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WHO WE ARE

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.

 

OUR COMPETITIONS 

We go to extraordinary lengths to provide the industry’s high-quality dance competitions in more than 40 locations across the country. All shows are held in family-friendly venues and feature custom-built stages that continue to be unmatched in the industry. Our goal is always to make every dancer feel special regardless of score, while also providing valuable and constructive feedback from our judges with years of professional industry experience. Each year we see over 50,000 dancers across our stages!

 

OUR CONVENTIONS 

Our dance conventions provide dancers with the invaluable opportunity to learn new skills, make connections, and meet new friends in an encouraging environment separate from competitions. Our faculty showcases the best choreographers, teachers, and professional dancers that have graced stages worldwide and now will stand before you to share the secret to their success. 

 

SHOWSTOPPER MAGAZINE

Twice a year we produce America‘s #1 Teen Dance Magazine. Showstopper Magazine can be found at every Showstopper event and in Barnes and Nobles locations nationwide. Each magazine features America‘s most talked-about dancers and teen celebrities. Check out Showstopper Magazine Online!

OUR STORY

In 1978, Debbie Roberts recognized a missing piece in the dance community, an outlet for dancers to compete. She first 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, calling them Showstopper.

She wrote letters and knocked on the doors of local dance studios, and eventually, she recruited about 400 people to attend her first show. By the fourth show of that year, dancers were hooked. In no time, local televisions and newspapers were filled with pictures of children leaping across the Showstopper stage. It became a national phenomenon! 44 years later Showstopper is in over 40 cities across the country.

 

OUR FOUNDER

Debbie Roberts 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’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. Today, Debbie is going on her 44th year traveling the country to shows every weekend with our crew, working as our National Director.

THE HISTORY OF SHOWSTOPPER

FROM TODAY TO OUR OUR BEGINNING

2022
Our biggest year yet!

2022 is on track to be our largest season yet with over half of our shows sold out before the season even started, and we’ve added TWO new National Finals!

2020
Showstopper’s first virtual tour!

We made the most of a tricky year and added a Virtual Tour to our lineup and produced it at Showstopper headquarters.

2019
Expansion of Showstopper HQ!

We quickly outgrew one custom-built warehouse/soundstage/headquarters so we expand our Showstopper headquarters and build a second warehouse next door!

2018
Celebrating 40 years!

We celebrate our monumental 40th anniversary with another car giveaway and a special celebration tour.

2017
The first Showstopper Magazine!

Showstopper publishes the first issue of Showstopper Magazine, America’s #1 Teen Dance Magazine, with JoJo Siwa appearing on the cover. Along with the release of our first publication, we launched Showstopper Magazine Online!

2015
Showstopper triples in size!

Dave and Debbie develop a complete corporate headquarters, complete with marketing, creative, production, accounting, and legal departments.

2012
Showstopper’s biggest show yet!

Showstopper hits its first 3,000-act show in Anaheim, CA at the Disneyland Hotel. Our biggest show yet!

2010
Major stage upgrade!

We didn’t take long to upgrade, with new stages and production value complete with full LED background screen panels.

2009
Showstopper’s first HQ!

We celebrate 30 years of Showstopper in a big way: with a new 35,000-square-foot Showstopper stage-design facility and dance museum right in the heart of Myrtle Beach.

2004
Celebrating 25 years!

Showstopper celebrates its 25th birthday in 16-year-old style — with a brand new car! One lucky teacher walks (well, drove) away with fresh new wheels!

2000
Showstopper goes online!

Showstopper emerges from its pink Y2K bunker and launches its first website: showstopperonline.com

1997
Showstopper’s first semi!

Showstopper purchases its first of its fleet of 13 semi-trucks to ship all of our equipment and trophies to and from each show.

1995
Showstopper gets its first Emmy Nomination!

Showstopper’s “The American Dance Championship” gets its first of five Emmy nominations.

1992
Debbie becomes a published author

Debbie Roberts publishes her first of three dance-related books. “The Super Studio: The Guide to a Successful Dance Studio” goes on to earn major cred at many colleges.

1991
The beginning of Showstopper Dance Conventions!

Showstopper adds dance conventions to its national tour of competitions.

1991
Showstopper sees it’s first future superstar on stage!

If you already think Showstopper is bae, you might be surprised to learn that Showstopper is also Bey. Yes, Queen Bey herself takes the Showstopper stage in 1991. …Beyonce. Beyonce, y’all. We’re just gonna leave it at that.

1990
Debbie continues to inspire us all!

Debbie is featured in Entrepreneur Magazine.

1986
Showstopper makes it to the big screen!

Showstopper produces The American Dance Championship, the longest aired, nationally dance competition television show. This one-hour dance special aired on TVs across America from Thanksgiving to New Year for 20 years!

This same year, Glamour magazine named Debbie one of their Outstanding Young Working Women!

1985
Welcome Dave Roberts!

Dave Roberts can’t resist the high energy environment of Showstopper, so he sells his successful furniture manufacturing company and becomes an official member of the Showstopper family! If you ask us, we think he made a great decision!

1984
It’s official!

Showstopper is trademarked! Look at us!

1983
Showstopper joins forces with Disney

From coast to coast! Showstopper hosts its first show at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. It’s the first show of an almost 40-year partnership with Disney.

1982
Showstopper continues to expand!

Start spreading the news! Showstopper’s first national finals are held in New York City.

1978
The birth of Showstopper!

Debbie realizes that dancers, just as other athletes, need a place to compete on a large scale in front of a crowd of spectators and supporters. So she knocks on every studio’s door in Charlotte, North Carolina, sharing her idea for a challenging, yet celebratory competition for local dancers.

1977
The first dance convention (before there were dance conventions)!

Debbie hosts a “Day of Dance” at The Dance Shop and over 100 driven and young dancers are able to attend her first fabulous dance convention!

1976
Debbie opens her first studio!

Debbie opens the doors to her first dance studio in High Point, North Carolina: The Dance Shop. Hundreds of eager dancers of all ages start learning to strut their stuff!

1970
Dave and Debbie get married!
1967
Debbie hosts her first big dance event!

In Battle Creek, Michigan, Debbie begins teaching dance and hosts the first annual end-of-summer talent competition — giving tons of dancers the opportunity to show off their dance skills in front of an audience and a panel of judges!

1962
Dave and Debbie meet!

While riding their bikes around their neighborhood in Lakeview, Michigan, Dave and Debbie caught each others’ eye. You could even say it was love at first sight.

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