The classiest & most prestigious dance team competition in California!
DANCE COMPETITION JUDGING CRITERIA
All routines must demonstrate specific technique of category entered. Teams and soloists are judged on routine construction, technical execution & performance showmanship. Judges’ decisions are accepted as FINAL.
ROUTINE TIME LIMIT REQUIREMENTS
Dance teams have 30 seconds to enter/exit the floor. Timing and judging begins with the first beat of the music and ends with the last beat of the music. Team routines must be 2-3 minutes in duration. All dance solos & duet/trio routines must be not less than 90 seconds and not more than 2 minutes in duration.
MUSIC REQUIREMENTS (NO COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS)
MDDTUSA allows teams permission to use any music they wish (excluding profanity & suggestive lyrics). Please make sure all music is family-friendly.
To avoid a 5-point penalty, directors/coaches MUST UPLOAD their music using our online registration system by the music upload deadline (date posted in the info packet).
COSTUMES & FOOTWEAR
Performance costumes must enhance the theme and/or style of the routine. Costumes must be in good taste, appropriate for a family audience, and approved by the team’s Director. With regard to footwear, our preference is performers wear any style of soft/rubber sole shoes; but half-soles/bare feet are permitted.
GUIDELINES FOR USE OF PROPS AND/OR SETS
Props and sets may be used in a routine. All props/sets must be rubber-tipped to prevent floor damage. If protective tips are not used, the routine will be disqualified. Any damage to facilities or performance floor caused by use of props and/or sets will result in disqualification. Damages are charged to the team’s school.
Please make checks payable to: Miss Dance Drill Team USA
Please email us with any music upload questions or technical issues that arise during your online registration. We are always here to help, and do our best to respond to all inquiries as quickly as possible.
SOLOS & SOLO TITLE
DANCE SOLO CATEGORIES
1. GRADE LEVEL SOLO (BEST OF CALIFORNIA)
Our Best of CA grade level solo category is the perfect option for soloists who wish to compete against other solo performers in their same school grade level and preferred dance style. Divisions are typically separated by grade level and dance style. Soloists in this category can compete in Jazz, Lyrical/Contemporary, or Hiphop.
2. IMPROV SOLO (BEST OF CALIFORNIA)
This solo category is an exciting option for dancers who excel in contemporary dance improvisation! In the preliminary round, dancers perform a contemporary freestyle dance to a random music selection provided by our music director (45 seconds; Dancers perform one at a time).
The TOP improv solos later advance to FINALS, during which dancers perform on the floor simultaneously with all other finalists. Dancers are encouraged to showcase their individual improvisational skills while also interacting with other finalists.
3. SOLO TITLE CHAMPIONSHIP
The highlight of the MDDT California dance competition is the crowning of our state solo title winners! This option is the most prestigious dance competition for experienced soloists (It is the only dance competition format that is patented by the U.S. Library of Congress, recognized as America's original national dance competition for soloists). State Champions are selected following a rigorous competition that focuses on the dancer as a whole person by allowing their personality and individuality to shine (in combination with their talent as a seasonED dancer). Past contestants frequently tell us that this division is their 100% favorite! And it's definitely a life-changing experience they cherish for the rest of their lives.
RULES & ELIGIBILITY
The solo title championship category is separated by age (not by grade level). All contestants in this category must currently be enrolled in high school grades 9-12 at the time of the event. The following California state championship titles are awarded:
- Miss Dance Drill Team California (age 16-19)
- Miss Teen Dance Drill Team California (age 13-15)
- Mr. Dance California (age 13-19)
Contestants are evaluated by a panel of qualified judges in the areas of dance performance, spotlight skills (formerly known as modeling), and response to an impromptu question from the judges.
1. DANCE ROUTINE (70% of total score)
Contestant must display talent in a dance routine (90 secs - 2 min) using any or all disciplines of dance performance styles (limited to 3 gymnastic feats). Contestants' solo dance routines are judged on routine construction, execution & showmanship. Costuming may be as creative as you wish.
2. SPOTLIGHT SKILLS / MODELING (15% of total score) *CLICK FOR EXAMPLE*
Formerly known as "modeling", during this portion of the solo title competition the contestant must perform a compulsory format demonstrating (5) movement skills for starting/ending a dance routine. Dancers should present areas of technical strength, tricks, movement specialties, etc. This element is scored on content presentation & overall execution of the following:
Position #1: SKILL/POSE (pause), then WALK 8 Steps to...
Position #2: SKILL/POSE (pause), then WALK 8 Steps to...
Position #3: SKILL/POSE (pause), and so on...
After the 5th Position - POSE (pause), and then Exit.
Walking naturally is permitted from position-to-position (no walking on toes, strutting, jazz walks, runs, marching, or dancing). Total timing must not exceed 45 seconds.
Dress Code Requirement: During the spotlight skills / modeling element, solo title contestants MUST WEAR ALL BLACK fitted dance attire (There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule). This is a separate outfit from the dance routine costume, with an emphasis on simplicity. The outfit should help accentuate the dancer's talent and movement abilities.
Examples of ACCEPTABLE dance wear include:
- ¾ sleeve or sleeveless leotard (lace, sheer & cutouts acceptable; no rhinestones or sequins allowed)
- Black tights/leggings/dance pant/capri pant
- Fitted top (no cleavage allowed; no extremely baggy allowed)
Examples of UNACCEPTABLE dance wear include:
- Low cleavage tops of any kind
- Spandex shorts without accompanying tights or leggings
3. JUDGES QUESTION (15% of total score)
Contestant is judged on their response to an impromptu question from the judges (response must not exceed 45 seconds to avoid penalty). Scoring is based on confidence, projection, poise, diction and enthusiasm. No notes or props allowed!
During Prelims = Must wear their modeling outfit (with a plain black dance skirt during prelims - ladies only).
During Finals = Formal wear for all solo title contestants!
SOLO TITLE FINALS & CROWNING
The Top (10) “Miss” finalists & Top (10) “Mr.” finalists are announced. Finalists re-compete in the routine category. The Top (8) “Miss” contestants & Top (8) “Mr.” contestants after this round will then be judged on their modeling/5-point presentation. The Top (5) “Miss” finalists and Top (5) “Mr.” finalists after modeling are then asked an impromptu final question. Scores are tabulated, and the MDDT California “solo title” winners are announced.
Note: The Top (10) solo title placings in each solo title division receive automatic bids to U.S. NATIONALS: These dancers are REQUIRED to represent the State of California at our MDDT DANCE TEAM NATIONALS during spring of that same season. Please make sure all directors, coaches, and contestants are fully prepared to abide by this rule... NO EXCEPTIONS! Any breach of this obligation WILL result in the cancellation of the dancer's state solo title award.
TEAM ROUTINE CATEGORY GUIDELINES
Duet/Trio: Routines are limited to 2-3 performers of any age & in any of the following styles: Open Dance OR Open Hip Hop
Officer/Mini: Routine may be of any style, or combination of styles.
Jazz: Routine emphasis must be on jazz dance technique. Props permitted but must not be the focal point of the routine.
Lyrical: Routine must be of a poetic style with soft, flowing choreography that focuses on lyrical interpretation. Music selection must contain audible song lyrics. Much more technical & controlled in nature than any other division.
Contemporary: Routine must contain creative, abstract, and dramatic movements that showcase emerging contemporary/modern dance, unique musical interpretation, and/or concert dance techniques.
Hip Hop: We currently offer (3) different hip hop divisions: Open Hip Hop, All Male Hip Hop, OR All Female Hip Hop. Routine must demonstrate any combination of street dance choreography (e.g. hip hop, funk, freestyle, house, grooves, popping, locking, breakdancing, etc). Dancers may compete in any division(s) in which the team's choreography best suits their gender identity.
Military: Routine displays precision movements. Choreography must demonstrate sharp angular arm sequences, a variety of marching styles & contagion/level dynamics (kickline sequence is allowed). Traditional military includes leading with the left foot.
Kick: Majority of routine must emphasize defined and precise kicks, with focus on technique, height, timing and unison.
Pom/Song: Routine must focus on the use of poms, featuring innovative dance and precision movements. All division sizes are separated by Varsity or JV, except for the "Pom/Song Team Performance" category which can include all dancers in your pom/song program. There are NO movement restrictions!
Novelty/Character: Routine emphasis must be on characterization or be of a unique, thematic nature. Must use clever costumes and unusual or innovative moves to convey the thematic character-driven choreography. Small sets are allowed.
Prop: Routine emphasis must be on the use of a prop or variety of props as the major focal point.
Dance/Drill: Routine must consist of 50% jazz or lyrical/contemp choreography and 50% military choreography.
Open Dance: Routine may be of any style, or combination of styles.