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Irish - Feiseanna
Do judges write comments about your dancing costume?
By ThreadsofEireann Comments: 4, member since Mon May 04, 2015
On Mon May 04, 2015 12:51 PM

I'm researching the effect of costume in competition. Has anyone received specific comments about the costume they wore during any competitions from judges? If so, can you share the comments and include the location of the competition (US, Ireland, etc.)and which association the competition was affiliated with? Did you make any adjustments to your costume after receiving those comments?

8 Replies to Do judges write comments about your dancing costume?

re: Do judges write comments about your dancing costume?
By CarleIrishDancer Comments: 36, member since Tue Aug 12, 2014
On Mon May 04, 2015 03:43 PM
I've personally never received a comment about my costume, though a friend once got a comment about her poodle sock falling down. We're in Mid-Atlantic, which is typically very competitive. I don't believe a judge is allowed to judge your costume, but they are typically very subjective.
re: Do judges write comments about your dancing costume?
By boleyngrrl Comments: 2550, member since Sat Apr 15, 2006
On Mon May 04, 2015 08:08 PM
I have received comments saying "dress too short" (there are rules about dress length and I'd hit a growth spurt) in Mid-America and Eastern Canada, both CLRG. Same weekend. My costume that weekend was a black t-shirt and a black skirt and the skirt was too short, but I was stuck as my old dress had sold and my new one hadn't arrived yet. I still placed, so it didn't appear to affect my scoring.

In CLRG now, if the costume violates any rules, there is a box the judge ticks and the dancer's teachers are notified. If it's ignored, I'm not sure what they do. Probably tick the box again. If the costume is restricting (arm bands), the dancer must be able to lift their arms to shoulder height or they can be DQ'd (classified as a carriage aid).

Costumes are not part of what is judged, but they can definitely hurt or help a dancers performance by accentuating strengths and hiding weaknesses varying on the design. If you have a dancer with bad arms in a costume with heavily crystalled arms, it's going to make the arms look like they're moving more and can definitely lead to "arms" comments.
re: Do judges write comments about your dancing costume?
By Realtreble Comments: 2094, member since Tue Dec 06, 2005
On Mon May 04, 2015 08:36 PM
When I was an active DM, a few of my customers came back and told me judges had written comments about their pretty costumes. It was a wonderful compliment to hear.
re: Do judges write comments about your dancing costume?
By Mariel4444 Comments: 583, member since Thu Aug 14, 2003
On Tue May 05, 2015 06:54 AM
One lady at my school got the too short comment so our TCRG added a ruffle to the bottom of it. Another boy got a comment (Solo?)i believe it was questioning if the fancy vest his mother made him qualified as wearing a solo in his beginner dance. Realistically though I don't think judges can really punish you for infractions, just make comments
re: Do judges write comments about your dancing costume?
By highland_dancer5 Comments: 217, member since Mon Mar 10, 2014
On Tue May 05, 2015 08:49 PM
I don't do Irish (I do highland), but costumes can really make a difference. It's all about first impressions, the judge will be drawn to dancers who are confident and look professional. While I doubt they can dock marks based or costumes, it can certainly make or break a performance.
re: Do judges write comments about your dancing costume?
By BunHeadAlymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 233, member since Mon Apr 30, 2012
On Tue May 05, 2015 10:34 PM
^^^ in highland we get points docked for costume infractions. I believe it's only five tho.

I'm not in ID at all, but I thought I saw a champ in a very simple, pretty dress that looked like she got off the rack at Nordstroms. Also, natural hair. But she's the only one I've seen like that.
re: Do judges write comments about your dancing costume?
By ThreadsofEireann Comments: 4, member since Mon May 04, 2015
On Wed Jun 17, 2015 01:33 PM
Thanks everyone - fascinating!
re: Do judges write comments about your dancing costume?
By StepdancerPremium member Comments: 1977, member since Sun Oct 22, 2006
On Wed Jun 17, 2015 07:02 PM
My first teacher was also an ADCRG, and he point blank told me that he had regularly seen judges docking points for too much make-up, jewelry, etc. I doubt they actually commented on it or I would have heard about it elsewhere, but he claimed that certain judges penalized dancers for things they didn't like, but that weren't against the rules. He was quite unhappy about it, too: "They're not supposed to start scoring until you start moving", he'd say. He advised me to leave my watch and wedding ring off (I was an adult dancer in the &Overs in a place and time where that was simply not done), and to go light on the make-up. I was fine with no ring and little make-up, but I had to have my watch. I made sure I pushed it up so it was covered by my sleeve.

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