Competitive Program


Studio C Dance School provides training to dancers chosen to be members of the Competitive Dance Team, which currently has 35 members.  Competition Dance is a choice for students who are passionate about dancing, and are ready to show dedication and hard-work in the pursuit of improving their dance technique and performance.  After training through the late summer, fall, and winter, dancers experience the anticipation and excitement of stepping onto the competition stage.

The Dance Team participates in two competitions each spring and/or summer in Gatineau, Ottawa, or other cities in Canada or the USA.  Some competitions offer additional opportunities by awarding scholarships and professional dance contracts.

Mini Team

  • Entering grade 1, 2 or 3
  • Two weekly classes: Jazz and Tap
  • CDTA Level: Primary Tap, Primary Jazz
  • Participates in Production Number, and Finale
  • Eligible to add duet/trio after 1 year on the team
  • May also choose to add Ballet and/or Acro to their schedule
  • Most dancers will complete a minimum of 2 years at the Mini level, even if their age is Junior (ie. If first competitive season is grade 3, they would remain a Mini in grade 4)

   Junior Team

  • Entering grade 4, 5 or 6
  • Two weekly classes: Jazz and Tap
  • CDTA Level: Grade 1 & 2 Tap, Grade 1 & 2 Jazz
  • Participates in Production Number, and Finale
  • Eligible for Duets/Trios and Solos
  • May also choose to add Ballet and/or Acro to their schedule
  • A grade 6 Junior may also add Lyrical to their schedule

Intermediate Team

  • Entering grade 6, 7 or 8 
  • Three weekly classes: Jazz, Tap and Lyrical
  • CDTA Level: Grade 2 & 3 Tap, Grade 2 & 3 Jazz
  • Participates in Production Number, and Finale
  • Eligible for Duets/Trios and Solos
  • May also choose to add Ballet and/or Acro to their schedule
  • Placement after Intermediate depends on the successful acquisition of certain technical skills, including flexibility, extension, strength, rhythm, performance quality, and the ability to learn and retain choreography.  Number of studio hours, including optional classes, are also a factor.  Some students will move directly to the Senior Elite program, and others will compete as Teens for one or more years.

Teen Team

  • Entering grade 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12
  • Three weekly classes: Jazz, Tap and Lyrical
  • CDTA Level: Grade 2 & 3 Tap, Grade 2 & 3 Jazz 
  • Participates in Production Number, Senior Production, and Finale
  • Eligible for Duets/Trios and Solos
  • May also choose to add Ballet and/or Acro to their schedule
  • Some students will compete at the Teen level for only a year or two, before moving on to Senior Elite.  Most dancers will compete at the Teen level for longer, and may eventually graduate competing as Teen dancers.

Senior Elite Team

  • Entering grade 9, 10, 11 or 12
  • Five weekly classes: Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Ballet and Acro 
  • CDTA Level: Grade 4+ Tap, Grade 4+ Jazz
  • Participates in Production Number, Senior Production, and Finale 
  • Consistently competes with Duets/Trios and/or Solos
  • Achieves high level results on CDTA exams, and is ready to complete Senior Grades
  • Dancers in the Senior Elite program are committed to an intensive program of study.  They have achieved a high level of technical and performance skill in all dance styles.  They learn and retain complex choreography quickly, and are independent and self-motivated learners.  Entry to this program is at the discretion of the studio, and may not be offered to all students regardless of age.

Not all team members aim for a career in dance.  Some join to experience the excitement of performance and competition.  Most gain an increased self-confidence, and all improve their dance technique more quickly.

More is expected of dancers on the Team – there is more rehearsal time, more effort, more teamwork, more responsibility to the studio, Instructors and others on the Team.  The level of commitment and responsibility is not for everyone so please consider it carefully.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about our competitive program:

How are team members chosen?

Candidates for the Dance Team are dancers who show a commitment to dance and who wish to further their training through performance.  Becoming a member of the Dance Team is by invitation only.  Each year, following the recital, invitations are made by phone.  If your son/daughter is interested in our competitive program, we encourage you to speak with one of our teachers.

What is the time commitment for team members? How many classes do they need to take?

Time commitment and class expectations increase as the dancers age. The Mini program focusses on fundamental dance skills for these young dancers. Over time, dancers will develop into accomplished technicians and performers. The details of each level are explained in the chart above this FAQ.

What costs are involved?
  • Program tuition (paid monthly, same as recreational classes, in cash, by cheque, or by credit card)
  • Solo, duet or trio class tuition, and competition entry fees
  • Appropriate shoes for each dance discipline
  • Hotel and travel expenses
  • Competition hair & makeup tools
  • Replacement competition tights as needed
Do we get anything for free?

Yes! Absolutely.  Our competitive dancers are rewarded with a complementary team jacket and dance bag.  They are given one pair of new competition tights per season.  They are provided with competition jewelry free of charge.  Best of all, competitive team members receive extra rehearsal time and summer team classes free of charge!  You do not pay dance tuition in June, July and August.

How are competition fees paid?

Dancers participate in a number of fundraising activities throughout the year to offset the cost of competition entry fees.  Group entry fees are covered by this fundraising.

Solo, duet and trio entry fees are the responsibility of the dancer.  Those fees vary from competition to competition, and can be anywhere from $50-$100 per dancer.  Competition fees are due in December.

Do we have to participate in fundraising?

Yes.  All money raised by the team stays with the team, and offsets the cost associated with competing.

What are CDTA exams, and do we have to participate?

CDTA stands for the Canadian Dance Teachers Association.  It is a student and teacher training syllabus that develops the technical skill of our dancers.  Exams are an important part of the process, as they help students to identify strengths and goals.  All competitive students must complete their examinations as they move up through the competitive age brackets.

How do students move up to the next competitive team?

Generally speaking, as students get older, they age into the next competitive age bracket, and move up into the next team.  The decision regarding team placement for each season is made by the studio, and students must also demonstrate readiness for the technical demands of the older age bracket.  It is not uncommon for students to spend an extra season in a particular age bracket before moving up.

When does competition season take place?

Competition season is typically April & May, with dress rehearsal occurring sometime in March.  An additional optional competition is often offered to our Intermediate and Senior team during the summer.

When will we get a competition schedule?

This is one of our most asked questions, and definitely the hardest to answer! As soon as we choose the competitions we will be attending, we will let you know the dates.  This usually happens in December.

The DETAILED Schedule (specific times and dates) is not available until much later. Typically, we can provide it about 2-3 weeks prior, but sometimes it’s less than that. Sometimes dancers compete only on a Saturday; sometimes on Friday, or on Sunday; sometimes Thursday night. And if your dancer is in a lot of numbers, it could be on every day!  We are at the mercy of the competition schedule, and can do very little to influence it.

It’s important that you block that weekend off, and realize you need to make arrangements so that you and your son/daughter are completely available.

This may seem stressful, but we have been doing it now for 25 years, and I promise it’s a really enjoyable time.  Feel free to talk to other competitive moms and dads for feedback and tips!

Do the dancers have special rehearsals?

Each dance is choreographed and rehearsed during regular classes, with the exception of the whole team Production Number.  To accommodate 30+ dancers, special rehearsals are sometimes scheduled on Saturday afternoons.  During the Christmas holidays, we hold a full-day practice for the entire team, which has become a really fun tradition, and great for team bonding.  In March, there is a competitive dress rehearsal.  The dates are provided well in advance.

How many competitions do you enter?

All four teams (Mini, Junior, Intermediate, Senior) compete in two regional competitions in the spring.  The Intermediate and Senior teams are often presented with an optional competition/convention opportunity in the summer.

Do I need to be present at each competition?

Typically, a parent is present for each dancer.  It’s a wonderful culmination of the hard-work and commitment that your dancer has made throughout the year, and our dance family loves to celebrate it together!  The audience is usually full of moms, dads, sisters, brothers, grandparents, extended family, and friends.  That being said, no, you do not need to be present, but you must make arrangements with another dance parent to take responsibility for your son/daughter.  Travel, supervision, meals, and competition preparation cannot be undertaken by our studio staff; we simply have too many responsibilities to the entire team.