North Carolina Association for Scholastic Activities Competition Rules

  1. Dance Ensemble
  1. Registration.
  1. All participating schools must register before the competition according to Rule IX of NCASA Competition Rules.
  2. Each school may register just one dance ensemble for each category.
  1. Withdrawal. Ensembles that choose to not participate in a Competition after registering to participate in that Competition must notify NCASA.
  1. Registered ensembles that withdraw from a Competition during the registration period will not pay a penalty.
  2. Registered ensembles that withdraw from a Competition after the conclusion of the Pre-Competition Registration period must pay a penalty.
  1. Registered ensembles that withdraw from a Competition eight (8) or more days prior to the day of the Competition must pay a $30 penalty.
  2. Registered ensembles that withdraw from a Competition between eight (8) and one (1) day prior to the day of the Competition must pay a $50 penalty.
  3. Registered ensembles that withdraw from a Competition less than twentyfour (24) hours prior to the start of the On-Site Registration period shall incur a $100 penalty.
  1. Penalties for withdrawal from a Competition may be waived at the discretion of NCASA.
  1. Volunteer.
  1. Each ensemble must provide a volunteer to help administer the competition unless notified otherwise by NCASA.
  2. Details for volunteer arrival time will be sent to all Coaches prior to each competition.
  3. Ensembles failing to furnish the necessary volunteer will have the Coach serve in that role.
  4. If the coach is unwilling or unable to serve as Volunteer, the ensemble will forfeit.
  1. Check-in. NCASA will publish a “check-in” period for the Competition at least a week prior to the day of the Tournament.
  1. A representative from each choir must check-in during this time period.
  2. Late check-ins may be accepted at the discretion of the competition director.
  1. Ensemble Composition
  1. Director
  1. One individual who is not a student (e.g.: a teacher, assistant principal, etc.) may serve as a Director to train and supervise the Performers.
  1. Performers - eligible students from a Member School that dance will be considered the Performers that comprise an ensemble.
  2. Small Ensembles contain between 4 and 8 performers.
  3. Large Ensembles contain between 9 and 20 performers.
  4. The penalty for extra or insufficient performers is 1 point per person. If the actual number of performers places the ensemble in a new division, then they will be ranked against other ensembles in that new division.
  5. Each school may enter one ensemble per category. A school may not enter a small ensemble and large ensemble in the same category.
  1. Middle School Categories
  1. Jazz / Hip-Hop – This routine should consist of a well-balanced mixture of difficulty, creativity, and technical skills. It may consist of jazz, hiphop, or a combination of these elements including the latest style/funk dance movement with tempo variations.
  2. Contemporary / Lyrical – This routine is an interpretive dance style that illustrates an interpretation of a musical piece. The dance piece should include well-balanced mixture of difficulty, creativity, musicality, and technical skills that is definitive of the dance genre.
  3. Performance time is 1:30 - 3:00 minutes. The total floor time is a maximum of 3:30 minutes. Props may be used no more than 10% of the performance time.
  4. The penalty for going over / under the performance or floor time is one point for every six seconds. A two second grace period to account for timing errors will be granted before a school is penalized.
  5. The penalty for exceeding the Prop time is 10 points.
  1. High School Categories
  1. Jazz
  2. Hip-Hop
  3. Contemporary / Lyrical
  4. Student Choreography - This routine may be any genre but must be choreographed by one or more students from the participating school.
  5. Dance Team - Performance time is 1:30 - 2:15 minutes. Props including poms may be used during the entire performance.
  6. Performance time for all categories except Dance Team is 2:15 - 4:00 minutes. The total floor time is a maximum of 4:30 minutes. Props may be used no more than 10% of the performance time for all categories except Dance Team..
  7. The penalty for going over / under the performance or floor time is one point for every six seconds. A two second grace period to account for timing errors will be granted before a school is penalized.
  8. The penalty for exceeding Prop time is 10 points.

  1. Warm-Up - A minimum of 16 minutes warm-up / stretch time will be scheduled for all ensembles.
  2. Time and Entrance
  1. All ensembles regardless of their method of entrance must enter the competition floor from the same area to set up their performance. Special considerations can be made for the pit crew if agreed to in advance between the Contest Host and the school making the request.
  2. Floor time begins with the first performer’s or pit crew member’s step onto the performance floor and ends with last performer or prop completely off the performance floor.
  3. Performance time shall commence with the first movement of the performers, or first recorded sound of the audio track, or first performance vocals of the performers after the judge has signaled for the performance to begin.
  4. Performance time shall conclude with the first movement of the performers to exit or the final note of music. The latter of the two shall govern the others.
  1. Skills, Tumbling, and Tricks
  1. Skills which bear weight on the hands only and/or tumbling on the performance surface are not allowed while holding poms or props (including stalls, etc). A full clean hand must be in contact with the performance surface for all weight bearing skills. Weight bearing skills are allowed while wearing gloves. Exception: Forward and backward rolls are allowed. Skills using Hands Free Grip poms are allowed.
  2. Tumbling and/ or tricks: An acrobatic or gymnastics skill executed by an individual dancer without contact, assistance or support of another dancer(s) and begins and ends on the performance surface. Tumbling is allowed, but not required.
  3. The following tumbling moves are NOT permitted: front/back tucks, side somi, layouts, Shushunova, headsprings (without hands), dive rolls (in any position), and toe pitches.
  4. For clarification, the following tumbling moves are permitted: forward/backward rolls, front/back handsprings, continuous double (partner) cartwheels, shoulder rolls, cartwheels, headstands, handstands, backbends, front/back walkovers, stalls/freezes, windmills, kip up, round off, aerials, and headsprings (with hands).
  5. Tumbling skills with airborne hip over head rotation is limited to 2 connected skills. Example: 2 consecutive headsprings are allowed; 3 are not allowed.
  6. Drops to the knee, thigh, seat, front, back, jazz split (hurdler) or split position onto the performing surface from a turn, jump, stand, or inverted position must first bear weight on the hands or feet in order to break the impact of the drop.
  7. Drops to a push-up position onto the performance surface are permitted from a standing or kneeling position or from a jump with forward momentum (i.e. Flying Squirrel) or an X, Star or Spread Eagle jump. All variations of a Shushunova are not permitted.
  1. Dance Lifts and Partnering
  1. Any Supporting Dancer who has primary weight of a Lifted Dancer must maintain direct contact with the performance surface at all times.
  2. At least one Supporting Dancer must have hand / arm / body to hand /arm/ body contact with the Executing Dancer(s) throughout the entire Lift, Trick, Partnering or Tumbling skill. Lifting with Poms is allowed.
  3. Swinging Lifts and Tricks are allowed provided the Executing Dancer’s body does not make a complete circular rotation and is in a supine position (may not be prone) at all times.
  4. Elevators, show and go’s, extensions and any cheer based stunts are not permitted.
  1. Jumping and Tossing
  1. Jumping or leaping on or off a dancer is allowed as long as there is hand/arm (Supporting Dancer) to hand/arm/body (Executing dancer) contact with a Supporting Dancer throughout the skill.
  2. Tossing a dancer is allowed as long as there is hand/arm (supporting dancer) to hand/arm/body (executing dancer) contact with at least one other dancer throughout the skill.
  1. Hip Over Head Rotation
  1. Hip over head rotation is defined as an action where hips move over the head. (Example: Cartwheel or front/back walkover is an example of hip over head rotation. Going up into a handstand and back down the same way is not considered hip over head rotation).
  2. Hip over head rotation of the Executing Dancer(s) may occur as long as ALL of the following apply:
  1. His/her hips do not exceed the height of the Supporting Dancer’s shoulders when standing upright,
  2. The Supporting dancer must be stationary.
  1. Vertical Inversions
  1. A vertical inversion is defined as a position in which the Executing Dancer's shoulders are below their waist and bear direct weight on the Supporting Dancer.
  2. A downward vertical inversion is defined as the momentum of the Executing Dancers head, neck, and shoulders moving towards the performance surface while inverted.
  3. Vertical Inversions are allowed as long as the Supporting Dancer is in a position to protect the head, neck and shoulders of the Executing Dancer.
  4. Downward vertical inversions are allowed as long as there are at least 2 Supporting Dancers bearing weight and in a position to protect the Executing Dancers head, neck, and shoulders.
  1. Penalties

  1. Front Line boundary: Ensembles can wave feet, hands, props etc over the front line but cannot touch it. There is no penalty for crossing the other lines. Each infraction is 5 points per person per judge. The front of a stage is considered the Front Line boundary.
  2. Tumbling/Partner stunts are considered illegal. The penalty is 5 points per infraction. The penalty for all safety-related infractions is 5 points per infraction.
  3. Inappropriate music/choreography/costuming that is suggestive, offensive or vulgar is inappropriate for family audiences and therefore, lacks audience appeal. Routine choreography should be appropriate and entertaining for all audience members. Each infraction is 10 points per Judge.
  1. Performance CD and Back-up
  1. Your performance music must be on a pre-approved media published prior to the performance.
  2. Have a backup CD or MP3 recording in hand at the time of your performance.
  3. The media must be labeled with the school and category.
  4. The director or a reliable representative MUST report to the Sound Table 1-2 routines prior to your performance. That person must remain at the Sound Table during the entire performance. Failure to report will result in a total 5-point penalty for the ensemble and that performance will proceed without a director.
  1. Performance Area
  1. The performance area for all categories except Dance Team is a stage with a minimum proscenium of 40’ and a minimum depth of 30’. If a stage is not available the host school may use a gym or similar area for the competition.
  2. Dance Team - The performance area for Dance Team is a standard high school basketball court.
  1. Choreography and Music
  1. Suggestive, offensive, and vulgar choreography and/or music, profanity either visual or audible is not conducive to the professionalism of NCASA and is inappropriate for family audiences and therefore lacks audience appeal.
  2. Further investigation will occur if a questionable word or phrase (including the word “hell”) is used in the song. Upon completion of an investigation, a penalty will be issued if deemed necessary. It is preferred the word is removed. The Head Judge makes the final decision on the interpretation of the lyric/word.
  3. Performances should be appropriate and entertaining for all audience members. Routines, music and uniforms for all ensemble types should be appropriate for the age of the performers. Routines should not reference to anything that pertains to illegal activity by minors (i.e. smoking, drinking, drugs, etc.) Deductions will be given for choreography, which includes but is not limited to, movements such as hip thrusting and inappropriate touching, gestures, hand/arm movements and signals, slapping, positioning of body parts and positioning to one another.
  4. Judges will be directed to deduct points in the choreography and execution categories of the score-sheet if routines are too suggestive in nature. A 10- pt. penalty will be issued for each infraction.
  5. Lyrics: If ensembles are in question about lyrics, print out the lyrics from
  6. The Dance Ensemble must submit the Dance Ensemble Choreography Approval form signed by the scholastic director or principal upon check-in. (Note: this form must be signed by the principal if the dance ensemble director is also the scholastic director.)
  1. Costuming

1.        Appropriate costuming is required. Bare midriffs (including sports-bra styling) are NOT allowed and will result in a 10 point penalty. However, a fabric inset or body tight may be used to give the appearance of a bare midriff without penalty.

2.        NCASA suggests the wearing of tights with all spandex shorts/briefs and leotards.  All dancers must be costumed appropriately for their age and middle school dancers are REQUIRED to wear tights with ALL spandex shorts/briefs and leotards.

3.        Costumes or school uniforms may be used for performance wear.  Uniforms or costuming CANNOT include: sports bras or bra tops as the primary part of your costume, bare midriffs, taps, tap shoes or pointe shoes.

4.        Male participants may not perform shirtless. A 5 point penalty off the total score will be given for violation of this rule.

5.        A costume accessory such as a hood, hat, glove, goggles, handkerchief or scarf can be maneuvered within a routine, but the movement should be very limited - it will be up to the judges to determine if the routine has enough scoresheet content for the category entered.

6.        Clothing removal will only be permitted with pre-approval by the contest director no less than two weeks prior to the performance. Removal of clothing behind a backdrop also needs to be pre-approved. Removal of clothing CANNOT be suggestive in nature. A 10 point penalty off the total score will be given for clothing removal without permission, and could put your ensemble out of contention for trophy placement.

7.        COSTUME MALFUNCTION during the performance: In the event of a costume malfunction that exposes body parts, NCASA suggests that the dancer leave the floor not to distract from the entire routine. Dancers are encouraged to practice with their performance costume prior to competition, however, some things occur that are unpredictable.

8.        INJURY OR ILLNESS during the performance:  If someone becomes very ill during a performance, please tell your dancers to leave the floor before she/he collapses and causes injury to themselves or others. In the case of a major injury or fall on the performance floor, the routine will be stopped.

9.        SHOES: Dancers may perform barefoot.  None of these types of shoes will be allowed on the performance floor: tap shoes, pointe shoes, roller blades, roller skates, cowboy boots or black tuxedo shoes. Skateboards or shoes with wheels will not be allowed. All shoes should be checked to make sure they do not make black marks on the floor. IF a pair of shoes are worn during a performance and create marks on the floor, the routine could be stopped to prevent further damage to the floor.

10.        For safety purposes, foot covering must be worn at all times except in the performance area or warm-up area.

  1. Adjudication and Scoring
  1. The NCASA Dance Ensemble Scoresheet and Rubric will be used for adjudication and scoring for all portions of the competition. A PDF of this form can be found on the NCASA website.
  2. The final score will be adjusted accordingly for choirs exceeding the time limit or violation of other guidelines not addressed in the scoring rubric.
  1. Ranking and Advancement
  1. Ensembles will be ranked with the highest average score from all judges receiving the highest ranking.
  2. The ensemble with the highest score in each Regional will advance to the State Finals and be declared the Regional Champion.
  3. Advancement of remaining schools to the state final will be determined by the Dance Ensemble committee after registration is closed but prior to the Regional competitions. The advancement requirements will be publicized to all participating schools.
  4. NCASA reserves the right to combine Regions, Divisions, or Categories with few entries.
  5. First Place Tie
  1. First tiebreaker: the scores from each judge are examined. If the majority of judges prefer one school (according to scores) then that school will be declared the winner.
  2. If the first tiebreaker does not break the tie, the lowest score for each tied school will be examined. The choir with the highest of these low scores will be declared the winner.
  3. If still tied, the competition will end in a tie.
  1. Awards
  1. The highest scoring ensemble in each Division will be recognized.
  2. The following individuals will be chosen by the judges and recognized:
  1. Outstanding male middle school dancer
  2. Outstanding female middle school dancer
  3. Outstanding male high school dancer
  4. Outstanding female high school dancer
  1. Overall team ranking
  1. The top three scores earned by each high school (two scores for middle schools) will be averaged to determine the team score.
  2. For schools participating in fewer than three (two for middle school) events, a zero for non-events will be used for team score calculation purposes.
  3. If two or more teams tie in average score, then the score from the fourth-highest (then fifth highest if necessary) will be used as the first and second tie-breaker.
  4. Rankings earned in the top three categories will be used as the third tie-breaker.
  1. Overall team ranking will be used to award Cup points.