About The Dance Competition

The Urdang International Dance Competition (UIDC) celebrates the incredible artistry, versatility and talent of dancers throughout the world. 

Launched by Urdang Academy, a world-leading conservatoire for exceptional vocational training in dance and musical theatre, the competition shines a light on a wide range of dance forms and creates an opportunity for dancers to be recognised on a global stage.

The competition will take place over several months, starting with local regional heats and building up to an exciting international final in the heart of London’s West End. 

The UIDC will include countries and regionals in UK, Europe, Asia and North America and is open to participants, from age 5 years old through to young professional dancers.

Where and When

Urdang International Dance Competition 2020 heats have now been postponed. We are currently programming new dates for our 2021 competition and will announce these soon.  We hope to bring the UIDC to the following areas throughout 2021.


  • Portugal
  • Malaysia
  • UAE, Dubia
  • UK, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Glasgow and London
  • Hong Kong and Macau
  • Ireland, Cork
  • Germany, Cologne
  • USA
  • Malta

Coming soon! We will shortly be announcing more heats. Get in touch if you would like to suggest a heat in another location or country.

How the Competition works

There are three main stages of the Urdang International Dance Competition.

Stage One – Regional heats

Regional heats will be held in each participating country for both slow dance genres (lyrical, contemporary, ballet and lyrical (slow) jazz) and upbeat dance genres (jazz, commercial/street dance, hip-hop and tap or a fusion).

At each regional venue, both competitors and non-competitors will also have the opportunity to take part in specialist masterclasses with current top industry professionals.

Stage Two – Semi-finals

Countries with more than one region will have their semi-final at the last scheduled venue of the regional tour in that country or neighbouring country.

Stage Three –  The International Final

The Urdang International Dance Competition Final will take place in an iconic London West End theatre. Set against the backdrop of one of the world’s most dynamic and modern cities, this ensures an exciting, unique experience for all participants.

The last stages of the competition in London also offers prizes of elite training in this wonderful city. Finalists can benefit from incredible exposure to leading industry professionals through Urdang’s well connected portfolio and reputation.


Judges for each location will be announced close to the competition date.  All judges are experts in their field. They are working professionals, choreographers, creatives, either principals/directors of dance companies or vocational colleges.

Prizes & Sections

There will be a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner for each section of the regional heats.

Entries that are placed will receive a trophy and the 1st place winner will receive a place in the semi-finals in the relevant country or the final to be held in London’s West End.  Dancers will all receive a certificate of participation.

In the semi-finals – the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will win a trophy and the 1st place winners will go through to the final in London.

The winners of each section will win a selection of the following prizes:

  • Section winner trophy title, and free entry to the final. Section winners will also be congratulated in the Dancing Times magazine, the Urdang International website and on social media.
  • Large troupe prizes also include a workshop with top class professionals such as Claudimar Neto in Commercial dance or Drew McConie in lyrical jazz dance.

The school with the largest amount of participating competition entries in each heat will receive a ‘special prize’ for their school.

Other individual titles, trophies and prizes will be awarded by Urdang and its sponsors including:-

Prizes for UK entries

  • Junior (5 to 10 years) – one junior summer school scholarship at Urdang in London (accommodation not included). Participants aged 5 to 7 will be awarded a voucher from dance shops.
  • Intermediate (11 to 14 years) – one accelerate/associate level scholarship that could include a summer school or pre-audition course
  • Senior (15 to 21 years) – one scholarship for a UK full-time course Foundation or Diploma (subject to singing and acting assessment) – UK or EU student only

Prizes for International entries

  • Junior (5 to 10 years) – one junior summer school scholarship at Urdang in London (accommodation not included). Participants aged 5 to 7 will be awarded a voucher from dance shops.
  • Intermediate (11 to 14 years) – one week summer school course at Urdang in London (accommodation not included)
  • Senior (15 to 21 years) – one week pre audition course or one four week full-time training package Summer term only at Urdang in London (accommodation not included)

Competition Categories

Dance Genres

  • Slow styles – lyrical/slow jazz, contemporary and ballet
  • Upbeat styles – jazz, commercial/street dance, hip-hop, tap or a fusion of styles


Group Sizes

  • Solo  – 1 min 30 secs
  • Group (2-5 dancers) – 2 min 30 secs
  • Team (5-20 dancers) – 3 min 20 secs


Age Groups

  • Junior – 5 to 10 years
  • Intermediate – 11 to 14 years
  • Senior- 15 to 21 years


Please refer to the glossary for an explanation of dance genres


  • Dancers can enter more than one group size i.e: (small group or large troupe) but can only dance once per group size.
  • Younger dancers can participate in older sections of the small group or large troupe. The entry is determined by the age of the oldest entrant on the day of the regional heat. Proof of age may be requested to establish age.
  • For the small groups or large troupe teams that move on to the semi-final or final, schools are able to change their dancers and adjust their routine accordingly as long as the participants and work is still from the same school.
    • Replacement dancers must be within the relevant age group and should make up the original entry size.
    • Replacement dancers can only be added. i. e. no new additional dancers that raise the number of the participants in the team. Choreography and costumes must remain the same.
  • If a participant’s age changes before the semi-final or final, they are able to compete with the group in the existing age group but may be asked to provide proof.
  • Reclassification – If an adjudicator observes a routine where it is felt it is not within the genre of the category it has been entered, they are able to reclassify it to a category where appropriate.
  • If the 1st place winners of a category cannot make/or do not want to proceed with a semi-final or final, then the 2nd place will be offered a place in the semi-final or final, if declined this then goes to the 3rd place winner and stops there. This also applies to semi-finalists not being able to attend or wanting to proceed to the final.
  • Judges/adjudicators disclaimer – The decision of the judges/adjudicators is final. No appeal can be made to the judges/adjudicators final decisions. Participants are asked to kindly remember that decisions can be made on personal preference, especially where marks are very close.
  • No places will be tied as there are restrictions on numbers at the semi-final and final.
  • Every effort is made to ensure that the decisions are fair and correct and are representative of an accumulation of the performance quality, technique, accuracy and impact of the routine made on the judges/adjudicators on the day. UIDC pride ourselves on the professionalism, experience and quality of the judges/ adjudicators that will attend each heat.

Glossary of Dance Genres

Slow dance genres

Lyrical/Slow jazz – The lyrical/slow jazz category is movement that is innovative, stylised free and abstract. A fusion of jazz, ballet and lyrical movement styles captured in a slow and emotive piece of work. Technique is strong and features defined slow movements throughout the routine with a lyrical and emotive performance.

Contemporary –  Contemporary dance may include contemporary, modern and balletic techniques such as Graham, Limon or Horton. This style of dance is often more abstract and innovative, often with a meaning through the movement rather than facial expression. Creative freedom is encouraged with an “Independence between dance and music” where a dance is to be danced, not analysed.

Ballet – Ballet is a precise dance genre which combines technical expertise with storytelling through characterisation, emotive movement and performance. It can be performed to classical or contemporary music. Technique must be secure and balletic to ensure the movement does not cross over into a lyrical style dance.

Upbeat dance genres 

Jazz dance – There are many styles of jazz dance but for this competition we define it as using strong defined movement to more upbeat tempo’s. A range of music can be used from contemporary to theatre/musical theatre. The movements are technical, dynamic and are performed with vivacity.

Fusion – Fusion is a mix of any upbeat styles detailed. This section is mainly for a routine that does not sit in the other categories or merges two or more technical or upbeat styles. A range of music can be used, again in two or more styles.

Commercial/street dance – Commercial/street dance is a movement to new, upbeat contemporary music, costume, attitude and performance has a modern feel and is less technical than other upbeat styles. This style often combines movement used in nightclubs, music videos and contemporary artists’ concerts. Sometimes elements of street dance and hip-hop movement are woven into the style. 

Hip-hop – hip-hop is danced to stylised rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech or chanting.  Strong beats and heavy base usually accompany this style of dance. The style often represents urban culture, themes and storytelling through power moves, dynamic strong movements.

Tap –  Tap include:  rhythm (jazz) tap, classical tap, Broadway tap, and post-modern tap. For this competition, tap focuses on the sound, formations and rhythms performed by the dancer in tap shoes.  Soft shoe is not recognised in this category. Tap can be danced acapella as the dancer creates the music with their shoes.

The Small Print

  • Costs may vary by country for regional heats and semi-finalists
  • Finalists do not need to pay to compete in these events
  • Spectators can purchase a day ticket to watch the classes and the competition heats
  • Non-competitive dancers can also purchase the workshop only entrance which also includes spectator’s entrance to watch the competition
  • Semi-final and final spectator’s tickets are separate to all masterclass and heat activity
  • All rules, policies and safeguarding information is posted on the website
  • Some individual countries’ policies and regulations will be sent out with ticket confirmation

The Old Finsbury Town Hall
Rosebery Avenue
London, EC1R 4RP

+44 (0)20 7713 7710


Urdang International Ltd
Registered at Companies House (06353918)


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