Adjudication Policies

Click here for a downloadable PDF of Adjudication Policies
Adjudication Policies For Participating Schools
(updated Policies coming soon)
 1.  Only ACDFA INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERS in good standing are eligible for adjudication.  Membership dues are payable to ACDFA and sent to the ACDFA Executive Director.  See current Membership Information on the ACDFA web site ( or contact the ACDFA National Office at (301) 670-2820 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
2.  No more than two pieces from any institution may be adjudicated in a conference year. An adjudication fee will be charged for each piece. Once a work has been adjudicated, it cannot be submitted for adjudication at any other conference during the same conference year.  Adjudicated works that are not accepted for the Gala Concert in one conference year may be reworked for adjudication in subsequent conference years.  However, once a work has been accepted for a Gala Concert performance, it may not be resubmitted for adjudication by the same institution.
3.  A work presented for adjudication may be choreographed in any idiom by a student, faculty member, or professional; however only students may perform.  Performers include anyone seen by the  audience.
Definition of a student:
  • A student is one who is officially declared by the represented institution as meeting one of the following criteria during the academic year in which the work is adjudicated:A high school student may perform in an adjudication concert if s/he is registered and paying for college classes and is considered by an institution to be participating in its program.A high school student may perform in an adjudication concert if s/he is registered and paying for college classes and is considered by an institution to be participating in its program.
      • degree, diploma, or certificate-seeking candidate, full or part-time, or if not degree, diploma, or certificate-seeking candidate, having equivalent focus and track of study as determined by the institution.
      • If an individual had student status in the semester prior to a conference, that person may be considered a student at the conference.
  • A high school student may perform in an adjudication concert if s/he is registered and paying for college classes and is considered by an institution to be participating in its program.
4.  If two works are submitted, at least one must be choreographed by a student.
5.  The maximum time for each work presented for adjudication is 12 minutes.
  • The burden of meeting the time requirement rests with the choreographer.  ACDFA recommends that the choreographer allow a time margin within the 12-minute limit for technical errors or theater peculiarities.
  • The dance will be timed in performance and judged to begin when any one of the perceived elements of choreographic choice (lights, sound, movement) is visible or audible to the audience. This includes the rising of the curtain on a pre-lit stage.  A curtain rising with no light, sound, or movement perceptible does not trigger the start of timing.
  • The dance ends when all perceived elements of choreographic choice have been diminished (no lights, no sound, no movement).
  • Bows are not included in the 12 minute time limit unless they are required as part of the dance by the choreographer.
  • Adjudicated concerts generally do not include bows. If there is no gala concert, bows during adjudicated concerts are at the discretion of the host institution.
  • The production crew may alert a school if a dance is running close to or over 12 minutes during tech rehearsal.  In no circumstance should the production crew be responsible for keeping the dance within 12 minutes.
  • If a dance goes over 12 minutes, it is ineligible for the gala and consequently ineligible for the National Festival.
  • It is the responsibility of the ACDFA Executive Committee representative to enforce the time limit and to communicate with the ineligible institution.

6. It is the responsibility of each school to obtain and secure all appropriate and necessary licenses and permissions prior to bringing any choreography to regional conferences and national festivals for performance.

7. Institutions that are not available for participation in the gala may receive adjudication feedback but are not eligible for consideration for gala selection.  Institutions in this situation must notify the Conference Coordinator prior to the Gala selection. The Conference Coordinator will notify the ACDFA Executive Committee representative.
8.  If an institution chooses to bring a work choreographed by a conference adjudicator, that work may not be considered for the gala concert.  Feedback will be given only for performance.  All adjudicators will be informed of this in advance.
9. A faculty member or other chaperone from the participating institution must accompany the students throughout the adjudication process.
10. No attempt is made either during the adjudication process or in the selection of works for the adjudicated concert to classify or equate college dance programs. All works presented for adjudication will be evaluated in terms of performance and choreography.
11. All dances will be given the same amount of time for technical rehearsals. The minimum amount of time is 15 minutes.
12. Conference participants (faculty and students) should not attempt to engage adjudicators in any conversation pertaining to conference participants, choreography or attending institutions. Questions concerning the adjudication should be directed to the Conference Coordinator or ACDFA Executive Committee Representative.
13.  A sound recording of concert quality to accompany the dance will be provided by the choreographer for the adjudication in the format specified by the Conference Coordinator. Should the music or sound score be performed live, only student musicians may be visible to the audience. Non-student musicians are permitted to play; however, non-student musicians must perform in an area not visible to the audience (e.g., offstage or in a lowered orchestra pit).
14.  All conference participants must be prepared to work within the technological capabilities and all other limitations stated by the host institution. If acceptable to the conference host, video/technology may be used, but all dances presented for adjudication must contain a live dance performance element.
15.  Each participating school is responsible for submitting required technical information. Schools that do not submit the required technical information OR contact the host school's TD by the posted deadline are not guaranteed that all lighting cues will be ready by the attending school's designated technical rehearsal.  Attending schools in this situation can opt to select a general warm or cool look or, provided the TD has been contacted and approves, use their technical rehearsal to develop additional cues.  In this case, attending schools may not have time to run their dances fully.
16.  Each participating school is responsible for submitting required program information.  Schools that do not submit program information by the posted deadline should expect their program information to read: "Information not submitted."
17.  Students performing in the adjudicated concert must be officially registered at the conference and are expected to participate fully in conference events.
18.  Cast replacements for works accepted for the Gala Concert must be approved by an ACDFA representative and the adjudicators must be informed.
19.  Members are not restricted to participation exclusively or solely in their own geographic area and may participate in one or more regional conferences each year.  While members may participate in more than one conference, the total number of dances per school that may be adjudicated in a single year is two (2), and if a school brings two dances for adjudication, one must be choreographed by a student.
Revised: Jan. 10, 2014