Forum: Competitions

Judges critiques.
By annie__
On Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:26 AM

I am getting so frustrated with the critiques I get back from competitions. I have dances that scored High Golds with almost no critiquing on the tapes. It's really frustrating to pay such high entry fees to get nothing back from the judges. I understand my platinum winners having little on the critiques, but when scores are lower I want to know exactly why.

23 Replies to Judges critiques.

re: Judges critiques.
By loverofballet
On Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:46 AM
I attended a competition here in Canada in March and the adjudicator wrote 3 short sentences on the critique for my 10 year old soloist in ballet. It went something like this:

Very nice beginning. Excellent characterization. Nice elevation in jumps.

She won first place and got a trophy for most talented under 12 student in ballet. So I know that adjudicator liked her work, but come on, she is only 10 and has lots of things to strengthen and improve in her work.

What I heard from other teachers was that all her adjudications were on the short side. So I sent a letter of complaint to the competition. While I know that the competition cannot alter or control how an adjudicator adjudicates, they should be advised for future reference so they do not hire this adjudicator again. Adjudicators get paid to critique not sit there like an audience member just to watch.
re: Judges critiques.
By dancerasa
On Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:30 AM
I know when I judge I pretty much do NOT shut up the entire time. I ind there's ALWAYS something to say. What comp? I have the same
Problem And I am Already having issues with it this year. you have to justify a score. You HAVE to. There's always something. I know I make a point to not shut up even if it's just stuff I like!!
re: Judges critiques.
By shmcdona
On Thu Apr 19, 2012 01:26 PM
Yep. Gotta love the no critques and low score. Explain to me why they got the score they did so I can explain it to them and we can work on improving. I find it especially frustrating in ballet divisions.
re: Judges critiques.
By MissTalia
On Thu Apr 19, 2012 01:46 PM
I've experienced the same thing before and it's very frustrating. Write to the competition.
re: Judges critiques.
By Dream_chaserPremium member
On Thu Apr 19, 2012 08:41 PM
Complain to the competition. I know that when I ran a competition, if someone gave such critiques, I would no longer hire them.

I am a chatterbox when I judge because I know what I want when my kids dance.
re: Judges critiques.
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 19, 2012 09:08 PM
Edited by Theresa (28613) on 2012-04-19 22:25:55 I didn't say that right...
My sons group (that I sometimes assist with) just got their critiques back. It was a mixed bag - one chatted the whole time, one was about medium, and one went like this - and I kid you not -

*dance starts*

"Oh my gosh, you guys are SO. CUTE."

*32 beats or so goes by*

"Seriously, you guys are just SO. CUTE."

*32 beats or so goes by*

"I can't stand this, how cute you guys are!"

*repeat in various forms for two minutes*

His main instructor and I were just looking at each other, like "WTH do we do with that?!"

Although we got told on one other dance that their formations were too big (it's a small group - there's four girls). So sometimes, even when people say stuff, it doesn't mean anything. Heh...
re: Judges critiques.
By hummingbird
On Thu Apr 19, 2012 09:33 PM
Get Janet to adjudicate, she just didn't shut up on her adjudication DVD's :P

Even if she claimed she was saying nothing she gave corrections and it was said in a way that children would listen to. Even if they got top marks she still gave plenty of comments.
re: Judges critiques.
By Tapdanzer
On Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:10 PM
I HATE that. Unless they're giving 100% judges need to justify their mark. If they have nothing to say and it's perfect then I want 100%!! My biggest frustration as a tap teacher are the judges that haven't tapped and googled "tap dance" before they judges and learned the word shading. You can always tell a "non" tap judge when they only talk about shading and being on the balls of their feet. I drill my kids on that so a lot of uneducated judges have nothing to say. It's such a breath of fresh air to have a judge that gives helpful critiques (seeing as that's what they're paid for). DEFINITELY write to the competition. Things won't get better if they don't know.
re: Judges critiques.
By dancerasa
On Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:06 PM
Um, I am certainly a tapper and I spend a LOT of time saying dance on the balls of your feet. I've watched a great ManyTap dances where there were a ton of sloppy sloppy footwork because the kids weren't picking their feet up. Flaps with heels, sloppy transitions....have you ever seem sugars done with no releve? I don't think I'm in the wrong for making these corrections and I certainly would call myself a tapper. Just a little off the topic comment. that's certainly never my only
Comment, however, it's definitely
Been one I used and I would hate to hear someone saying I don't know what I am talking about because of it.
re: Judges critiques.
By taps2much
On Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:34 AM
I didn't get from Tapdanzer's response that there was a problem with commenting on dancing on the balls of your feet or shading, just that those comments should not be the only topic of critic from a competition judge. Rhythmic dynamics and intricacies, spacial awareness, synchronicity, not to mention over all performance. There is so much more to critique.
re: Judges critiques.
By DaDancingPsych
On Fri Apr 20, 2012 07:02 AM
And while it's best if the competitions hire judges that are well-rounded, I acknowledge that no one can be an expert at everything. So, if you are not the "tap judge" (or whatever form it may be), then focus on aspects of the dance that you are really qualified to discuss.
re: Judges critiques.
By Dream_chaserPremium member
On Sat Apr 21, 2012 08:44 AM
dancerasa wrote:

Um, I am certainly a tapper and I spend a LOT of time saying dance on the balls of your feet. I've watched a great ManyTap dances where there were a ton of sloppy sloppy footwork because the kids weren't picking their feet up. Flaps with heels, sloppy transitions....have you ever seem sugars done with no releve? I don't think I'm in the wrong for making these corrections and I certainly would call myself a tapper. Just a little off the topic comment. that's certainly never my only
Comment, however, it's definitely
Been one I used and I would hate to hear someone saying I don't know what I am talking about because of it.


Me, too! Get off the heels!!! ACK!

Hummingbird, thank you so much. I think, that if you judge, if you can't correct, why are you judging?
re: Judges critiques.
By Dream_chaserPremium member
On Sat Apr 21, 2012 08:46 AM
Dream_chaser wrote:

dancerasa wrote:

Um, I am certainly a tapper and I spend a LOT of time saying dance on the balls of your feet. I've watched a great ManyTap dances where there were a ton of sloppy sloppy footwork because the kids weren't picking their feet up. Flaps with heels, sloppy transitions....have you ever seem sugars done with no releve? I don't think I'm in the wrong for making these corrections and I certainly would call myself a tapper. Just a little off the topic comment. that's certainly never my only
Comment, however, it's definitely
Been one I used and I would hate to hear someone saying I don't know what I am talking about because of it.



Me, too! Get off the heels!!! ACK!

Hummingbird, thank you so much. I think, that if you judge, if you can't correct, why are you judging?

DaDancingPsych, thanks for Karma. Yes, somehow they hear it better from other parents, than us, like we are idiots.
re: Judges critiques.
By loverofballet
On Sat Apr 21, 2012 09:33 PM
Theresa, that is a disgusting critique. It's a "I want my money back" critique.

Here's another bad competition moment:

Last year I had a young soloist do the doll variation from Nutcracker. This was her first solo ever in competition. The competition had a rule that they played the music, not the teachers. Okay fine with me, but don't screw it up. The music person screws it up and 2/3 of the way through the solo, turns the music off. My student carries on without the music to finish. My student returned at the end of the category to perform the solo again, of which I hovered by the stereo to make sure this person did not turn the music off again.

The 3 judges were saying wonderful things about how my student carried on without the music, yada yada yada.

The music person does the same thing again to another student who performed the same solo earlier in a different age category. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

When my dance studio received the DVD of the critiques, this soloist was missing from the tape, so she received no critique, but was happy because she got a high-gold. I was not happy and felt ripped off. Consequently, I will never attend that comp. again.
re: Judges critiques.
By Dream_chaserPremium member
On Sun Apr 22, 2012 08:43 AM
Let us know the competition, so that we either don't attend, or are prepared. Thanks.

Comment #9922645 deleted
Removed by hummingbird (128773) on 2012-04-22 22:33:21 Oops, half of the next post, I'll just remove this bit.

re: Judges critiques.
By loverofballet
On Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:12 AM
Shine Dance. A Canadian dance comp. This happened last year, so hopefully steps have been taken to resolve the problem.

The music person clearly didn't have knowledge of classical ballet music. During that variation, the music stops after the doll is dropped and then continues. The stupid thing is that she did it on the same day to different students in the same spot in the music.
re: Judges critiques.
By Dream_chaserPremium member
On Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:12 AM
I judged for Shine, about 4 years ago. They had no issues, then. They had their own person. I wonder what happened.
re: Judges critiques.
By loverofballet
On Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:38 AM
That was one of the few festivals I have attended were teachers didn't play the music themselves. There was one other that same year I attended. that had all professional stage hands that worked that particular venue, dealing with the sound and props. Same piece of music played with no problems.
re: Judges critiques.
By Dream_chaserPremium member
On Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:45 AM
I am not used to attending where the teachers play the music. I try to avoid such things by keeping the music where it's obvious where the end is but have attached notes to CD's where I think there could be a question. I note the length of the piece (2:36, 3:01, etc.), too.

If I did not received a critique, I would contact the organizer and let them know that I expect some compensation for it, too. I think that they should always be told of proper issues.

I will never complain of a judge's score, that's just how it is, but other issues, yes, they should be aware of them. I have heard complaints from people but they never bring it to their attention, which is silly.
re: Judges critiques. (karma: 1)
By loverofballet
On Sun Apr 22, 2012 09:34 PM
^^^at that time I was working for a studio, so I left it in the hands of the SO. This year I had my own students that I was responsible for, so I did send a letter of complaint to a competition who only wrote 3 short sentences on the adjudication.

I agree that comps. need to be informed when things go wrong. I have also sent letters thanking a comp. for being so organized and helpful. I believe you should compliment people as well when it is deserved.
re: Judges critiques.
By Dream_chaserPremium member
On Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:43 PM
loverofballet wrote:

^^^at that time I was working for a studio, so I left it in the hands of the SO. This year I had my own students that I was responsible for, so I did send a letter of complaint to a competition who only wrote 3 short sentences on the adjudication.

I agree that comps. need to be informed when things go wrong. I have also sent letters thanking a comp. for being so organized and helpful. I believe you should compliment people as well when it is deserved.


Absolutely. Also, as a judge, I have told competitions if I saw things wrong, too. They need to know. The good ones will listen.
re: Judges critiques.
By caughtmydream
On Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:18 PM
I think part of it is because the people running the competiton just wants the judges to keep it nice so the studios will return with them. I can't blame them for wanting to keep the business, however, if my choreography is to blame please tell me or if the kids just need to work. That is what we are there for is for the critiques. I judge at a lot of cheer comps, and we have to be real careful at what we say in the comments. For example I had a group that after one step they added a body roll. I mean body rolls left and right, I wanted to say something about taking out the body rolls and add more choreography, but the way I had to word it was in a way I don't know if the coach got it. UGH!! aggrivateing please tell us what needs to Happen.

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