Frequently Asked Questions

What are your 2018 Regional rates?

Please log in to your studio account to view the rates.

Do you accept independent entries?

Yes, Spotlight accepts independent entries without any restriction! Simply create a studio account with the studio name: Independent - LastName (ex: Independent - Smith) and complete your registration.

What are the criteria used to select your judges?

Spotlight judges are comprised of championship-caliber studio directors, professional dance center instructors, and performing dance professionals. Our judges are well-trained in multiple genres of dance and are sensitive to the various skill levels represented by the dancers’ differing ages. This mixture of age, breadth of dance experience, and extensive background in performing arts contributes to the diverse range of feedback judges can offer competitors.

What is the Royalty Rewards rebate program?

Studio Directors, earn a 5% - 8% rebate for your loyal support! To qualify, registration must exceed $2000 and be paid in full by the rebate date. Credit card payments will receive a 3% rebate regardless of Royalty Reward Level.

What methods of payment do you accept?

Payment is required at the point of registration via our online payment system.

  • Prior to the Closing Date (32+ days prior to event) -  E-check, credit/debit card, studio check, cashiers’ check, money order and/or gift certificates
  • After the Closing Date (31-21 days prior to event) - E-check, credit/debit card, cashiers’ check, money order - NO personal or studio checks please - Post Close Rates apply and expedited shipping of cashiers’ checks and/or money orders is required
  • After the Closing Date (1-20 days prior to event)- Credit card only - Post Close Rates apply
  • At Event - Credit/debit card, cashiers’ check, money order – Post Close Rates apply


  • Returned checks are assessed a $35 fee; any applicable rebate is forfeited and delinquency charge and/or post-close rate will apply. Refunds for over payment will be issued in the original form of payment within 10 days following the event.
  • Payments received through the mail will be credited on the date of postmark. We recommend you mail your payment a few days early or use an expedited service to assure the deadline is met. Please be aware that any payment received more than 6 days after the closing date will be applied to your account; however, Post Close Rates will apply to ALL registration and you will be billed for the updated balance due.
  • If paying by the Rebate Date, ALL Gift Certificates must be submitted at the time of payment in order to receive the credit to your account.

What is a delinquency charge?

After 15 days of non-payment following the closing date a 10% delinquency charge of total amount due ($20 minimum) will be assessed.

When do I get a schedule?

Teacher Packets will be available approximately two weeks prior to the event on your account home page. Email notification will be sent when they become available. Teacher Packets include event schedule, studio specific schedule with entry numbers, facility directions and any additional pertinent information. NOTE: Studio Specific Schedules will only be available when accounts are paid in full.

Can I turn in all of my music for the entire competition at once?

Music may be submitted prior to the event via your studio account. If using a USB Flash Drive, all music should be on one flash drive and turned in at the start of the event. CD’s will ONLY be accepted as back-up music.

Do we have to stay at the host hotel?

While it is not required that you stay at the host hotel, Spotlight highly recommends it. We research all lodging in your area in an attempt to find you the best value for your stay. We choose host hotels based on location in regard to the facility, price, and suitability for children. If you need lodging, call the host hotel and ask for the Spotlight Dance Cup rate to get our special discounted price.

If we do not attend a Regional Event, can we still attend your Nationals Event?

Yes, but we do require video qualification. Please contact our office at for additional information.

Am I allowed to videotape or photograph my child during the performance?

Recording and transmitting devices of any kind are strictly prohibited, as in any professional performance venue, in order to abide by copyright law and due to the prevalence of persons of questionable nature. Your cooperation is appreciated to protect the dancers and the work of the choreographers. As a convenience to participants, a professional videographer and photographer will be at the event and their products will be available for purchase. No recording devices of any type are allowed in the dressing rooms. We have the exclusive right to deny any person(s) or studio(s) access to the competition in any way due to misconduct, misuse, or otherwise. Failure to comply with these guidelines could result in penalties or disqualification of the dancer(s) and/or studio. We urge all studio owners, teachers, and especially parents, to help keep our performers photographically safe.

Can a Future Gems division dancer who performs in an Elite Gems division group number compete their solo or duo/trio in the Future Gems Division?

Any Novice Gems or Future Gems dancer registered in more than five Elite Gems routines (excluding Productions) will be ineligible to compete in the Novice Gems and Future Gems divisions. The dancer(s) however, are welcome to “dance up” and compete within the appropriate Elite Gems Division.

My child has a solo in the Novice Gems division; are they still allowed to perform with their group, which is entered in the Elite Gems division?

Absolutely! Dancers are always permitted to dance up a division.

My child dances 1.5 hours a week, has been dancing for 3 years, and competed last year with Spotlight. Can I enter their solo in the Novice Gems Division?

No. Our 2018 rules state that any Novice dancers must meet the following criteria: 1) Train two hours a week or less; 2) Has had a total of two years or less of training in any one or combination of dance forms. The skill level of a Novice Gems dancer is beginner. Dancers with more advanced skills should enter the Future Gems or the Elite Gems divisions.

Is an acrobatic pass considered one move, or multiple moves?

Gymnastic/acrobatic moves are limited to 3 in all categories except Acro Dance, Student Choreography, Open, Pom/Drill & Production, which allow unlimited moves. A round-off is considered an acro move unless used as a pass preparation. Acro moves performed in unison by two or more dancers are considered one move. Consecutive moves by different dancers are counted separately.

Can my child have back-up vocals on the music for his/her Song & Dance or Vocal routine?

In both Song & Dance and Vocal routines, a pre-recorded melody line is not permitted. However, backup vocalizations are allowed (i.e. Oohs and Aahhhs).

Can a teacher or professional dance in the regular categories?

Teachers or professionals are not permitted to dance in the regular categories, with the exception of the Adult Division and Productions, wherein one teacher is permitted to perform in a Small Group, Large Group, or Line.

What is the definition of a Teacher/Pro?

A teacher/pro is defined as one receiving payment for their choreography, performance, and/or instruction, but not student teachers ages 19 years or less. The Teacher/Pro entries will be scored separately and will not be grouped with other adult division entries for overall awards.

I have a dancer who cannot perform on Sunday; can I make a special request for their performance time?

Yes. Spotlight will accept special requests up to the closing date for an additional fee. Payment is due at the time of request. Spotlight will make every effort to meet each request, however, if we are unable to do so the studio will be notified with alternatives which may include a refund for the effected routine.

I have a routine that is over the time limit. What are my options?

When you register, you will register the routine for Extended Time. Please refer to 'Time Limits' in our Rules maximum time limits for groups of all sizes. Additional fee applies.

What if the average age of our dancers is 11 years old for Regionals, but will be 12 years old for Nationals? Will they have to move up a division?

When calculating the age of your dancers, take their age as of January 1. As long as all of your dancers are the same, they should register in the same division at Nationals that they did at Regionals.

My dancer is registered as a 12 year old dancer, however, their birthday is the day of the competition, and turns 13. Which dance down should they register for?

When registering for the dance down, please use your dancer’s age as of that day. If your child has turned 13, they will need to register for the Senior Dance Down (ages 13-19).

When averaging the age of my dancers, do you round up or down?

When averaging the age of your dancers, we drop the decimal point. For example, if your dancers’ average age is 10.9, they will automatically be entered into the 10 year old age group.

Will I be penalized if I have a prop that is 12 ft. high, and my dancers sit 7 ft. high?

Choreography that allows any dancer to be physically placed more than six feet off the ground of any scenic piece or prop could be considered hazardous. Routines in violation of these noted safety standards will be penalized at the Show Director and/or Judges’ discretion.

What kind of props are we NOT allowed to use?

  • Fire, knives, weapons, live animals, helium-filled balloons and fog machines are prohibited.
  • Motor vehicles cannot be started.
  • Special lighting requests are not permitted
  • Props Involving Electricity
    • Must be UL approved, portable, and self-contained.
    • Extension cords must be supplied by the studio.
    • Available outlets are not guaranteed.
    • Maximum power is limited to a single 110 volt/15 amp outlet. (Any power necessary over and above that must be approved by our Director of Production by emailing

What are the Triple Crown and Studio Achievement Award?

A unique opportunity presented at Spotlight Dance Cup designed to showcase your studio’s most talented dancers! Register for these awards in advance or at the event. Applies to Elite Gems division only. You may register multiple combinations for each award; however a routine may only be used once. Highest combined score will receive a beautiful crystal trophy. Additional fee applies.

  • Triple Crown – Choose three solos from the same Elite Gems age category (i.e. Elite Gems Teen). These can be the same or different dancers and can feature any category. Awarded during the solo awards ceremony for that division.
  • Studio Achievement for Duo/Trio – Choose three duo/trios from different Elite Gems age categories. Awarded at the final duo/trio awards ceremony. (i.e. Elite Gems Junior Duo, Elite Gems Teen Duo, Elite Gems Senior Trio)
  • Studio Achievement for Groups/Lines – Choose three groups or lines from different Elite Gems age categories. Awarded at the final group awards ceremony. (i.e. Elite Gems Petite Small Group, Elite Gems Teen Large Group, Elite Gems Senior Small Group)