Competition Corner: Guest blogger Daniel DeFranco from Groove answers F.A.Q.

Q: How do you select your judges?

A: When selecting a judge, you have to understand exactly what a judge’s job is. Just because someone is a fantastic choreographer or dancer, it doesn’t mean they are always the right fit for a judge. We look for people that are going to give us as much feedback as possible for these performers, both positive and constructive. They have to have extensive knowledge of different techniques and must also be well-rounded in multiple genres of dance. When it comes to selecting a panel of judges for a competition, we try to choose people who have different backgrounds. For example, if we had a panel of three judges, we would try to choose a professional choreographer, a professional performer, and a professional dance educator. We do this solely to receive a plethora of feedback for our performances. At the same time, we understand that many dance professionals have a particular strength in a certain genre of dance. Therefore, we try to have people of different strengths on the panel i.e. we do not want three judges who all have a concentration in tap, hip hop, or any other type of dance. In the end, all dancers and studio directors who attend the competition must understand that the outcome is always based off of the opinion of those judges on that day. In any other situation with different judges, the outcome would undoubtedly be different.

competition corner

Q: Should boyfriends/girlfriends be allowed at competitions? 

A: We encourage our dancers to bring friends, significant others, and family members; the more support you have there the better. However, we must encourage dancers to prepare whomever they are going to be bringing and inform them about what a dance competition is all about. If someone has never been to a dance competition before, they don’t understand just how long of a day it can be. They also may not know that there is no outside photo and video allowed; this is actually something we come across a lot. This year we have started a new media program that includes photos and a DVD for each student to help discourage anyone from taking photos or videos. You have to help them understand that they are an audience member and you are a performer which means that they will not be allowed in dressing rooms and that you will have to spend time alone with just your team members to prepare for your performance. If the person you plan on bringing is going to make your time with us even more enjoyable, then we support it!