The category refers to the type of dance. Categories for the MJFD include the following:

Acrodance · Broadway · Musical Theatre · Classical Ballet: Soft Slipper & Pointe · Classical Ballet: Nursery Rhyme · Character Ballet · Demi-Character Ballet · Hip Hop · Jazz · Lyrical · Contemporary · Modern · Tap · Variety · Production


This category is for a dance routine that demonstrates controlled movements and acrobatic tricks along with dance.  The majority of the routine must consist of acrobatic moves and tricks.


This category is for a performance that includes singing (NO LIP SYNCING) to the instrumental music. Routines must contain at least 30% dance steps in their presentation. Microphones will not be available.

Musical Theatre

Any dance medium portraying a theme through acting, lip syncing, dramatization, and /or mime. Routines must contain at least 30 % dance steps.



Classical Ballet: Soft Slipper & Pointe

This category is for a dance that uses any recognized classical technique and is interpretive of the music. Classical Ballet is choreographed to instrumental music with no lyrics and has two categories. Soft Slipper and Pointe. 50% or more of the Pointe routine must be performed on pointe. A minimum age of 11 years old is required for dancers to compete in the Pointe Classical Ballet category. FOR REPERTOIRE BALLET, PROPS MUST BE PART OF THE CHOREOGRAPHY AND HAND HELD ONLY.

Classical Ballet: Nursery Rhyme

This category is for a dance that portrays a character from a Nursery Rhyme and is choreographed to instrumental music with no Lyrics..The Nursery Rhyme category is only for dancers who are 5 years old. Props are permitted

Character Ballet

Character dance is a term used to describe the various national folk dances from around the world, which often form part of ballet. Character dances have a strong rhythm, which reflects their folk origins. This style of dance often uses different steps to classical ballet, expanding the students dancing ability and reinforcing basic techniques. Anyone wishing to enter ethnic-national dances such as Mazurka, Kalinka, Flamenco, etc., must enter in this category.

Demi-Character Ballet

Is a dance that portrays a character or tells a story and develops the character through dance in the classical form. Dancers must use classical technique from the waist down, and portray the character with upper body only. Repertoire ballet may also fall under this category. Props are permitted. May be performed on Demi-Pointe or Pointe.


Hip Hop

This category is for dance that consists of street style dancing using styles like hip hop, street, funk, house, breaking, popping, locking, krumping, stepping, social dancing, etc. Lyrics containing language of a sexual nature will not be permitted, nor will any inappropriate gestures- this may result in either a 5 point deduction or disqualification at the adjudicator’s discretion.


Modern or classical jazz dance. A Maximum of 3 acrobatic moves allowed in this category. Anything else may result in a 5 point deduction at the adjudicator’s discretion.


Uses movement to express strong emotions, such as love, joy, romantic yearning or anger. Music contains Lyrics and is emotionally charged and expressive. Choreographed movement is fluid with grace, along with smooth flowy lines moving seamlessly from one move to another, holding finishing steps as long as possible. Movements consist primarily of jazz technique. A minimum age of 11 years old is required for dancers to compete. 


Contemporary dance is a fusion of dance genres and grew out of classical and jazz techniques. Instead of rejecting classical styles, it uses them to attain an improved range of movements as an expression of style, which is detached from a more traditional style. This style retains elements of lightness and fluidity; often about un- choreographed movements as influenced by philosophy; has a strong emphasis on understanding music, rhythm, and space while recreating the technical and classical lines; it conceptualizes a theme, less about narrative and more about educating, provoking and exploring different movements. A dance in this category should ask the following questions: is it dancer-centric (allows personal exploration through music); is there a specific visual or internal theme; does it include classical lines that are distorted in a way that is new and different; and does it use techniques from the classical syllabuses. A minimum age of 11 years is required for dancers to compete in the Contemporary category.


Modern dance emerged in the 20th century as a rejection to classical ballet. Technique has been developed under the influences of Graham, Limon, Horton, etc. It is derived from inner emotions and gives accent to a mood. There is a deliberate use of gravity, is free in form, uses contract/ release movements as well as use of floor work, fall and recovery and improvisation. It stems from the core or the torso of the body and is most often dances barefoot. A minimum age of 11 years is required for dancers to compete in the Modern category.



This category is for a dance that produces varying rhythmic patterns. Emphasis in this category is on tap technique and not character, jazz and acrobatics. Dance must contain at least 80% tap steps. No pre-recorded tap sound is permitted. Jingle taps are not permitted


Dance routine styles that do not fit into a defined category, typically containing dance steps from two or more categories.


Restricted to one entry per studio. Production numbers are typically large choreographies that tell a story or are built around a theme.