National Dance Alliance Collegiate Dance Championship

Every year around this time, college dance teams from all over the United States travel hundreds of miles to Daytona, Florida to compete in the annual National Dance Alliance (NDA) collegiate dance championship.

Every year around this time, college dance teams from all over the United States travel hundreds of miles to Daytona Beach, Florida, to compete in the annual National Dance Alliance (NDA) collegiate dance championship. The competition takes place April 11–15 this year and has hundreds of participating college dance teams anxious to take the stage. 

The NDA competition for dancers is like the World Series for baseball players. Dance teams work extremely hard all year long and fundraise like crazy to make it to that national stage, and once they are there, the teams finally get to showcase the routine they have been perfecting day after day. It takes extra long practice hours—as well as some weekend rehearsals—to become a strong team, but the experience of the national dance championship is like no other. And I can say this only because I have been fortunate enough to experience it firsthand with my college dance team a few years back.

What is the competition all about?

College dance teams need to qualify for nationals by attending one of NDA’s summer dance camps or sending in a video showing technical strengths, while at the same time meeting certain style requirements.

Each dance team must have a routine that incorporates 30 seconds of hip hop, 30 seconds of jazz, and 30 seconds of pom style to qualify for the competition. However, dance teams can also choose to compete in the Open Division, which means they must have a routine in any style of their choice not exceeding two minutes, but no shorter than 90 seconds in length.

The athletic division for each school deciphers the division the dance team will use to compete. Therefore, the dance divisions are broken up into Division IA through Division III and Open Division IA through Open Division II.

Competition day

Layers of makeup, never-ending sequins, and six bottles of hairspray later, the teams are ready to take the stage. As the teams perform, the judges use a scale of one to 10 to critique and score the performance based on the following categories: routine execution, technical skills, degree of difficulty, uniformity, choreography, performance impression, and collegiate image for each style of their routine (hip hop, jazz, pom). Once all teams in each division perform, the highest scoring teams (the top half of each division) continue on to finals, while the bottom half compete again against one another in The Challenge Cup. Once The Challenge Cup is complete, the top scoring team from each division joins the rest of the finalists for Finals the next day. The finalists spend all night long practicing their routines—sometimes even on the beach and in their hotel rooms!


The finals are pretty much a repeat of the day before, except the teams get to perform outside on the infamous finals stage by the beach. Hundreds of people attend the event to see who will be taking home the first place trophy.

Maybe this video will give you a better sense of what the NDA College Championship is all about:

2011 1st place winner of Division I competing at finals: Towson University

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

college dance competitions college dance teams collegiate dance championship dance competitions National Dance Alliance NDA

About Victoria Scibilia

Victoria Scibilia

Victoria Scibilia is a contributing editor for Carnegie Communications.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Alexandra Adriano

Alexandra Adriano

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2016

I've used CollegeXpress quite a bit as a senior, particularly for colleges and scholarships, so it's been a very big asset in that respect! I would recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a college education, especially seniors! This scholarship will help me achieve my goals in ways I couldn't have before, and I know that there are opportunities like that for everyone on the website and in the magazines!

Brooke Maggio

Brooke Maggio

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me tremendously in my college search in narrowing down the schools I’m interested in. Using the college search tool, I was able to narrow down my choices to schools that matched what I was looking for. I also used CollegeXpress for their scholarship search, which helped me find scholarships that I meet the requirements of.

Lydia Huth

Lydia Huth

Student, Campbell University; CollegeXpress Student Writer

I discovered CollegeXpress while embarking on my college search journey as an excited—but scared and way confused—high schooler without a counselor or college-bound sibling to give me advice. Let me tell you, I’m so glad that I stumbled on this community! CollegeXpress helped me find potential colleges and keep application deadlines straight. It gave me a great list of scholarships, and the blogs and emails made me feel like I wasn’t going it alone. Almost three years later and with freshman year of college down, I still love the CollegeXpress vibe so much that I’m writing for them. I’d recommend this site to anyone!



High School Class of 2022

My mother signed me up for a couple of scholarship contests through CollegeXpress. I was also able to do some research and compare the different schools on my list. I was able to see the graduation rates and different programs that helped me decide on Adelphi University. I will continue looking for some scholarships for my start in September.

Joan Franklin

Joan Franklin


I love this website and have been using it for years with my students. I originally bought products through Wintergreen Orchard House and appreciated having key facts at my fingertips when advising students. Your site is easy to access and offers a wide array of topics I need as a busy college counselor.

College Matches