Competition Rules And Regulations

Please read the following Rules and Regulations carefully. Shake The Ground reserves the right to deduct points from or disqualify any entry or contestant that does not adhere to the Rules and Regulations.


All routines, music, choreography, and costumes must be suitable for family viewing and listening. Failure to comply with this rule may result in point deductions or entry disqualification. If dance movements, music lyrics, or costuming are deemed to be too suggestive or otherwise inappropriate for our audience, or if the music contains vulgar or inappropriate lyrics, the routine will have points deducted or can be disqualified at the judge’s discretion and will not be scored or be eligible to receive any award. To avoid this difficult decision, we ask all our participating schools, teachers, choreographers and dancers to be mindful of the audience and fellow competitors. STG supports and encourages all forms of artistry, but we must first encourage respect for our audience, judges and competitors in all our venues. Coaching from the wings is prohibited. If a studio is found to be doing this, a verbal warning will be given. If this occurs a second time, points will be deducted and if it continues, a disqualification may be imposed. A 10-point deduction will be made for dancers that leave the stage without completing the performance. If the dancer wishes to re-perform the routine they may do so, unless time prohibits, however, the routine will not be judged or qualify for any awards.


Each entry is placed in one of the following age groups. Ages are determined as of January 1st in the year of the competition. Shake The Ground reserves the right to request proof of age for any contestant.

Petite Shakers 5, 6, 7 & 8
Primary Shakers 9, 10, 11
Junior 12, 13, 14
Senior 15, 16, 17
Pre-Professional 18 and up

For Duet/Trio and Group routines, the age is determined by averaging the ages of all contestants in the group rounded down to the nearest whole number.

Entry Participants Time Limit*
Solo 1 3 Minutes
Duo 2 3:30 Minutes
Trio 2 3:30 Minutes
Small Group 4-9 4:00 minutes
Large Group 10-20 5:00 minutes
Production Line 21 and up 6:00-8:00 Minutes

If a group loses a contestant on the day of the competition, they may still compete within the division of their original registration. *A five-point deduction will be made on routines that exceed the allotted time limit. Routines performed at the regional competition are eligible to enter the National Finals. Routines must be performed during the session in which they are scheduled. If the routine cannot perform during the session in which they are scheduled for any reason, it can be performed in another session for judges’ comments only. The routine would not be eligible for overall awards. NOVICE LEVEL is for a dancer with two years or less of training and/or no previous competition experience. Therefore, dancers should only be entered in the Novice Category for one season. This is for the beginner dancer who takes one or two classes a week and wants to gain experience at competition without worrying about competing against seasoned competitors. This level is judged only against other novice level routines and on a more lenient scale. Novice Level do not qualify for special awards or scholarships. This level may be awarded plaques, medals, and other prizes. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL LEVEL is for the intermediate dancer. This level is for dancers who have been studying for between 2 and 4 years, who take at least three technique classes a week and/or are on a competition team. Intermediate level should have previous competition experience. Intermediate level will be judged only against other intermediate level routines. This level may be awarded plaques, medals, special awards and scholarships along with other prizes. COMPETITIVE LEVEL is for the seasoned, advanced dancers. This level should have 5 or more years of dance training, take at least four to five technique classes a week. Competitive level dancers should have extensive competition experience and should display higher technical skills and abilities than the previous level dancers. This level may be awarded trophies, plaques, medals, special awards and scholarships along with other prizes.


Acrobat, Ballet, Clogging, Contemporary, Ethnic, Flamenco, Fusion, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Liturgical, Lyrical, Modern, Musical Theater, Open, Pointe and Tap.


The following genres of dance are accepted: Acro- (Acrobat) A routine that combines gymnastics and tumbling ability with dance technique. Ballet – A routine that demonstrates ballet technique, which may include classical and/or contemporary movement and interpretation. (Ballet shoes only.) Clogging – A routine incorporating clogging technique and movement. Contemporary – A routine that incorporates various styles of movement including but limited to ballet, jazz, modern, and lyrical. Ethnic – A routine that uses any style of dance traditional to a certain culture, ethnicity, or group of people (e.g. African, Japanese, Middle Eastern, etc.) and its related technique and movement. Flamenco – a style of highly expressive, Spanish dance. Flamenco dance is characterized by hand clapping, percussive footwork, and intricate hand, arm and body movements. Fusion dance – is a type of contemporary partner dance that combines different dance styles to create a new aesthetic. Hip-Hop – A routine that utilizes street style dancing. Funk, breaking, pop and lock are also included in this category. Jazz – A routine that demonstrates jazz technique. Liturgical – A routine that portrays a religious theme and incorporates any style of dance listed above. Lyrical – A routine that combines jazz, modern, and ballet techniques in fluid, controlled movements. Often has a “story” element that relates to the lyrics or emotion of the song. Modern – A routine consisting of contemporary modern movement, which demonstrates control and balance throughout and utilizes modern-specific technique such as contractions, tilts, etc. Musical Theater – A routine in which the dancer(s) portray(s) a character (e.g. animal, TV, Broadway, historical, fictional, etc.) or interpret(s) a song from a Broadway or other musical, while incorporating dance technique and movement. Open – A routine that utilizes any combination of dance techniques listed above or any other dance style not previously listed. Pointe – A routine that demonstrates ballet done on Pointe, which contains classical ballet technique. Tap – A routine that demonstrates tap technique and basic tap floor work. Any routines demonstrating clogging technique should be considered for the clogging category.


All entries must be submitted through our online registration software. Registration: There is a $10 per dancer for Regionals. National registration fee is $100 per dancer for which includes 4 days of Master Classes, Themed Nights, Pool party, and the awards presentation only. Gala is not included in the registration fee. If you wish to attend, tickets can be purchased online. All fees must be paid in full 4 weeks before the competition and paid by money order, cashier’s check, or credit card. A $30 charge for each check returned by the bank to Shake The Ground will be assessed to the original check owner. All returned checks must be made good, including the $30 charge, within 10 days of the competition or entries will be voided. Shake The Ground reserves the right to request all future payments be made by money order, cashier’s check, or credit card from anyone whose check is dishonored. All fees are non-refundable


Late entries are not guaranteed due to scheduling. In the event we are able to accommodate for late entries, a $10 per entry late fee will be added and all fees must be paid within 24 hours. No entry is guaranteed until payment has been processed. A confirmation is sent to each studio for their records and approval. Please be sure to check that everything is correct. Any studio that makes an enrollment/routine change after the event schedule appears online is subject to a $ 10.00 fee for each change.


Studios that received gold or higher at a Regional Competition are qualified for the Nationals. If a studio wishes to enter a routine that received lower than gold, they may enter the routine in the prequalifying round for qualification for the Nationals. Studios that wish to enter NEW routines that were not enter at a Regional Competition must enter those routines in the prequalifying round. New routines must receive gold or higher to qualify to compete at the Nationals. All entries should be entered in the Prequalification round and the Nationals at the same time for scheduling purposes. If routine receives lower than a gold score routine will not compete in the Nationals.


Improvisation can help students learn how to communicate and collaborate more effectively, think quickly and creatively, and can boost their confidence. STG shakes things up at Regionals with an “IMPROV CHALLENGE” Solo Division, Competitive Level Only, all Age Category.

Trophies will be awarded to the Improv Challenge category


No flash photography or videotaping is permitted inside the competition venue. If photography or videotaping is identified, Shake The Ground reserves the right to confiscate the camera/video equipment and disqualify the routine. Shake The Ground provides professional photography and video of each contestant’s routine for purchase at each venue. Pictures and videos of each routine are available to purchase at the competition event or online via Kapture on our website only.


Judge’s Commentaries. Shake The Ground utilizes the most advanced technology available for judging. There is a minimum of three professionally qualified judges at each competition. While contestants are on stage competing their routine, each judge simultaneously and individually records oral critiques, comments, and encouraging remarks into our state-of-the-art software. Each studio will receive videos of their students’ performances with each individual judge’s critiques on USB at the end of the competition. A panel of esteemed and seasoned judges will judge participants. All entrants agree that the time, manner, and method of judging the contest shall be solely within the discretion of the directors and producers of STG and that all decisions of the judges are final. Routines that are obviously under-placed into the wrong skill level or category may be elevated by the judges.

Adjudicated Scoring Scale

Each contestant receives a score out of 300 possible points. The criteria that the judges are looking for are technique, presentation, and choreography.

Level STG ELITE STG Platinum High Gold Gold High Silver Silver
NOVICE   273-300 260-272.9 250-259.9 238- 249.9 220- 237.9
INTERMEDIATE   276 -300 265-275.9 255-264.9 244- 254.9 228 – 243.9
COMPETITIVE 291-300 282-290 270-281.9 260-269.9 250- 259.9 235 – 249.9
Each performer receives a pin for their adjudicated scores. In addition, high score awards are given to the top overall scores in each category within an age division. Shake The Ground reserves the right to limit awards based on number of routines in the category.


Shake the Ground Title Studio Awards
Overall Highest Score Award Stage Presence Award
Choreography Award Best Costume Award
Most Entertaining Student Choreography Award


At each competition, Shake The Ground judges award outstanding contestants with summer intensive dance scholarships, studio tuition scholarships, dancewear, photo opportunities, or other special awards as available and at their discretion.


Title awards are awarded at both Regional and National competitions. Title competitors must be entered in the “competitive” category and must submit 2 SOLOS to be considered for the title.

To be eligible for Title Awards, a contestant in the Junior, Senior categories must enter in a minimum of TWO SOLO entries in different categories.  One entry will be entered into the Title category by selecting “Title” at registration for that entry.  You may enter multiple entries but only one may be entered for Title.  Petite Shakers and Primary Shakers can enter ONE SOLO entry to compete for Title, but that solo will not be entered in overall awards.

Each title competitor will take center-stage and will be asked questions by the judges.  Their answers may include their name, age, where they are from, and performance piece as well as any other information they would like to share. However they should NOT MENTION THEIR DANCE SCHOOL NAME OR INSTRUCTOR. This interview should be approximately 30 seconds.

Please note, regional title winners may not compete for another regional title in that same competition season. Only Regional & National preliminary round title winners as well as 2nd and 3rd runner ups will be invited to compete for the National title.


At each competition, the Shake The Ground’s panel of judges award outstanding contestants with summer intensive dance scholarships, studio tuition scholarships, dancewear, photo opportunities, or other special awards as available and at the sole discretion of our judges. Participants agree that all results of a competition are final. No teacher, student, or parent will be allowed to question the decision of the judges for the scores/awards given. Soloists that compete with more than one entry in a given category will receive an overall award for their highest score only.


All Entries must upload competition music. This is Mandatory, No Exceptions. Each competitor is required to provide their own music using an MP3 file, as part of their online registration. Studios experiencing difficulties uploading their MP3 music file should contact for assistance no later then 2 weeks before the competition date. All music must be recorded at proper speed and cued properly at the beginning of the music. Studio owners must have an individual backup USB/ Ipod/computer for each routine readily available and properly labeled with dancer’s name and title of the routine.


Props must be an integral part of the routine.


All props must be Marley safe. Our team inspects the floor before and after a routine which will be using props. Any damage made to the Marley surfaces by props after a routine, that studio will be charged the cost of the Marley replacement for the damaged the floor.


There will be a tentative schedule sent out and a Final Schedule sent to studio directors only. You will be able to request routines to be moved before the final schedule. Once Final schedule has been sent out there will be no more changes allowed. A finalized schedule is e-mailed to all studios within five days of the competition date. Shake The Ground reserves the right, when necessary, to adjust the competition schedule before or during the competition. Schedule times are approximate and competition can run up to 2 hrs ahead at times. It is he responsibility of the dancers to be ready to go, in full costume and makeup 2 hrs prior to their program time. No refunds will be given for missed routines.


By signing the Shake The Ground Release Agreement, all registered contestants grant permission to Shake The Ground and its representatives to publish their photographs/videos on local or national television, promotional videos, marketing materials, the internet, or any other visual media, as deemed fit by Shake The Ground in an effort to promote its competitions. In addition, upon entering any Shake The Ground sponsored event that participants, which include students, parents, teachers, and other spectators, will not hold Shake The Ground or it’s owner, directors, employees, or host facilities liable for injuries sustained, illnesses contracted by them, or loss of property while in attendance and/or participating in any Shake The Ground event. All photographs/videos taken by Shake The Ground and any independent representative commissioned by Shake The Ground become the property of Shake The Ground. Shake The Ground reserves the right to sell said photographs/videos at competition events and online for purchase on dvd or by download.


Shake The Ground will have a videographer & photographer at each event providing videos and photos of performances for purchase. NO CAMERAS of any kind will be allowed in the auditorium during performances. Use of cameras during performances may result in point deduction, disqualification of routine, or disqualification of studio. For the safety of the dancers we will strictly reinforce this rule. Video cameras and flash photography are welcomed during award ceremonies. Shake The Ground assumes no responsibility for forgotten photographs or judges remarks.


Shake The Ground and the venue hosting the event are not responsible for any personal injury or property loss that is suffered by anyone attending or participating in the competition. Shake The Ground reserves the right, when necessary, to relocate a competition site/date/time or expand a competition to a multiple day event if necessary. All changes to original submitted entries must be in writing; no verbal requests will be honored. Changes to original entries must be received seven days before the competition event. Shake The Ground reserves the rights to change, delete, or add to any rules, regulations, or policies at any time deemed necessary. Shake The Ground reserves the right to cancel any event due to lack of registration, weather, or other unforeseen circumstance. If an extenuating weather or unforeseen circumstance arises and Shake The Ground cancels an event and it is not rescheduled, Refunds or credits will be issued. If the event is rescheduled, no refunds will be given. Should an extenuating circumstance arise, please check the website and/or your email address that you registered under for any event updates.  Shake the Ground requests any questions regarding schedule changes should be submitted by the Studio Directors.