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

Rules and Regulations for:
8 National Talent
and Motiv8 Convention 

How is 8 different 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 going for the same goals. Competition is a fun and positive way to help the dancers grow and improve. Having support from teachers, dancers, and parents 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.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.
  • offers a unique way to enter the dancers. 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. Dancers should perform skills that they can execute completely and correctly.  Novice level is "Count It", intermediate is "Dance It", and elite is "Live It". Refer to the section under “Competition Levels” for guidance.
  • has a short group warm up led by one of the judges at the beginning of each segment so the dancers can feel the stage, meet the judges, and get excited about their performance!
  • 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 "Improv Challenge" that is enjoyed by the dancers as well as the audience. It gives the dancers a chance to dance freely to various genres of music. Dancers must be entered in the competition to be eligible for the "Improv Challenge." Registration is accepted at the competition for petite (8 & under), junior, teen, and senior age groups. To determine the 4 improv champions, eliminations are held in each age group.
  • is an adjudicated competition. The dancers will be awarded a High Gold, Platinum, Double Platinum, or Titanium.
  • has an Ultim8 Count It, Dance It, and Live It studio winner. The top 5 group scores are averaged from each level and age group to determine the Ultim8 studio winner.
  • has a Top 8 "Count It" studio winner, an Ultim8 Dance It studio winner, and an Ultim8 Live It studio winner. The top 5 group scores are averaged from each level and age group to determine the "Ultim8" studio winners.

8 National COMPETITION Rules, Regulations


All entries must be completed online on your Dance Comp Genie account and paid in full 30 days from the start day of the competition to avoid late fees. Once the studio is paid in full, the dances will be transferred to scheduling. Directors, please check your entries carefully. Make sure you have the dancers entered in the correct level, age group, birthdate, category and dance. Once the entries go to scheduling, (30 days from the competition date), there will be a $10.00 per entry change fee. Entries not paid by the 30 day cutoff risk being deleted from the event.


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. 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 up to 8:00 minutes (add $3 per dancer). Time must be input with registration. Overtime will be charged an additional $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, MP4 and M4A music files after routines are entered. 8 does not accept music on CD’s, iPads, cell phones, or computers. All music must be uploaded 14 days prior to the start date of the competition.


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 8 level details to see which level is the best fit for your dancers. 8 encourages 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 but does not mean the dancer is a new recreation dancer. Technically they should execute beginning level skills such as chaine turns, pique turns, chasses, jetes, releve, battements, single/double pirouettes, and know basic positions with feet and port-de-bras, etc. Choreographically, it is important they understand and connect with their music.

“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/triple pirouettes, intermediate turn combos, 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 multiple pirouettes, advanced turn 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.




Musical Theater


Hip Hop





Song and Dance





Open This division is for any style that does not fit into a category listed.

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, 2024. 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 (Live It level only)

Titanium                     (285-293)

Double Platinum       (276-284)

Platinum                     (267-275)

High Gold                   (255-266)

Category Winners

These awards are given to the highest scoring act in the category (Must score Titanium or GR8).

Overall High Points

Top scoring routines are announced in 5 and under, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-19, 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 5 group scores are totalled for each studio in each level.

 Photogenic Award

Photos are judged in the following age categories 5 & under, 6 - 8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-19. All photogenic entries are registered at the event and are due by the final morning of competition.  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, entertainment and 3 Judges Choice Awards.

 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 doing multiple solos, the title dance  must be designated at the time of registration. Directors will turn all title pics/essays in at the check-in table prior to the start of competition.

Mr. and Miss Mini Title Winner (5 and under)

Mr. and Miss Petite Title Winner (6 - 8)

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

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

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

Other Guidelines

Soloists must compete all 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 the higher 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. Points can be deducted for extreme 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.

Dancers may not sit, stand, or dance on a prop higher than 6 feet. Disqualification may occur for violation.

If you are in question on your prop being acceptable, please contact the 8 office.

No liquids, gels, aerosols, glitter, confetti, paint, chalk, fake snow, or anything else that could be damaging to the dance floor or stage curtains may be used. No drones, kites, helium balloons (unless on a weight), or any other air borne prop may be used. 8 wants the choreographers to be able to develop their vision, so please call the office with any questions on how to make this possible and still follow the guidelines. Violation may result in disqualification or adjudicated score only.

If a prop, dancer, or studio representative damages the dance floor, backdrop, curtains, lights, or any other equipment owned by the venue or 8 National Talent, that person/s is 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 and videos on social media 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 the dance the first time and wants to re- perform, the dance will not be eligible for the overall awards. An adjudication score will be given.

Sportsmanlike behavior is expected at all times. 8 encourages a fun positive atmosphere with the 8 staff, teachers, dancers, and parents. Any questionable behavior will result in instant disqualification, with no refunds or credits to be issued.


If the entry fee is not received within 24 hours of the entry, the entry will be deleted.

No refunds or credits will be issued for ANY reason within 30 DAYS of the competition.

 Any changes made to an entry after scheduling will incur a $10.00 change fee.

8 is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

8 permits you to take videos and pictures of YOUR STUDIO ONLY. NO Flash photography or tripods.

Please remain seated and respect others during performance. Do not enter the audience during a dance.

Professional pictures and videos are taken at the event. 8 National Talent does NOT charge for these pics/videos. Download the Dakiki app for free and use the dancer’s birthdate to access pics/videos.

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.

8 will continue to honor their full refund policy if an event must be cancelled.


Motiv8 is focused on the education of dance. It is the sister company of 8 National Talent Competition. The incredible Motiv8 faculty is excited to share their knowledge with dancers, teachers, and parents!

When a dancer is recognized for being inspiring in class, the instructor will present them with a "Cre8ive Artist" band. Each teacher will have a different color for the weekend. This allows dancers to be recognized for their hard work, yet at the same time continue sharing their energy with the other dancers on the dance floor.

Motiv8's classes are designed to keep the focus on the dancers.

Be Moved- ages 5-7
Be Open- ages 8-10
Be True- ages 11-13
Be Inspired- ages 14 and Over
Be Versatile- Teachers/Pro Am

The dancer's age is as of January 1, 2024. Dancers may dance up or down one age group for classes but must compete and do innovative challenge with their correct age group.

Scholarship Auditions: Dancers will have the opportunity to audition for scholarships in the designated scholarship audition classes. Dancers auditioning for scholarship are required to audition in their correct age group. Any audition experience is a great learning experience and we encourage all dancers to participate!

FULL scholarship receives one free convention of choice for 2025

Opportunity to audition for CAOTY (Creative Artist of the Year)

Half off solo entry at 2024 Nationals

Opportunity to perform in a 2024 Nationals opening number

HALF scholarship receives half off solo entry at 2024 Nationals

All classes are one hour. No in and out during class unless it's an emergency.

  • No phones in class.
  • No photos or videos during class.
  • Pictures and autographs may be done outside of class during a break.
  •  Motiv8 is not responsible for injuries, lost or stolen items.
  • Motiv8 has the right to use your photos and videos from the convention.
  • Motiv8 ID bracelets must be worn in all classes.
  • Motiv8 has the right to ask a disruptive dancer/observer to leave class
  • Motiv8 has the right to remove dancers, teachers, and parents from the convention for inappropriate conduct. 


Be Moved- Demi (5-7)
Be Open- Mini (8-10)
Be True- Junior (11-13)
Be Inspired- Teen (14-15)
Be Inspired- Senior (16+)


Solos (1 performer)

Duets/Trios (2-3 performers)

Small Groups (4-9 performers)

Large Groups (10-18 performers)

Lines/Productions (19+ performers)

 *All competitors are one level*

*All competitors must be registered for the full convention*

 SHOWCASE at the end of the convention:

*Be Moved classes*


*Innovative challenge*

*Greatest in show*

*Announce Scholarships*

Please refer to the 8 National Talent Competition rules for additional competition guidelines and competition fees.

Directors, sign into your Dance Comp Genie account for all 8 National Talent Competition fees and Competition/ Convention fees for 2024.

 8 will continue to honor their full refund policy if an event must be cancelled.