Overview and Policies

The National Festival, normally a biennial event held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, showcases dances selected by the adjudicators from each of the regional conferences based on their outstanding artistic excellence and merit. The primary objective of the National Festival is to highlight, on the national level, the outstanding quality of choreography and performance that is being created on college and university campuses. The National Festival provides this venue in three gala performances, presenting works from approximately 30 colleges and universities.

National College Dance Festival Guidelines:

  • All dances performed in each regional conference Gala Concert are eligible for selection for the National Festival.
  • Selection of works for the National Festival is the responsibility of the regional conference adjudicators.
  • No more than one work from any one institution may be selected for the National Festival.
  • Works must be selected for the National Festival in their entirety as performed in the regional conference Gala Concert with no requirements for editing.
  • Choreography presented at the National Festival must be essentially the same as that performed at the regional conference.
  • All rules listed in “Adjudication Policies for Participating Schools” apply to works selected for the National Festival.
  • Invited schools must notify the ACDA National Office of their intention to perform in the National Festival within two weeks of the invitation.
  • Changes in casts between the regional conference and the National Festival must be approved by the ACDA National Office.
  • National Festival program scheduling requests will be considered only in extreme situations.
  • Schools must work within the technical limitations of the National Festival theater. Should additional equipment need to be rented, the performing school(s) may be responsible for the cost.
  • ACDA and Dance Magazine sponsor two cash awards: Outstanding Student Choreography and Outstanding Student Performance.
    1. The ACDA National Office selects a panel to view all dances in performance at the National Festival to determine award recipients.
    2. The National Festival program for the awards panelists will have no identifying information beyond title, the year the work was originally choreographed, and music.
    3. A dance exceeding 12 minutes in performance during the National Festival will be ineligible for Outstanding Student Choreography or Performance awards.
  • Video waivers must be secured from the choreographers of works appearing in a National Festival Gala and sent directly to the National Office.
  • Each participating school will be financially responsible for any damage to property during rehearsals and or performance that is billed to ACDA.

National College Dance Festival Guidelines download