It is our desire to present a first class contest for dance/drill teams. Below we have listed contest rules and information. If you have any additional questions, please call the American Dance/Drill Team® office at 800/462-5719 or write to us at Office hours are Monday- Thursday from 9:00-5:00pm.

Teams Officers
Ensembles College Teams
Solos Elementary/Jr Teams
Category Descriptions Discouraged / Not Permitted
Time Limits Music
Penalties Videos
Dressing Areas Schedules
2 Day Competitions Proper Registration


2 minute time limit with 15 second grace period. The soloist is disqualified from finals if over time. Any solos that are entering as individuals without their team, must register and pay at least 2 weeks in advance of a competition. The registration will be cut off at the two week deadline for individual solos. At the Kansas Spectacular, KSHSAA rules do not allow for individual winners. Top scoring solos in all divisions will be recognized as the "Kansas Winner's Circle" and receive a special olympic style medal.

Soloists may perform any style of dance, but tap solos are not allowed due to restrictions on the dance surface at most venues.

Soloists who have graduated from high school and are active on a college dance team may compete in the Collegiate category. No soloists can compete if they are currently a member of a professional dance squad (ie: NBA or NFL or semi pro team dancers).

High School Solos will be separated into classifications: Sr. Private (high school through 20 years old), Jr Varsity/Pep Squad (any size), X-Small Team (1-15), Small Team (16-25), Medium Team (26-35), Large Team (36-45) and Super Team (46+). If there are 5 or less solos in a division, we may combine them with another division.


All Star solos will be broken down into classifications PROVIDED there are at least 5 soloists in each age group. The breakdown will be: Mascots (6 years and under), Elementary (7-9 years by Aug. 31), Intermediate (10-12 years by Aug. 31), Junior (13-15 years by Aug. 31), Senior (16-18 years by Aug. 31). If there are 5 or less solos in a division, we may combine them with another division.

Soloists need to be prepared to perform in an area that may be as small as 30' x 40' and could have a variety of surfaces and performance areas. See Contest Profile for performance areas and surfaces.

Solo finalists will not dance again. Solo finalists should be in costume at the awards ceremony with music turned into the announcer.. Solo winners in each division will perform their winning solo at the beginning of the awards ceremony.

Any soloist entering more than one solo, may only final with the single highest scoring routine in one division.

NEW FOR 2018 SEASON: In order for any solos to participate in a competition representing their high school (or middle school) team, your team or officers must be entered in at least one event at the competition. Otherwise, the solos will be placed in the Senior Private all star division as an independant solo.

Soloists must be registered and paid at least 2 weeks in advance of the competition. We will no longer accept payment on the contest day.

If the contest you are entering is a Friday-Saturday contest, please denote next to your soloists name an F or S as to when your solos will perform. If you do not mark anything, we will assume they can perform either day. (All solos must be performed on Friday evening at the Kansas Spectacular due to KSHSAA rules.) Please note that KSHSAA rules do not allow for a single solo winner. "Kansas Winner's Circle Solos" will be announced at the awards ceremony recognizing the high scores of the competition. Please refer to KSHSAA rules on their web site at

All solos will receive divisional ratings. Solos receiving an overall Division I or Division II rating will receive a medallion pin, with other divisional ratings receiving ribbons. All will receive 2 scoresheets and 2 judges audio/video comments on USB flash drive. Individual solos that pay the individual fee will receive two flash drives each. Solos representing a team will have all solo audio/video comments on one USB flash drive that the director will receive in their results packets. Packets may be picked up following the awards ceremony by the director. Individual soloists must pick up their results packets at the Awards Table immediately following the solo awards ceremony as we can no longer mail the results packets.

• Music may be played on CD, iPod or MP3. If bringing a CD, please check your CD in our Music Check equipment to make sure it will read properly. We also ask that you bring a backup on another device, in case your CD does not read on our equipmenet. Please record only one song per CD. All of our equipment will have pitch control on CD's. However, we encourage you to burn your CD and performance tempo. If you plan to use an iPod or MP3, please have someone at the sound table to start and stop your music on cue from the announcer and do not leave the device with announcer. We will not be responsible for any lost music or devices. If using a smart phone, please set on 'Airplane Mode' so music is not interupted by text or call. If you have been practicing with a blue tooth speaker prior to your performance, please make sure to either turn the portable speaker off or turn off bluetooth so that the device will not try to pair with the portable speaker instead of our sound equipment.

Please confirm all soloists names with the ADTS® office by the Monday prior to the competition.

Private and All Star Teams

There will be a special division for all star teams to perform in categories of their choice. There must be at least 6 members to constitute a team. Categories open to all star teams are: JAZZ, KICK, PROP, NOVELTY, MILITARY, POM, LYRICAL, MODERN, HIP HOP, CONTEMPORARY, SHOW PRODUCTION, and OPEN (Folkloric, Ballet, Production, or a combination of 3 or several styles of dance). Other categories open to all star teams are: OFFICERS, DUETS, SMALL, MEDIUM & LARGE ENSEMBLES and SOLOS.

Solo winners will be selected in each age category, provided there are at least 5 participants in each. Refer to other sections for specifics on various competition categories available and their rules.

There must be FIVE groups in each age division entered for separate awards to be awarded. The breakdown will be: Mascots (6 and under), Elementary (7-9 years by Aug. 31), Intermediate (10-12 years by Aug. 31), Junior (13-15 years by Aug. 31), Senior (16-18 years by Aug. 31).


The following explanation of category routine styles should be adhered to when entering an ADTS® contest. Please adhere to entrance/exit time limits on all routines to avoid penalties

JAZZ: This style of routine should focus on the technical aspect of "true" jazz and may incorporate leaps, turns, and technical moves. No props or poms may be used in this category.
KICK: A routine that should be executed by a team who is performing varied kick sequences with proper kick technique. Kicks must be done to at least 70% of the music.
PROP: A team may use any prop they desire besides pom pons for this category. Props may be hand held or used as staging for the dance. The prop should be the main visual focus of the routine and should be used for at least 80% of the music. All props or staging MUST be padded properly and approved by an ADTS® representative or by a school/facility administrator prior to performance.

NOVELTY: A routine that should contain proper dance technique and fit a "character" and/or the thematic interpretation of a song. The use of costumes to fit a character routine is permitted. Props may be used in this category as long as they are not serving as the major visual point of the routine. Limited staging is permitted as long as set up and breakdown can be included in the 5 minute time window (set up/performance/breakdown).
POM: A pom routine should consist of visual formations and strong visual effects with the use of the poms. Proper dance technique should be used while performing and teams must enter and exit with poms in their hands. Poms must be used for at least 80% of the routine.
MILITARY: A routine that contains sharp arm, head and leg movements, as well as visual formations done with military type marching, pivots, flanks and/or type.

: A routine that consists primarily of contemporary upbeat moves that are sharp and dynamic and have a "street style" of dance. Music will have a driving beat as well as high energy and fast paced.

LYRICAL: This style of routine should incorporate technical dance moves from ballet and fluid jazz, as well as proper interpretation of the music. The routine should be visual and connected throughout and should contain leaps, turns and footwork.
MODERN: It should be theatrical dance that is not ballet and not lyrical. It allows performers a unique vocabulary that is not standardized, and can include partnering, floorwork and interpretive movements. It allows for aesthetic, free forms of dance and not restricted to traditional dance terms nor moves.

CONTEMPORARY: A dance style that utilizes ballet, modern, or post modern movements. The choreography should be innovative and fresh, as well as an interpretation of the music itself. In terms of the focus of its technique, contemporary dance tends to combine the strong and controlled legwork of ballet with modern dances stress on the torso, and also employs contract-release, floor work, fall recovery, and improvisation characteristics of modern dance. This category is designed for routines that incorporate modern elements with both classical and non-classical movement.
OPEN: Open category can include styles of dance that do not fall under another category, ex., Folkloric, Ballet, Ballroom, or a combination of 3 or more styles of dance. It is not allowed to perform a duplicate style dance that is already registered by your team. Time limit for set up, performance and breakdown is now 5 minutes.

SHOW PRODUCTION: Show Production category will be a themed production that has some staging and props to carry out a theme and can include any style or combination of styles of dance. The dancers must consist only of grade eligible students from your school (no one outside your school). The time limit for this category is 10 minutes inclusive (set up, performance, break down). Penalties will be incurred for teams exceeding the 10 minute limit. There is a different entry fee for Show Production than the other team categories. `

IMPORTANT: Backdrops will need to be rehearsed for set up and breakdown procedures by your parents or students. In the past, we have been very lax in not penalizing overage on set up time. Show Production category will allow 10 minutes for setup, performance and break down. For Open and Novelty, there is a 5 minute window for setup, performance and breakdown. All other categories will have 4 minutes for set up, performance and break down. If there is any exception to this, it must be approved through the American office. Penalties will be assessed in the amount of one point per minute per judge for any time overage. The head judge will assess this penalty after the judges have issued their scores on the routine. Keep in mind that many contest locations have limited prop storage on site. All props will need to be able to pass easily through a 7 foot door without the center bar. Please contact our office if you have any questions.
*If you are unsure of the category that your routine should be placed in, please call our office.
*If judges feel a routine is out of category, the routine may not be eligible for category "Judges Awards".


NO SPECIAL EFFECTS! This includes smoke, hay, raffia, pyrotechnics, confetti, baby powder, nor any form of liquid, etc. Call our office if you need clarification. Any damages done to the facility will become responsibility of the violating team. Penalties or disqualification will be issued to teams violating these special effects rules.

No metal swords, guns with bayonettes, nor any other sharp objects may be used in routines. Any object that might cause harm or endangerment to the performers or audience may not be used in any routine.

All routines should be in good taste as not to offend any individual or group by its theme, movements or costuming. Any team that has a routine that is not in good taste, nor politically correct, may be penalized.

We do not encourage tap routines as tap shoes are not allowed on the gym floor (and not safe to tap on concrete surfaces that are in some of the convention center locations). If you have a tap section in any portion of your routine, please contact the office to advise how you plan to present the tap segment. Keep in mind that there are time constraints for set up and break down of staging. Tap solos are not allowed due to surface and time constraints.

STUNTS AND TUMBLING: American Dance/Drill Team® focuses on the dance elements and presentation of routines and does not encourage the over-use of tumbling or stunts. ADTS® will not provide spotters for routines during contest season. Floor surfaces may vary from concrete, carpet, wood floors or terrazzo finishing. Please plan your stunts accordingly. Please follow the guidelines listed below or your team may be disqualified.
1) All pyramids and stunts should be limited to 11/2 persons high. The base should be considered one person with at least one foot on the ground.
2) Any jumping, flipping, or falling off of pyramids, props or dangerous stunts are prohibited.

If you have a question regarding any of the above issues, please contact the office for clarification. 


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