Rules & Awards


Petites: Ages 4-6 yearsTeens: Ages 13-15 years
Minis: Ages 7-9 yearsSeniors: Ages 16-18 years
Juniors: Ages 10-12 yearsAdult: Ages 19 years and older

For all routines, including solos, duets/trios, and all group routines, an average age of the performers is to be used. The average age of performers is determined by figuring the average age of the performers (the sum of all ages divided by the number of performers) in a routine as of January 1st of the current competition season without rounding up. The average age determined at regionals will be the average age utilized at nationals unless the routine members are changed. If routine members are changed from regionals to compete at Nationals, a new calculation for average age must be calculated and entered accordingly. Any routines with members, who are over the age of 19 years old, must be entered in the 20+ and older age division and will not be allowed to compete according to the calculation for the   age of performers. All production routines compete at the advanced level of competition


There are levels of competition for the performers. We encourage ethical and fair consideration as you place your artists in the appropriate category. The suggestion of hours spent preparing for competition serves as a recommended guideline and shall be entered at the time of registration.

No advanced level performer is allowed to perform in beginner levels or intermediate levels. A beginner level or intermediate level performer may choose to perform in a higher level of competition.

Performers from the beginner level or intermediate level registered in more than four advanced level routines; excluding a production category entry, will not be eligible to compete in any beginner level or intermediate level routines.  Any such routine is considered in violation of the rules resulting in the routine moved to the advanced level of competition.

Beginner level: This level is recommended for performers who spend less than 2 hours per week and have participated 2 years or less in a structured class.

Intermediate level: This level is recommended for performers with 3 years or more of class and includes performers who spend 3 to 5 hours of in class preparation per week.

Advanced level: This level is recommended for performers with 3 years or more of structured class and includes 6 or more hours of structured class preparation per week.


Solos, Duets/Trios and Small groups (4-9 performers): No more than 3 minutes

Large groups (10-15 performers)/Lines: 3 minutes

Extended Line (16-24 performers): 4 minutes

Production: 4 minutes minimum; 8 minutes maximum; deduct 2 points for every 15 seconds over the time limit. No option available to purchase extended time. 2 min prop time allotted.


Adjudicated Awards
Adjudication breakdown includes the Judges' Scores:
1-40 pointsTechnique
1-25 pointsExecution and Style
1-20 pointsShowmanship and Musicality
1-10 pointsChoreography
1-5 pointsCostume/Appearance

A final adjudicated score will be awarded from the average score from all judges. We do not break ties. Each solo, duet/trio and group act will be awarded an adjudicated award. Each member of a duet/trio and group act will receive a ribbon.

Scoring Scale:

Platinum: 300-273
High Gold: 264-272.9
Gold: 250-263.9
Silver: 100-249.9

Category Awards:
Adjudication and Top 10: petite, mini, junior, teen, senior Solos
Adjudication and Top 5: petite, mini, junior, teen, senior Duets
Adjudication and Top 5: petite, mini, junior, teen, senior Trios

Adjudication and Top 5 of Class Awards:

Small groups-beginner, intermediate, advanced
Large groups--beginner, intermediate, advanced
Extended Line-beginner, intermediate, advanced
Overall High Award:
Ambassador Club Award: Divisions where three or more acts compete within the same age and competition level will receive the Ambassador Club award.
Special Awards - when specified
Cash Awards - when specified
Elite Awards: Title, Nationals Performance Select Team


Jazz Performance contains primarily moves incorporating traditional jazz techniques and movement and may include classical, contemporary, hip hop, funk, pop or lock styles.
Lyrical - Performance contains jazz and ballet technique and is controlled fluid movement with smooth transitions. A story radiates through the movement and is relational to the song lyrics and feeling of the music.
Ballet - A performance that demonstrates technique from ballet and contains classical movement. It may contain contemporary and interpretive style of movement as well. Style of shoe: ballet only.
Pointe - A performance that demonstrates ballet done on Pointe and contains classical technique. Style of shoe: Pointe.
Tap - Performance based upon technique tap technique and floor work. No tap sounds allowed recorded into the music. No clogging.
Clogging - A performance demonstrating clogging technique and style of movement.
Hip hop - A performance that incorporates styles of dance that are considered trendy and may include various styles such as fund, jazz, pop, lock, and break dancing-floor work.
Contemporary - A performance that demonstrates modern style and includes ballet technique.
Modern A performance that demonstrates contemporary modern style of movement. Control and balance is evident throughout and various particular modern style technique is incorporated such as tilts, poses and contractions.
Musical Theater A performance demonstrating portrayal of a character(s). It may include interpretation of a Broadway/Theatrical Production all the while incorporating dance movement and technique.
Dance Team A performance that consists of clean, sharp movement with kicks and jumps showing drill team style. Poms may be utilized; however must be incorporated consistently throughout the routine.
Acro - A performance demonstrating at least 3 tumbling passes and includes acro style movements.
Open - A performance that incorporates any variety of dance styles/techniques listed or not included in this list.
Production - A performance that contains any style of combination of styles and must be at least 4 minutes and no longer than 8 minutes. 2 min prop time is allotted.


These rules have been carefully considered and put in place to ensure all who attend ETA events receive the full complement of experiences intended. Failure to comply with these rules may result in disqualification from the competition.

CELL PHONES: phones must be silenced while in the performing and warm up areas and backstage. This pertains to all performers, coaches/teachers and staff and guests. If it is imperative for your to answer a call, please be courteous and take any calls out in the common areas. Thank you for giving the performers your attention and respect.
VENUE: Thank you for being a respectful guest. In order to enjoy the beautiful facility we ask all who attend, whether performing, assisting, coaching or spectating to adhere to the facility rules and expectations. Please do not hesitate to seek out an official or facility representative if you have any questions or concerns.
DRESSING ROOMS: It is a privilege to experience what the Arts can bring to life! With that, comes responsibility. Please represent the Arts in a respectful manner and treat the venue property and dressing rooms with care as if it were your own. We ask to refrain from bringing food or drinks, except for water into the dressing rooms. There are areas designated for food and drinks. Photos and video of any kind will not be allowed in the dressing rooms.
BACKSTAGE: We respect your time and ask for your cooperation and attention to keep the event on schedule. Please prepare by being completely dressed and ready to check in with your entire group 4 numbers prior to your scheduled number. We plan for all routines to perform and in the order as scheduled unless previously approved by the director of the competition or designee. We request all contestants and their guests treat others as they would want to be treated--the golden rule! Please give others complete respect. We ask you to avoid any distractions and keep all conversations quiet while others are performing. All aisle ways and the stage wings clear and free from clutter or obstacles at all times. Please direct any questions or concerns for costume changes, scheduling conflicts or props to the backstage manager. Remember to offer encouragement and support to not only your group but to other performers as well!


Due to safety guidelines all props must be at or below the height restriction of 10 feet maximum. Props must be set up and removed within the total time limit of 2 minutes. The venue does not allow the use of any paint, gels, water, glitter, aerosols, baby powder, unweighted helium balloons, or water as it may damage the floor surface. It is expected the flooring surface remain in the same condition following each performance. Special lighting during the performance not provided by the stage crew is strictly prohibited. Use of knives, weapons, fire, fog, or live animals is strictly prohibited. Any equipment or props left on the stage following the performance is the responsibility of the members in the performance or crew associated with the routine, to be removed immediately. Anything short of immediate removal may be subject to point deduction or disqualification at the discretion of ETA.


Always have a backup of all music. It is expected that all music will be uploaded at time of registration and prior to the event. If for some reason the music was not uploaded, approval is needed by the event director. If the backup version of music is needed, it should be turned in before the scheduled time of your performance. Specifically, if your performers are registered for more than one number, turn in the music for all of the numbers at one time prior to the start of the first session/category of day one for the event. If your participants are performing a single number, please turn in the music by the beginning of the sessions prior to your session/category. Any back up music that you have turned in will be made available for pick up following each award session or at the close of the event day. Music left will not be mailed out.


All registered participants will receive an email including a special LINK with video critiques and instruction. All critiques and scores will be made available electronically one week following the event. Awards will be announced and handed out during the associated award ceremony. The ceremony will take place on stage. All performers are asked to join the crew and other performers on stage during their designated awards ceremony. To help keep the event moving along, we ask that one designated member of your group step forward as directed to receive the award. It is important that the designated member receiving the award know the routine number, studio name and choreographer. Your representatives or groups may be asked to have their photo taken during the award ceremony.


ETA provides an opportunity for performers who have been registered to plan in advance to participate in the Session Master Class on stage prior to the awards ceremony. Please refer to the program booklet or access the APP for specific details such as class time, styles and cost, etc. Any registered performer is eligible to register for participation in the Master Class. There is a fee for classes.


ETA strictly prohibits the taking of photos and videos during all performances (unless otherwise indicated per event) & in the dressing rooms and changing areas. This rule exists to ensure for the safety of all performers and family members, and choreographers and teachers. Lack of adherence to this rule is considered a violation of copyright may result in disqualification without refund and immediate removal from the venue-no questions asked. We take this rule very seriously. Photos and videos are allowed during the Master Class Sessions and Awards Ceremonies. For your convenience, professional photos and videos will be available for purchase during larger events. Flash photography will not be allowed for dancer safety reasons.


Our music uploading process is easily accomplished at the time of registration and is done by utilizing the online registration process. Plan to upload no less than 7 calendar days prior to the event; of course registration and music uploads may be completed as soon as the registration period is open. We encourage early execution of the registration process to eliminate any online obstacles. Uploading of music will be closed after 6 pm CST on the day music is due.


Please prepare and be ready to perform at least 90 minutes prior to your scheduled performance time. Each entry will be assigned a specific scheduled time through the Dance Genie program. Consideration is given to costume changing issues due to scheduling patterns. ETA is committed to running the schedule on time; however reserves the right to modify scheduling. We expect performers be punctual and to come prepared to adhere to the schedule and wrongful delays by performers may result in point reduction including disqualification.


We will not overbook the event. Please register online at least 30 days prior to the first day of the event. Payment is considered “complete” when all payment information has processed and cleared. If complete payment has not processed by the 30 day prior deadline, the studio/entry will not be considered entered or registered for the event. Full payment must be submitted at the time of registration. Registration is not considered until full payment is received. No category changes will be allowed once registered. The final registration will be posted one the registration process is complete. There will be NO REFUNDS once registration is complete.


It is expected that performers participating in athletics and dance recognize the possibility or risk of physical injury when involved with physical dance and performances. It is expected the performers be willing to assume risks associated. It is agreed that participants will not hold Empowering Talent for the Arts, also known as ETA, LLC. or its directors or employees liable for injuries sustained or illnesses contracted by them while performing or attending any activity at an ETA event.

ETA and/or its vendors will have photos and videos available for sale at the event and online. Your registration is considered hereby consent to the sale of these photos and videos to parents. If you do not wish for group dances to be sold to parents, please notify an ETA official immediately.

In the event of weather related delays/concerns, ETA makes travel plans for staff and others to be present, the venue is paid in full and the event will take place. Should weather get to such poor conditions that dancers are unable to make the event or the event cannot take place. The fees paid for said event will be applied toward a later date or into next season.

Thank you from the staff at ETA! We look forward to seeing and navigating you along your journey!