Failure to comply with these rules could result in disqualification.

General Information:

All entries and payment MUST be received 21 days prior to the competition date. All entries received after the deadline are subject to a 10% late fee. Entries are accepted on a first come, first served basis and will be limited to the performance time available. Entries will not be processed without full payment. Payment can be made by studio check, certified funds or credit card. Early registration is encouraged as registration will be closed prior to the deadline if the entry maximum for each Regional event is met.


It is mandatory that ALL music be uploaded this year for The Countdown Competition. Music can be uploaded from your registration page on the dashboard. All music must be uploaded 10 days prior to the competition. Please make sure you bring a flash drive as a back-up for your music to the venue.

Entry Fees:

Studio Owners call 949-400-4736 for a complete schedule of Entry Fees. Already contacted us? Click Here

Entry Types & Time Limits:

Solo(2:45 time limit)Duet/Trio(2:45 time limit)Small Groups - 4 to 9 dancers(3:00 time limit)Large Groups - 10 to 19 dancers(4:00 time limit)Lines/Productions - 20 or more dancers(8:00 time limit)

Entry Divisions:

The Countdown Competition offers three levels of competition, starter, intermediate and competitive. Teachers should use their own discretion as to the placement of their dancers.

Starter Division: Dancers who take a total of three hours or less of combined dance lessons per week and/or have only been competing for a maximum of two years. If a group routine has 50% or more of dancers that take four hours or more of dance per week, the routine should be entered in the Intermediate or Competitive Division. Please note that it is not mandatory that you enter the Starter Division it is simply available for those who take three hours or less per week. Cash awards will not be awarded in this level.

Intermediate Division: Dancers who take a total of four to six hours of combined dance lessons per week and/or have only been competing for a maximum of four years. If a group routine has 50% or more of dancers that take six hours or more of dance per week, the routine should be entered in the Competitive Division. Please note that it is not mandatory that you enter the Intermediate Division, it is simply available for those who take four to six hours per week. Cash awards will not be awarded in this level.

Competitive Division: Dancers who take 6 hours or more of combined dance lessons per week. However if a Duet/Trio has even one Competitive dancer, it must enter the Competitive division or if a group routine has 50% or more of the dancers that qualify (as taking6 hours or more of dance per week) in the Competitive Division it must enter in the Competitive Division.

Age Divisions:

Contestants will compete in the following age divisions: (4 yrs & under), (5 yrs), (6 yrs), (7 yrs), (8 yrs), (9 yrs), (10 yrs), (11 yrs), (12 yrs), (13 yrs), (14 yrs), (15yrs), (16 yrs), (17 yrs), (18 yrs), (19 yrs), (20 & over).

Overall ages are as follows:

Mini Division (8 yrs. and under)Junior Division (9-11 yrs.)Teen Division (12-14 yrs.)Senior Division (15-19 yrs.)

All ages for Solos, Duet/Trios and Groups are as of January 1st. For Duets/Trios, and Groups add the ages of all the contestants as of the January 1 then divide by the number of contestants. If there is a decimal, drop the decimal. (i.e. an average of 12.6 would compete in the 12 year old division). Names, ages and birth dates of all contestants must appear on the entry form or entries will not be accepted. Duet/Trio and Group entries cannot compete in an age division more than one age division younger than the oldest dancer, regardless of the average age. The same contestant(s) cannot compete more than once in the same dance category and age group in either Solo, Duet/Trio, or Group competition. This means that contestants must never compete against themselves in the same age group and dance category.

Solo contestants can enter (3) solo routines for each Regional or National Competition. The highest scoring solo routine for each individual will be counted towards any overall awards.

Dance Categories:

BALLET: Routine must consist of ballet technique; must also include classical steps and movements. Dancers should be wearing ballet shoes.

JAZZ: Routine must consist of primarily jazz technique. Only three gymnastics/acro tricks allowed.

TAP: Routine must contain tap technique and primarily tap work. It is preferred tap sounds not be on tape. Only three gymnastics/acro tricks allowed.

LYRICAL/MODERN: Routine should demonstrate balance, extension, isolations and control utilizing the lyrics or mood of the music. Only three gymnastics/acro tricks allowed.

HIP HOP: Routine consisting primarily of hip hop Technique. The music must not contain inappropriate lyrics or it will be scored lower by the judges.

MUSICAL THEATRE: Routine featuring any style of dance interpreting a song from a Broadway show or movie musical. Only three gymnastics/acro tricks allowed.

POINTE: Routine must consist of pointe technique. No gymnastic/acrobatic tricks allowed.

CONTEMPORARY: Routine should utilize contemporary style to show extension, balance, can combine lyrical, modern and concert style techniques. Only three gymnastics/acro tricks allowed.

ACROBATIC: Routine using controlled moves such as walkovers, limbers, handstands, chest rolls, etc. Routine contain gymnastic passes. Majority of routine must be acrobatic moves or it will be scored lower by the judges. Routine contain flexibility moves or contortionist moves.

OPEN: Any of our listed categories or combinations of listed category styles.

CHARACTER: A routine with a combination of listed category styles that depicts a recognizable character from a movie, play, sport, theme, or stereotype (cowgirl, fireman, etc.). Character type must be defined on entry form and will also be listed in the program. Can include dance and/or acrobatic movements.

LINE/PRODUCTION: A group of at least 20 dancers utilizing any form of dance or acrobatics. The Production category is the ONLY category that is allowed a time limit of (8) minutes.

The Tap, Jazz, Lyrical/Modern, and Contemporary categories can contain only three gymnastics/acro tricks.

Gymnastics and acrobatic tricks are defined as: backwalkovers, frontwalkovers, backhandsprings, back tucks, etc. Any lift (being defined as supported by another dancer with any body part) is not defined as a trick.

A gymnastic pass completed by 2 or more dancers would constitute one trick. If that same pass or another trick is completed a second time within the routine, this would constitute the second trick. A two (2) point deduction per judge will be made for more than the allowed three tricks. For further information about what constitutes a "gymnastic/acrobatic" trick, please email or call for a more detailed explanation.

The Ballet and Pointe categories can contain no gymnastics/acro tricks in an effort to allow the classical ballet steps to be the emphasis of the routine.

The Open, Character, Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, Acrobatics, and Production categories can contain an unlimited amount of gymnastics/acrobatics tricks.

Title Competition:

All Competitive Division solos are eligible to enter the title competition. All solos competing for title must indicate title on the registration form. Entries for title MUST be pre-registered, no entries will be accepted at the competition. Entries will be judged for title at the same time as their solo routine, however there will be two separate score sheets, one for solo division and one for title.

Photogenic Competition:

Photogenic awards will be presented to the most photogenic in each age division (Mini, Junior, Teen and Senior). To enter, please submit a recent photo, either 5x7 or 8x10, with your name, age, phone number and name of studio on the back. Payment and photo should be handed in at the registration booth on the day their age division competes solos. Winner will be announced during the awards for the age division solos. Do not mail in photos. Only one photo per entry. All photos should be picked up by the end of the competition. The Countdown Competition is not responsible for any unclaimed photos.

Overall Category Cash Awards:

Competitive Division overall cash prizes for each age category are as follows:

COMPETITIVE DIVISIONREGIONAL COMPETITIONNATIONAL COMPETITION (2015)Mini Solo$50$100Junior Solo$75$125Teen Solo$75$125Senior Solo$75$125Mini, Junior, Teen, Senior Duet/Trio$75$125Small Groups$100$200Large Groups$125$250Lines and Production$150$300

Starter/Intermediate Division overall winners will receive a gift certificate to be used towards entry fees for the following dance season. They are as follows:

STARTER/INTERMEDIATE DIVISIONREGIONAL COMPETITIONNATIONAL COMPETITION (2015)Mini Solo$40$50Junior Solo$40$75Teen Solo$40$75Senior Solo$40$75Mini, Junior, Teen, Senior Duet/Trio$40$75Small Groups$50$100Large Groups$75$150Lines and Production$100$200

Additional Guidelines:

A time schedule and general information will be emailed to all registered studios seven days prior to the competition date. A general schedule will be posted on the website as well.

Video Taping AND Photography of any kind are prohibited. A professional videographer will be recording all performances and quality dvd’s of each studio’s routines are available for purchase.

Stage Size: approximately 40' by 40' marley stage.

No refunds will be issued. A credit for a future Countdown event will be issued if necessary. All credits given are at the discretion of The Countdown Competition Directors.

Routines are expected to perform in the order they are scheduled. In all cases, routines must be performed during the awards session in which they are scheduled. If the routine cannot perform during the awards session in which they are scheduled for any reason can be performed for judges’ adjudication only. The routine would not be eligible for any overall awards. It will be announced on stage at the end of the regular awards and the earned trophy or medal given.

No air horns or similar devices are allowed.

Fire, swords and knives on stage are prohibited. Simulated weapons with dull, safe edges are acceptable with approval of The Countdown Competition Directors and Stage Managers. No liquid, gel, aerosol, glitter, or similar substance that would affect the dancing surface is allowed unless specifically approved by The Countdown Directors. Props are allowed, however they must be freestanding. Scenery or backdrops requiring the use of theater fly bars may not be used. Helium balloons are not permitted. Special fog or smoke is not permitted unless specifically approved by The Countdown. Safety is always our major concern. If the stage is "littered" during a routine please be prepared to clean it up immediately after the routine is finished with the broom provided.

If dance movements or costuming are deemed to be too suggestive or otherwise inappropriate for our family audience, or if the music contains vulgar or inappropriate lyrics, the routine will be scored lower by the judges. The competition is meant for a family audience.

Sportsmanlike behavior is expected at all times onstage, backstage, and in the dressing rooms. Failure to display proper decorum for all participants and staff members could result in immediate disqualification.

Contestants will be judged by a panel of competent judges, and all entrants agree that the time, manner, and method of judging the contest shall be solely within the discretion of the directors and producers of The Countdown and that all decisions of the judges are final.

Contestants and studio/team staff by virtue of entering The Countdown Competition event give their permission and consent to the directors of The Countdown Competition to use their images or photographs or appear in videos, television, or any other electronic media for advertising, news coverage or any other commercial use of our events.