Solo; Duet; Trio; Small Group (4-9 performers); Large Group (10-16 performers); Line (17 or more performers); Production (17 or more performers, 4 to 8 minute performance).
Competitive, Intermediate, and Novice levels compete and are awarded separately (except for High Point and “Optional Entry” awards listed below). You should therefore give very careful consideration in choosing how you assign levels to your dancers per the definitions below when creating your studio roster. Also, you are encouraged to check your entry confirmation carefully as acts will not be allowed to change competition level once the show has started, except in the case of a definition violation as ruled by TOP management.
Competitive Level: Top level of competition with typically the biggest breakdown in age divisions and biggest cash awards. Open to all. All Adult acts, Productions, and Vocal performances will automatically compete at this level.
Intermediate Level: The middle level of competition. Intermediate dancers typically have less than 4 years of studio experience of any kind, OR regularly receive 4 hours or less studio instruction of any kind per week. Adult acts, Productions, and Vocal performances are not eligible to compete at the Intermediate Level.
Novice Level: The beginner level of competition. Novice dancers typically have less than 2 years of studio experience of any kind, OR regularly receive 2 hours or less studio instruction of any kind per week. Note that all acts with an average age of 6 or younger will automatically compete at this level regardless of levels assigned to the performers in the act during the creation of your studio roster. Adult acts, Productions, and Vocal performances are not eligible to compete at the Novice Level.
How Act Levels Are Assigned: Each dancer in an act is assigned a point value based on his or her level entered in the studio roster: Novice = 1 point, Intermediate = 2 points, Competitive = 3 points. The level with the highest total points is established for that act. Any ties in the sum of points defaults to the higher level. Manual overrides to a higher level are possible if requested prior to the show entry deadline.
SOLO AGE CATEGORIES
7-8; 9-10; 11-12; 13-14; 15-16; 17-19; 20 & Older. These are the minimum Competitive Level breakdowns for each show. A 6 & Younger age category is also included in the Novice Level. Note that all other Intermediate and Novice Level age categories are determined per show based on the number of entries at those levels, and they typically include a broader range of ages making up each category.
DUET, TRIO, SMALL & LARGE GROUP AGE CATEGORIES
7-8; 9-12; 13-19; 20 & Older. These are the minimum Competitive Level breakdowns for each show. Most shows, depending on entries, will include an additional breakdown in age divisions to include additional age categories. A 6 & Younger age category is also included in the Novice Level. Note that all other Intermediate and Novice Level age categories are determined per show based on the number of entries at those levels, and they typically include a broader range of ages making up each category.
LINE & PRODUCTION AGE CATEGORIES
8 & Younger; 9-12; 13-19; 20 & Older. These are the minimum Competitive Level breakdowns for each show. Some shows, depending on entries, will include an additional breakdown in age divisions to include additional age categories (including 6 & Younger in the Novice Level). Note that Intermediate and Novice Level Lines are typically awarded within a broad entry/age division determined per show based on number of entries. All Productions compete at the competitive level.
Soloist age category and division is determined by age as of JANUARY 1. Duet, Trio and Group age categories and divisions are determined by averaging ages of all act members as of JANUARY 1. Decimal points in all averages are dropped (thereby rounding down in all cases). TOP is an amateur talent competition. No professional performers (as defined by TOP management) are allowed to perform. Duet, Trio or Group acts which include the performance of a studio teacher who regularly teaches three (3) or more paid hours per week will be placed in the 20 & Older category regardless of average age. Age categories and divisions remain the same for National Competition, determined by age as of January 1.
Solos, Duets, Trios, and Small Groups — 3 minutes. Large Groups and Lines — 4 minutes. Productions — 8 minutes maximum. A deduction of 3 points will be taken for each 15 seconds over time limit. There is no option to purchase additional time.
Acro/Gymnastics, Ballet, Baton, Character, Clogging, Contemporary, Folkloric, Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Music Theatre, Open, Pointe, Pom Pon, Song & Dance, Spirit, Student Choreography, Tap and Vocal (see below). Acts must be dominant to the category. Productions generally include performance in a combination of categories. A single (1) handheld wireless microphone will be made available in the Vocal, Song & Dance and Open categories. Headset microphones are not available and use of personal sound equipment of any kind is prohibited. Although performers may generally enter as many different competition categories as desired with different acts, no Solo performer may compete against himself or herself within the same competition category. There is no longer a limit on gymnastic passes. Lifts are permitted in all categories.
More About The Vocal Category:
Please understand that Talent On Parade is primarily a dance competition. We have, however, included the vocal category as a performance opportunity for those dance competitors who are involved in vocal instruction as part of a well-rounded performance education. The vocal category stands alone and is awarded separately from all other categories. The use of sound equipment is limited per above. Note also that time limits in the vocal category are exactly the same as those in all other categories (3 minutes for solos) and will be deducted accordingly if over time. All Vocal acts also compete only at the Competitive Level.
Judges’ scores are based on Technique (1-30 points), Style and Execution (1-25 points), Showmanship (1-20 points), Costume (1-5 points), Choreography (1-10 points), Degree of Difficulty (1-5 points) and Age Appropriate Performance (1-5 points) for a maximum possible 100 points. A final adjudicated score will be determined by an averaging of all judges’ scores.
Each solo act will receive an adjudicated trophy. Each duet, trio and group act will receive one adjudicated trophy and each member of the act will receive a ribbon.
Category Cup awards will be presented to high scoring acts within competition/age categories where three (3) or more acts compete within the same competition/age category. All competition levels are combined for these awards.
Top 5 finishers by age division will receive neck medals. Where the number of entries dictates it, we will also award places 6-10 with Top 10 ribbons. The highest scoring acts by age division will also be awarded a special plaque and cash prizes as follows: Solo $100; Duet/Trio $125; Small Group $150; Large Group/Line $175; Production $200. Important note: A minimum of 3 entries per age division must compete for cash prizes to be awarded. Soloists can place only one act in a lineup, however 2 or more solo performances automatically qualify the performer for High Point award consideration (see High Point below).
Top 5 finishers by age division will receive neck medals. Where the number of entries dictates it, we will also award places 6-10 with Top 10 ribbons. The highest scoring acts by age division will also be awarded a special plaque and a $50 cash prize. A minimum of 3 entries per age division must compete for cash prizes to be awarded. Soloists can place only one act in a lineup, however 2 or more solo performances automatically qualify the performer for High Point award consideration (see High Point below).
Top 5 finishers by age division will receive neck medals. Where the number of entries dictates it, we will also award places 6-10 with Top 10 ribbons. The highest scoring acts by age division will also be awarded a special plaque and a $25 voucher. Important note: A minimum of 3 entries per age division must compete for vouchers to be awarded. Soloists can place only one act in a lineup, however 2 or more solo performances automatically qualify the performer for High Point award consideration (see High Point below).
HIGH POINT AWARDS
Automatic entry for those Solo performers entering 2 or more Solo acts. Top 2 individual scores are averaged to determine winner. High Point age categories typically include 12 & younger, and ages 13-19 lineups. Adult performers are not eligible. All competition levels are combined for High Point awards. Winners receive a plaque and a $50 cash prize.
Automatic entry for all acts. Winners receive a plaque and special recognition.
TOP STARZ PERFORMANCE TEAMS
For each regional block of solo competition, the highest scoring soloist from each studio will receive an invitation to join a TOP Starz Performance Team at the TOP National Finals event of his or her choice. These dancers will have the opportunity to join many others from across the country in the preparation and performance of a Nationals production number. A special invitation card will be presented on stage to each of the selected dancers. The card will contain additional details including the registration process for this special program.
All Optional Entries MUST BE PRE-REGISTERED as they are not accepted at the door.
Photogenic: Those performers who have pre-registered for the photogenic contest should upload their photo(s) per the online instructions. Entry fee of $55 per photo. Open to all Solo, Duet, Trio or Group performers, (photos of individuals only, no group shots accepted). Photogenic winners receive a plaque and a $50 cash prize which is typically presented during the solo awards ceremony for his or her age division. This award also open to Vocal performers. Adult performers are not eligible for this award. Click HERE for instructions on how to enter Photogenic.
TOP Entertainer Title: Open to Solo acts only and judged during performance. Entry fee is $55 per Solo act. Winner is selected based on entertainment value and overall presentation. TOP Entertainer Title winners receive a plaque, a $50 cash prize and special jacket. This award also open to Vocal performers. Adult performers are not eligible for this award.
REGIONAL ENTRY DEADLINES
Entries must be entered online via the DanceComp Genie entry portal and paid-in-full 21 days prior to first day of competition. Late entries will incur an additional $15 fee (per act) if accepted. Important Note: Most of our shows fill up, and many are closed out prior to the 21-day deadline. You are therefore encouraged to submit your paid entries as soon as possible. Acts processed online and only “assigned” to a show without payment does not “hold your place” in a competition. Acts are considered entered only when paid-in-full (this includes Rebate acts as well). ENTRIES SUBMITTED WITHOUT PAYMENT ARE SUBJECT TO BEING “BUMPED” WITHOUT WARNING BY PAID ENTRIES SUBMITTED AT A LATER DATE.
NATIONAL ENTRY DEADLINES
All acts wishing to attend a TOP National event must “qualify” by competing in a TOP Regional event in the same season. Deadlines for entry vary by location. See the 2024 Competition Schedule page for more information.
A rebate of up to 10% can be earned off regional entry fees for qualifying entries. Click here for more information.
Once a show entry deadline has passed, acts that scratch due to injury, illness or any other reason prior to the show may, at TOP management discretion, receive a partial credit towards a future TOP event. Acts that scratch once a show has begun will not be refunded or receive a credit. In cases where it is necessary to schedule solo competition during traditional school hours, a refund of entry fees for those solo acts unable, or unwilling, to perform as scheduled during those school hours may be offered. TOP management will not, however, approve a refund or credit of fees for any studio requesting a complete withdrawal of all acts from a show following the posting of the show schedule. In the unlikely event that TOP management deems it necessary to cancel a competition all entry fees will be returned in full. Entry fees for events that cancel due to events beyond the control of TOP management including, but not limited to, Acts of God, War, Medical Emergencies and/or Terrorist Activity, will not be refunded. Lost/destroyed awards checks may be replaced at 50 percent of their original value at TOP management discretion.
You will have many opportunities to review your acts prior to competition. Our goal (and hopefully yours) is to have all changes and/or corrections made prior to scheduling, and your ability to go online and make adjustments will be cut off once the schedule is posted. Any changes after schedule posting (if accepted) must be made by TOP staff, and will incur a $15 change fee (per act). Please note that each show is scheduled independently based on the number of acts and how those acts break down among solos, duet/trios, and groups. As such there is no “standard schedule” we can share with you prior to the final schedule posting. It is virtually impossible to even guess when any act or group of acts will perform prior to the schedule posting. Please do not contact the office prior to the schedule posting as we simply won’t have any information other than what you’ll find online at the time. Note also that it is generally very difficult to accommodate individual schedule requests given that multiple such requests from multiple studios almost always conflict with one another. Finally, making assumptions about the schedule based on a prior year’s schedule is not recommended. Changes will not be accepted for any act after a performance, unless a rules violation has been confirmed by TOP management. Please keep in mind that confirmation times are to be used as an approximate guideline only. All acts should be prepared to perform up to one hour earlier or later than scheduled as may be requested by the backstage manager. Studio directors must check in at the merchandise table (TOP Shop) a minimum of 2 hours prior to his or her first act (when possible).
PERFORMANCE MUSIC UPLOAD
Uploading performance music is required for each act. Refer to the EVENT INFO buttons on the 2024 Schedule Page for more information about deadlines. Upload music by logging in to the dashboard screen of your DanceComp Genie account and clicking on the Upload Music button near the middle of the page. The only acceptable file types are mp3 and m4a (due to file size, wav files are no longer accepted). If you are unfamiliar with audio file types seek the assistance of most any teenager. File names can include anything you choose as the upload process will automatically re-name the files to meet our needs. Once your music is uploaded, we strongly recommend that you listen to each file to confirm that you have uploaded what you intended to. Be advised, however, that uploaded files can only be listened to from a PC (not a MAC) that is running the Chrome browser. We cannot be responsible for music uploaded incorrectly and, in fairness, we cannot allow an act to re-compete because of an incorrect music upload. We also strongly recommend that you have with you at the show a flash/thumb drive containing all your music files that we can use as a backup if necessary. Contact the TOP office with any questions or issues and we’ll be happy to assist.
This is a DANCE competition, not a PROP competition. You are encouraged to PLEASE USE DISCRETION IN THE SIZE AND QUANTITY OF PROPS, keeping in mind that space is limited in the backstage areas of some venues. Only those props that can be carried on by the performer or performer’s assistant, are vital to the act, and that do NOT require extensive set up/tear down are allowed (see below). Be advised that competitions hosted in convention center settings will almost always require that props be lifted up as much as four feet high to be placed on the stage surface or carried up stairs. Ramps are NOT provided due to space limitations. Mats will be allowed if necessary (not provided) but are subject to the same set up/tear down time limits as all other props. No fire, smoke, knives, throwing of glitter, confetti, sprays, etc. will be allowed. No live animals. Liquid of any kind is absolutely prohibited on stage (water, paint, hairspray, etc.). The throwing of any item off the front of the stage is prohibited. Helium balloons are allowed but must be secured with a weight that will prevent them from floating to the ceiling of the venue. Balloons that do float to the ceiling may incur a retrieval fee imposed by the venue management. Any such retrieval fee will be the sole responsibility of the offending studio. Production props must be in place within 2 minutes and cleared from the stage in 1 minute. Props for all other solo, duet/trio or group acts must be in place within 1 minute and cleared from the stage in 30 seconds. A deduction will be taken for each 15 seconds over time limit. This includes any cleanup time required from the dropping of flower petals, etc. Hint: If the use of any sort of tool is necessary on stage to set up your prop, you should probably reconsider. Any prop which damages the performance venue in any way due to dragging, weight, sharp points, etc., shall be banned from future use, and the act for which it was used will receive a point deduction and may possibly be disqualifed. Studio owners/directors will also be held liable for any such damage. TOP will at no time assume responsibility for the transportation, care or storage of props. TOP also cannot guarantee any accommodations for the parking of prop vehicles and/or trailers, nor provide for guaranteed access to and from the stage. Those studios who decide to utilize props in their performance(s) do so at their own risk and completely within their own abilities.
RUN OFF POLICY
If a solo performer chooses to run off the stage less than 30 seconds after the start of the performance he or she may be granted one re-start. At no time will more than one re-start be granted. Run-offs occurring 30 seconds after the performance has started will not be eligible for a re-start. All run-offs will receive an automatic “T.O.P.” Adjudicated Award and will be disqualified from all awards line-ups. TOP management also reserves the right to change or modify this policy at any time and for any reason.
CLAIMING SCORE SHEETS AND CRITIQUES
All scoring information and video/audio critiques will be accessed by the studio director via DanceComp Genie online. Talent On Parade will make every possible effort to upload scores and critiques in the week following competition barring technical problems. In the event of technical malfunction or third party software breakdown Talent On Parade may not be held liable, and accepts no responsibility, for failure to deliver video/audio critiques and/or scores. Video/audio critiques remain on the Dance Comp Genie server for 90 days after upload. It is the responsibility of the user to listen/view/download files before date of expiration.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOTAPING
Audience members are prohibited from taking photos or video recording during stage performances, and this rule will be strictly enforced. Photography and video is only allowed during awards presentations. We have put this rule in place to protect studio choreography and costuming rights. More importantly we enforce this rule to protect children from having their images used inappropriately and without consent. We will always have a professional photographer and videographer available to accommodate your desire for photos and videos. The purchase of photos and/or videos however is optional. We do NOT automatically add “media fees” to your entry fees.
OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF
All acts should be suitable for viewing by the general public. Please keep in mind, however, that opinion concerning what is “suitable” varies to a wide degree. TOP management also reserves the right to deduct points, disallow or disqualify any act for any reason, including those that may be considered inappropriate by the general viewing public. Coaching of performers is prohibited during performance. Regional cash winners may not re-compete the same act at another Regional in the same competition season, nor during the Regional season in the following year. National cash winners may not re-compete the same act at any Regional or National in the following competition season. TOP management reserves the right to expand a competition to additional days when necessary, or move a competition site. The decisions of the judges are final and represent their professional opinions, not necessarily those of TOP management or staff. Jumping to the floor from the front of the stage is prohibited during performance, as is entrance or exit from the front or rear of the stage (under the stage drop). Entrance and exit from the stage must be made from the left and/or right stage wings only. This rule has been put into effect for the safety of the performers, judges and audience members. Your attendance and/or participation in a TOP event constitutes your approval for the uncompensated use of any photo or video image taken during the event in TOP literature, on the TOP website or in connection with any other TOP venture. TOP cannot be responsible for lost, stolen, broken or unclaimed items (including flashdrives or any other items related to music). Lost and found, and/or unclaimed items, will not be mailed. TOP will not become involved in disputes concerning choreography, rights to performance, costuming, etc. By submitting entries you confirm you own, or have secured the rights to, all elements in the performance. Submission of entries also constitutes the following: You have read, understood, and agree to the rules and regulations listed here. You also agree to release and hereby indemnify Talent On Parade, LLC and their agents from any and all contracts, claims, suits, actions, liabilities, and/or injuries related to doing business in any way with Talent On Parade, LLC or arising as a result of participation in a Talent On Parade, LLC event. You further release Talent On Parade, LLC and their agents from responsibility for any and all loss or damage, court costs, legal fees and/or medical fees. Submission of any fees and all activities related to Talent On Parade, LLC in any way are at your own risk. TOP reserves the right to change, modify and/or eliminate any of the above rules/information at any time.