5129 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA 19073

ABDA Special Number REQUEST Forms 2023-2024

General Information for Dancers, Parents, and Choreographers:
Any ABDA Company Member is eligible to compete a Special Number (solo, duo, trio etc.). Of the competitions we attend, some allow any and all routines to compete; others are more restricted, and either do not allow solos to compete, or only allow a certain number of dance routines from any one studio to compete. (We will discuss options with the dancers should we perform at a more restricted competition.) There are also many competitions that students can attend on their own, other than the mandatory ones we attend as a group. We can assist students in entering these alternate competitions; however, we cannot guarantee that an instructor will be present. Special Numbers may not be included in the recital.

NOTE: Studio tuition payments must be in good standing and up to date before undertaking the financial commitment of a special number. Students must also be taking their regular classes, including company classes, without excessive absences before undertaking the time commitment of a special number.
Competing a Special Number can be a great experience for young dancers.  We want every dancer to have equal opportunities to perform in this outlet and not just hand pick certain dancers.

The Pros - a.) You learn to put yourself out there in front of large crowds of people; b.) You learn great work ethic in preparing for your special number on your own; c.) Judges critiques are specifically tailored for you; d.) You can express yourself in a way only you can express; e.) You have the opportunity to perform as much or as little as you like; f.) You can get one-on-one time with a choreographer of your choice.

The Cons - a.) It costs a lot of money to compete a special number (competition entry fees, choreographer fees, costume fees, etc.); b.) You need to have the will power and drive to rehearse on your own; c.) It can be very scary at times; d.) It can be discouraging when you feel a judge scores you low - remember it's only one person's opinion!!

Special Reminder - Competing a special number must happen in a very positive way.  All dancers must encourage each other and respect each other.  We are not competing to win or be judged against each other.  Please treat this as an outlet to perform and do what we all love so much.

Cost of Competing a Special Number (Solo/Duo/Trio)

There is a financial responsibility when competing a special number. Students are responsible for competition entry fees, costume costs (if any), and choreography costs.  Each of these costs will vary based on the choices made - see below for options.  In addition, families are responsible for any transportation or lodging costs they may need to attend competitions.

Competition Entry Fees
The cost of the entry fee for each competition for special numbers usually ranges from $125 - $185 for a solo and $70-$95 per student for a duo/trio. These fees are due along with the Competition Registration Form on due dates as stated in our company contract (roughly 60 days before a competition). Note: Families may incur additional fees if the forms are not submitted to the studio by their due dates.

Cost of Choreography

If students would like one of our teachers to choreograph their special number, there is a fee, to be paid to the choreographer which includes:
  • Choreography and creativity from the teacher of your choice (if he/she is available).
  • Teacher time for all choreography sessions and cleaning/coaching sessions (see options for total maximum hours).  It is up to the student(s) to decide how much of this time they need.
  • Studio space and time to use on your own.
  • Music edits if needed.
  • Costumes borrowed from the studio inventory. (Alternatively, you may purchase a brand-new costume from a costume company at your expense - the studio will assist you in doing this - or you may use a costume that you already own.)
  • Administrative time to organize specials, gather music, register for competitions, download critiques to send, etc.
  • NOTE - These fees are due at the first rehearsal and are payable by cash or check DIRECTLY TO THE CHOREOGRAPHER (NO credit cards).


  • $320 per solo – includes a maximum of 4 hours total with choreographer (2 hours to set the piece and 1-2 hours of clean up rehearsal).
  • $400 per duet ($200 per dancer) – includes a maximum of 5 hours total with choreographer (2-3 hours to set the piece and 1-2 hours of clean up rehearsal).  Note: This requires a lot of rehearsals on your own to be best prepared.
  • $480 per trio ($160 per dancer) – includes a maximum of 6 hours total with choreographer (3-4 hours to set the piece and 2-3 hours of clean up rehearsal).  Note: This requires a lot of rehearsals on your own to be best prepared.
  • All dancers should plan on spending a good amount of time practicing on their own.
  • You may add ADDITIONAL 1 HOUR PRIVATE COACHING REHEARSALS for the above option #1 special numbers for $70 per hour.
  • $480 per solo – includes a maximum of 6 hours total with choreographer (2 hours to set the piece and 4 hours of clean up/private coaching rehearsals).
  • $640 per duet ($320 per dancer) – includes a maximum of 8 hours total with choreographer (2-3 hours to set the piece and 5-6 hours of clean up/private coaching rehearsals).
  • $720 per trio ($240 per dancer) – includes a maximum of 9 hours total with choreographer (3-4 hours to set the piece and 5-6 hours of clean up/private coaching rehearsals).


  • FREE per special number – you yourself can choreograph your own special number and use as much time as needed using our studios free of cost.  However, we highly recommend that you have one of our teachers look at it to make sure it is ready to compete.  Generally, a teacher will charge the private lesson rate to look at a special number and give feedback at $70 per hour.
Cost of Costumes and Accessories
All Special Number Dancers will need a costume.  Costumes can be obtained in one of three ways: a.) FREE OPTION - using a costume you already own, have access to, or are going to create; b.) FREE OPTION - using a costume the studio has in stock, or c.) EXTRA COST - having the studio purchase a costume from a costume company, at your expense (generally between $55-$150)

Detailed Info & Special Notes Regarding Competing a Special Number (Solo/Duo/Trio) for Dancers, Parents and Choreographers.
Contact us early if you would like to do a special number. Please submit the Special Number Request Form. The summer is the best time to work on Special Numbers. Many teachers will be available at the end of June (after Recital) through the end of August.  If there are a large number of dancers who want instructors to choreograph for them, students will be selected on a first come, first served basis. (Instructors only have a limited amount of free time and could be overwhelmed by requests.) We will do our best to see that everyone interested in competing a solo or special number gets their chance with the teacher of their choice.  (Note - please have a second choreographer in mind if your first choice is not available). As another possibility, dancers may choose to choreograph their own solos. Instructors would be able to assist in cleaning numbers and in offering guidance - with a more minimal time commitment for the instructor. Fees charged would depend on how much time a student requested. (Talk to the studio about this; normal private lesson rates apply - $70 per hour.)

Current List of Available Choreographers
Contact the Studio if you would like any of the following teachers to choreograph for you.
  • Angela Bates (Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Musical Theatre, Acro)
  • Alexa Meissner Chambers (Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern)
  • Gabby Wright (Jazz, Contemporary, Street Jazz, Lyrical, Musical Theatre)
  • Makenzie Crane (Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary)
  • Allyssa Millar (Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Musical Theatre, Acro, Hip Hop)
  • Caitlin McQuade (Jazz, Lyrical. Contemporary)
  • Bilal Simpson (Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical)
Special Note: There are many outside choreographers you can hire on your own.  Many have their own rates and procedures.
Reserving Studio Space for Initial Choreography
Students need to coordinate with their choreographers to schedule studio rehearsal time. Choreographers will need to use the Studio Sign Up Genius to reserve a studio and time to set the special number.  We do not charge studio rental fees for this.

Reserving Studio Space for Rehearsal after Choreography is Set
Once the choreography is set, it is up to the dancer to find time to rehearse their routine at home or at the studio. The Studio Sign Up Genius will be available to you to reserve a studio and time on your own. Links for this will be emailed to you monthly.  During the summer, studios are generally available during camps, summer classes and intensives.  During the school year, studios are usually free for a brief time after or during rehearsals on Saturdays, before 4:30pm Monday thru Thursday, after the last class of the evening (for about 15 minutes) throughout the week, and special times on Sundays. If you would like studio time to practice your special number and find that all the free studio time slots are taken, please notify the studio.

Note 1: Running numbers between our regularly scheduled classes is most likely not possible. One student quickly running a number between classes is usually not a problem; however, running two or three numbers between classes is too time consuming.
Note 2: If a student wishes a teacher to be present, arrangements for time and compensation must be made with the teacher first.
Note 3: Students are not allowed to skip classes they are registered for to rehearse their special numbers.

Video Your Routines
It is necessary that each student video their initial choreography. It is also highly recommended that each dancer has someone (a parent or another student) video record one or more of their rehearsals so that the dancer can work on their solo at home. Ideally, students should also video themselves after every rehearsal so they can judge their progress and see what they need to correct.

Duo/Trio Challenges
Rehearsing a duo or trio can be difficult due to scheduling issues amongst dancers. Remember that your duo or trio is a team and must work together. These types of routines require more rehearsal time because the dancers have to dance together at the same time. If you are considering a duo or trio, please consider how well each of the dancers will work together, and consider their individual schedules and their ability to get together to rehearse. If you choose to do a duo/trio, you are responsible for rehearsing as often as your team members feel necessary.

Selecting Costume
Students and/or Choreographers need to submit to the studio for approval the costume they wish to use. We want to make sure that costumes are appropriate and that no one else is using the same costume. A Costume Approval Form is included for this purpose.   Note: if you are buying a new costume from one of the costume companies that we use, it can take up to sixteen weeks to get a costume. You need to plan early.  PLEASE NOTE SPECIFIC DUE DATES (September 1st and November 1st)!!!!!!

Special Numbers Commitment to Competence
We ultimately want the students to look competent in routines that the students feel are challenging. We can think of at least two scenarios that could either render a routine less than challenging for a student or make a routine too difficult for the student to perform competently.
A. If the choreographer creates a number exactly to the dancer’s current ability (which is what they are supposed to do), and they choreograph the number during the summer months of June or July; this is most likely 9 to10 months before the student may actually perform the number in competition and will not take into account any improvement the student might make over a 9 to 10-month period. A routine choreographed in June or July might be too easy for the student when they actually perform the routine in March or April of the following year.
B. On the other hand, if the choreographer tries to anticipate the student’s improvement, and choreographs a routine that is more challenging than the student’s current ability, it is possible that the student will not improve to the degree that they need to and will not look competent in the routine.
To address these scenarios, we recommend that choreographers give the students options within the choreography to make a dance either harder and more challenging or easier if it is found to be needed at a later date.

Note to Choreographers:
The studio reserves the right to:

  • change choreography to something easier if a student for whatever reason cannot perform their given choreography competently and the choreographer is not available to make changes, and to
  • change choreography to make a routine more challenging if the student has progressed and needs a higher level of difficulty and the choreographer is not available to make changes.
Note to Students and Parents:
We usually leave the final decision as to which version of their dance (easier or harder) each student uses. We have noticed, however, that even though the studio’s position is that the students should choose the version that they do technically best, the students (in their quest to be more challenged) often choose the versions that are too hard for them to do and that they do not necessarily do well.
We feel the dancer’s job is to entertain the audience with what they do well (and not to show the audience how they are simply trying to get through a higher level of steps – judges usually mark down for doing this because it is not entertaining to watch students struggling with steps). If a student looks better doing easier choreography then we feel the easier choreography is what the dancer should choose.
The choreographers typically give about four hours of their time to choreograph the routines. This is enough time to set and clean a dance if the steps given are within the dancer’s current ability.  Four hours is not enough time for a teacher to introduce and clean steps that are above the dancer’s ability. If a student desires to do choreography that is leveled up and they wish to do it well, they either need to practice A LOT on their own, or they need to expect that they will have to pay extra to have teachers assist them.  Always be prepared to do the easier choreography if it makes you look better.