The Rules and Regulations Manual of UNITE Performing Arts Competition, trading as UNITE, contains participant’s entry requirements, standard procedures and rules and regulations for competing in the online 2020 competition.


UNITE is a competitive online dance event that provides performers with the opportunity to showcase their artistry and technique in different dance styles nationally from as young as four years old. Participants showcase their skilled and technical performances in a choreographed routine. UNITE invites all dancers and performers from different backgrounds and nationalities to showcase their routines, encouraging creativity, good dance technique and performance.


·UNITE is a new online competition that will be held at least once a year inviting all participants from around South Africa to compete online.

·Registrations for UNITE have to be done online through our website.

·The online competition has a deadline for registrations and a limited number of participants and routines. The registration closes when the registration, participant or routine deadlines have been reached.


UNITE Preliminary Round:

  • The UNITE Preliminary Round is a competition where all participants showcase their skills in front of a judging panel consisting of highly recognized dance professionals. The UNITE Preliminary Round consists of performers who submit their routines online from across South Africa. International entries will also be accepted.

  • To qualify as an UNITE Finalist, you have to submit and compete in the UNITE Preliminary Round.

UNITE Finalists:

  • UNITE finals will consist of a selection of qualified performers chosen from the preliminary round by our judging panel.

  • In order for a routine to qualify for the final round, the routine must meet our judging panel’s requirements and attain a percentage of 65% or higher in the preliminary round.

  • The same routine submitted for the Preliminary round will be used for the Final round.


·Performers must abide by the Rules and Regulations of the UNITE Performing Arts Competition.

·Performers entered into the UNITE Competition are responsible for providing accurate personal information.

·Participants must complete and accept all forms, terms and conditions.

·By registering to compete with UNITE, it is understood that each performer allows UNITE and competition organisers, agents and or sponsors to stream all videos submitted for entry on our platform for viewing via the National Arts Virtual platform. This will be a pay per view service. All content will be available for viewing via the pay per view service for 30 days after the winners have been announced. All content will be structured similar to a live competition which will be available to view in multiple sessions.



·Age divisions for UNITE are as follows:

  • Mini: 5 – 8 years

  • Juniors: 9 – 11 years

  • Teens: 12 – 15 years

  • Seniors: 16 – 19 years

  • Open: 20 years and older


*A performer’s age is taken on the last day of the entry’s deadline. *


·All age divisions are allowed to perform together.

·A routine’s average Age Division is determined by the oldest dancer in the group.

·Event organisers and/or adjudicators reserves the right to verify the participants’ age by asking for appropriate documentation, (i.e. birth certificate / ID documents).



Participants can present themselves in one or more of the categories below:

·Solo: 1 performer

·Duo/Trio/Quartet: 2/3/4 performers respectively

·Small Group: 5 – 8 performers

·Group: 9+ performers



·UNITE consists of many different dance styles. All dance styles are welcome to enter and compete in this competition. UNITE aims to bring dancers and performers from different backgrounds and capabilities to express themselves in an artistic, technical and passionate way. We encourage all our participants to get inspired and grow in their dance ability by being exposed to what South Africa has to offer; allowing growth and development in their respective disciplines.

·Participants can present themselves in one or more of the many disciplines listed below:



  • Acro Dance

  • Acrobatics



  • Classical ballet

  • Contemporary Ballet

  • Lyrical Ballet

  • Modern Ballet




  • Waltz

  • Foxtrot

  • Tango

  • Quickstep

  • Viennese Waltz


  • Contemporary Ballet

  • Contemporary Modern

  • Contemporary Jazz

Hip Hop


  • Urban dance styles

  • Old school

  • New school

  • Popping

  • Locking

  • Jazz rock

  • Hype

  • New style

  • Krumping

  • Dance Hall

  • House dance

  • Waacking

  • Vogueing

  • Stepping

  • Boogie

  • Breakdancing

  • B-Boy

  • B-Girl

  • Lyrical Hip Hop




  • Classic Jazz

  • Modern Jazz

  • Contemporary Jazz

  • Lyrical Jazz

  • Theatre Jazz

  • Broadway Jazz

  • Latin Jazz




  • Swing

  • Jive

  • Rumba

  • Bolero

  • Cha Cha

  • Mambo

  • Samba

  • Tango

  • Salsa

  • Merengue

  • Bachata

  • Paso Doble


  • Modern ballet

  • Contemporary Modern

  • Modern Jazz

Musical Theatre

  • Classical and Contemporary musicals and characters


National / Traditional / Folkloric Dance


  • Flamenco

  • Gumboot

  • Pantsula

  • African



Tap Dance


  • Classical Tap

  • Rhythm Tap

  • Musical/Broadway Tap

  • Funk Tap






Belly Dance





Detailed explanations

If you are not sure what dance style you fall into, please read the explanations below.


  • Acrobatics

Acrobatic dance combines acrobatic and gymnastic elements with dance movements, steps and choreography. Acrobatic and gymnastic elements such as walkovers, limbers, handstands, chest rolls, tumble passes etc. should be linked with dance steps and movement to not dominate the whole routine. The performer should showcase strength, flexibility, smooth and graceful transitions between dance and acrobatic movements.


  • Ballet

Choreography consisting of classical ballet technique, steps, movement and music. Original choreographies are not allowed (example: Swan Lake, La Bayadere, etc) as well as newly created choreographies. Dances can be performed with ballet slippers or shoes.

Ballet routines can be showcased as Classical Ballet, Modern Ballet and Contemporary ballet.

  • Classical Ballet is based on traditional ballet technique, vocabulary music and costume. No acrobatic tricks are allowed in this section.

  • Modern (Neoclassical) Ballet is abstract, with no clear plot, costumes or scenery with a diverse choice of music, barefoot or with ballet slippers.

  • Contemporary Ballet is often performed barefoot combining the traditional form of ballet with components and aspects of other modern dance influence. Any ballet choreography made today or any contemporary dance performed en pointe.


  • Ballroom

Ballroom dancing is a partnership dance where couples, using step-patterns, move rhythmically, expressing the characteristics of music. Focusing on elegance, grace and fluidity of movement while dancers continuously move around the entire floor. Ballroom dances include styles such as the Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Quickstep.


  • Contemporary Dance

Contemporary dance is a style of expressive dance that combines elements from many different dance styles including modern jazz, lyrical and ballet. Unlike ballet, contemporary involve a sense of being grounded as opposed to floating. Contemporary dance incorporates just about anything, allowing the dancer to connect the mind and the body through fluid dance movements. It can be performed to a range of music, sounds, or nothing at all except the breaths of the dancers.

The styles included are Contemporary Ballet, and Contemporary Jazz.

  • Contemporary Ballet is often performed barefoot combining the traditional form of ballet with components and aspects of other modern dance influence. Any ballet choreography made today, or any contemporary dance performed en pointe.

  • Contemporary Jazz combines aspects of hip hop and jazz and is often done to pop music.


  • Hip Hop

Hip hop is very diverse and has a huge range of styles. Routines can be combined with different styles from Oldschool, New school, House dancing and so much more including Urban dance styles, Oldschool, Newschool, Popping, Locking, Jazzrock, Hype, Newstyle, Krumping, Dance Hall, Housedance, Waacking, Vogueing, Stepping, Boogie, Breakdancing, B-Boy, B-Girl, Lyrical Hip Hop.


  • Jazz

Jazz is an energetic dance style, consisting of unique moves depending on specific styles and the era of jazz. The routine must reflect jazz technique, such as layouts, jazz pirouettes, fan-kicks, jazz walks, etc. which is based on technique from classical ballet training. Incorporating unique moves, elaborate footwork, large leaps, rapid turns, and imaginative improvisation to bring an energetic and entertaining experience. Different styles of jazz can be performed as long as the jazz dance vocabulary is used. Styles can range from Classic Jazz, Modern Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Lyrical Jazz, Theatre Jazz, Broadway Jazz and Latin Jazz. Jazz dance encourages individuals to express and develop their own personal style.


  • Latin

Latin styles focus on displaying vibrant energy and a personal flair. The routines can be performed in groups, with couples or as solos. The dancing pattern is syncopated to the rhythm of the music. Included in this style are the Swing, Jive, Rumba, Bolero, Cha Cha, Mambo, Samba, Tango, Salsa, Merengue, Bachata and Paso Doble.


  • Modern Dance

A routine that is choreographed utilizing modern movements and technique. This style incorporates innovative movements from different styles with classical foundation. Modern dance is very specific with a definite set of rules for each disciplined style. There are other styles that have branched off from the original styles of modern dance forming new and creative genres such as Modern ballet, Contemporary Modern and Modern Jazz.


  • Musical Theatre

A form of theatrical performance that combines song, music, dance and acting. The story and emotional content of the routine must be communicated through the choreography. All styles are permitted including classical and contemporary musicals. Storyline, characterization and costume must reflect the chosen music theatre piece and the chosen character must be recognizable.


  • National / Traditional / Folkloric Dance

A routine using ethnic style of dance, such as Gumboot, Pantsula, African etc. Folk dances are dances that are developed by people that reflect the life of a certain culture, country, region or person. Original and creative choreography is welcomed. The folkloric dance tradition much be preserved. The costume, music and choreography must reflect the origin and tradition.


  • Open

Choreography presenting a combination of the disciplines listed under the UNITE disciplines or presenting an original individual style. Emphasis should be placed on originality when combining different dance styles and techniques.


  • Tap Dance

Using tap techniques and sounds to create syncopated rhythms with the use of tap shoes. Tap sounds may not be pre-recorded in the music. Tap styles may include:

  • Classical Tap also known as flash or swing tap. Consisting of a combination of jazz dance, ballet and acrobatics.

  • Rhythm Tap focuses on creating your own percussion on the floor. Usually performed without musical accompaniment and performed acappella.

  • Musical (Broadway) Tap style combines both traditional tap with Broadway and suited to musical theatre-style show dancing. The visual aesthetics and character of the dance are given more focus.

  • Funk Tap is a new, evolved contemporary dance form that takes cues from hip hop and funk dance styles.






Duration of each routine performed has to abide to the rules below:


·Solo & Duo (1-2 dancers):       1:30 – 2:30 minutes

·Trio & Quartet (3-4 dancers):   2:00 – 4:00 minutes

·Small Groups (5-8 dancers):     2:30 – 5:00 minutes

·Groups (9+ dancers):                3:00 – 5:00 minutes


Time limits have a window of 5 seconds. Failure to stay within these limits will result in a 15% deduction on the total percentage.

·Timing starts with a recognizable start and end with the distinct end of the routine.




·Videos are to be uploaded through the UNITE platform via Wetransfer.

·Videos are to be submitted as landscape orientation ONLY.

If a video is submitted in portrait orientation, it will NOT be judged and refunds WILL NOT be distributed.

·Special effects and filters will not be accepted.

·Current and new routines from 2020 to be submitted. No videos older than 12 months will be allowed.

·Preferred video format is Mp4, but other formats will be accepted.

·Uploaded videos should be filmed as steadily as your environment allows in landscape orientation.

Please ensure your file size is no bigger than 2 GB or it will not upload on Wetransfer.

·Note that for every dance entry you are required to fill out a new submission form.

·Once a video is submitted no changes or edits will be accepted.

·Choreographers are highly cautioned and advised against the music becoming too complex with too many edits, sound effects or songs preventing dancers from exhibiting a clean and continuous dance performance.

·Music may NOT contain inappropriate, offensive, racist or vulgar language.

·If any foul language or offensive gestures in the choreography are shown in the routine, it will not be judged and dancers will be immediately disqualified from that category.



·A routine is evaluated according to the criteria of TECHNICAL EXECUTION, LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE/ENTERTAINMENT, CHOREOGRAPHY AND OVERALL APPEARANCE with the highest possible score of 100%.


The judges will evaluate the synchronization, timing, mobility, skills and execution of the movement performed depending on the technical requirements of the style and discipline. Basic dance fundamentals: posture, turnout, extension, sharpness, placement and control. Dancer(s) must maintain control of the speed, direction, momentum and body placement throughout the routine. Dancer(s) must demonstrate awareness of spacing between themselves and other dancers through a full range of unique, complicated and challenging formations and interactive partner moves and patterns.


The level of performance is judged by the difficulty of the demonstrated movements by all the dancers in a routine and the variety of styles performed is considered as a part of a discipline. The level of performance should match the technical abilities of the dancer(s). The level of authentic presentation consists of: expression, energy, posture, confidence measured by facial expressions, body movement, passion, connection and emotional response.


Judges appreciate when the choreography and presentation in a routine is shown in a fresh, unique and creative way. Original and creative choreography is always encouraged. Elements such as full and creative usage of the space and floor, innovative movements, transitions and interpretation of music are considered an essential part of outstanding choreography.

Choreography must be age appropriate.


Judges are looking at the overall appropriateness of costume and choreography. Dancer(s) need to be well presented and neat. Innovative and creative selection of costumes is encouraged.


·The judging panel consists of 3/4 judges for each routine. Each judge assigns percentages for each of the criteria mentioned above per routine.

·Judges will fill out a report / criteria sheet for every performance which will be uploaded to the performers profile.

·In order for a performance to make it through to the final round they need to score a percentage of 65% or higher.



·In the final round the judges will select the top 3 performances in each age category to win medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

·However, the aim of the competition is to be awarded one of the top 5 Special Awards for Seniors: Overall Dance Champion, Technical Excellence, Best Stage Performer, Most Promising and Best Costume


Awarded the top 3 Special Awards for Juniors: Overall Dance Champion, Technical Excellence, Best Stage Performer.

·If you placed in the top 3 in your age category you could possibly be recognised for the top 5 special awards for Seniors or the top 3 special awards for Juniors.

·In the finals round the judges will combine the most outstanding performers from the age categories Mini (aged 4-8), Juniors (aged 9 – 11) and Teens (aged 12 – 15) to form the Junior Special Award finalists.

·In the finals round the judges will combine the most outstanding performers from the age categories Seniors (age 16 – 19) and Open (20+) to form the Senior Special Award finalists.


·Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals will be awarded to the top 3 performers from each age category.

Top 5 Performers for Special Awards in Senior Category 2020:


  • UNITE Champion will receive a trophy and cash prize of R5 000.00

  • Technical Excellence will receive a trophy and cash prize of R3 000.00

  • Best Stage Performer will receive a trophy and a cash prize of R2 000.00

  • Most Promising will receive a medal and a cash prize of R500.00

  • Best Costume will receive a medal and a cash prize of R500.00


Top 3 Performers for Special Awards in Junior Category 2020:


  • UNITE Champion will receive a trophy and cash prize of R1 500.00

  • Technical Excellence will receive a trophy and cash prize of R1 000.00

  • Best Stage Performer will receive a trophy and a cash prize of R500.00


Additional Awards

  • UNITE group champion will receive cash prize of R6 000.00

  • Top Choreographer will receive a cash prize of R2 000.00


  • By entering and registering with UNITE, participants agree to the Rules and Regulations of the competition.

  • All entry forms are to be submitted through our website and routines are to be submitted via Wetransfer by the closing date for entries (6 Nov 2020).


  • Register your routine, pay your entrance fee and upload your good quality video (MP4 format preferred). Maximum of 2GB file size.

  • Once all entries are submitted, a schedule of events will be arranged. The Preliminary round will be announced, and all participants will be notified of the streaming of this round.

  • The preliminary round will consist of all the entries and performances in their age categories and styles.

  • Once the final participants have been selected, a schedule of events will be announced and the final round will be announced for viewing.

*Please note that the judge’s decisions are final. *

12. FEES



Every participant is required to register and enter via the UNITE registration portal. No manual registrations will be accepted. There are no registration fees, only performance entry fees.


·Solo entry fee:                            R150

·Duet entry fee:                           R220

·Trio entry fee:                             R250

·Quartet entry fee:                      R350

·Small Group entry fee:              R400

·Group entry fee:                        R500





Once all entries are in, a schedule of events will be sent to each performer. The performers, their families and friends around the world can access the National Arts Festival virtual platform to view each section for preliminary and final rounds.

·Prelim Link Purchase Fee: R65 per session

·Finals Link Purchase Fee:  R95 per session


All content for the preliminary sections and the finals will be available on the National Arts Festival pay per view platform for 30 days after the final results have been released.