PRE-COMPETITIVE DIVISION – This division is geared towards dancers who participate in dance more recreationally and have limited or no prior competitive experience but wish for extra performance opportunities. A dancer in this division may compete in no more than 3 routines and train no more than 4 hours per week in regular technique classes.

*Dancers in the Accelerated Division may not compete in this category under any circumstance. A routine must be moved to the Competitive Division if one or more dancers in the routine is an Accelerated dancer, even if the majority are Pre-Competitive dancers.

**If there is a student who may not fit these requirements but the studio owner feels they should be in this category, please email to arrange for an exception. This is to ensure that every student has a positive experience at dance competition and is competing in the category that best suits their situation.

COMPETITIVE DIVISION – This division is for dancers who take less than 9 hours of dance per week in regular technique classes.

ACCELERATED DIVISION – This division is for dancers who take 9 or more hours of dance per week in regular technique classes and/or have extensive competition experience.


  • TINY: 5-6 years
  • MINI: 7-8 years
  • JUNIOR: 9-10 years
  • PRE-INTERMEDIATE: 11-12 years
  • INTERMEDIATE: 13-14 years
  • SENIOR: 15-16 years
  • ADVANCED: 17-18 years
  • ADULT: 19 years and up 

SOLO ENTRIES – Soloists are entered based on their age as of March 31, 2024.

DUET/TRIO ENTRIES – Duet/Trio entries are based on the average age of all members in the routine. This should be based on their ages as of March 31, 2024.

GROUP/LINE/PRODUCTION ENTRIES – Groups, lines and productions are calculated by adding the ages of all dancers together and then dividing the total by the number of dancers in the routine. This should be based on their ages as of March 31, 2024.

*Please note that, at Abstract Movement Festivals, the decimal point is always dropped from the average age calculation.


  • SOLOS (1 Dancer) – 3 minutes
  • DUETS (2 Dancers) – 3 minutes
  • TRIOS (3 Dancers) – 4 minutes
  • SMALL GROUPS (4-9 Dancers) – 4 minutes
  • LARGE GROUPS (10-15 Dancers) – 4 minutes
  • LINES (16+ Dancers) – 4 minutes
  • PRODUCTIONS (10+ Dancers) – 10 minutes


Dangerous props are not permitted (i.e. knives, fire, etc.) The following props are also prohibited: glitter or confetti, fog machines, bubble machines, live animals, fluids or paint. Please ensure that no debris is left on stage after your performance is done. If the stage or flooring is damaged as a result of misuse, the studio will be liable for damages.


Music will be played by Abstract Movement Festivals during the event and must be submitted via DanceBUG no later than 10 days before the start of the event. Having a backup of your music is highly recommended.


Photography and video recording of any kind are strictly prohibited and will result in a $250 fine. A professional videographer and a professional photographer from DanceBUG will be on-site for your convenience. Photos, videos, and livestream access are included in registration fees and available for each dancer.


ADJUDICATORS – Three adjudicators will be part of our panel of judges for this event. We have ensured that, together, the adjudicators have specific and up-to-date teacher training in multiple styles of dance. The average score of all three adjudicators will be calculated for the final score. Please note that all judging decisions are final.

VIDEO JUDGE – All video adjudications will be available on each studio’s DanceBUG account after the event. Every routine will be recorded with comments from each of the three adjudicators.

FREQUENT ADJUDICATIONS – We will have frequent adjudications to ensure that there are short wait times in between categories.


Abstract Movement Festivals prides itself on being a family-friendly event. We want our dancers, parents, teachers, and other spectators to feel comfortable with all of the content observed during the event. Routines and music must be age appropriate and free of inappropriate or suggestive content and profanity, or vulgar language. Inability to adhere to these rules will result in a $250 fine/infraction. 

Please remember that we are here to encourage dancers to continue to grow as performers as well as young adults. Sportsmanlike behaviour is expected at all times.


Acro Dance consists of acrobatic work in addition to dance choreography.

Ballet (Demi Pointe) is choreographed using classical or contemporary ballet techniques. This category will include Classical Ballet and Character Ballet.

Ballet (Pointe) uses classical or contemporary pointe techniques and movement. Dancers must wear pointe shoes. Dancers must be 12 years or older to compete

in the Ballet (Pointe) category.

Contemporary/Modern is choreographed using contemporary/modern technique and movement, reaching beyond the standard jazz vocabulary. 

Ethnic Dance is any dance form that originates from a tradition, culture, nationality, or custom, and expresses the movement aesthetics of that ethnicity.

Hip Hop is composed of multiple dance styles from a variety of freestyle movements. Hip Hop has many sub-styles, including but not limited to popping, locking, breaking, house, vogue, funk, and more.

Jazz is choreographed using jazz techniques and movement.

Lyrical is s a mix of ballet and jazz techniques, incorporating emotional and storytelling elements that maintain the theme of the musical selection.

Musical Theatre/Song & Dance/Novelty are theatrical in nature, interpreting a story and/or character from a Broadway show, musical, movie, etc. Lip synching and/or real singing is permitted, but not required in Musical Theatre and Novelty. Song & Dance requires dancers to sing as part of their performance.

Open is any combination of genres or does not fall under any other genre recognized or represented in another category.

Tap is choreographed using traditional, contemporary, or hoofing techniques, steps, and/or rhythm patterns. No tap sounds are permitted in the music and dancers must wear tap shoes.

Student Choreography is when a student choreographs a dance for themselves. This category is to encourage the next generation of choreographers and is not open to those who have received compensation for their choreography.

Please note: A maximum of 3 acrobatic/gymnastic tricks are permitted in entries competing outside of the Acro Dance and Open categories.


  • Soloists are not permitted to compete a second time within the same category with the exception of Aerial Acrobatics.
  • Soloists may enter as many solos as they wish, however, only their individual highest mark will be considered for highest overall awards.
  • Duet/Trio entries must have a partner change to compete again in the same category.
  • At least 50% of all dancers in each entry must meet the guidelines for the division otherwise the entry must move up to the next one. Please note that no dancer from the Accelerated Division may be in the Pre-Competitive Division, even if the rest of the dancers in the routine are considered Pre-Competitive dancers. The routine must be moved to the Competitive Division.
  • Judges reserve the right to change the competing dancer’s or group’s category and/or division if they feel the routine has been entered improperly.
  • All judging decisions are final.
  • Coaching by anyone in the wings or audience during the course of a performance for dancers over the age of 6 is strictly prohibited.
  • Any person on stage during a performance must be registered as a dancer in said entry.
  • Entries with a teacher/instructor or professional dancer performing must compete their entry in the adult (19+) age category regardless of the ages of other performers.