As we know, the dance competition and convention industry has evolved drastically over the course of the last decade. As dance competitions evolve, the expectations from studio directors on the quality of critiques they receive continues to increase. With this increase, we saw the need for more thorough training of our judging panels so that each of our judges is able to give quality critiques that inspire and encourage dancers to get back into their studios and further their dance training. Each of our judges are dance professionals and educators that know what it takes to get students of all ages and levels from the studio to the stage, and so we wanted to provide even more resources for them to enhance the type of information they share for dancers.
We spent the off-season developing an online judge training program designed to educate adjudicators on how to tailor their critiques for all group sizes, ages, and levels, while training them on our company philosophy and what makes a quality critique. We’ve also provided our judges with a resource library of expert information on nine of the most common styles of dance seen in the American dance competition circuit. The resource library features expert panelists from each genre of dance explaining what they look for when critiquing and corrections for dancers in their given style, while also providing them with sample critiques.
In order to be on our esteemed panel of judges for the 2023 season, our new adjudicators had to:
- submit their headshot and resume,
- fill out an application that details which styles they are most comfortable judging, their prior judging experience, and their prior in-studio teaching experience,
- answer three long form pre-interview questions,
- interview with our Director of Judging,
- submit four critiques of dances in various styles,
- complete the online judge training course and pass all five end-of-course tests,
- spend a full day completing an in-person/zoom panel training,
- and successfully complete a background check.
Each of our judges are reviewed periodically throughout the season on the quality of the critique, tone of voice, knowledge of style, amount of speaking, and overall energy level, as well as on how well they present Special Awards and if they were consistent in their scoring throughout the weekend.
We believe in providing studios with consistent, high quality critiques for each of our events and want every critique to reflect the care and attention that goes into training our judging panels. As we work to make our judging panels the best they can be, please do not hesitate to provide feedback on critiques received at your show in the 2023 season so that we can continue to develop and improve our judge training program and make it the best it can be.
In order to help keep our panelists consistent each weekend, we have a Head Judge on each panel that has worked with Beyond The Stars/Breakout as a judge for at least one full season prior. Our Head Judges know and understand all updated rules and guidelines, communicate any issues, rule breaks, or level changes with the on-site Director, and assist any new judges on the panel to ensure they uphold the company philosophy. These judges spend two full days at an in-person training reviewing our policies, company philosophy, and expectations of our panels as a whole.