Comp season in Australia has started!
Are you getting ready to perform your solo at an upcoming competition?
Check out these tips on what Adjudicators are really looking for…
- A performer that is professional and prepared. Whilst the dance content is important, adjudicators want to see that you know your work and know how to present it. Enter the stage promptly and in a professional manner. Maintain your composure when things don’t go quite as planned such as a memory lapse, slip or even a toddler calling out from the audience. Curtsee or bow and exit the stage in a prompt and professional manner. You belong on stage, own it.
- Technique. This is the core ingredient in any routine. It doesn’t matter what genre or style you’re performing, adjudicators want to see that you understand correct technique AND can dance using correct technique. It’s nothing innovative or tricky, just the core groundwork of any genre such as correct posture, correct alignment, moving with the same range on both sides of the body, demonstrating the same level of flexibility on each side of the body, isolating, articulating the floor to exit and return to the floor, and the crowd favourite…stretched feet.
- Performance quality and expression. A dance competition is an opportunity to perform. Adjudicators are looking for dance technique and training that can be brought to life through artistic expression. Deliver your piece of choreography using expressions through the face, arms, body and eye line. Find the intention of your piece and ensure that its delivered all the way to the adjudicators table.
- Sensible use of the stage. Keep in mind that your routine needs to be adjusted to fit the stage, by you, as you are performing. (Hot tip: Try to head into the auditorium prior to your performance to plan out your routine on the stage) When you’re on stage don’t travel so far that you end up in a curtain looking like a dancer in a curtain burrito. Adjust your steps to fit the space and have a ‘plan B’ if you run out of space or have too much space. The adjudicator wants to enjoy your routine from start to finish and feel at ease watching you perform. They want to see you confidently move from step to step without looking concerned or worried about where you are on the dance floor.
- Age appropriate music/content/costume. Adjudicators want to enjoy your performance and see the audience enjoying it too. Unfortunately, the adjudicator can’t focus entirely on giving you valuable feedback and scoring your performance if they are spending time determining whether your music or content is age appropriate and suitable in a family friendly environment. Make their job easy by ensuring that your performance includes age appropriate material.
- Dance content that is challenging yet can be performed well. This is the hard one…you want to show off what you can do but you also need challenging content to be comparable to the top dancers in your age group. You want to add new skills and steps but don’t want to lose points if you fall out of a turn etc. Work closely with your teacher to ensure that you are including content that is achievable and up to the competition standard. If in doubt, perform what you can do well and save the more challenging moves for the next time.
- Choreography that is classic or innovative. Majority of your section will perform similar moves that are currently on trend. Most choreographers are viewing dance regularly via social media and it’s easy to feed off each other and end up on the same page as others, with similar moves or ideas. If you’re not performing classic choreography, try to be innovative to stand out from the crowd. If there are a few dancers who are all of the same standard, your choreography might be the deciding factor.
- Energy, dynamics and effort. The adjudicator only has a few minutes to watch you, give you feedback and rank you amongst the others in your section. They don’t know that you can perform better, that you won last time, or that you practice 30 hours per week. Don’t treat your performance as one of many, it’s the only time that the adjudicator will see you. Give all of your energy to this performance. Show dynamics in your routine, via light and shade, you don’t want every move to have the same quality, allow there to be ‘strong’, ‘soft’ and everything in-between. Give effort. Show the adjudicator that you love dance and that you are committed to performing your best on stage.
Good luck for your next dance competition!