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General Event Rules 


No performer may enter this competition as an independent entry, all routines must be registered with a studio. 

Time Limits

Solo (1 Performer): 3 minutes limit including prop set up 

Duo/Trio (2-3 Performers): 3 minutes limit including prop set up

Small group (4-10 Performers): 4 minutes limit 

Large group (11-19 performers): 5 minutes limit 

Line (20+ Performers): 5 minutes limit 

Studio Production (20+ Performers): 20 minutes limit including set up/strike


Sportsmanlike behavior is expected from all performers, teachers, and parents at all times. Failure to comply may result in a disqualification of performers, routines, or a studio from the event. This may also include attempts to recruit dancers to join your studios. 


Please remain seated at all times during each performance and only exit the theatre between performance numbers. Remain respectful of the performers and adjudicators as they work hard to both entertain and evaluate. 


Re-Dances for technical complications: music skipping, volume/speaker malfunctions are permitted in all divisions and will be judges as if they are being seen for the first time. Re-Dances for performance issues: costume, prop, shoe malfunction, injury, run around obstructions or forgetting choreography may be permitted but for adjudication only. They will not be eligible for category scoring, high score, or cash prizes. 


Level Suggested Guidelines 
Paradym Dance Challenge recognizes that all humans are unique and every dancer thus comes with a very unique training background. Level suggestions around hours of training and experience are a guiding structure only, teachers should make the best judgement as it pertains to the level placement.


Pre-Competitive Levels

Pre-Competitive – Tier Two 
Recreational (no experience)

The truly recreational dancer at the beginner level with very limited experience. These dancers have limited performance experience on stage and train in recreational-based programs, no more than 2 hours a week. At this level the focus is on gaining performance opportunities; This division does not advance to the Paradym Dance Challenge tournament finals.

Pre-Competitive - Tier One 
Advanced Recreational

The advanced recreational dancer has some performance experience. Looking for performance opportunities, these dancers are starting to get more involved in dance training but do not yet want to enter the standard competitive division or compete in the Paradym Dance Challenge tournament finals. This dancer may train 2-3 hours a week as a guideline. 

Competitive Levels 

Competitive – Tier Three
Novice Competitive

This dancer has some experience from recreational programs and has decided to take their dancing to the next level by adding foundational technique classes also. They are still at the beginning of their competitive dance journey and may be a novice soloist. This dancer may train 3-5 hours a week as a guideline and is eager to start taking on more opportunities that are competitive in nature. This division advances to the Paradym Dance Challenge tournament finals in the Competitive Tier Three – all ages division. 

Competitive – Tier Two 
Intermediate Competitive (late starters or less training hours)

This level is for the competitive dancer with slightly less experience because this dancer may have started late, coming from another movement activity such as gymnastics, cheer or soccer. Or, this dancer may train 5-7 hours a week as a guideline. This dancer has some competitive experience in various activities and is improving in their technical dance understanding by adding additional training to their schedule. This dancer sometimes may dance up in groups while working on more complex concepts like musicality, use of breath and artistry. This division advances to the Paradym Dance Challenge tournament finals in the Competitive Tier Two - 5-12yrs and 13-19yrs divisions. 

Competitive - Tier One 
Advanced Competitive (company studio dancers)

The largest division and highest level of competition, these dancers often train more than 8 hours a week and take several technical foundation classes weekly. They may attend summer programs or opportunities such as masterclasses and conventions. These competitive dancers may participate in various additional training opportunities and are considered “company” dancers at their studio. These dancers may or may not want a career in dance after school but they are dedicated to their dance training and are working towards refining their technique. As the main competitive division this level has the tournament-style finals for every age division. This level advances to the Global Dance Services Provincial Finals.

Note for Placement of Younger Dancers:

***Please note that dancers that are being trained to eventually enter full company programs in the 5-6/7-8 ages are best suited for Tier One even though they may be doing less hours because of their younger age.

Age Calculation

Group: Each dancer must perform in at least 50% of the routine, the average of all the dancers age as of December 31st of the competition year is the registered age of group. 


The placement and removal of props is the responsibility of each individual studio. They must be freestanding, and sturdy. The use of substances that alter the stage condition (feathers, water, glass props) are not permitted in any categories. 

Examples of prohibited items include:







-Any form or liquid, glitter, gel or power that can coat the stage. This is to ensure the safety of all dancers.


Competing dancers may enter as many categories as they wish. Duo/Trio dancers must have at least one change of partners to compete twice in the same category. A dance routine may move UP an age division in order to avoid competing against itself within a category…but never lower.


*Safety Policy*

If a routine displays a high risk of injury may be disqualified (at the discretion of the Paradym Dance Challenge Management) and/or prevented from performing again in the finals. 


AcroDance: Routine showcases strength, flexibility and balancing skills. Routine contains 50% dance and 50% acrobatic content that may be derived from gymnastics, tumbling, contortion or limbering etc.

Contortion: Routine focuses on the display of flexibility and balance through act of contortion and body bending. 


Ballet: Routine includes classical, precise and highly formalized sets of steps, gestures, and movements with ballet technique. 


Character Ballet: Ballet routine in which the performer portrays a recognizable character throughout the entirety of the performance.


Contemporary Ballet: Division utilizing overall contemporary/modern/ballet training. 


Variation Ballet: A solo from a ballet production performed alone. The choreography does not differ significantly from what was set by the original choreographer of the ballet.


Pointe Ballet: 30% or more of the dancers must be on pointe with a majority of the routine performed on pointe. The same style of show must be on both feet. The division is to be calculated utilizing overarching ballet training, not pointe training. 


Jazz: Routine to include jazz techniques such as leaps, splits, floor rolls, kicks, etc.


Lyrical: Routine to include emotional interpretations using combination of ballet and jazz technique. Balance, control and extension are main focuses of the dance whilst portraying a story and connection to the lyrics. 


Musical Theatre & Stage: Musical Theatre routine to include lip-synching and dramatization. Stage routines do not include lip-synching but have theatrical Broadway elements. Both styles include theatrics and facial expressions. 


Modern: Interpretive dance using balance and control. Demonstrated free, creative, and expressive movement styles that closely relate to actual human life. 


Tap: Routine to include tap technique. Must be wearing tap shoes. NO RECORDED TAP SOUNDS are permitted in the music.

Contemporary: A contemporary exploration of fundamental ballet, jazz, modern and lyrical training. 

Street Division
Hip Hop: Routine consisting primarily of hip-hop and street dance technique.
Break Dance: Routine consisting of break dance and tricking elements within a street styled routine. 

National Traditional: A routine of national origin: Highland, Irish, Polynesian, Chinese, and traditional routines such as: Cha Cha, Salsa, Tango, and Latin/Ballroom origins. There is no ranking and only medal standings. 

Open: This category is for those routines that do not fit into any of the above categories. There may be a variety of interdisciplinary routines within this category with no restrictions. This category may be merged with another category for overall scoring and ranking purposes. 

Micro 5-8yrs
Mini 9-10yrs
Junior 11-12yrs
Intermediate 13-14yrs
Teen 15-16yrs
Seniors 17-19
Young Adult 20-24yrs
Adult 25-39yrs
Legends 40yrs+



Bronze 50-77
Silver 78-80
High Silver 81-83
Gold 84-87
High Gold 88-90
Platinum 91-93 

Pinnacle 94+

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