At Right - Nutcracker on Ice
Exactly what are the judges looking for when evaluating a dance competition? The judges usually consist of former dance professionals and/or current choreographers. They are chosen to showcase their expertise in analyzing, evaluating and scoring, much like judges of Ice Dance. If you watch Dancing With the Stars or Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing On Ice appears different. After all, skating on ice requires certain technical elements all its own. But when the judges evaluate the presentation or artistry of a performance there are some dancing parallels.
The judges’ evaluation of performance is based on originality of the particular genre. Did the couple execute the dance and make it their own? Did they sell it? Was there chemistry between them? Were their respective personalities highlighted during the performance, along with their skills? Did they exude emotion? Was the performance real? Was it believable?
One of the most important aspects. Good posture makes you look elegant and exude confidence. It improves balance and control, and allows your partner to connect well to your body in the smooth dances. One’s competition result is often directly proportional to one’s postural correctness.
If a couple is not dancing on time with the music, no amount of proficiency in any other aspect can overcome this. The music is boss.
If the couple executed and coordinated the movements of the Feet, Legs, Body and Arms based on the Characteristic Style of the Dance in question.
This involves the dancers’ lines which include posture, full graceful extension of their legs, arms, center balance and fluid continuity, giving the look of big, yet flawless and seamless. Evaluation also includes the couple’s individual and combined strengths as supporting partners. Did they hold their own on the dance floor, yet dance as a unit?
Musicality and Expression
The basic characterization of the dance to the particular music being played and the choreographic adherence to musical phrasings and accents. The connection that dancers have to each other and to the music.
Foot and Leg Positions
The stroking of feet across the floor in foxtrot to achieve smoothness and softness; the deliberate lifting and placing of the feet in tango to achieve a staccato action; the correct bending and straightening of the knees in rumba to create hip motion; the extension of the ankles and the pointing of the toes of the non- supporting foot to enhance the line of a figure; the sequential use of the four joints (hip, knee, ankle, and toes) to achieve fullness of action and optimal power; the bending and straightening of knees and ankles in waltz to create rise and fall; the use of inside and outside edges of feet to create style and line all fall under this most important of categories.
Things such as how a couple “look” together, whether they “fit” emotionally, their neatness of appearance, costuming, the flow of their choreography; all have an affect on a judge’s perception and therefore on his/her markings.
Here is Jorgie Porter on Dancing On Ice. Notice her posture, lines, arm positions, all much like a dancer and that the judges take note of these elements.