Since this day has taken the performers and coaches many weeks and
months to prepare, I owe it to them to insure that I am equally prepared
for their performance. I even
get butterflies in my stomach before starting to judge, just as the
sure that I have eaten enough healthy foods to give me energy but not so
much that it will tend to slow my thoughts.
Certain food groups can tend to make you drowsy on a long day.
Each judge comes ‘equipped’ with tools of the
trade: pens, pencils, erasers, tally sheet, calculator, judging forms and
rules book. I always have
water close by as everyone knows that water will cleanse the brain and
promote a clear thought process. I
pace myself and try not to get over anxious and excited early in the day
so my stamina will allow me to complete the contest as fresh as when I
started. As I clear my calculator after each routine, I also clear my
mind to see the next team in the most objective manner. I try to see through to the potential of the team and allow
that to be my guide when comparing performance, precision, technique,
choreography and presentation. Each
judge keeps a tally sheet to insure that scores are falling in a fair and
consistent sequence and to refer back to if there are ties or questions.
When the awards ceremony comes, I am always anxious
to see how my scores have compared to the other judges to combine for the
results. Even though each
judge sees each routine in a different light, each has their own important
observations that will allow the team to grow as dancers.
If all judges thought and commented exactly the same way, the teams
would only be seen through one set of eyes.
It is important to respect differences.
Given insight into a judges day has hopefully
opened your eyes to the great task that they have in defining and judging
the teams at contest. Their
role is of equal importance to coaches, choreographers and performers. For
fun at your next contest, you be the judge and write comments on selected
teams that you observe. Give
a score and see how you compare to the judging panel!
It will give you greater respect for the challenging role of being
a dance/drill team contest judge.