Founded in 1978, Showstopper is America‘s first, longest running and most prestigious dance competition. Showstopper set the standards for competitive dance in America with the first and longest aired dance competition television show, broadcasted on national television for 20 years.
As a full production company, today Showstopper hosts over 50 events a year throughout the United States and internationally. Each competition is equipped with the industry‘s best stages, background screens, lighting, and cameras. In 2018 our stages saw over 50,000 dancers from all across the world.
Each year Showstopper hosts 6 dance conventions at top vacation destinations throughout the United States. Dancers learn from the world‘s top dancers and choreographers, including winners of So You Think You Can Dance, Broadway superstars, and celebrity choreographers.
Showstopper produces America‘s #1 Teen Dance Magazine. Showstopper Magazine can be found at every Showstopper event, in Barnes and Nobles locations nationwide. Each magazine features America‘s most talked about dancers and teen celebrities. Check out Showstopper Magazine Online!
Looking ahead, we will continue celebrating every transformation of popular dance and seamlessly evolve along the way. We will forever be dedicated to what is unmistakably Showstopper: an unconditional love for movement in music, and an unbridled joy in elevating the performance of dance.
Before 1978, dancers didn’t have a stage to perform on, the opportunity to learn from peers, or a competitive outlet like most sports. Debbie Roberts recognized this missing piece in the dance community and that is how America’s first and longest-running dance competition, Showstopper, was born. Debbie taught dance for over 26 years and owned and operated her own dance studio for 20 years. She is now the owner and National Director of Showstopper, alongside her husband, Dave Roberts. Dancer, teacher, business owner, author, and mother, Debbie has made dance her life’s career.
Debbie got the idea to host the nation’s first dance competition from watching her son, Adam, play competitive sports for years. Seeing the excitement he got for a big game inspired her to create the same for dancers. With the name suggestion from her dancing, 8-year-old daughter Angel, Debbie took her savings and booked four competitions for Showstopper’s first year. She wrote letters and knocked on the doors of local dance studios. Despite many doors slammed in her face, Debbie did not give up. Eventually, she recruited about 400 people to attend her first show. By the fourth show of that year, people were asking her how they could participate in Showstopper’s competitions. In no time, local televisions and newspapers were filled with pictures of children leaping across the Showstopper stage.
Debbie’s impact on the dance community continued. In 1984, Debbie graced the cover of Dance Teacher Magazine. In 1986, she topped Glamour Magazine’s list of Outstanding Young Working Women. In 1992, Debbie published her first of three dance-related books. Her first book, The Super Studio: The Guide to a Successful Dance Studio, earned major credit at many colleges throughout the United States.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SHOWSTOPPER
She realizes that dancers need a place to do what they love while receiving feedback for how they can be their best. Debbie knocks on every studio’s door in Charlotte, North Carolina, sharing her idea for a challenging, yet celebratory competition for local dancers. This is how the competition you know as “Showstopper” begins.