2. Judging Factors

2 Judging Factors

2.1 Timing

Timing is to do with measured movement, which is the control of the speed of each action. Being in time or on the beat requires the transference of the weight and the centre point of balance onto the receiving foot on the precise beat of the music. The foot alone, landing on the floor, in time with the beat of the music but not involving the transfer of weight is not enough to be considered 'on time'.

2.2 Musical Connection/Musicality

Musical Connection or musicality is the ability to dance in the character and style of the music. Couples must clearly demonstrate the start or end of a move or pattern at the beginning or end of each major musical phrase. The expertise of the dancers to transmit what they hear and feel to the audience and to each other. This is the extra quality, which moves an audience as they observe the connection between what they see and what they hear. This makes the dancers appear as the lead or another instrument in the band – which could even be the vocal.

2.3 Content

This is simply what you do. What moves are chosen, how well their choice fits the music and their variety of form? The use of contrasting moves such as round to sharp ones or fast to slow.
The choice of start and finish will contribute to the score in this section.

2.4 Technique

This is how well you do what you do. For the individual, how well are the feet placed in relationship to each other? Are lines created by posture and the extremities? How is the free hand placed or used? How is the dancer balanced? how well do they spin?

2.5 Lead and Follow

For the partnership how is the connection between the individuals? Is there a centre point of balance between them? Is there an obvious lead and follow between the partners? do they respond to each other in an appropriate and complementary way? Are lines created between the partners which are created by posture and extremities?

2.6 Showmanship 

This is how well you sell what you do. This is the extra polish that makes a couple look professional. This is the ability to entertain, excite and inspire the audience. This entertainment value is in addition to good dancing, not instead of it. There is an energy in the live situation that travels from the performer to the audience. The audience should react to this positively. No category of marks will be awarded specifically for clothing, however, marks will added to the Showmanship score for appropriate and attractive clothing.
N.B Vulgarity is not a substitute for good dancing. It is not good showmanship. Points may be deducted from the Showmanship score for vulgarity. 

2.7 Scoring

To enable judges to have a reference point to base their scoring on a recommended score for the demonstration of elements of each factor has been produced (see Appendix 1).
This is only a guide and it is up to the judge to use his or her judgement about the actual performance of contestants within the guidelines.

Appendix 1 – Scoring Template

Scoring of couples will be done in finals ONLY to pick the relative position of each competitor. This scoring template is intended as a guide to judges and competitors. As competitors will be able to demonstrate greater or lesser ability for more than one factor it is left to each judge to decide how to interpret the template. Judges will award scores out of 10 for each factor. Judges may, if they wish, score to one place of decimals e.g. 6.2.

1. Timing1-3 points - Dancers commence moves on the beat.
3-6 points - Dancers finish moves such as spins at the end of a beat.
5-10 points - Couples are both on the beat and start and finish moves, such as spins, together.

2. Musicality1-4 points - Moves regularly start at the beginning of a bar.

3-7 points - A series of moves start and finish at the beginning and end of a musical phrase.
5-8 points - Dances in the style of the music and uses breaks and pauses in music.
7-10 points Dances in a way that interprets the lead instrument in a way that is obvious to the judges and the audience.

3. Content
1-5 points - Uses intermediate moves.
4-8 points - Uses advanced moves.
7-8 points - Uses new and innovative moves.
8-10 points - Moves chosen in a way which makes them flow well together.

4. Technique1-5 points Does intermediate moves well.
4-7 points - Does advanced or new/innovative moves well. Spins and turns in time and is balanced. Creates lines with extremities
7-8 points Dances moves with style and flair in a way which makes difficult moves look easy. Double spins (or more!) are in time and balanced.
8-10 points Dances moves with style and flair in a way which makes them flow easily from one to the other.

5. Lead and Follow1-5 points - Partners on the same beat and a clear leader and follower. No difficulty in follower reading leaders signals or lead. No obvious incorrect anticipation of moves by follower. A clear balancing tension between partners.
4-7 points - Footwork coordinated between leader and follower. Demonstrate an obvious dynamic tension between partners.
8-10 points - Lines created between extremities of both partners. Partners bodies creating obvious and attractive dynamic patterns.

6. Showmanship1-3 points - Well dressed to perform and entertain.
4-8 points - Sells moves to the audience and Judges.
7-10 points - Reacts to audience feedback, or shows awareness of audience reaction i.e. are very entertaining.

In short finals or those with many competitors time constraints mean it may not be possible for judges to score each competitor in full. In this case the judges will be asked to score by exception, very good or very bad, and to simply rank each competitor in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.