers new to competitive dance, offering them a low stress way to enter the field.
- Showstopper includes 40 competitions in its yearly circuit, all leading to the national finals. Competitors can enter routines in tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, pointe, all male, and clogging. Showstopper also hosts dance conventions
- Nexstar is one of the newer names on the block, celebrating its seventh year in 2008. Performers can enter with routines in the usual array of dance forms. Competitive divisions are based on dancers' experience, from the "Just for Kicks" classification for dancers taking no more than three hours of class a week, to the NexStar division for students taking more than five hours of dance instruction a week. Following the competition, studios receive video and audio critiques from the judges.
- DanceSport is the official organization for competitive social dancing in the U.S. The competition calendar will keep you informed of all USA Dance events.
- If you're thinking globally, the International DanceSport Federation competition roster lets you know about events around the world.
Before You Enter
Keep the following points in mind before you enter any event in the above list of dance competitions:
- What do you want to gain from the experience? A teacher may enter young dancers in a low-key competition to give them a taste of the dancing life. However, an aspiring professional may only want to enter events that will enhance his or her resume.
- Pay attention to registration deadlines. You don't want to miss out on your chance to perform.
- Make sure you are enrolling in the correct category. Some competitions divide dancers by age, experience level, or both. Does a twenty-person dance team need to register for a different category than a group of five people?
- Pay attention to all rules and regulations. There may be requirements for song length, costuming, or choreography. Don't be disqualified because you simply weren't aware.
- Where will you perform? Dancing on a parquet floor in a hotel ballroom requires different consideration than a fully-lit stage, from the amount of make-up you wear to how freely you can move.
- What dance division is the best fit for your performance? In many cases, this is a straightforward choice. You're not going to enter your tap performance in the ballet category. But in some cases, the musical theater division may be the best division for your Broadway-inspired tap dance, or hip hop may be more fitting than jazz.
- There are so many competitions that you may want to budget your funds, and your time and energy, by focusing on just a few events. This will ensure you're giving every performance your best effort and hopefully lead to more successful competition.