Forum: Competitions

Help with adjudicator's comments
By Dancing_B
On Sun Sep 28, 2014 06:45 PM

Hi all,

The first of my students competed last night in a festival which is running over the next 2 weeks.

Comments received on their reports last night included "little to no dance ability", "routine was disturbing", "costume is too simple and juvenile for stage".

I don't expect my students to always receive glowing reports but is it wrong of me to assume they should at least be constructive and encouraging? I also find them way out of line considering one of the students placed second at this same festival with the same routine just 6 months ago. And she has only improved since.

My students are devastated at the comments and all confidence has left them. Is this a harsh reality of the competition world that we had not yet experienced or would you be as disappointed as I am in what has been said in the reports? Do I let my other students perform for her and have to watch them be crushed in the same way? They have worked so hard at their routines, I want them to be able to perform them but not if it is at the expense of their self esteem.

It was not just my students receiving such comments and the adjudicator refused to award more than 2 places for the section. Even then she didn't award a second place as she believed nobody deserved it.

This isn't a professional eisteddfod. Just a school holiday dance competition.

Can anybody offer some insight and advice for me?

Thanking you.

8 Replies to Help with adjudicator's comments

re: Help with adjudicator's comments
By Dream_chaserPremium member
On Sun Sep 28, 2014 07:40 PM
Very unprofessional!!

I judge, and have judged festivals (not Irish), and I try to make my comments positive, encouraging and corrective.

There ways to say a dancer needs work by being positive, like "I would lie to see them work on more technique and more practice will really help.

Report it to the organizers. I am sure that you were not the only one with such critiques.
re: Help with adjudicator's comments
By DelilahDance
On Mon Sep 29, 2014 08:12 AM
Honestly I would say that is unprofessional as well.

A good judge would mention details on why it is disturbing, or why the costuming is inappropriate. The statements you received are very general, and you really don't have much information to work off of. I wouldn't loose any sleep over this, just keep in in the the back of your mind. I also do not think this is worth mentioning to your students, since it would bring up more unanswered questions than it would be of a resource for improvement.

Good Luck!
re: Help with adjudicator's comments
By hummingbird
On Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:52 AM
I've never received comments like that from an adjudicator, we've had harsh placements, but even then we had helpful comments. 'Has little or no dance ability' isn't helpful and is not the sort of comment that should be included on adjudication sheets, these are meant to help students improve their dancing, how does a comment like that help? It doesn't!

I agree with the previous posters, it's totally unprofessional.
re: Help with adjudicator's comments
By MissSharon73
On Tue Sep 30, 2014 03:08 PM
I agree with reporting the adjudicator to the organizers of the event. To say that a entrant has little to no dance ability?! YIKES!! If the dancer was truly that inexperienced, there are other ways to state it...

I am so sorry that they are so deflated right now :( That hurts my heart!!
re: Help with adjudicator's comments
By RileyA
On Tue Sep 30, 2014 03:19 PM
Wow, I have never even heard of anyone getting comments like that before. In fact my usual complaint is that the reports are always positive and there is often a lack of constructive criticism.

Before I read or show any reports to the students I always go through the results myself first. Then I make a decision as to what I do and don't share.
re: Help with adjudicator's comments
By wedance09
On Tue Sep 30, 2014 04:04 PM
Oh My!!! So unprofessional! I probably would not have let my kids hear/see that. I would most certainly report it to the organization that is in charge.

So sorry for you and your kids.
re: Help with adjudicator's comments
By Dancing_B
On Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:50 PM
Thank you all for your replies and apologies about the double post. I'll address the reply on the other post also first...

The "juvenile" costume was a white/silver sparkly halter dress (Marilyn Monroe style) for the song from the TV series "Smash". Yes, it was a plain colour but completely sequinned and I was going for the stereotypical "Marilyn" look. I'm conscious about not letting my students wear anything inappropriate so am now concerned that a Marilyn Monroe costumes was deemed "juvenile"- something Marilyn was definitely not known for! And in a 15 and under age group, I wouldn't think I'd want her dressed in anything "older".

The routine that was given "disturbing" started with a student singing to herself in front of a mirror with her hair brush as a microphone (as we all have done) and then busting out into a big dramatic routine- so I wouldn't have thought it offensive to any groups etc. This routine also received the "little to no dance ability" remark. My student isn't currently performing at her best, but I wouldn't have entered her if I thought she wasn't capable. It is a Novice section after all and again not a professional competition.

I have spoken to other teachers and all students in the section received similar reports so collectively, we have said something to the organisers.

I'm glad that it's not the norm and I should be expecting these comments at all as I was really about to rethink my decision to let my students enter competitions.

The good news is that both students performed at a second festival and received better reports.

The "juvenile" routine received comments stating...
Stylish routine, pleasing elevation, flexibility and strength. Just remember to finish off your moves, but overall a very pleasing performance".
This is something we can work with at least! (And what we have been working on so now that it's come from an adjudicator, she will hopefully remember it. Hahaha). This routine placed second six months ago and then placed at the second festival this week too.

The "disturbing routine" with my "little to no dance ability" student received...
"I loved your choice of music and your commitment to your character. You have pleasing flexibility but continue to work on some of your jazz technique- namely control in your turns. Well done"
Again at least these comments are something I can take away and help her with. I'm still unsure what was so disturbing about the routine to the first adjudicator, but glad my student has now received encouraging comments.

I'm just glad that the festival programs weren't the other way round!

Thank you all so much again! I'm comforted to know you all feel the same. I like it when they receive criticism and so they know where they went wrong, but not when it gives us no indication of where to go from here.
re: Help with adjudicator's comments
By hummingbird
On Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:22 AM
Those comments sound much more what I would expect!

I'm glad your dancers are now getting helpful comments that will enable them to learn more.
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