So, your dancers completed their first big competition and placed pretty well! When everyone is proud and morale is high, you should start thinking about the next step in the competition process: working through adjudicator responses. Whether your dancers came in first or last, there’s always something to be learned from the judges’ comments and scores. Here are some dance competition tips to help you make the most of this important feedback.
Go Through Comments Alone
Whenever possible, you should take time to go through all the comment sheets alone or with your instructors. Hopefully the competition you attended had adjudicators who were professional and honest, but sometimes you may find comments that are unnecessary or even rude, as one teacher on Dance.net found out the hard way.
If this is the case, you don’t want your students to be upset or lose confidence in themselves. Weed out any unhelpful feedback and present only the useful criticisms to your dancers.
Review Appropriate Feedback Together
Once you’ve read through the commentary, it’s time to present the feedback to your students. It doesn’t matter whether you have another competition in two weeks or are finished for the season – you should always take time to review the performances.
Remember, dance competitions are an opportunity to learn and help dancers grow, and they can’t do that if they’re focused only on a trophy!
Sit down as a team and review both the positive and negative remarks. Work together to come up with strategies to fix the team’s weak spots and emphasize their strengths. Dance Australia explained that judges are generally looking at basic skills, appearance, confidence levels, technique, choreography, costumes and overall performance.
Most competitions will clearly lay out the different areas students were judged on, so work with your students to identify areas in which they need to improve. This way you can better your team as a whole and help individual students learn to critique themselves and grow as dancers.
Contact Organizers when Necessary
Unless otherwise noted, you have the right to feedback after competitions. If you find that the notes you receive are incomplete, inconsistent with scores or of poor quality, you may want to consider reaching out to the organizers. Let them know politely that you were unsatisfied with the adjudicator feedback and recognize ways you think it could be improved.
On the other hand, you may also want to drop a note to let organizers know that their judges gave you thorough and detailed comments.