Frequently Asked Questions

What are your 2018 Regional rates?

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

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 deadline. Credit card payments will receive a 3% rebate regardless of Royalty Reward Level. Visit our website or call the Spotlight office for more details.

When do I get a schedule?

Competition schedules will be emailed to Studio Director's and posted online approximately two weeks prior to the competition.

Can I pay by credit card?

Payment is now required at the point of registration via our online payment system. We accept e-checks and credit cards until the closing date.

Note: Payment not received by the closing date is considered delinquent and subject to a 10% delinquency charge of total due ($20 minimum). After 14 days of non-payment following the closing date, an additional 5% delinquency fee, per week, is assessed until the account is paid in full. The only form of payment accepted after the closing date or at the event is certified funds, cash, or credit card in US $ only and is subject to delinquency and/or late fees.

What is a delinquency charge?

Any payments not postmarked or time stamped by the closing date will be considered delinquent and subject to a 10% delinquency charge of total due ($20 minimum). After 14 days of non-payment following the closing date, an additional 5% delinquency fee, per week, is assessed until the account is paid in full.

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.

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.

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 all music is on a USB Flash Drive then you may certainly turn that in at the start of the event. CDs turned in at the event will only be accepted for current day’s performances; however, can be turned in the evening preceding subsequent competition days.

My seniors have prom on Saturday night; can I make a special request for their performance time?

Yes. Spotlight will accept special requests for a $20 fee per routine up to the closing deadline. 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.

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 Competitive 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 competitive division. 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 competitive divisions. Awarded at the final duo/trio awards ceremony. (e.g. Junior duo, Teen duo, Senior trio)

Studio Achievement for Groups/Lines - Choose three groups or lines from different competitive divisions. Awarded at the final group awards ceremony. (e.g. Petite small group, Teen large group, Senior small group) 

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

Each trick in the pass is considered a move, excluding the round-off, which is considered preparatory (i.e. round-off, back handspring, back handspring, back tuck is considered 3 acro moves). A round-off performed singly, not as a preparation to another trick, is considered one move.

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.

My child has a solo in the Novice Gems division; is he/she still allowed to perform with his/her group, which is entered in the Spotlight Gems division?

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

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

No. Our 2017 rules state that any Novice dancers must meet at least two of the following criteria: 1) Train two hours a week or less; 2) Have had a total of two years or less of dance training in any one or combination of dance forms; or 3) First year competitors (one year is considered a season of nine months or more.) The skill level of a Novice Gems dancer is modest. Dancers with more advanced skills should enter the Future Gems or the Competitive Division.

One of my dancers will be turning nine the second day of competition. Should he be registered as a Petite or a Junior?

When calculating the age of your dancers, take their age as of January 1. Since this dancer was 8 as of January 1, he will be registered as a Petite dancer.

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

When registering for the dance down, please use your dancer’s age as of that day. If your child has turned 13, she will need to register in the dance down for ages 13-19.

What are your 2018 National rates?

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

I have a couple of entries in the Solo and Duo/Trio Division that are over the time limit. What are my options?

When you register the routines, you can purchase a maximum of 30 seconds of additional time for a cost of $20.00.

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

When you register, you will enter them in the Extended Time categories. Please refer to ‘Time Limits’ in our Rules for additional fee and maximum time limits for groups of all sizes.

When averaging the age of my dancers, should I round up or down?

When averaging the age of your dancers, you will need to drop the decimal point. For example, if your dancers’ average age is 8.9, you will enter them in the 8 year old age bracket.

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

Yes, but you will need to video qualify. You can do this by following the video qualifying procedures and paying the 2017 Video Qualifying Rates. Please call our office or email for additional information.

Can a Recreational Division dancer who performs in a Competitive Division group number compete her solo or duo/trio in the Recreational Division?

Any recreational dancer registered in more than five competitive division routines (excluding Productions) will be ineligible to compete in the recreational divisions. The dancer(s) however, are welcome to “dance up” and compete within the appropriate Competitive Division.

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 allowed to use?

Props and/or stage sets are allowed in all routines. Fire, knives, weapons, live animals, helium-filled balloons, and fog machines are prohibited. Motor vehicles cannot be started. Props involving electricity must be UL approved, portable, and self-contained. Extension cords for any prop or stage set requiring power must be supplied by the studio and available outlets are not guaranteed. Maximum power available 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 All props must be free standing and may not be attached to any apparatus or stage rigging. Special lighting requests are not permitted. Note: Props or objects of any kind may not be thrown off the stage, cause damage, or leave any residue on the stage floor - such as liquids, gels, aerosols, glitters, powders, etc. Stage must be returned to its original pre-performance condition within thirty seconds. Choreography that allows any dancer to be physically placed more than six feet off the ground on any scenic piece or prop may be considered hazardous and result in a point deduction penalty. Routines in violation of these safety standards may be penalized or disqualified at Spotlight’s discretion.