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The NHYDF provides studios, schools, youth performance groups, and pre-professional companies with the opportunity to receive valuable adjudication from industry professionals, the ability to share and build audiences, and for young artists to experience the concert dance world.

The NHYDF Gala Performance features adjudication from experienced dance professionals, the opportunity to perform in the beautiful 881-seat Stockbridge Theater in Derry, NH, as well as master classes from leading professionals in the industry and a teachers’ round table session.  Participants must submit works for adjudication in order to be invited to perform at the Gala Performance, however master classes, round tables, and the performance is open to the public.

How It Works

The NHYDF Gala is a day-long event that features master classes, educational sessions, a teacher round table, and an evening Gala Performance.  The event takes place at the Stockbridge Theater in Derry, NH.  All classes and seminars are open to the public, as is the evening Gala performance.

Dance studios, secondary educational institutions, youth ensembles, performing arts programs and student choreographers are encouraged to submit work for adjudication ahead of the Gala event.  Submissions can be a work in progress or a completed work, and all levels and styles of dance are welcome.  Applicants will receive written feedback via email from the adjudication team, comprised of industry professionals.

From the adjudication applicants, the NHYDF team will select up to 10 companies/choreographers to perform their works at the Gala in the state-of-the-art Stockbridge Theater.  On the day of the Gala, selected companies/choreographers will have time for technical rehearsals in the theater prior to the show.

A separate informal performance session may be held for a limited number of soloists earlier in the day.  Soloists should be seriously considering a career in the performing arts and looking for adjudication prior to college or professional auditions.

Adjudication Submissions

Submissions will open in the spring of 2018 for consideration at the 2018 Gala.  For additional performance opportunities, please check out our Showcase.

Gala Performance Dates:

Fall 2018
Stockbridge Theater
44 North Main St. Derry, NH 03038

Submit Your Work to the 2017 NHYDF

Submission Form
  • Please review our guidelines prior to submitting work.
  • Please fill out a separate form for each work you would like to submit for adjudication.
  • Complete the form fully each time!
  • Adjudication fee: $50 for up to 3 works, then an additional $10 per work.  Fees must be paid at the time of submission, and are nonrefundable.
  • There is a $100 performance fee for each organization, school, group or studio that is invited to show work at the Main Performance.  This fee assists with keeping the overall costs and ticket prices low for the event.

We’re sorry, submissions are currently closed for the 2017 NHYDF.  Please check back for 2018 NHYDF.


Please review our guidelines fully before submitting your work.  For questions that cannot be answered in the guidelines below, please email nhydf@nhperformingarts.org

Who can submit works?

Any dance studio, school, secondary institution, performing arts organization, youth ensemble or other organization with a dance program may submit work.  Student choreographed works are encouraged as well.

We welcome applications from out of state organizations.  Please note that New Hampshire based groups are given priority for the Main Performance.

Professional teachers and choreographers are given priority for participation in the Main Performance, but a small amount of student choreography may be considered based on artistic merit.

What type of dance can I submit, and are there time limits?

All genres of dance will be considered for group dances including ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop/funk, musical theater, folk/ethnic, and works incorporating more than one style.  Solos must showcase technical ability in one of the following areas: ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, and/or jazz.

Group Dances are limited to 8 minutes maximum, including any set up or take down of props or set pieces used in the piece.

Solos are limited to 1:30-2:00 minutes maximum.

How many dances can I submit?

You can submit as many dances as you would like for adjudication.  Each dance requires a new form to be submitted.  There is an adjudication fee of $50 for up to 3 works, and then $10 per additional work.

Can I submit a duet and/or trio?

Yes!  Dances of all sizes will be given written feedback from the adjudicators.

Can I submit a solo?

Yes!  Adjudication for soloists is very important.  Please note, however, that the NHYDF Main Performance only accepts soloists into the informal showcase who are seriously considering a career in the performing arts.  Teachers must submit on the student’s behalf.  Solos may be a maximum of 1:30 to 2:00 in length and must showcase technical ability in any of the following styles of dance: ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, jazz.  At this time we are not accepting tap or hip hop solos.  Accepted solos are performed at an informal session in a dance studio and receive full adjudication.

What does it cost to be part of the NHYDF?

There is an adjudication fee of $50 for the first 3 works, and an additional $10 per work after that.  For choreographers/companies that are invited to the Main Performance, there is $100 fee to help with the costs of producing the event.  Fees must be paid by by the deadline.  All fees are nonrefundable. Late payments will incur an additional $50 fee.

Any cancellations of entries will result in a loss of all deposits and entry fees for the event.  No entries will be processed without full payment. Only Visa, Master Card, Studio checks, money orders or cashier checks will be accepted. Individual personal checks will not be honored. All returned checks are subject to a $35 service fee. Payment of entries sent after the deadline date must be in the form of a Cashier’s Check or Money Order. NHYDF reserves the right to move the festival date and or location due to unforeseen circumstances. NHYDF also reserves the right to cancel any event that does not meet the minimal number of acceptable entries. In the event this should occur, all entry fees will be refunded. There will be NO refunds on entries after the minimum numbers of entries have been received and performance times have been confirmed.

How many times will my piece be performed? Will I have the chance to be re-adjudicated?

All selected dances will perform once each during the performance time slot set by NHYDF.

Adjudication will take place prior to the performance in the form of written feedback based on video submissions.  Adjudicators will be present at the Main Performance, and will provide overall feedback after the show.  There will be a Q&A session after the performance for choreographers and performers for an opportunity to gain more insight on the feedback.

Do my dancers get awards?

The NHYDF is a noncompetitive event, and therefore does not hand out awards.  Each dance does receive a feedback from adjudicators with feedback on several areas including choreography, costuming and more. The NHYDF aims to provide valuable feedback to participants and not an award system.  We believe in dance as an art form, and therefore do not judge dances against each other, but rather create an environment where dancers, audiences and choreographers can learn, engage and grow.

What is Adjudication and who are the adjudicators?

Adjudication is the process of evaluating a dance independently on its own merit.  In some cases, there may be a “winner”.  The NHYDF does not believe in comparing works to each other, but rather in providing feedback to each individual dance.  The adjudication of works presented at the NHYDF is designed to be a learning and educational experience, de-emphasizing competition. Feedback by the adjudicators are a valued part of NHYDF and will be conducted in an open and supportive forum.

The NHYDF is set up so that after each performance session, participants will be able to attend a brief and open feedback session.  These sessions allow participants to listen to adjudicators speak about the performance.

Each year the adjudicators may change, and consist of leaders and professionals in the dance industry.


Please note: NHYDF participants (faculty, performers, staff, etc) shall not attempt to engage adjudicators in any conversation pertaining to NHYDF participants, choreography or attending programs/schools. Questions concerning the adjudication process must be directed to the NHYDF staff.

Am I allowed to bring audience members, and where do audiences buy tickets to watch?

Of course!  Tickets are available at the door for audience members.

Performers are allowed and encouraged to sit in the audience before and/or after their performances.

The use of ANY electronic devices for Photography & Videography is STRICTLY PROHIBITED during any performance. It is the responsibility of the studio owner, teacher, choreographer and/or program director to inform their students, parents and audiences of the NO Photo/Video rule.

No food, drinks or smoking is allowed in the performance area or inside the venue. All persons on premise of the venue are also subject to rules and compliance of State and Federal laws pertaining to the use and safety of the venue.  All participating teachers, dancers and spectators are expected to display good sportsmanship. Failure to comply could result in immediate removal and loss of privileges to participate with NHYDF and or affiliates.

Will there be space to warm up and change before performing?

The Stockbridge Theater offers one male and one female dressing room in addition to a green room, general holding spaces and the dance studio.  We ask that all dancers enter the dressing rooms for changing and preparations, and that the hallways and common holding spaces are left free for dancers to warm up and wait for their turn on stage.

Participants will be allowed to warm up prior to the scheduled performance in the designated areas.  The main stage and dance studio may be used for warm up only if not in use for adjudication. No staging or running dances is allowed at that time.

Do I need to bring my music with me or submit it electronically?

Once your pieces have been accepted, the NHYDF team will notify you and request your music via mp3 format.  Participants should also bring back-ups in the event of a malfunction of the original music submitted.

Is there an age or level minimum/maximum?

While NHYDF focuses on youth performers (under 18), it is open to all ages as long as participants are of amateur status and registered students of the school/program participating.  

NHYDF is also open to anyone who has a passion for dance.  All levels are welcome to submit work.

Can I use props?

Props are allowed at the NHYDF.  Please note:

  • For safety purposes, props and performers should never come within 1 foot from the edge of the stage.
  • Props and materials used in each dance must be listed and described in the submission.  No form of liquid, gel, aerosol, glitter, powder or paint may be used that will physically alter the surface of the floor. Rosin will not be permitted for use. Fire, glass, swords, knives, weapons and use of live animals are prohibited.
  • Hanging backdrops and special lighting may not be used.
  • Helium balloons are only allowed if they are weighted and if permitted by the venue.
  • For safety measures, all props (free-standing or hand-held) are restricted to a maximum height of 15 feet. The use of safety railings is recommended.
  • If the weight of a prop exceeds the maximum weight limit for a built stage, or the Festival Director feels the weight of the prop is a safety hazard, the dancers will not be allowed to use the prop. When sliding props or moving scenery, please be careful not to damage the floor. If floor is damaged beyond repair, the studio owner/director will be responsible for its replacement.
  • Props must be loaded in and out of the venue on the same day they will be used. Storing props in the wings or backstage is not allowed. NHYDF will not be responsible for props left overnight or unattended.
  • Any special request for the assembling of props must be discussed with the Festival Director prior to arrival to the venue. All props backstage MUST be labeled with the studio name for identification purposes.
  • If the stage is littered during a performance, dancers are expected to clean the stage completely of all debris with in time limit of performance.

Are there any additional performance rules?

We have a few rules for performances to keep our participants and audiences safe, and to keep the festival on time.

  • Dancers must perform in their scheduled order unless special permission is given.
  • If the stage is littered during an act, please be ready to clean it up immediately following the performance.
  • Dancers must perform their ENTIRE act on the stage. Performer may not enter or exit the stage from anywhere other than the wings. Starting the performance from the audience or ending in the audience is also not permitted.
  • Special stage or house lighting can not be provided for any performance.

What about etiquette and behavior?

The NHYDF firmly believes in the art of dance, and as such we ask that our participants, audiences and performers attend the event with positive, open minds and curiosity.  The NHYDF exists as a vehicle to promote the arts, encourage artistic ventures, and present dance to all kinds of new and current audiences.

It is of the utmost importance that participants understand that the NHYDF has a zero-tolerance policy in regards to bullying.  While the NHYDF aims to create conversations about dance, these conversations should be constructive and worthwhile.  Participants may be asked to leave and forfeit their performance opportunity should there be any kind of negative behavior towards another performer, organization, staff member, volunteer, or other associated with the NHYDF.

The NHYDF reserves the right to ask any organization, group or performer to leave the premises for any reason deemed fit.

Will there be photos or videos available from the event?

Information on purchasing photos and/or videos will be made available prior to the event for participants.