What is Turn It Up Dance Challenge?

About Us

Read More About our History and Values

About Turn It Up Dance Challenge

Turn It Up Dance Challenge is dedicated to providing high quality, organized and stress free dance competitions & conventions.  It is important that our dancers are able to take the stage with confidence and pride knowing that we have perfected the behind the scenes. We provide first class venues, on time scheduling, and a genuine sensitivity to our guests needs.

From our start in 2006, we have stayed true to a values-centered and family friendly environment. We pride ourselves on hiring the most hard working caring crew in the industry. All of our crew is thoroughly interviewed, screened and has gone through a detailed 4 day training process. In addition they are considered a part of our family. We can assure you they will treat your team the same way.  They are prepared to answer any questions or concerns that may arise and will work hard to make everyone feel at home.

In addition to our crew, we hire a first-class faculty of judges and master teachers that provide detailed feedback that is both useful and constructive. Our judges value the importance of delivering corrections in order to assist with improvement while also building confidence. At Turn It Up Dance Challenge you can be assured that your experience will be positive and one that you will look forward to each year.

"Thanks for a great nationals! My dancers loved every minute of it. The staff was friendly, helpful, and professional. Hope to be back next year!"

SCC Dance Company

Brooklyn, NY

"Thank you for such a great experience! After seeing that you gave out limited platinums, I was already happy but the judges’ comments put you guys first in my book. They were extremely helpful and detailed. Focused on teaching methods, technique, and performance and I truly appreciate the detailed comments that the judges left for me."

DANCE by Kristen

Collinsville, CT

"It was the first time attending your competition and my staff loved it! The critiques were so helpful & we loved it that the judges handed out the special awards. Thank you for a memorable competition weekend ? !"

Miss Tanya’s Expression of Dance

Nazareth, PA

"I absolutely love, love, love this competition!!! I have never been to a competition so organized. My students loved participating and wanted to come back this year. Thank you for making this such an amazing experience."

Re-Evolution Dance Studio

Hialeah, FL

Of the regionals we attending this year, the TIU crew worked the hardest to ensure that everyone, including the audience were engaged and had fun! The pics were amazing and the judges commentary was professional, both critical and encouraging at all levels. Thank you so much, we had a BLAST!

Main Street Dance

Peotone, IL

This was our first time at TIU. I loved everything about this competition, especially the knowledgeable judges. Their audio was by far the best we have had this season! Thank you for such a great experience!

Platinum Dance Company

Newton Falls, OH

We had a blast. Very well done by all staff and crew. Definitely will be returning next year. Organized, safe in a Covid world and professional. 5 stars all around!

Rhythm & Soul Dance LLC

Vero Beach, FL

Studios RAVE about our top notch Crew Members!

Our Crew

Learn About the Faces Behind the Magic!

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Melissa Burns

Melissa Burns has been a long-time, motivated member of the dance industry. Growing up dancing, at an early age, Melissa had the opportunity to dance on board the Norwegian Majesty Cruise Ship, at the Olympic Stadium of Munich, Germany as well as many other cities and countries all over the world.

She then went on to receive a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Fine Arts from Stonehill College located in Easton Massachusetts. At Stonehill College, Melissa studied with such dance professionals as Valerie Robertson and Adriene Hawkins among others. While attending Stonehill College, Melissa founded and directed the Stonehill College Dance Team, which she brought to national recognition in Daytona Beach, Florida. There, her team was featured on CBS Television and received high accolades.

After graduating, Melissa taught Vagonava ballet as well as jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical and contemporary throughout the New England area. Melissa was also featured at the Fox Theater of Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut and at the Avalon in Boston, Massachusetts where she was a finalist with the World-Champion Celtics Dance Team.

Melissa has been highly involved in competitive and non-competitive dance her entire life. During these times she had both positive and negative experiences in the competition industry. With her passion for dance, she saw the need for a professional, yet friendly and accommodating venue for dancers to be able to compete.

In 2006 she began a journey to fulfill this need through founding the company Turn It Up Dance Challenge, Inc. Understanding what teachers, choreographers, and students endure during practice, performance, and competition, Melissa continues, through Turn It Up Dance Challenge, to give them a competition experience they deserve.

Courtney Tagliaferri

Courtney Tagliaferri

Operations & General Manager

EMAIL: courtney@turnitupdance.com

Liz Afonso

Elizabeth Afonso

Web, Systems & Tabulation Manager

EMAIL: elizabeth@turnitupdance.com

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Alyana Trammell

Event & Awards Manager

EMAIL: alyana@turnitupdance.com

Nikki Gyftopoulos

Nikki Gyftopoulos

Event & Judges Manager

EMAIL: nikki@turnitupdance.com

Michelle Slahor

Michelle Slahor

Client Relationship Manager

EMAIL: michelle@turnitupdance.com

Alyssa Benson

Alyssa Benson

Client Relationship Specialist

EMAIL: alyssa@turnitupdance.com

Stephanie Silva updated

Stephanie Silva

Event & Merchandise Manager

EMAIL: stephanie@turnitupdance.com

Meaghan Ward

Meaghan Ward

Event & Social Media Manager

EMAIL: meaghan@turnitupdance.com

Mollie Baron

Mollie Baron

Travel & Event Coordinator

EMAIL: mollie@turnitupdance.com

Want to be Part of the Turn It Up Dance Challenge Family?

Join Our Team

We're Always Looking For Great People to Join Our Team!

If interested, please fill out the section below, and a Turn It Up Dance Challenge member will contact you.

Photographer: Capture apx 40 images of each routine. There can be up to 600 routines per weekend. This is a perfect fit for someone with action shot or dance photography experience and who has the stamina to shoot for long periods of time.

Production Team (Sound, Lighting, Video): Responsible for loading in all technical equipment. During the show, capture live footage or work as sound tech monitoring, with detail, music volume, and other technical aspects of the show to ensure a polished production.

Judge or Master Teacher: Must have proper teaching or performance credentials and have a passion for working with young dancers.

Backstage: Responsible for communicating and checking in dancers, keeping the show on time, and keeping organization backstage.

Social Media: Responsible for capturing media and managing company social media platforms during events. Check in customers and assist other roles as needed.

Merchandise Sales: This person would remain in the foyer of the event communicating and selling merchandise. The ideal candidate would have some sales or retail experience.

Tabulator: Monitor all tabulation equipment and ensure that each score is accurate. Must be attentive to detail and have strong organizational skills.

Show Director: Most times this position is hired from within. This candidate must be a strong leader, organized, and have strong communication skills.

Emcee: This person is responsible for announcing each routine and hosting our awards ceremony. The ideal candidate would be an upbeat, energetic, clear speaking voice, have impeccable customer service skills, and a passion for what they do.


*All jobs require weekend travel (Friday-Monday).
*Must be available for mandatory training January 2023.

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Turn It Up Dance Challenge’s Core Values

  1. Deliver exceptional customer service.
  2. Believe that honesty is the best policy.
  3. Dedicate yourself to quality, integrity, and professionalism.
  4. Treat your team with respect.
  5. Be enthusiastic & passionate.
  6. Be open to change and innovation.
  7. Commit to excellence.
  8. Embrace responsibility.
  9. Be the change you seek.
  10. Be humble.
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