What will the Judges look for?
Timing is the most important aspect of the dance. If a couple are dancing 'off time' then it does not matter how good everything else is, they will be heavily penalised. The music and movement is an important aspect and being able to dance in time to the beat is critical. If the beat changes within a track the dancers will be expected to change their moves/footwork/timing to suit.
Being able to listen to a track and interpret the track, adding light and shade is an important expression in the dance world. Adding in dynamism and altering the speed and type of movement by listening to the track will make a couple stand out.
An example would be hitting a break when the beat stops, or sliding for a long note etc.
Dress and Presentation
Do the dancers look well groomed and well dressed? Do the couples match? Are they dressed appropriately for the style...not wearing Ballgowns and Tux for a light hearted category?
You do not specifically get marks for floorcraft. Being aware of other couples, and dancing considerately will make sure you don't lose points. Couples who have no awareness are not going to be judged favourably.
Quality and Choreography
You do not need to know a whole 5 minutes of complex moves to gain points. If the basics are scrapy you will not gain points. Quality of dancing includes timing and selection of moves to music, this relationship is more important. For example, a well executed spin will look and score better than a badly performed triple spin.
Do the members of the couple dance as individuals? Or is there chemistry between them? Do they maintain eye contact, do they look natural together? A couple that dances in sync with each others timings, style and moves will impress the judges and there for accrue more marks, rather than being technically fantastic dancers who do not gel together.
Style covers a wide area including frame, posture, hold, poise and control. Lines created, projection and armography (using a spare arm for stylish movements) are also included. Using the feet by placing each foot on the floor rather than dancing on tippy toes, skipping or trotting. These and many more definitions are all included under style.
Innovation is a difficult category. Moves must be danced to a high standard including musicality and timing. Do the couple link moves well, do they have a repertoire of moves which flow and fit, rather than stacato moves just being 'performed'.
Lifts, Aerials and Airsteps
These are moves which are weight supported where a dancer's feet leave the dancefloor. Any unsafe moves in this category which cause danger or injury to themselves or others will lead to penalties or disqualification...'if in doubt then leave it out'.
This is the same as the above except one foot stays below the partner's standing knee height, or both feet stay below standing waist level.
A Major Airstep is a lift, aerial or airstep when one foot is above the knee, and the other foot above the waist.
Any move where either dancer has their feet higher than their head will be classed as a Major Airstep.
Duration of an Airstep
A lift, aerial or airstep starts when both feet leave the ground. It finishes when at least one foot touches the ground again and supports the majority of the weight, without the intention of immediately doing another lift, aerial or airstep.
A solo jump is not a lift, aerial or airstep as they are not assisted by a partner.
Small unintentional jumps (e.g. from a drop-kick) should not be counted. (We will not disqualify someone for being enthusiastic!).
Specific limitations will be placed on certain moves. For example the ‘floor sweeper’ is excluded for safety reasons. If you are in doubt, contact us or leave it out.
‘Standing knee height’ means the height of the knee when standing up straight. It does not change if you kneel down, or lift the knee in the air.