2024 Empire National Dance Competition


Please read completely and carefully. Failure to comply with the rules below could result in disqualification.


For studios and dancers – no additional fees!

Each dancer registered will receive UNLIMITED download access to ALL of their videos.


    *The following guidelines are suggestions to be used in determining the appropriate level placement for each routine. Because no competition can possibly know how many hours a child dances or for how many years they have danced, it is up to the discretion of the Studio Director to determine the division placement of their dancers. Routines that are obviously under-placed may be elevated by the Judges or Empire Management. All decisions are final.
  •  All solos performed by the same dancer must be registered in the same division. Example: a dancer taking 3 hours of Lyrical and 2 hours of Acro per week, the dancer should be placed in the Competitive level, regardless of the number of hours in each genre.
  • Petites (7-8) may only be registered in the Recreational or Competitive division, not Elite. Minis (6 and under) may only be registered as Recreational or Competition divison.
  • In a mixed Recreational/Competition/Competition Elite group routine, the division for the performance should be the level that applies to at least 50% of the dancers. For Duo/Trios with dancers from a variety of levels, at least 2/3rd of the dancers should be from the level. If you have a mixed-level routine with 50% Competitive dancers, but you feel the overall level of the routine is elite, please challenge your dancers by placing them in the Elite division.

This division is designed for dancers with physical, cognitive or intellectual disabilities to share their love of dance. Dancers in this division may dance to be adjudicated or for performance only. Directors may elect to opt in or out of feedback from the judges. Note: this division does not include high scores or overall top scores, but dancers are eligible for Judges’ Choice Awards, adjudications, and additional awards.


If registered in the Extraordinary Stars level, all solos must compete in the Extraordinary Stars level. A Duet/Trio or Group performance must have at least one performer who categorizes as an Extraordinary Star in order to compete in this division.

For dancers with little or no competition experience who take 3 hours or less of class per week. Recreational dancers should have minimal competition experience (less than 2 years). There will be no redeemable gift certificates in this division and Empire All Stars will not be selected from the Recreational Division. There will be a presentation of top scores. Groups may be placed in the recreational division only if that group is made-up of at least 50% recreational dancers.

For dancers who take 3-6 hours of class per week and/or have participated in competitions for 3-5 years.

For dancers who take 7+ hours of class per week and/or have 6+ years of competition experience.

Any act in which a teacher 20 years of age and above performs. All Pro/Am performances are ineligible for Top Score of the Day Awards or Cash prizes. Student teachers ages 19 and under are permitted to compete in other competitive levels. The Pro/Am division will be scored on the Competition Elite Level Scoring system.


Time Limit
Max # Dancers
Solo 3:00 1 dancer
Duet/Trio 3:00 2-3 dancers
Small Group 3:00 4-8 dancers
Large Group 3:30 9-15 dancers
Super Line* 5:00 16+ dancers
Production* 8:00 16+ dancers


Please register for a Studio Center Account for information on Entry Fees – or Studio Director macontact Empire Management at empirendc@gmail.com


  • There is a fee to exceed the maximum allowed time limit. No entries longer than 10 minutes will be accepted.
  • No changes (Division, Age or Group) will be allowed after Monday the week of the competition.

*Super Lines – performances can portray a theme or style of dance, but should not portray a storyline, plot or narrative.

**Production – performances must portray a storyline, plot or narrative throughout, resembling that of a film, book, play, musical, etc. Props are mandatory and must be hand-held or free standing.


Determined by using average age of the dancer(s) as of January 1, 2023. Do NOT round up. Dancers maintain their Regional Age at the Nationals. The registration system will automatically recalculate the average age of a routine for Nationals if any of the dancers in the routine changes.


6 & under 7-8 9-11 12-14 15-19 20 & older


All solos, duet/trios and groups will be judged on a point system. In the case of a tie, the judges will select the high score winner. Each studio will receive a digital video recording of the judges’ critique of their studio’s entries. Judges scores may also be accessed online. All scoring is completed electronically. In the event of technical malfunctioning, judge scores and feedback may be provided in a different format.


  • 35% Technical Ability
  • 25% Synchronization/Execution
  • 20% Choreography/Routine
  • 20% Presentation/Performance
Competition Elite Division
Competition Division
Recreational Division
Titanium** 294-300 292-300 N/A
Platinum Elite 282-293.9 278-291.9 275-300
Platinum 268-281.9 258-277.9 250-274.9
High Gold 253-267.9 238-257.9 255-249.9
Gold 238-252.9 218-237.9 200-224.9
Silver 225-237.9 200-217.9 175-199.9

**Only Competitive and Competitive Elite routines are eligible for Titanium. This award is for near perfect routines.


General Awards

Each entry will be adjudicated and receive an award indicating their entry’s achievement based on the scoring system for each level of competition.


Overall Top Awards

*Overall Awards will be presented to the TOP scoring entries in each level of competition.   Empire will determine if the Top 12, Top 10, Top 8, Top 5, Top 3 or the Top Overall 1st place entry will be recognized during the Overall Awards.  This will be based on the number of entries at the regional competition.  Soloists are allowed to enter as many solos as they wish, however only the top 2 scoring solos from an individual dancer may place in the overall award category.


Achievement & Choreography Awards

Our judges will select certain outstanding performances for achievement awards


Student Choreography Award

Reserved for routines that are choreographed by one of your dancers. This category is to encourage the next generation of choreographers. These routines can be entered in any performance category, division level or age division. This must be selected upon your registration.


Groundbreaker Award

Each of our three judges will be given a “Groundbreaker” trophy during each group session and can stop the competition at any point after the routine, turn on their siren and award our Groundbreaker Award for any group routine that stood out to them for entertainment value!


Category Placements – by Age, Division and Category

Category Placement awards will be given to performances with the highest overall total points in each category and age group (when there are at least 3 or more entries).

The 8 Category Placement Awards for categories are as follows:

  • Jazz
  • Tap/Clogging
  • Hip-Hop / Pom Pon
  • Lyrical
  • Contemporary
  • Character/ Musical Theatre/ Vocal
  • Ballet/ Pointe
  • Open/ Modern/ Acro

Each Category Placement group will be awarded a plaque, and each Category Placement solo/duo/trio will be given an award.


Empire All Stars

Dancers competing in the Competition and Competition Elite Divisions will be eligible to be selected for the Empire All Stars.  There will be 2 All Star performances for the 2023 Nationals event.  These divisions will be based on age.  These dancers will be invited to perform in the All Star Opening Numbers at our 2023 Nationals Event that will include dancers from Empire & our sister company, Inspire NDC.




Includes classical or contemporary ballet technique. Ballet slippers only.


Includes classical or contemporary pointe technique and steps. Pointe shoes only.


Routine should demonstrate balance, extension, isolations and control using contemporary lyrical moves set to the mood or lyrics or the music.


Routine incorporates lyrical or jazz movement fused with modern elements.


Includes modern technique movements.


Routine consists of traditional jazz movements and technique.


Routine must contain tap technique.


Routine utilizes either traditional or contemporary clogging technique and style.

Musical Theatre

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


A routine portraying an easily recognizable character throughout. It can be from a play, movie, television, Broadway, or a stereotype such as a chef, military soldier, fire fighter, etc.


Routine may be any type of vocal presentation. Accompaniment must be on tape. No lead vocals permitted on tape, backup voices only will be permitted.

*In the above performance categories, only three gymnastic tricks are permissible. A gymnastic trick is generally considered when the feet make one full rotation over the performer’s head. Performances may be moved to the correct category if this applies. Minimum lip syncing and talking are permitted if a character is not portrayed.

Hip Hop

Includes street or jazz funk technique. No suggestive moves or inappropriate music allowed.


Routine consisting of any of our listed categories or combinations of listed category styles.


Routine combining gymnastics and dance choreography. Must contain at least 50% dance choreograph

Pom Pon

Routine is performed with pom pons for at least 75% of the routine.


While Empire is predominantly a dance competition, we do offer the vocal category for those performers who are cross trained in this skill.  This category has its own overall awards.  Vocal performers are not eligible for the Title competition with a vocal solo.


“Title” (Regional & National)

Soloists have the opportunity to complete in a “Title Competition”.  It is available to all levels of dancers: Recreational, Competition & Competition Elite.   Soloists may enter one or more routines for the “Title” division and this will need to be indicated when registering.  Studio Owners can register their dancers through their DanceCompGenie Account.  Regional Title winners will receive a Trophy, Tiara (Miss) and Scholarships (for specific age groups).  Males will compete separately from female contestants.  The cost for the Regional Title Competition is $50.  All Regional Title winners and runners-up will also be eligible to compete in our Nationals Title competition.  The cost for National Title competition is $90.


Regional Title Competition

The Title Competition will consist of 2 scores.  One score is comprised of regular scoring of the solo performance, this will be 70% of your title score. The second score will be an independent score, based on Showmanship and Overall Appeal, making up the additional 30%. For this portion, each judge will award up to 50 points and the average score will be the Title Score. If you choose to select more than one solo to be scored as a title consideration, the highest of your selected solos will be selected for final title decisions.


Studio Hospitality Suite and Reserved Seating

At each event, studio directors and teachers will have a space to enjoy a quiet moment, some refreshments and coffee.  There will also be 2-3 rows reserved at the front of the auditorium specified for our studio directors and teachers.

Photogenic Entry

Photogenic entries are to be entered the day of competition only.  The best way to submit a photogenic entry will be with an electronic file on your mobile device.  Most photographs are portrait style headshots, but any style photo is acceptable.  If submitting a photograph in person is a color 5×7 or 8×10.  Studio representatives or parents will fill out an entry form at the merchandise table when you check in the day of competition.  Photographs will NOT be returned.  In addition to the award, the winning entries will appear online and in the Nationals Program Book.  Cost is $50/entry.  We also offer a separate Online Photogenic Competition for the 2023 “Face of Empire”.  If an image is entered in the regional photogenic competition, it may be entered in the online competition for an additional $30 fee.  This is a $10 discount.


Independent Entries

We do not accept independent entries.  A dance studio attending the competition must register each entry within the DanceCompGenie platform.  Each studio is required to bring a minimum of TWO (2) performing individuals.  This rule does not apply to soloists that qualify for Nationals.



Advanced submission of music must be submitted online through the Dancecomp Genie Studio Center as an mp3. Please verify that all music uploads are the correct versions of the song.  These must be submitted 4 DAYS PRIOR to the date of the competition.

Studios must bring a backup for ALL music.  We do require backup music in the form of USB to be brought to the event.  Please label your USB with your studio name.  USB files must be labeled with the three-digit entry number and Routine Title.  For Example: 007 Pretty Ladies

Please do NOT bring CDs to the event.

All music must be recorded at the proper speed and should be a good high quality recording.  No Tap sounds are allowed on recordings for entries in the Tap category.  Empire is not responsible for music left at the show.

Any music or performances which contain inappropriate content or profanity will result in at least a 5-Point Penalty.  Note:  If you are questioning if your music is appropriate, please send us your music in advance and we will check it.


Competition Schedule

*A confirmation of your studio’s entries will be sent through the email address which is associated with your Dancecomp Genie Account. Please review and ensure entries are in the proper categories, performance levels and age divisions. Once the final schedule is completed, the ability to make changes and/or corrections is considerably limited, if not impossible.
*When possible, every Regional schedule is based on the breakdown of entries by division level and type (solo, duet/trio, groups, lines and productions) for that particular city. Dancers must be ready to perform 1 ½ hours before their scheduled time.

*A final schedule will be available to each studio 3 days (or before if available) prior to the first day of competition.


Empire events will NOT start during school hours on Fridays. Schedules are formulated based on the number and type of entries received to best serve the majority of participants. Empire will attempt to accommodate scheduling requests, however, due to the amount of requests received, it is not always possible to accommodate everyone.


The placement and removal of props, mats, etc., must be completed by representative(s) from your studio within 1 minute. If the prop set-up will exceed the 1-minute time limit, please speak to the backstage manager. Additional fees and/or a point deduction may apply if set-up exceeds the time limit. **Productions will be allocated additional time based on need. This will be decided by the backstage manager. No form of liquid, gel, glitter or other substance may be used that would affect the dancing surface. No items may be thrown or shot off the front of the stage. Props should not be built backstage (see Stage Manager for accommodations). For safety measures, performers cannot stand above 6’6” on the prop. Props which exceed 10’6” in height cannot be guaranteed to fit on stage. Empire will not supply power. Empire is not responsible for props left overnight or unattended during the event.

Dressing Rooms

In the majority of venues, dressing rooms will be assigned. All studio representatives, parents, dancers and items must remain in your assigned dressing room space. Empire cannot be responsible for any items left in the dressing room during or after the event. Men are not allowed in the assigned dressing rooms. There will be spaces designated for boys and men dressing. We ask that all studio owners check their dressing rooms at the end of each day to ensure that the space is neat, orderly and that all personal items are collected.

Family Environment

This is a family event, sexually explicit dance, costumes or music will not be tolerated. Any music or performances which contains inappropriate content or profanity will result in at least a 5-Point Penalty. This will be determined by Empire Management.


There is no limit to the number of entries a studio may perform. All routines will be adjudicated.


Except for technical difficulties on the part of Empire NDC, re-performance of any routine will be adjudicated only. Please see backstage manager for additional information.

Video & Photography

No cameras of any kind will be allowed during performances. The use of any type of camera or video camera during the competition will result in a point deduction, the disqualification of a number or the disqualification of a studio. Please inform parents of this rule to avoid conflicts. You may use flash photography and video cameras during the awards ceremony.


Empire NDC, its staff, the hotel, theatre or site of the competition will not be responsible for any accident or injury that may occur to anyone participating or attending these events. Empire cannot be held responsible of unforeseen flaws in theatre stages that may inadvertently lead to the causing of an accident. Persons entering the competition and or participating as a spectator or in any other aspect MUST assume the responsibility for any unforeseen injury. It is the responsibility of the dance teacher and or person in charge of the participating entries to educate them and other attendees from their studio as to these rules and policies.

Empire reserves the right to cancel any competition due to weather, or any other circumstances deemed necessary. In case of cancellation, all registration fees will be promptly refunded. Empire reserves the right to move the competition location due to unforeseen circumstances. Empire reserves the right to make adjustments to these rules regulations if necessary.


All Entries must be submitted Online through the Dancecomp Genie Account. We DO NOT accept independent entries. Registration is accepted on a first come, first served basis, and is limited to the amount of competition time available. This varies from city to city.

Early Bird Discount

In order to receive the Empire Early Bird Discount, payment for all entries must be submitted online and PAID 45 days prior to the competition starting date.

Full Payment

Payment by check is appreciated and can be mailed to: 512 Jake Strouse Road, Statesboro, GA 30461. Studio directors may also send a cashier’s check. Payment may be made by credit card through the registration system only. We CANNOT accept credit card payment over the phone. Only VISA & Mastercard will be accepted. We DO NOT accept American Express. A 3% service charge will be added to all credit card payments.

A 50% deposit must be received 30 days prior to the event. Full payment must be received at least 15 days prior to the competition date or a late charge per entry will be accessed. A $35 fee will apply to all returned checks. Returned checks will automatically be turned over to an outside Collections Agency and/or the Solicitor’s Office. Absolutely no personal checks or credit card payments will be taken at the event, and any unpaid entries will not be allowed to perform.

No refunds of fees will be given after the deadline date (14 days prior to the event). A credit for another regional competition or nationals for the current or following year will be issued to the studio in the event that a dancer is unable to perform.

EMPIRE NDC reserves the right to alter or make adjustments to these rules and guidelines as they deem necessary.

2024 Tour Dates