Judges’ Corner – How Do Dance Competition Judges Encourage Dancers?

January 25th, 2017 by Mariel Rosen

StarQuest, StarQuest Dance Competition, dance competition, dance competition

StarQuest, StarQuest Dance Competition, dance competition, dance competitionstarquest dance competition sponsor

Dance competition judges have the rewarding but challenging job of critiquing dancers’ routines in a way that helps you grow from the competition experience. But how do your judges’ on competition day make sure their critiques are presented in a way that encourages dancers? We sat down with a few of our 2017 StarQuest judges to find out!


While adjudicating routines, how do you try to encourage the dancers
through your critiques?

StarQuest Dance Competition Judge One of my favorite parts about judging is that I have the ability to offer feedback to dancers in new ways that may click differently for them. I always try to give concrete, constructive critiques, instead of making general statements like “stretch your feet,” or “reach from your back.” I work to give anatomical cues that may help a dancer to better understand a correction they have been getting over and over; I try my best to focus on the “how” of a correction, not the “what.” One of my dance mentors used to encourage us to operate under the slogan of the New York City transit system: “if you see something, say something,” referring to giving compliments and pointing out everything good that we see. I try to judge with that in mind, always giving shout-outs to dancers who are drawing my attention and focusing on the positive elements of what I’m watching. If someone is absolutely killing it out there, I definitely want them to know! – Maddie Kurtz


StarQuest Performing Arts Competition judge Jory Bowling Right away I want them to know I enjoyed being there and adjudicating their performance. I think that comes across through a positive tone and consistent commentary from introduction to the end of the critique. I give notes on what I think they can improve on but I also let them know what I loved. Kids and teachers feel better about hearing what needs work when they also hear what they are doing well! I encourage them to keep doing those things and continue to work on the other comments given to bring it to that next level. – Jory Bowling


StarQuest Dance Competition judge Jodie Points I always consider the age of the dancer(s) on stage, and speak to them as I would my own students.  Younger dancers understand things differently than older, more mature teens.  I also think it’s helpful to give tips on how to apply the critique I’m presenting, and I try to use imagery to convey the message without having the ability to speak directly to the dancers and teachers.  It’s important to me that children are able to listen to their critiques and hear something their teacher has not previously said, or at least hear it in a way they haven’t heard it before. – Jodie Points


StarQuest Dance Competition

Judges’ Corner is a monthly feature on the StarBlog. Have a question you’d like our judges to answer? Email it to concierge@starquestdance.com and you could see it answered in a future Judges’ Corner blog!


Mariel Pauline Rosen is the StarQuest social media concierge. She likes shiny things and believes in your sparkle!