In addition to the established routines that constitute the main part of a competition, competitions will sometimes include special categories and events in which pre-established routines are not allowed. For example:
- Improv, in which contestants dance to random selections of music and must improvise.
- Dance-off or dance-down. A group of contestants is taught a short routine while on stage, over a period of just a few minutes. The contestants must then perform the routine in groups while observed by judges. The pool of contestants is reduced by the judges through a process of elimination until only one dancer—the winner—remains.