8National Talent Competition is “The Dance Competition of Unity”



How is 8different and what do we have to offer that is new and GR8?!

  • is The Dance Competition of Unity. We are excited to bring dance studios together as one and help the dancers understand that they are all one big dance family all going for the same goals. Competition is a fun and positive way to help the dancers grow and improve more and more each time they step on stage. Having support from teachers, dancers, and parents from their studio as well as from other studios can help dancers reach their fullest potential.
  • limits the number of entries for each competition. We feel strongly that the quality of the competition should not be compromised by the quantity of entries.
  • offers a unique way to enter your dancers so they feel they are in the appropriate division. We want every dancer to be confident from the moment they enter the stage until they exit! As all teachers know, dancers progress differently. Our 3 levels have a guideline to follow involving technique, difficulty of choreography, confidence in performance, etc. so the directors will know where to place their students. We encourage the dancers to perform skills that they can execute completely and correctly on stage. The novice level is "Count It", the intermediate level is "Dance It", and the elite level is "Live It." Refer to the section under "competition Levels" for guidance.
  • has a short group warm up at the beginning of each segment so the dancers can feel the stage, meet the judges, and get excited about their performance! This warm up is led by one of the judges which allows dancers to get comfortable before performing. 
  • has "Judges Tips" following the group warm up. The judges give the dancers some helpful hints of what they are looking for individually from the dancers. They also give them some technical and performance pointers and wish them luck before taking the stage!
  • has an improvisation contest for the dancers that is enjoyed by the dancers as well as the audience. It gives the dancers a chance to dance freely to various songs and show who they are as an individual. As long as the dancers are entered in the competition, they are eligible for the Improv Challenge. Dancers may On-Line or at the competition. We will do eliminations in the petite, junior, teen, and senior divisions until reaching our 4 improv champions! The dancers will not want to miss out on this fun opportunity to dance on stage with all levels and styles of dancers!
  • is an adjudicated competition. The dancers will be rewarded a High Gold, Platinum, Double Platinum, or Titanium. If the judges feel that a dancer stands out and scores almost a perfect score (totaling 294 out of 300), then a GR8 award is presented (Live It level only).
  • has a Top 8 Count It studio winner, an Ultim8 Dance It studio winner, and an Ultim8 Live It studio winner. The top 8 group scores are averaged from each level and age group to determine the Ultim8 studio winners.

8 National Talent Competition Rules

All entries must be completed online and are not considered registered until paid in full. Please read carefully, as failure to comply with the rules and regulations could result in deductions or disqualification from the competition. Once the studio is paid in full, the dances will be transferred to scheduling. Please double check your entries for accuracy. Once the entries go to scheduling (30 days from the competition date) there will be NO changes accepted. 


Solo (1 performer), Duet/Trio (2-3 performers), Small Group (4-9 performers), Large Group (10-18 performers), Line & Production (19 or more performers).


Soloists may enter up to 3 solos in 3 different categories with a distinct style difference. For example, a dancer doing a tap solo cannot do a second tap solo in the Open division. The soloist may place in the overalls with multiple solos.


If the same exact performers do multiple duets or trios, they must be entered in separate style categories. They are eligible to place in the overalls with multiple duets and trios.


For overall awards, groups are separated into small groups, large groups, lines, and productions. Dancers may only perform in one age division lower than actual age division for small groups, large groups, and lines, however productions may include dancers of all ages.


Solos - 2:30 minutes
Duets/Trios - 2:30 minutes
Small Groups - 3:00 minutes
Large Groups - 3:30 minutes
Lines - 4:00 minutes
Productions - 6:00 minutes
Extended Productions - 8:00 minutes (add $3 per dancer)

Note: Dances going overtime and discovered at competition will result in automatic point deduction(s). One point per 15 seconds over is deducted from the score. Routines have the option of paying for the time before incurring the point deduction. $3 per dancer may be paid for an additional 30 seconds. Extended time is available for solos, duet/trios, and groups and must be entered/paid as extended time routines.


Upload MP3, M4A music files after routines are entered. 8 does NOT accept music on CDs, iPads, cell phones, or computers. 


8 has 3 levels for the competitors. Levels are determined by technical level, level of difficulty in the choreography, and performance confidence. Please refer to our level details to see which level is the best fit for your dancers. We encourage the dancers to challenge themselves but also to execute skills correctly before taking them to the performance stage. If judges feel that a dancer has been placed in the wrong level, the director will be given a choice to move the dancer to the correct level or take a 2 point penalty per judge. 8 feels very strongly that dancers should be judged in the correct level of performance.

"Count It": This level is for novice performers with little dance experience. Technically they should execute beginning level skills such as chaine turns, pique turns, chasses, jetes, releve, battements, single pirouettes, knowing basic positions with feet and port-de-bras, etc. Choreographically they need to relate with the counts in the music and hit basic accents. It is important they understand and connect with their music so they can relate with their personality.

"Dance It": This level is for intermediate dancers who have some dance experience. These dancers may have some competition experience but is not required. Technically the dancers have intermediate level skills such as double timing chaine turns, double pique turns, attitude turns, grande jetes, leaps in second, double pirouettes, a basic fouette or ala seconde combination, leg extensions showing strength, etc. Choreographically these dancers have more detailed choreography and musicality as well as being able to relate with their music thru their body and face.

"Live It": This level is for elite dancers with extensive dance experience. These dancers may have a lot of competition experience but is not required. Technically these dancers are executing advanced skills such as triple or more pirouettes, advanced fouette and ala seconde combos, off center turns, advanced leaps, and other turns and leaps that are stepping out of the regular technical comfort bubble. Choreographically their body is matching their music with challenging and intricate movements while being emotionally connected.


Entries are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Dances are limited to the amount of performance time available. 8 National Talent Competition reserves the right to add additional competition days, subtract competition days, move the competition location, and refuse entries at their discretion.


80% of the routine needs to incorporate the style that it is categorized under. Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Contemporary and Tap have a limit of no more than 3 acro skills. If one of these styles has more than 3 acro skills, it must be placed in the acro or open category. 

  • Ballet
  • Pointe
  • Jazz
  • Musical Theater
  • Tap
  • Hip Hop
  • Lyrical
  • Contemporary
  • Modern
  • Acro
  • Song and Dance
  • Chracter
  • Clogging
  • Pom
  • Vocal
  • Open (this division is for dances that have a variety of styles, or a category not listed above such as clogging, song and dance, vocal, folkloric, pom, drill, etc).
  • Production (incorporates a theme, props, multiple dance styles, and all ages of dancers)


ALL AGES ARE CALCULATED AS OF THE DANCERS AGE ON JANUARY 1, 2019. For duets, trios and groups, average the age of all dancers in the group and drop the decimal. Our online system automatically calculates this for you.

High Score Ages

5 and under, 6-8, 9–11, 12–14, 15–19, & 20 & Over.

Category Ages

5 and under, 6-8, 9–11, 12–14, 15–19, & 20 & Over. 

If there is an age protest on a dancer, it must be done prior to that awards ceremony. Dancers will need to provide proof of birth certificate. If proof cannot be provided, that routine will not be eligible for overalls.


8 is an adjudicated competition. Each dance will be announced at the awards ceremony with their adjudicated score. There is a possible 100 points from each judge with a grand total of 300 possible points.

GR8                            (294 and above and only in the “Live It” level)

Titanium                     (285-293)

Double Platinum         (276-284)

Platinum                      (267-275)

High Gold                   (255-266)

Gold                            (254 & Under)

Category Winners

These awards are given to the highest scoring act in the category (Must score enough points to receive an adjudication of Titanium or GR8).

Overall High Points

Top scoring routines are announced in 5 and under, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-19, and 20 and over age groups. Total number of entries determines the number of high points given.


Ties are broken by judges.

Ultim8 Studios

The top awards at 8 National Talent are the Ultim8 studio awards. They are awarded in all 3 levels of Count It, Dance It, and Live It. To determine the Ultim8 studios, the top 8 group scores are averaged for each studio in each level.

Photogenic Award

Photos are judged in the following age categories 5 and under, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-19, and 20 and over. Dancers can register on-line or register at the competition. Photos may be turned in at the contest or submitted on-line. Photos need to be 8x10 and in color or black and white. Please pick your photos up after that awards ceremony. 8 is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Dancers may submit one photo per entry fee.

Special Awards

Special Awards given at each awards ceremony are technique, choreography, musicality, costume, and entertainment. In addition to those awards, 3 Judges Choice Awards are presented by the judges.

 Title Award

To be eligible for Title, you must compete at least 1 solo, have a headshot, and a short essay (6-8 sentence paragraph) titled “What Dance Means to Me”. If you are doing multiple solos, you must designate which solo you are entering for title. You may enter your other solos for additional fees.

Mr. and Miss Petite Title Winner (8 and under)

Mr. and Miss Junior Title Winner (9-11)

Mr. and Miss Teen Title Winner (12-14)

Mr. and Miss Senior Title Winner (15-19)

Improvisation Competition

The improvisation session gives the dancers a chance to dance freely to various songs and show who they are as an individual. As long as the dancers are entered in the competition, they are eligible for the Improv Challenge. Dancers can register on-line or register at the competition for the improv challenge. We do eliminations in the petite, junior, teen, and senior divisions until reaching our 4 improv champions! The dancers will not want to miss out on this fun opportunity to dance on stage with all levels and styles of dancers!

Other Guidelines

  • Soloists must compete all of their solos in the same level.
  • Duet, Trios, and Groups cannot have “Live It” performers in the “Count It” division. If 50% of the dancers are in a higher level than the other 50%, the dance must be bumped up to that level.
  • The youngest performers in a routine must be on stage at least 25% of the time, otherwise the routine will be re-averaged.
  • Props must be in place within 2 minutes. Routine time will start after the 2 minute mark. If your team has a prop that takes extra time to build, you must pay for extended time. Due to some venues, it is at the discretion of the competition director to lengthen prop set up time.
  • All props must be approved with backstage coordinator before moving them to the backstage area. They must be moved out of the backstage area immediately following the dance unless other directions or approval has been given by the backstage coordinator.
  • No props that could cause harm may be used on stage such as fire, swords, knives, live animals, etc.
  • No liquids, gels, aerosols, glitter, confetti, paint, chalk, or anything else that could be damaging to the dance floor or stage curtains may be used. No helium balloons, (unless on a weight) drones, kites, or any other air borne prop may be used.
  • If you are in question on your prop being acceptable, please contact the 8 office.
  • Dancers may not sit, stand, or dance on a prop higher than 6 feet.
  • If a prop, dancer, or studio representative damages the stage floor, they are responsible for damages.
  • If a dancer or studio representative damages another studio’s prop, they are responsible for damages.
  • All performers grant permission to 8 National Talent Competition to use their photographs, videos, or to appear on local and/or national television to promote its competitions.
  • All entries must dance on the day and time assigned. Failure to do so may result in being eligible for adjudication only or not being able to compete at all depending on the time allowance during the other segments of the competition. If approved ahead of time and still performed before the overall awards, the competition director will determine if the dance/dances are eligible for the overalls. If a performer does not complete their dance the first time and wants to re- perform, they will not be eligible for the overall awards. An adjudication score will be given.
  • To be eligible for the early bird discount, all entries and payments must be received 45 days prior to the start date of the competition. Entries received after the early bird period must be paid in full 30 days prior to the start of the competition. If there is still space in the competition, any entries and payments not received prior to 30 days of the event are subject to late fees. No payments will be accepted at the competition.

No cash refunds will be issued.

  • Sportsmanlike behavior is expected at all times. 8 encourages a fun positive atmosphere with the 8 staff, teachers, dancers, and parents. Any behavior that is anything but good sportsmanship will result in instant disqualification, with no refunds or credits to be issued.
  • 8 is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • Videotaping and photography of your own studio is permitted. NO Flash photography or tripods. Please remain seated and respect others during performance. Thank you for your cooperation.

At 8 National Talent we support each and every dancer on the stage. To be able to support each dancer, the audience must be seated for the entire performance. It is greatly appreciated when you show your support of the dancers by clapping when they are introduced and when they complete their dance. They have worked hard and deserve everyone’s support and respect. Thank you for your support.