Joel and Clara Marasigan
info@jcdanceco.com
604-725-5635


Consistent Dancing = Consistent Marks

 

In my last blog, I wrote about the Island Fantasy Ball, our local DanceSport competition in Nanaimo. As I mentioned in that article, the winners for each of the BC Closed Championships were obvious; and in some events, even the results of the top six were pretty clear.

Why is it so clear in some cases, with the winners often winning each and every dance and getting the majority of first place markings, while in other events, the results are all over the place? Honestly, at times, it is hard to say. However, the more you know about the judging system, the more you’ll understand what can actually be determined by looking at the judges’ marks.

Sometimes, as in the case of the BC Closed Latin Championships, it is very clear what each placing should be. Each couple in the final were quite different in their ability levels, and therefore, it was easy for the judges and for the audience to determine who would be placed from 1 to 6. When you look at the individual marks in each dance, you will see that there is not much variation at all. However, other times, it is not so clear…

consistencyTake for example, the Pre-Bronze Standard event. Looking at the judging sheets, many couples received anything from 1st to 7th place markings in each dance. Why is there so much variation? How can Judge A give you 1st place, while Judge B gives you 7th? Often, I have couples ask me how judges can have such differing opinions. ‘How come Judge A likes me, while Judge B really seems to really hate me? ‘ Well, there may be some validity to that comment, but probably not as much as you think.

Certainly, judges have their own personal preferences as to what makes the ‘best’ dancers. However, especially in the syllabus events, it is usually the dancers who are the variables, not the judges! It is the dancers who are changing from round to round, dance to dance and even second to second. What many people don’t realize is that it may not be the judges who were inconsistent with their marking, but rather you who were inconsistent with your dancing!

Remember that in a final, judges only have about 10 seconds to assess each individual couple, and make a decision as to where to place you. That’s not very much time. Perhaps Judge A was watching you at the beginning of the dance, when you had a great posture, positive movement, and a big smile on your face; while Judge B only saw you at the end of the dance, when you were getting tired, your arms started drooping and your movement became stunted. Or maybe Judge B just happened to see you during the 10 seconds that you went off-time after bumping into someone, while Judge A saw you during the strongest part of your routine where you had no problems at all.

As a coach, I did go and watch the Pre-Bronze event at IFB, as I had several students entered in that category. What I noticed was that it was very difficult to judge. Everyone had different strengths and weaknesses and none of them were very consistent. As you can see from the results below, no one actually won both dances, and 1st to 5th placings were all across the board. However, when you look at the individual marks in each dance, the winners still had the most consistent results overall, and that’s why they won.

Pre-Bronze Standard Results at IFB

Waltz

B
C
D
G
H
Result
Edmund & Cindy
1
2
3
1
3
1
Sunny & Carmen
3
1
1
3
7
3
Erwin & Grace
2
4
2
2
5
2
Han & Emily
4
3
5
7
4
4
Julio & Yukie
6
5
7
4
1
5
David & Denise
7
6
4
5
2
6
Simon & Frances
5
7
6
6
6
7

Quickstep

B
C
D
G
H
Result
Edmund & Cindy
3
4
1
3
3
2
Sunny & Carmen
2
1
5
1
5
1
Erwin & Grace
1
5
6
2
7
5
Han & Emily
4
3
4
7
4
3
Julio & Yukie
6
2
7
4
1
4
David & Denise
7
6
3
5
2
6
Simon & Frances
5
7
2
6
6
7

Final Results

W
Q
Total
Result
Edmund & Cindy
1
2
3
1
Sunny & Carmen
3
1
4
2
Erwin & Grace
2
5
7
3
Han & Emily
4
3
7
4
Julio & Yukie
5
4
9
5
David & Denise
6
6
12
6
Simon & Frances
7
7
14
7

For the full results, please go to http://danceresults.com.

consistent-target2There are so many variables in each dance competition that it makes it difficult to determine what the judges marks really mean. Each time, there may be different dances required, different judges judging, and different couples on the floor. So you can’t always use the judges’ marks as a good indicator of improvement. However, what you can determine from the marks is whether or not your level of consistency has improved.

Instead of making your goal to try to move up a placing at each competition (which is often invalid when faced with so many variables), your goal should be to improve the consistency of your marks. If the range of placings you get are decreased, then most likely, your consistency has improved. For example, if instead of getting placed 1st through 7th, you are now getting mostly 2nd to 4th, that means that you are becoming more consistent with your dancing. Hopefully, every time a judge looked at you, you kept a consistent look and feel during that 10 seconds, whether it was at the start or the finish of the dance.

Here are some tips on getting more consistency:

  1. Start dancing at different points in the routine. Make sure that the end of your routine is just as strong as the beginning.
  2. Practice all dances so that they are equally as strong. Many Championship couples spend less time on the Viennese Waltz & Paso Doble, but remember, each dance is worth just as much as the others, and this could affect your overall placing.
  3. Do stamina practices closer to the competition. Make sure that you have enough energy to last you from the beginning to the end of each dance and with dances back to back.
  4. Go to a competitor practice or to PEAK, so that you are able to recover quickly from collisions.

Remember, the more consistent your dancing is, the more consistent your marks will be!


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