Competition Info

General Info

All competing dancers and their teachers, must be registered for the entire workshop at the city where competing. Entry fees are NON-REFUNDABLE.

All competition routines must be entered under a studio name. NUVO no longer accepts entries independently of a studio. This includes solos. In most cities, soloists do not need to be in a group routine, however the soloist must enter with a studio name and with the studio's permission. Please see corresponding city page for specific entry limits for your tour city.

2017-2018 Competition Fees

Competition Divisions FEE PER DANCER
(Before 30-Day Deadline)
(after 30-Day Deadline)
SOLO $125 $150 2:45 minute max
DUO/TRIO $65 $75 3 minute max
GROUP (4-9) $50 $60 3 minute max
LINE (10-15) $50 $60 3 minute max
EXT. LINE (16-24) $50 $60 4 minute max
PRODUCTION (25+) $50 $60 5 minute max

(Please note that all fees are in USD. Dance studios may apply their own additional administrative fees.)

There will be a 15 second "grace period" allowed for each routine. After a routine is 15 seconds over the time limit, 1 point will be deducted for each second past the "grace period". Time and classification limitations will be strictly enforced.

NEED ADDITIONAL TIME? You may purchase up to 3 additional minutes of time for any Group, Line, Extended Line or Production for just $5 per dancer, per additional minute.

Age Divisions


  • NUBIE DIVISION average age: 5-7
  • MINI DIVISION average age: 8-10
  • JUNIOR DIVISION average age: 11-12
  • TEEN DIVISION average age: 13-15
  • SENIOR DIVISION average age: 16-18
  • OPEN DIVISION average age: 19+


To reach the average age of an entry, add all the ages together and divide by the number of dancers in the entry. When averaging ages always DROP THE DECIMAL POINT. For example, if a routine averages to an age of 12.7, you would drop the decimal, therefore the routine would compete in the 11-12 yr. old age category.

The average age of each entry must not drop more than one age division below the age of the oldest dancer in the entry, regardless of the actual average age. Example: an entry contains dancers ranging in age from 9-17, the entry may not compete younger than the 13-15 age category (one division younger than the oldest dancer-17).

Any routine with a dancer 20 years of age or older must compete in the Open age division (19+) regardless of the average age of the routine.

Routines are allowed to "age up" (compete in an age category higher than the average age).

Names and ages of all dancers must appear on the entry form or it will not be accepted. All competing dancers must be prepared to present proof of age should a question arise.

Performance Divisions

Primarily jazz technique, utilizing uptempo music.

Primarily ballet or pointe technique, including classical steps and movements.

Primarily hip-hop technique.

Primarily tap technique. Routines demonstrating clogging technique and style may not compete in the tap category.

A fusion of many jazz styles with a strong emphasis on modern technique.

A combination of jazz and ballet techniques to slow music incorporating emotional and storytelling elements.

Any routine interpreting a song from a Broadway or Movie Musical.

Consists of all other categories: ethnic, acro/gymnastics, novelty, clogging, ballroom, etc.

Entries that wish to perform only for critiques only. These routines will not be scored and will not be eligible for Adjudicated or High Score Awards.

Involves creating and executing movement spontaneously, without any premeditated movement. Dancers entered in this category will not know the song being played ahead of time. The DJ will simply select a song at random. Length will be no more than 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Judges reserve the right to change the performance division of a number if they feel it is incorrectly placed.


Over the past few years, we have noticed a trend of studios not bringing many ballet routines to dance conventions. Since we believe that ballet is the foundation for almost every dance style, NUVO is trying to do its part to reverse the trend. We are happy to announce that we are offering a FREE group ballet routine (4+ dancers) to each and every studio that comes to NUVO.
PLEASE NOTE: Dancers in this free routine MUST be wearing either ballet shoes or pointe shoes.

Entry Limits

Please see corresponding CITY PAGE at for specific entry limits for your tour city! In every city, no matter what the entry limits, NUVO's competition is limited to one solo per dancer.

Friday Competition

IMPORTANT: If there are too many entries to compete all the routines on Saturday, anyone registering for a solo or duo/trio must be available to perform on Fridays after 3:30pm. If NUVO decides to schedule any solos or duo/trios before 3:30pm on Friday and a routine decides not to perform, NUVO will provide a full refund. In some cities, there might be Group Competition on Friday after 3:30pm. If this happens, we will do our best to notify the studio at least two weeks prior. There will NEVER be Group Competition on Friday before 3:30pm.

Music Requirements

  • NEW THIS YEAR: Upload your music to NUVO! Forget the hassle of CDs!
  • Simply go to and enter your code to upload your music. Your code will be emailed out to you about 2 weeks prior to the event date. Audio files are accepted in MP3, WAV, M4A or AIF format only, up to 50 MB each. We recommend MP3 format.
  • Although we MUCH prefer music being uploaded prior to the event, we will still accept music at the event as either CDs or on a FlashDrive.
  • Registered Teachers/Studio Owners must turn in one FlashDrive labeled with your studio name and code. Each entry should be labeled with the 3 digit Act # and Routine Name. (Example: 001 Total Eclipse of the Heart, 013 Believe, 121 The Journey Ahead)
  • If submitting a FlashDrive at the event, please note that audio files are accepted in MP3, WAV, M4A or AIF format only, up to 50 MB each. We recommend MP3 format.
  • All FlashDrives must be submitted to the registration desk at Registration. All FlashDrives will be imported and run through a computer system at competition.
  • Whether uploading your music to NUVO or bringing CDs or a FlashDrive to the event… ALWAYS have a back-up in another format (like an ipod) just in case!
  • If playing your music off of your phone, please make sure the song is imported into your iTunes or media player. We will NOT be able to play any songs from an email or off the internet.

Scores & Criteria


Is Your Routine NUVO Friendly?

NUVO realizes that dance and art cross a broad range of styles, taste and appropriateness. However, NUVO is a family event and we are determined to set some sort of standard to make sure inappropriate routines are penalized or disqualified. At a minimum, these routines should not be rewarded with the highest scores of the competition. To handle this, NUVO has set up a new "Family Viewing" point system. It's simple: Each judge's score sheet has a check box on it, labeled "This routine might not be NUVO friendly". For each judge that checks this box, there will be a 5 point deduction from a routine's total score. So, if three judges check this box, a routine's score would drop 15 points. If all four judges check the box, the routine will be disqualified.

Again, this is not a perfect science. NUVO's opinion might be too relaxed for some and too strict for others. We can only do what we think is right. This is a work in progress but we feel that it's a step in the right direction. As always, we welcome your feedback!

Adjudicated Awards

All entries will be adjudicated by 3-4 qualified judges. When there are four judges, the lowest score is automatically dropped. In the event that an entry is choreographed by one of the judges, he/she will only critique the entry and then his/her "score" will be the score that gets dropped. All ties will be broken by adding the fourth judge's score. If a tie remains after the addition of the fourth judge's score, the competition will be judged a tie. In the event that there are only three judges, the lowest score will not be dropped.

DJ'S PICK!, High Gold, Gold, High Silver, Silver, and Bronze awards will be presented based on the following combined scores:

  • DJ'S PICK! 291-300
  • HIGH GOLD 276-290
  • GOLD 261-275
  • HIGH SILVER 246-260
  • SILVER 231-245
  • BRONZE 216-230

All DJ'S PICK!, High Gold, Gold, High Silver and Silver award winners will be eligible for the 2018 Dance Awards!

Placement Awards

In addition to the adjudicated awards, a competitive 1st-10th place award will be given to the highest scoring Solo. A competitive 1st, 2nd or 3rd place award will also be given to the highest scoring Duo/Trio, Group, Line, Extended Line and Production, in each of the 5-7, 8-10, 11-12, 13-15, 16-18, 19+ age categories.

The Highest Scoring Solo & Duo/Trio winners will receive FREE Competition entry, for that number, at the 2018 Dance Awards Finals Competition!

A 1st Place Award will also be given to the highest scoring Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Hip-Hop and Specialty number in the NUbie division, Mini/Junior division and then in the Teen/Senior division.

Special Awards

A select few NUbie, Mini, Junior, Teen, Senior and Open routines will be chosen, by consensus of the judges, to receive the BEST NU GROUP Award. BEST NU GROUP Awards are presented to the routines that the judges feel are, overall, the most technical AND entertaining. Depending on each studio’s overall results, some BEST NU GROUP routines may be asked to re-perform in the Closing Show.

Each BEST NU GROUP Award winner receives a $250 competition voucher (to be used during the 2018-2019 regional season) and free entry to the 2018 Dance Awards!

The best number from each studio will be chosen, by consensus of the judges, to perform in the weekend's Closing Show. It may be the highest score from the studio, it may not be. It is simply what the judges remembered and liked the most.

To be eligible for the STUDIO PICK Award, a studio must have entered at least 15 entries (a minimum of 7 must be group routines) into the competition. Each STUDIO PICK routine must be a Group, Line, Extended Line or Production.

Each STUDIO PICK Award winner receives free entry into the 2018 Dance Awards!

Traveling from city to city in the last few years, we've noticed a trend developing in studios only focusing on a select few dance styles. In order to encourage dancers to be more diverse, one studio in each city will be awarded the Well-Rounded Studio Award and will receive a $250 competition voucher to be used during the 2018-2019 regional season.

Based on their actions throughout the workshop and competition, the studio who displays the most professional, respectful and supportive behavior during the NUVO weekend will be awarded the Professionalism Award. The winning studio will receive a $250 regional competition voucher.

Routines In The Closing Show

A studio can only be represented by ONE routine in the Closing Show. Preference goes to the STUDIO PICK routine, if applicable. When a studio doesn't have a STUDIO PICK (they have less than 15 routines entered in competition), preference goes to their highest-aged BEST NU GROUP (if applicable). For example, if Studio A does not qualify for a STUDIO PICK award but receives Mini and Teen BEST NU GROUP awards, the Teen BEST NU GROUP routine will re-perform in the Closing Show.

Score Sheets & Online Critiques

Why just listen to your critiques when you can listen AND watch? NUVO is happy to offer online critiques from every judge!

Judges’ digital score sheets and online critiques are confidential and will be available online to Studio Owners and Teachers ONLY within one day after the event.

Teacher Only Online Critiques

At NUVO, we realize there are things our judges might want to say JUST to the teacher. Maybe it's about a particular dancer, a costume, or choreography suggestions. Therefore, one judge on our panel will be doing a TEACHERS ONLY critique. This way Teachers will receive feedback for their ears only!

Live Webcast

NUVO is proud to be the first dance convention that provides a free webcast of our competitions! You will find a link to the webcast, on our homepage You can also access the live webcast from the Dance On Demand website - The webcast link will go LIVE about five minutes before the competition start time. We attempt to do the live webcast of the Competition and Closing Show in every city. Please understand that sometimes we are limited by the internet capabilities of the venue in which the event is being held. Occasionally we are unable to get a good enough connection from the venue to do the webcast, or the connection is intermittent. Please be assured we do everything possible to produce a seamless webcast. We apologize in advance if you experience any problems.

Video & Photography

Videotaping and photography during the classes and competition are strictly prohibited. Due to advancing technology of video on cameras and cell phones, we are forced to prohibit ALL camera use during NUVO's Classes, Competition and Closing Show. This includes ALL still photography, with or without flash. This is done to protect the rights of the choreographer, to protect the children's safety and to make it possible for NUVO to offer a full photo and video service. Still photos can be taken in between classes, with the faculty, etc.

In most competition cities, NUVO offers a photo and video station where you can preview and purchase pictures and videos from the competition.


Admission to the NUVO Competition and Closing Show is absolutely FREE. Registered Teachers and Studio Owners will be given reserved seating during the Competition. Visual coaching is strictly prohibited.


NO dangerous props may be used during the competition (swords, fire, etc.). General props are allowed, but must be taken on and off the stage within two minutes total. It is the sole responsibility of each studio to ensure that its props are taken on and off stage. NUVO staff cannot help with props. It is also the studio's responsibility to ensure that the stage is completely clean and clear after the routine is finished. Please do not build props backstage as this can be hazardous to the performers. For safety, dancers cannot stand above 6'6" on a prop. Props that stand above 10' are not guaranteed to fit on the NUVO stage. PLEASE NOTE: Any violation of the above rules will result in the routine being ineligible for any High Score awards and will be announced for Adjudication ONLY.

Competition Rules & Regulations

  • All competing dancers must be registered for the entire workshop at the city in which they are competing.
  • Please send one check, made payable to NUVO DANCE CONVENTION, for all fees. There is no need to send separate checks for Workshop and Competition. You may also register online if paying by credit card. Faxed or phone entries will not be accepted.
  • All competition entries must be postmarked 30 days prior to the convention.
  • The deadline for competition changes is 2 weeks prior to the event. No changes will be accepted after this date.
  • No Canadian checks accepted. Bank money orders must be payable in US Funds only.
  • All competition fees are per person, per entry.
  • An official entry form (photocopies are acceptable) must be filled out for each routine entered.
  • Professional dancers are welcome for the workshop, and can participate in the competition; however, they can only compete in the Open (19+) category if they are over age 19. NUVO considers a "professional" to be anyone that teaches at a dance studio on a regular basis and/or anyone that derives more than 50% of their income from dance.
  • Registered teachers/studio owners cannot perform in the competition unless the routine is entered as "Showcase Only".
  • Competing dancers may compete for one studio only, unless there is a rare circumstance where NUVO’s director has granted prior consent.
  • Dancers and routines may compete in more than one city.
  • Routines that were BEST NU GROUP award winners during the 2016-2017 season cannot compete again during the 2017-2018 season.
  • Entries that performed in The 2017 Dance Awards Show cannot compete during the 2017-2018 regional season.
  • All numbers must appear according to their scheduled sequence unless a NUVO Stage Manager grants permission otherwise. Numbers failing to perform within ten routines of their scheduled time will be disqualified.
  • In the event that an entry is choreographed by one of the judges, he/she will only critique the entry and then his/her "score" will be the score that gets dropped.
  • Judges may stop a number in progress and request that it be repeated. If NUVO's equipment fails, the studio may choose to continue or to re-do the number. If performers' equipment fails, excluding music CDs, the performance must continue or be withdrawn.
  • Competing dancers should be ready 30-45 minutes prior to their scheduled competition time. The Competition may run up to 45 minutes early and each dancer will be expected to perform at the earlier time. Also, please keep this in mind if you are leaving the theatre and plan on returning for Awards.
  • All NUVO attendees authorize the use of their images in photos and video for any and all Break The Floor Productions' purposes.