NDCA Judge Membership and Judging Credentials Program

The NDCA Judging Credentials Program offers a unique place for a wide range of members to train, connect and support the role of the dance team adjudicator. We act as an impartial national resource of adjudication knowledge and education. A variety of educational classes lead to 3 levels of credential status: Proficient, Advanced, and High Level.

Who does the NDCA Judging Credential classes/credentials serve?

  • Current dance judges from any US high school, college or studio competition organization
  • New judges
  • Coaches who also judge or would like to get started judging
  • Coaches looking to learn more about judging to improve their coaching knowledge

What judging credentials are offered?

Judges can take a variety of courses that lead to 3 levels of credential status.

  • Proficient
  • Advanced
  • High Level

Level 1: PROFICIENT – 3 Classes Total

1. Introduction to Proficient Level Judging: 2 HOURS

Judges will be exposed to several different scoring systems from around the country and review/discuss performance videos to apply this information. It is
recommended that this class be taken first for the Proficient Level, but classes may be taken in any order.

2. Separating Artistic and Technical Elements: 1 HOUR

A practical guide on the important skill of recognizing and separating artistic and technical expressions/elements.

3. Giving Feedback – Verbal & Written: 1 HOUR

This class will cover both verbal and written feedback best practices and techniques.

Level 2: ADVANCED – 2 classes: Prerequisite Requirement – All 3 Proficient Level Classes

1. Introduction to Advanced Judging: 1.5 HOURS

This course will explore and develop skills related to scoring and feedback for judges with experience.

2. Advanced Judging LAB: 1.5 HOURS

In this training course, judges preview and score performances prior to the class and then work together to discuss the performances and learn from each other. Anonymous group scoring range information will help judges understand how their scoring compares to others and lead to professional development. This class is open enrollment for all Judging Credential members to take any time it is offered to practice scoring skills.

Level 3: HIGH LEVEL: To be offered starting in 2021

How Are the Classes and Credentialing Administered?

From Spring, 2020 – Winter, 2021 NDCA Judging Credential classes will be offered online and at some State Association meetings during the year (pending).

After completion of the Proficient Level series, directors will conduct a review either individually or in a group setting to determine credential status. Any additional needed development work will be offered on a customized basis.  Judges receive their lapel pin after achieving Proficient Level Credential

Membership, Fees and Calendar

  • Judges can join the Judge Membership for $75 annually or add it on to their Primary or Associate membership for just $25.
  • Classes offered to paid members only.
  • In 2020, all online classes are included with paid membership fees.
  • Currently, all classes are offered both in-seat (at the annualConference) and online.
  • Academic Calendar runs May – April.
  • Membership offered on a rolling basis.
  • Members can take the classes even if they do not intend to finish the series and become credentialed.

Benefits of Credentialing Include:

  • Name made available to all member associations and organizations.
  • Lapel pin to wear when judging.
  • Access to a network of national judges and coaches.
  • Resources related to current industry trends.
  • Gold member pricing for the annual Conference.

How Do I Register?

In order to take a credentialing course, dance team professionals must first be a member of the NDCA, and then are eligible to register for classes.

Sign up for the Judging Credential courses with these easy steps:
1. Start by becoming a member, CLICK HERE
2. If you are an NDCA member and would like to add the Judging Credentials, send an email to treasurer@nationaldancecoaches.org.

If you are affiliated with a State Dance Team Association and are interested in credentialing your state’s dance team judges, or you just need more
information, please CLICK HERE to contact us.

Here’s what our members have to say about the NDCA:

Olivia Graziano
Head Coach / SELU

I will attend this conference every year

“This conference went extremely well! I will attend this conference every year that is feasible until I stop coaching...I LOVED it!!!!!”

Hollee Romero

Networking with other coaches

“I found the NDCA conference useful is so many aspects >>> material covered; networking with other coaches; training certifications; nice variety of vendors”

I can’t wait for next year

“I’m so glad I attended the NDCA conference this year. It was an amazing way to meet coaches and share experiences only coaches would understand. I was also able to gather new teaching techniques and motivational activities to bring home to my team. I can’t wait for next year!”

Teena Preuss

Second to none

I have been in this industry for over 35 years, the quality and knowledge of the presenters at this conference were second to none. I learned so much and as a veteran director/coach that in itself was so refreshing.

Most up to date

"The NDCA conference was one of the best I've ever been to, classes and speakers were amazing. We learned the most up to date and innovated techniques that Dance has to offer. NDCA is the organization of the future and the place to find everything from what you need to people to learn from. You definitely don't want to miss it in 2019"" See you there..."

Missy Hornberger

Incredible experience

The 2018 NDCA conference was an incredible experience for me last year. As someone who is still fairly new to coaching, and going into a year of being the only head coach for the first time, it was so nice to have the chance to be around some big names in the dance team community and other experts that had so much knowledge to share. Not only do you get to hear some of the things that others do to be successful, but also that they have some of the same challenges that we deal with at almost all other levels. The NDCA conference allowed me an opportunity to meet coaches from other states and levels, but it was also a great opportunity to connect with coaches from my own state that I hadn't had the chance to connect with before.

Steve Chapla
Head Coach / Xavier University

Conference great experience

The 2018 NDCA conference was a great experience! The speakers and courses offered were very helpful and informative. This is exactly what the dance community needed! It was also a great networking opportunity and in a beautiful/fun location! Looking forward to the next one in 2019

Sarah Flisowski
Head Coach Blinn College / Schulenburg, TX

Conference was amazing

Conference was amazing.  Seeing so many new faces from the year before shows that we are growing as an organization.  The speakers were amazing and I felt gave really good information to help with the up coming year.  I left feeling motivated with many new ideas.

TJ Maple
Head Coach, Stephen F. Austin University / Nacogdoches, TX

many rewards

Being a member of the NDCA has created so many rewards and memories already in the two years of my involvement! Our organization is great for All coaches – old and new to be able to work together, learn together and grow together to help make an impact on our amazing dance team industry. Being a member is rewarding and humbling knowing that we are all in this crazy career together!!

Michelle Deets
Head Coach, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville / Edwardsville, Il

By far the best conference

I have attended several conferences in my role as a college coach, and this was by far the best conference I have ever attended!  In addition to the valuable information I received from the presenters, I also was able to network with coaches from around the country.  I would recommend this conference to all high school and college dance coaches!

Trish Ryan
Choreographer, Former Head Spirit Coordinator Midland University / New York

Extremely organized

The National Dance Team Coaches Conference was extremely organized, boasted incredible speakers, and connected me to so many others who are as dance team obsessed as I am! Too often, it's easy to feel alone in this passion because the primary interaction we have with other as dance coaches are at competitive events or games. It creates a non-biased, safe space to connect with our peers and I was humbled by the amount of talent that was in attendance. I left this conference feeling motivated, inspired, and with an entire notebook of ideas to apply in the future. The hotel and surrounding area were absolutely beautiful, and was the perfect place to relax. I cannot wait for next year!

I became a member of the NDCA because I feel it is important for all of us to join forces and share ideas

I became a member of the NDCA because I feel it is important for all of us to join forces and share ideas. Coaches and choreographers work hand-in-hand to create the best possible experience for dancers. Often, people move between the job of coach and choreographer. Working with each other through the NDCA allows us to inspire each other, grow as coaches, and influence others in the dance team world.

Toya Ambrose

The NDCA is exactly what our industry needs

The NDCA is exactly what our industry needs. I’ve been a part of the dance team industry on all levels (first a dancer, then a coach, now a choreographer). I love that the NDCA has the ability to unite us all, despite various levels of experience - it will give us a powerful voice. I’m looking forward to the NDCA Conference and being able to develop a fellowship with others who share my passion for all things dance team. If you’re thinking about joining- stop thinking and DO IT!

Melissa McGhee
Head Dance Coach, Ohio State University / Columbus, OH

Fantastic Celebration

The NDCA was a fantastic celebration of the hard work, dedication and energy of some of the best dance professionals from across the country! I enjoyed getting to learn from the speakers as well as other attendees. I am looking forward to 2019

Toya Ambrose
Owner, TRA Choreography / Former Coach


The NDCA is exactly what our industry needs. I’ve been a part of the dance team industry on all levels (first a dancer, then a coach, now a choreographer). I love that the NDCA has the ability to unite us all, despite various levels of experience - it will give us a powerful voice. I’m looking forward to the NDCA Conference and being able to develop a fellowship with others who share my passion for all things dance team. If you’re thinking about joining- stop thinking and DO IT!

Jodi Maxfield


As coaches we all have similar experiences and deal with very similar challenges. I’m excited about the NDCA because even as a very ‘seasoned’ coach, it is invigorating to learn from other coaches and share ideas. I feel it helps me stay current and gives me ideas to keep my dancers motivated. I'm excited to be a part of such a groundbreaking organization.


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