Event Rules

Ballet Dancers

Illuminate Dance Championships is committed to providing a first class competitive dance experience. The following Event Rules outline how we will deliver this experience. Some things will be familiar, some things will be brand new. It will all be illuminating. Please reach out to info@danceilluminated.com with any questions



  • Entries are accepted on a first come basis and are limited by the overall performance time available. 

  • All entries must be associated with and registered by a Studio and must use the registration link found at danceilluminated.com

  • Registrations will fill up and Studios are encouraged, but not required, to reserve their spots at least 90 days in advance.

  • Studios may reserve any number of entries through the registration portal by providing an estimate for total number of entries (split into 1. Solos / Duos / Trios and 2. Group Routines) and paying an associated deposit.

  • Reservations are not considered Registrations until specific details for each Routine have been provided, including Division, Category, and Routine titles, and all entry fees have been paid 

  • Studio Directors are responsible for determining the skill level of each Dancer. This skill level will determine the Division for each Routine. Additional details can be found in the “Divisions” section below.

  • Registrations, regardless of whether they were previously reserved, must be made and paid at least 30 days prior to the Event.

  • Discounts may apply to Reservations made more than 90 days in advance and Registrations made more than 30 days in advance. Details can be found in the registration portal.

  • Pending available performance time, late Registrations, those made within 30 days of an Event, may be accepted at the discretion of the Illuminate Dance Championships (“IDC”) Events Team. 

  • Deposits and fees are refundable per the “Refunds” section below.

Youth Dance Group


Entry Type
  • Entry Type and associated Time Limits are as follows:

    • Solo (1 Dancer), 3 minutes

    • Duet / Trio (2 - 3 Dancers), 3 minutes

    • Small Group (4 - 9 Dancers), 3 minutes

    • Large Group (10 - 19 Dancers), 4 minutes

    • Production (20+ Dancers), 8 minutes

  • Dancers are limited to 3 total Solo Routines per Event and the overall number of Solos available may be limited at a given Event. More information for specific Events can be found at the registration portal on danceilluminated.com

  • Large Group and Production numbers may exceed these Time Limits with prior approval and the purchase of additional time allotment.

  • Failure to comply with Time Limits may result in a 15 point deduction.

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Age Group
  • Age Group are as follows:

    • Mini (Under 7)

    • Petite (7 - 9)

    • Junior (10 - 12)

    • Teen (13 - 15)

    • Senior (16 - 19)

    • Adult (20+)

  • A Dancer’s age is determined by their age as of January, 1st on the year in which an Event begins.

    • e.g. A Dancer born on June 13, 2009 would be considered age 12 for an Event beginning in 2022.

  • A Routine’s Age Group shall be determined by the average age of all registered Dancers, whether present day of or not, rounded down to the nearest whole age.

  • Misrepresentation of age may result in deductions and/or reclassification

  • Routines with Dancers of different Age Group must compete in the Age Group no younger than one Age Group below the oldest Dancer, regardless of average.

  • Routines with any Adult Dancers (20+) must compete in the Adult Age Group regardless of average.

  • Studio Directors are encouraged to have an electronic copy of all Dancers’ birth certificates should a protest arise. 

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Performance Level

Performance Levels are intended to provide Dancer’s the opportunity to grow through a challenging and fair field of competitors and not a chance for Dancers or Studios to unfairly win or have an undue “moment in the spotlight”. Victory means much more when it is earned.

  • Studios are to register their Routines into a Performance Level based on the following guidelines:

    • Novice - Beginner Dancers or Dancers who receive limited Studio instruction (~3.5 hours or less) and have had little or no competitive experience. Novice dancers are not permitted to perform in more than 5 Routines in any one Event.

    • Advanced - Intermediate Dancers or those who spend several hours receiving Studio instruction each week (~4 - 5.5 hours) and may have several years of stage experience, especially competitive experience.

    • Elite - Highly Experienced Dancers or those Dancers that spend several hours and several nights in their Studio each week (~6+ hours), often taking supplemental technique courses, and competing in several Routines.

  • Routines should enter the performance level that applies to 50% or more of the Dancers in that Routine.

  • Performance Level elections are at the discretion of the Studios, but intentional and egregious misrepresentation of a Routine’s skill level may result in reclassification and / or scoring deductions with unanimous agreement of the judges.

  • Dancers may compete in multiple Performance Levels in an Event given each Routine, including Solos, meets the guidelines above.

    • e.g. A Dancer can perform with more advanced Dancers in an Advanced Small Group Routine and then perform a Novice Solo based on her / his personal skill level and experience.

    • However, a Dancer must compete in the same Performance Level for all Solos in a given Event.

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  • Routines must enter under one of the following categories: 

    • Acro - Only available to performances entered in the Advanced Performance Level or higher

    • Ballet

    • Contemporary / Modern

    • Hip Hop

    • Jazz

    • Lyrical

    • Musical Theater / Character 

    • Open

    • Pointe - Only available at Teen Age Group and older and only to performances entered in the Advanced Performance Level or higher

    • Tap

  • Soloists may only enter any Performance Category once per Event.

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  • Routines will be adjudicated by a panel of 3-4 qualified judges according to their Age and Performance Divisions. 

    • If four judges are present, only the 3 highest scores for a Routine will be counted.

  • Judges will evaluate Routines on a 100 point scale, divided into the following considerations:

    • Technique (30 Points)

    • Performance (30 Points)

    • Stage Presence (20 Points) 

    • Choreography (10 Points)

    • Overall Impression (10 Points)

  • Judges may make deductions based on any rules violations as previously stated.

  • The three highest total scores (less any deductions) are then added together to give an Overall Routine Score.

  • Video Critiques from each judge, for each Routine will be provided to Studio Directors within 7 days of the conclusion of the Event.



Diamond: 280 - 300

Platinum: 260 - 279

High Gold: 240 - 259

Gold: 200 - 239

Advanced/ Elite


Diamond: 285 - 300

Platinum: 270 - 284

High Gold: 255 - 269

Gold: 200 - 254

Awards, Titles, & Championships
  • Awards Ceremonies will be held at several points throughout the Event where logical breaks in the schedule allow. 

  • Dancers are highly encouraged to attend their Awards ceremonies to be recognized for their accomplishments, but should a situation arise, a representative may accept Awards on behalf of a Routine. The exception to this rule is the Titles awarded at the completion of the Event, Dancers must be present to receive individual recognition. 

  • No food or beverage is permitted on stage during Awards Ceremonies and Dancers are discouraged from having phones on stage.

  • Prizes with monetary value won by all Routines are the property of the Studio that registered the Routine and are distributed at the Studio Director’s discretion.

Routine Awards & Championships


  • Each Routine will receive a token of recognition (pins, ribbons, medals, etc.) for each Dancer for the adjudicated award.

  • Overall Awards will be conferred for each Division (the combination of Entry Type, Age Group, and Performance Level) based on the Overall Routine Score.

  • The First Place Overall winner for each Division will be conferred the title of “Champion” for that given Event, e.g. “2021 Cincinnati Regional Elite Junior Small Group Champion”.

  • Additionally, if a Category within a Division has at least three entries, a Category Championship will be awarded.

  • Routines must perform prior to the associated Awards Ceremony in order to be eligible for Routine Overalls & Championship. However, the delayed Routine’s score will count for the Studio Championship and they will still receive their token of recognition and their score announced at the following Awards Ceremony.

    • i.e. a Routine delayed a day for special circumstances will be adjudicated at the next Awards Ceremony, however will not be eligible to win the Division Overall.

  • Solos, Duos, and Trios with identical Dancers may only place in Division overalls with their highest scoring Routine.

Studio Chamionships


  • Each Regional & State Championship Event will determine a single Studio that has earned the title of Overall Champion. 

  • Regional and State Champions will be announced at the final Awards Ceremony of that Event based on the following criteria:

    • To be eligible, a Studio must enter at least 16 Group or Production entries. Improv and Dance Royal performances do not count as Routines for any Studio Championship purpose.

    • Scores for all Routines will be aggregated and divided by the total number of Routines to create an Overall Studio Average Score.

    • The Overall Champion will be the Studio with the highest Overall Studio Average Score.

    • Ties will be settled between Studios with the same highest Overall Studio Average Score by:

      • Most total Routines, then

      • Most Group and Production entries

    • Studios are not required to attend a Regional Championship in order to compete in a State Championship.

    • Studios are permitted to attend Regional and / or State Championships in Regions and States in which they are not located, e.g. a Studio located in Northern Kentucky may attend a Regional Dance Championship in Grand Rapids, MI and/or the Ohio State Championship in Columbus, OH.

  • The Champion will be conferred the title of that respective Event’s Champion for the year in which the Event takes place, e.g. “2022 Cleveland Regional Illuminate Dance Champions”

    • Overall Champions will be recognized in future Programs and IDC marketing materials.

    • Studios are not required to be geographically located in a given State to be that State’s Champion, e.g. a Studio from Cleveland, OH may attend the Indiana State Championship held in Indianapolis, IN and win the title of “2022 Indiana State Illuminate Dance Champions”.


In addition to Awards and Championships based on Overall Routine Scores and Overall Studio Score additional Titles will be awarded to Dancers, Routines, and Studios.

These Titles, any associated gift certificates, and additional prizes will be conferred at the final Awards Ceremony of the Event. Score sheets will not be provided for any Titles awarded.

The List below includes examples of and any additional information or criteria for Titles that may be awarded. This list is not exhaustive and each of these Titles may not be awarded at each Illuminate Dance Championship Event:

  • Judges Choice - Presented to one or several Routines most favored by the Judges throughout the entire Event (may be awarded at each Awards Ceremony).

  • Directors Choice - The Event Director’s personal favorite Routine (may be awarded at each Awards Ceremony).

  • Audience Choice - Spectators and Participants will be able to vote for their favorite Routines throughout the weekend via the Event App.

  • **Glimmer & Glow (Photogenic Traditional)- Studios may submit a photograph electronically or a hard copy of at least 5”x7” of an individual Dancer in either a dance pose or headshot with the Dancer’s face clearly visible. Please submit the Dancer’s name and Studio Name with each entry. Hard Copies will be returned at the conclusion of the Event.

  • **Light the Spark (Photogenic Artistic)- Studios may submit a photograph electronically or a hard copy of at least 5”x7” of an individual or group of Dancers from their Studio, shot in an artistic manner (framing, lighting, and posing are all considered). Please submit the Group / Individuals name and Studio Name with each entry. Hard Copies will be returned at the conclusion of the Event.

  • Glitz & Glam - Most Illuminating Costumes

  • Sparkler - Most Illuminating Soloist

  • Firecrackers - Most Illuminating Group

  • Fireworks Show - Most Illuminating Studio

  • Most Illuminating [Category] Titles - e.g. “Most Illuminating Tap Performance”

  • **Ms. / Mr. Illuminate - This Title is conferred to a single Dancer whose entire body of work for the Event, including Solos and contributions to group Routines across all Categories and Divisions, is deemed the most illuminating and best overall. In order to be eligible a Dancer must compete in at least three events, including a Solo, Duo, or Trio of at least Advanced Level and two Group Routines.The winning dancer will be awarded a sash and the Title jacket.

  • **Ms. / Mr. Junior Illuminate - This Title is conferred to a single Dancer, in Age Division Junior or younger, whose entire body of work for the Event, including Solos and contributions to group Routines across all Categories and Divisions, is deemed the most illuminating and best overall. In order to be eligible a Dancer must compete in at least three events, including a Solo, Duo, or Trio of at least Advanced Level and two Group Routines. The winning dancer will be awarded a sash and the Title jacket.

**denotes an additional fee applies for consideration

Female Dancer


General Information
  • Time and schedule permitting, Illuminate Dance Championships Events may choose to include the opportunity for Improv performances and / or Dances Royale. 

  • Improv performances and spots in a Dance Royale will be offered at check-in for an additional fee and any unfilled spots may be purchased at any time prior to the start of the performance.

  • Studios do not need to register for their Dancers for these specific performances. Dancers and Dance Families are permitted to register on their own, but it is expected this is with the consent of their Studio.

  • Each Dancer may register for a single Improv performance and a single spot in a Dance Royale.

  • Critiques will not be provided for Improv or Dance Royale performances. Score sheets, however, will be provided for Improv performances, but not participation in Dances Royale.

Dance Royale


  • Dances Royale are mass dancing performances with several Dancers on stage simultaneously.

  • Dancers begin dancing when the music starts and continue dancing until they have been eliminated or the competition has completed.

  • A single judge will walk amongst the Dancers notifying them when they have been eliminated based on that judge’s overall perception of the dancing.

  • When a Dancer is eliminated, they are to immediately leave the stage to the nearest side, using caution so as not impact other Dancers. 

  • All Dancers are to be mindful of other Dancers around them to ensure they do not come into contact with others.

  • When a sole Dancer remains, they are the Dance Royale Champion and entitled to any associated prizes.

Improv Performances


  • Improv performances will be solo performances to be held during designated times at the start and end of each day, prior to awards, and at the start and end of scheduled breaks. 

  • Improv performances are 30 seconds in length, set to a random song in the genre of the Dancers choice from the following selections:

    • Jazz / Tap

    • Lyrical

    • Hip Hop / Modern

  • Improv performances will be scored on an overall 30 point scale for the following three categories:

    • Musicality (10 Points)

    • Creativity (10 Points) 

    • Overall (10 Points)

  • Costume choices will not be evaluated.

  • Improv performances are scored by 1 - 4 judges. Only the single highest score will be retained.

  • All Improv performances will be adjudicated together, regardless of age or skill level though judges will consider these factors when scoring.

  • Improv performances will not count for Overall Studio Championship scoring, though Improv Overalls will be recognized during an Awards Ceremony.





  • Illuminate Dance Championships will offer 100% refunds to each Studio should an Event ever not take place and a suitable alternative arrangement cannot be found.

  • Illuminate Dance Championships does not offer refunds for voluntary registration cancellations made by the Studios. However, if such cancellations are requested at least 60 days prior to an Event, Illuminate Dance LTD at their sole discretion may offer an alternative solution, including: moving entries to another Event, moving entries to a subsequent year, providing credit for use at a future Illuminate Dance Championship Event.



  • Illuminate Dance Championships is committed to a philosophy of Continuous Improvement. Studio Directors, Instructors, Dance Families, and Dancers are encouraged to provide any comments, suggestions, or criticisms at any time. The IDC Events Team will actively seek feedback following each event to understand what went well, what didn’t, and what opportunities and ideas participants might have. 

  • As a part of that commitment to Continuous Improvement, Studio Directors are encouraged to review the entirety of these rules in detail and provide any suggestions to this document and the policies of Illuminate Dance Championships.