2021 Rules & Regulations

Rules and Regulations 

Please review and all changes and additions are in RED for the 2021 season

  • Some of our rules and regulations may be modified to follow any regulations due to COVID-19 such as studio scheduling and special awards presentations. Rules may vary due to venue restrictions.
  • REFUNDS – If for any reason an event must be cancelled, studios will receive FULL refunds without hesitation as we did for the 2020 season.


  • Each dance studio is required to register a minimum of four (4) routines to participate. Independent entries may not register for a Tribute Event and all registration must be through the dance studio.

At Tribute, we do not have a set formula in our online registration to determine the level of your routines.  We understand that the director and teachers will know the performance level of their dancers and will use their own sound judgment when entering routines. We have listed suggestions for each level.  However, we also understand that every dancer has their own strengths and abilities as well as number of YEARS they have taken dance classes.  In determining a level, there is more than just in-classroom hours that define the level of each dancer from your studio.  Routines that are under placed can be elevated by the judges at any time if all 3 judges are in agreement.  A routine that contains dancers of different levels should be entered in the level that applies to 50% of the dancers.


  • Beginner LevelThis level will be for the Petite (Ages 8 & Under) and Junior (Ages 9-11) age divisions ONLY.  For soloists ages 12 and over and Duet/Trio’s or Groups that have an average age of Teen (12-14) or Senior (Ages 15 and Over) you may not register in this level. As a suggestion this level is for dancers who have very little competition experience and take a total of less than three hours of in-classroom training per week.  If a dancer performs in the Beginner Level, they may not perform in the Advanced Supreme (Advanced) Level unless in a Production routine. Remember this is for beginners so in groups the majority must consist of Beginner dancers. The judges may bump up routines to the Honor (Intermediate) Level if all three judges are unanimous. There will be no certificates or cash prizes awarded in this level.  Individual category and overall top 10 awards will be presented for recognition and achievements.
  • Honor (Intermediate) Level – This level is for all ages and the intermediate level dancers who only have a few years of performance/competition experience. Dancers who have approximately 3-5 hours of in-classroom training per week should be considered for this level.
  • Supreme (Advanced) Level– This level is for all ages and defined as of the highest quality and degree. This level is for the advanced dancers that have a higher level of performance/competition experience. Dancers who have more than 5 hours of in-classroom training per week should be considered for this level.

A soloist may only perform in one level


Petite Division: 8 years and under
Junior Division: Ages 9-11
Teen Division: Ages 12-14
Senior Division: Ages 15-19
Pro Am Division: Ages 20 and Over

Any performer 20 years or older dancing in any solo, duet/trio or group that act is NOT eligible for the High Point and is considered to be in the Pro Am Division. Pro Am Division includes Teachers, Professionals & Parents. The average age will determine the age group for all groups. Example: Average 11.0 to 11.9 = 11 years. ALL AGE DIVISIONS ARE DETERMINED AS OF JANUARY 1, 2021. Single ages will apply for each division in all categories ages 4 & Under, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19.  Performers must be responsible for proof of age at the competition (if required).

BUMP RULE: Duet/Trios or Groups including dancers of different age divisions will compete no more than one age division younger than the oldest dancer, regardless of average age. For example: if a group includes a dancer Age 16 (Senior) and the average age is 11 (Junior), the group will compete one level above Junior to Age 12 (Teen). This rule does not apply to the Production Category or Family Category.


Deadline for all entries will be 28 days prior to your event.  Each dance studio is required to register a minimum of four routines to participate. Independent entries may not register for a Tribute Event and all registration must be through the dance studio.

Entries will be limited to the amount of time available for each event.  Registration may be done at our on-line registration page from our website.  No faxed or paper entries will be accepted.   We accept certified check, Visa, MasterCard or Discover.  There will be a 3% fee for all credit card transactions.  All returned checks will be charged a $35.00 returned check fee. Tribute has the right to refuse any entry at any time.

  • All 2021 entry fees are posted on the studio online registration accounts.
    If you are attending Tribute for the first time once you create your studio account all information on entry fees will be listed.
(Parents and dancers over 35 will not be charged)

Any Small Group, Large Group and Line that has an average age of 4 & Under will have a reduced entry fee to $20.00 per dancer.  We want to encourage the importance of dance at a young age by giving more of our younger dancer’s opportunities to grow and learn.  As we all know; starting dance at a young age is very important and the amount of self-esteem and self-confidence that young children experience from being on stage and dancing is fundamental.  We also know that dance is about learning and remembering, and the more a young dancer is involved the quicker they will advance and master an art that is so gratifying.


Special Angels Category – We all know of children who might have Down Syndrome, Autism, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy and other Developmental Disabilities or might even be confined to a wheelchair.  So, we invite each studio in attendance to enter one additional group number that consists of special needs children to perform at any Tribute Event. There will be no entry fee for this number, and I would ask that those who would like to register a performance in this category to please contact us so we can help you with the entry process.  This category is NOT for a solo registration.

Production Category (Line Only) – At Tribute we know that many times a production performance includes many dancers from the studio.  Production has always been a way for studios to have their dancers of all ages together as team maybe even using a number that is the recital grand finale.  Therefore, we are making this category time limit longer.   Time limit will be up to 10 minutes and must contain a minimum of 20 performers and may incorporate any style of dance. There is no extended time in this category and the bump rule for age divisions will not apply to this category.

Family Category – fun routine for dancers, moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles or just family friends to perform together as a family unit. This number is for Small Group, Large Group & Line and will perform for scores and comments only and will not be in the overall awards.  The performance can contain any form of dance. There is no extended time in this category.  The Family Category entry fee is $25 per dancer and in addition any performer over age 35 will not be charged. 

“Just for Fun” Category – This category is for recreational or non-competitive dancers who have NEVER attended a dance competition or performed on stage in front of judges.  Each dance studio that attends a Tribute Event that has registered a minimum of 10 group routines can register ONE additional group routine (Small, Large or Line) in this category FREE OF CHARGE.  This will allow for dancers to experience a dance competition to see the excitement of performing in this environment.  This will also give parents who have not attended a dance competition the opportunity to see firsthand what dance competitions are about without having to pay an entry fee for their children.  There will be no overalls for this category and will be for scores and comments only.  VERY IMPORTANT: THE DANCERS YOU REGISTER FOR THIS ONE ROUTINE CAN NOT PERFORM IN ANY OTHER ROUTINES FROM YOUR STUDIO AT THE EVENT.

Acro/Gymnastics – Routine using controlled moves such as walkovers, limbers, handstands, chest rolls, etc. Must contain dance moves, steps and choreography.

Jazz – routine containing jazz technique, steps and choreography.

Tap – routine consisting of primarily tap work.

Hip-Hop – routine contains hip-hop technique and street dance styles

Ballet – routine containing classical ballet movements and steps.

Pointe – routine must be performed in Pointe shoes. Includes classical ballet choreography and movement performed on Pointe.

Lyrical – routine consisting of ballet and jazz techniques. Movement should be used to interpret meaning and express emotion.

Contemporary – routine contains modern dance techniques that depict strength and flexibility with an emphasis on performance.

Modern – routine contains modern dance elements and choreography.

Musical Theater – routine that incorporates “Broadway” dance style or music from plays, musicals and films.

Character – routine that depicts a recognizable character. May incorporate any style of dance.

Pom-Pon – routine that includes the use of pom-pons. sharp, precise movements.

Drill Team – routine consisting of cheerleading or dance team technique with sharp, precise movements. May incorporate the use of hand props.

Song & Dance – must contain singing and any style of dance listed. Prerecorded vocals not permitted. A handheld wireless microphone will be available. Please understand that our judges have a dance background and do not specialize in vocal performance.

Clogging – routine that utilizes clogging technique (either traditional or contemporary).

Pro Am – for any solo, duet/trio or group that has a performer 20 years or older are not eligible for Top Ten.

Open – routine that incorporates movement from any of the listed categories or for other forms of dance not listed.  Tumbling and Acro/Gymnastics would fall into this category.

Extended Categories – are for Small Groups, Large Groups and Lines Only for the above categories (not including Production and Family)


On our website you will find all of the information you need for the event you are attending.  Approximately 10 days prior to the event a studio time report is uploaded to each online account for that city.  WITH BLOCK SCHEDULING FOR THE 2021 SEASON,  THE BASIC OVERALL TIMES WILL NOT BE POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE.

The master program book will be posted in a PDF format for everyone to print for FREE no later than 2 days before the event.  Remember program books are not printed or sold at the event.


Tribute will have judges with extensive dance studio experience and knowledge in all phases of dance.  Our judging staff will be selected to represent our organization in a very positive and professional manner.  We want all dancers and teachers to appreciate the excitement and caring attitude of our judges.  You enter a competition to learn and achieve goals that you have set forth and receiving energy and excellent comments back from the judges will be important in achieving those goals. All routines will have 3 separate comments.

Each performance will receive up to 100 points per judge based on the following criteria. Technique (15-40 points), Execution of Performance (15-30 points), Showmanship (5-20 points), Choreography/Musicality (1-5 points), Overall Appearance (1-5 points). Musicality is the attention and sensitivity to the musical elements of dance while performing. Each act will be judged from an adjudicated point system with multiple 1st and 2nd place awards presented within each age group for each category. There are multiple 1st and 2nd place awards within the same age division of the category that will be broken down and announced in placement order lowest to highest in that age.

The scoring scale breakdown for both levels:
Supreme 1st Place – 285 – 300 points
Elite 1st Place – 278 – 284 points
1st Place – 270 – 277 points
2nd Place – 255 – 269 points

Since the scoring system is the same for all levels, even if a routine is in the Honor (intermediate) Level it can still receive a total score from our judges to receive a Supreme 1st.  The confusion comes into play because our highest score (Supreme 1st) is also the name of one of our levels.  The judge’s panel will break any and all ties for the overall Top Ten Finalists. Should a tie occur, the computer will add the 3 technique scores together; if still not broken the 3 scores from execution will be added, and if still not broken, the judges will make the final decision.

APPROPRIATENESS STANDARD: In our everyday lives there are things that our children see or hear that can make a lasting impression.  At competitions, censoring the moral judgment of others is a challenge due to the variety of opinions and beliefs.  Some may see something to be unethical and inappropriate, while others might see it as non-offensive or harmless.  We look to the parents as being responsible for what they allow their children to do and the morals they instill in them.  However, if a routine that is performed at Tribute is deemed offensive or inappropriate by our judges, we will decide at that time what actions to take.


All music must be saved on a USB flash drive and given to the emcee at the event for all your routines.  When using the USB flash drive we ask that you save your music on a playlist and each song should be properly labeled and titled for the sound technician in book number order based on the program book which is uploaded to our website 2 days before the event. If there are any questions regarding music submission please contact our office.

For backup, we ask that you bring a phone, ipod or tablet just in case we have any technical difficulties playing your master music.  We will not offer speed control so please record your music accordingly.   All music and/or players are the director’s responsibility. Any flash drives left behind will be taken back to our office.


Props must be set within 2 minutes. There are no prop height restrictions; however, for safety a dancer may not stand above 6 feet on a scenic piece. No dangerous props or weapons are allowed on stage. Example: fire, metal swords, metal knives or any metal items having sharp points or edges. Littering: No form of liquid, gel, glitter or any other substance may be used that would affect the dancing surface.  Tribute has the right to not allow any routine to perform if it is brought to our attention that props or materials being used in an upcoming performance will not be acceptable. Please be prepared to completely clear the stage in the event of any loose items (feathers, streamers, etc). Absolutely no items may be thrown or shot off the front of the stage only dropped. Any violation of the above rules will result in the act not being eligible for the top ten and the awards will be announced for adjudication scores only.  If you have any questions regarding props please contact our office.  NOTE: DANCERS MUST PERFORM ON THE STAGE AND ARE NOT ALLOWED TO JUMP OFF THE STAGE OR DANCE IN THE AUDIENCE.

“We all know that many choreographers choose to include creative props or materials in their routines and I have seen some wonderful concepts over the years.  Many times I receive calls and emails regarding the use of props and design questions if certain things are acceptable or can be used.  My personal feelings regarding props are simple The Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  So I ask that you please take into consideration the other studios and their dancers when using props.  If you were watching a number on stage and your dancers were next to perform and the stage was heavily littered or altered how would you feel?  Dancers and teachers become upset and very timid to perform on a stage that has just been altered from its original condition.  In most situations the studio refuses to perform until the stage is safe and clean for their dancers.  Our staff can clean a stage to the best of our ability however that will not take away the mental fear for the dancers.  So please consider others when using props or materials that might cause dancers to hold back and not dance “full out”.  The fear of slipping or stepping on a nail or sharp object which might cause them to be injured while performing can be very intimidating.  Thank you for taking this into consideration”.


Each Solo performer will receive a special award for their placements. For all Duet/Trios, Small Groups, Large Groups and Lines each member of the performing team will receive an appropriate lapel placement pin.  All routines are automatically eligible for “High Point” with the exception of the Family and Pro-AM categories.

STUDIO GIFT CERTIFICATES WILL BE AWARDED EQUALLY IN THE HONOR (INTERMEDIATE) AND SUPREME (ADVANCED) LEVELS ONLY. Each Petite, Junior, Teen and Senior Solo High Point winner will receive a $100.00 studio gift certificate.  Each Petite, Junior, Teen and Senior Duet/Trio High Point winner will receive a $100.00 studio gift certificate. Each Small and Large Group High Point winner will receive a $125.00 studio gift certificate and each Petite, Junior, Teen and Senior Line High Point winner will receive a $150.00 studio gift certificate.  The Top Ten Finalists for each Petite, Junior, Teen and Senior Solo will also receive a placement award.  For all group placement awards dancers will receive pins for their placement in groups.  In the top ten for solos, the highest scoring solo will appear in the top scores meaning a soloist can only be in the top ten once.  All studio certificates are valid for the following season.

THE TRIBUTE TO DANCE AWARD is presented to the studio with the highest scoring group number of the event from Small, Large and Lines and all ages combined.  One (1) for the Honor (intermediate) Level Group and One (1) for the Supreme (Advanced) Level Group.  Each Studio will receive a $500 gift certificates.

STAND OUT DANCER AWARD (Title) is presented in the Honor (intermediate) and Supreme (Advanced) Level and the judges will select one female and one male winner from the Petite, Junior, Teen and Senior age divisions. The selections will be made by the judge’s discussions and is not based on technique or a score but on dancers that “Stand Out” and show outstanding entertainment and personality skills.  There is no additional fee to register for this award.  At Tribute we do not offer costume or photogenic as an optional entry for solos.

THE TRIBUTE TO MY PARENTS AWARD this heartfelt award will be decided by an essay submission from a dancer attending a Tribute Event.  The essay must be sent to our office via email 10 days before the event.  This essay must describe why you feel your parents should receive this award for things they have done for you during your years in dance.  Remember you are writing this as a Tribute to your parents and this should be written by the dancer only and not shared with the parents.  The parents who are selected by my family to receive this award will be invited on stage and portions of the essay will be read by the dancer to them for the first time.  The winner will be announced during one of the award segments and will not be notified prior to the event.  As a gift for their love, support and contributions to their children, Tribute will be returning all entry fees that were paid by the parents for the dancer who wrote the winning essay. A commemorative award will also be presented as a reminder of this special moment.  One award will be presented at each regional event.

CHOREOGRAPHY AWARDS will be selected by the judges and each studio studio who has a minimum of 4 groups registered will receive up to 2 awards at each event.  For the 2021 Season we want to give as much recognition as possible for the outstanding work of the teachers and choreographers.


From day one at Tribute, we have not charged a MEDIA FEE and prefer to NOT make revenue from the sale of videos and photos that are being purchased by studio owners, teachers and parents. We want to allow the studio owners to decide what is best for their families to provide important keepsakes for memories that are cherished. Each studio in attendance will be given FREE OF CHARGE photographer and video passes to use during the competition.  All ID passes must be worn by the studio representatives at all times. Tribute reserves the right to inspect cameras brought into the theater at any time. Tribute has the right to revoke any photography or video pass at any time for any reason.  Passes will be given to the studio owner at the event.


Absolutely NO COACHING is allowed.

Smoking is not allowed in the performers’ area.

Absolutely NO ALCOHOLIC beverages are allowed and visible at a Tribute Competition.

Unless the venue gives permission, no food or drinks are to be brought into the auditorium, dressing or backstage area.

Tribute will make every effort to assign or designate dressing space based on the number of performers per studio.  When assignments are made more than one studio may be assigned to a single room.

As a courtesy to those viewing in the audience, we ask that you make every effort to enter and exit in between numbers and not while performances are on stage.  We know there are circumstances where you have no other option. Good Sportsmanship is always expected from performers, students, parents and those in the audience.  The use of profanity around children is strictly prohibited.  Tribute has the right to ask those who do not adhere to these standards to leave the event at any time.

Dancers competing in a dance competition take certain inherent risks including but not limited to sprains, bruises, pulled and sore muscles. Participants agree not to hold Tribute National Talent Competition LLC, its officers or staff responsible for injuries, illnesses, theft or damages sustained while participating in any activity related to a Tribute National Talent Competition LLC event. Tribute is not responsible for lost or stolen property.