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Dance festival help!


balletmum20
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Does anyone know what these adjudicators look for at dance festivals, are they looking for great technique, are they looking for potential, are they looking for steps beyond there age group, just ask out of interest, as we have been to festivals before and watch, thinking we know who is going to win, as they have the best technique, ( well our opinion. ) then some else wins with really hard steps in, any ideas would help, or is ita question that we will never know the Answer??

 

Thanks

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It really depends on the adjudicator and their background - especially in Modern and Tap sections I think musicality plays a huge part. I agree with you sometimes you cannot predict the results. DD watches a section before her and knows if adjudicator is looking for "face or feet" .

 

My youngest DD is a tapper her routine is so fast with complicated beating - she rarely places as she is concentrating too much she loses her smile - but as long as she enjoys taking part in festivals that is all that matters - I love watching!!!

Edited by Lifeafterballet?
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It's a combination if everything I believe. Just droends on their background and personal preferences as to which takes priority. I have rarely heard an adjudicator award greater difficulty if the execution isn't perfect. Better to perform a single with poise and perfection than try a double and loose the performance and technique. Take each one as at comes!

Edited by BankruptMum
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I think it depends on the age group to some degree too

In the younger sections most adjudicators seem to prefer something simple very well executed,but up in the oldest groups i have heard comments about dancers needing to tackle more challenging choreography and stretch themselves a bit. Ultimately it's all down to personal preference of course and different adjudicators like different things. I think performance does carry a lot of weight generally though.I wouldn't lose too much sleep trying to figure it out though as it can be very unpredictable. I've seen the "dance of the festival" at one festival unplaced at the next,and vice versa. As the previous poster said, as long as its fun,that's all that really matters.

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I think its a gamble depending on the adjudicator.  I have seen beautifuly executed routines not get placed over personality and performance, and also I have seen simple but excellent technique win the day.

I think you have just got to go with the mindset that you will dance your very best and put everything into it, but not be disheartened if you do not place.  After all, in sections of 20+ not everyone can get a place, no matter how well they dance.  Sometimes, when there are a number of excellent dancers, it comes down to the adjudicators personal choice.  Enjoy and good luck! 

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Also with the older age groups they are often looking for what the dancer can bring to the performance rather than just repeating what she has been taught.

 

It does baffle me how some award more difficulty to those enpointe and other adjudicators say it doesnt matter just so long as they use the appropriate techniques.

 

As has been mentioned a dancer can often win all day at one festival and yet not place at another - a lot has to do with personal preference.

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I think its def a case of an all round secure performance wins the day , with solid technique,  a sense of performance and a great deal of confidence. But also the same as anything with all performers , if your face doesn't fit , it doesn't fit . I think many adjudicators latch on to a child and they then get placed in all sections , but as everyone has said , it comes down to personnel choice.

It has been nice to see some younger (especially male ) blood on the adjudicating panel recently , as many of the older ladies were looking rather tired , especially the ones that have been around since i was dancing !!!!!!

My daughter has always been very fortunate at festivals placing 9 times out of 10 but always agrees this is a bonus , she enjoys the festival circuit immensely making copious amounts of new friends from different dance schools . which will be (like i made ) friends for life !! 

Festival mums/kids are not all MAD DANCE MUMS !!!

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The adjudicator mentioned above is an extremely experienced All England adjudicator in all the styles of dance the festivals have to offer.

In my experience he is looking for an all round strong performance that starts from the minute the dancer steps on stage to the time they leave the stage. He certainly knows his Ballet and National as well as musical theatre.

He is also a big advocate of the festivals being fun!

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The adjudicator at our next festival is Geoff Lucas, he seems to be very MT based so not anticipating great results - still it will be enjoyed regardless.

DD has had Geoff Lucas (although she hasn't done festivals for a while) and did very well with him. He does look for strong technique, but I can remember him having a real thing about shoes. In tap numbers, he was really unhappy with lace up shoes being worn with a feminine/strappy/cabaret costume - he felt ladies tap shoes should be worn and lace ups worn with trousers etc. Mind you, that was around 4 years ago, perhaps he's had a change of heart 

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DD has had Geoff Lucas (although she hasn't done festivals for a while) and did very well with him. He does look for strong technique, but I can remember him having a real thing about shoes. In tap numbers, he was really unhappy with lace up shoes being worn with a feminine/strappy/cabaret costume - he felt ladies tap shoes should be worn and lace ups worn with trousers etc. Mind you, that was around 4 years ago, perhaps he's had a change of heart

 

We have had him 3 times now and is good. The minute the last dancer has finished he is ready on the mic with his placings - no hanging around - marks as he goes along rather than waiting for the section to complete. He doesn't like black tap shoes on the bottom of a coloured costume - saying it hardens the line.

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I have seen some people pull tights over most of the tap shoe, a bit like ice skaters do (not really sure how). I think if you have some kind of black trimming in the costume, even a small amount, then it couldn't be said that the shoes don't match, but I am certainly not the expert. However, he is a really nice adjudicator  :D

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He is a fabulous ajuducator , his ballet is as strong as his MT and is very constructive with his criticism . The tap shoe thing is a def , one of his pet hates , but all adjudicators have these .

He is very fair and encouraging and love the fact that he is on stage sometimes prior to the children at the end of a section .

We have Nathan James in a couple of weeks ( for the third time on the bounce ) who is also very constructive , appears to be from the Geoff Lucas school of ajuducating !! Let the festival season commence !

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That's all very well if you can afford a different pair of shoes to match each costume

 

Surely black matches every thing & the marks should be for dancing not money/costume design.

 

It does help when you DD's feet have stopped growing and can keep a pair of shoes for this purpose.  Black shoes can look very clumpy and heavy - something to think about when choosing a costume. 

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This question probably reveals my ignorance about all things ballet/dance related but does it matter what steps you dance?  My son does modern and ballet and gets taught certain steps eg.  pas de chat etc.  Even in modern the steps seem to be a formula.  When he dances at home he blends everything into a ballet/modern/whirling/ athletic sort of mix-up.  Sometimes I think he'd love to do a festival with his own choreography.  However, is this bonkers?  Does it have to be set steps?  Puts me in mind of Strictly Ballroom when the lead wants to dance at the Pan Pacific and Does His Own Steps, much to the horror of all on-lookers!

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There's no set steps as such for festivals, I think just that the age groups would be roughly the same sort of standard and so you would see similar steps, plus certain things are technically more difficult so if you can pull off e.g. double pirouette en pointe then that'd get you points! Not like highland, Irish, ballroom etc where it's more strict on what steps you can do.

 

I think for National it's maybe a bit more exacting - you need to have steps authentic to the country & done the right way.

 

Your son could maybe enter a festival that has improvisation and/or choreography sections? I don't know if many do it, I know when I did festivals one of them had those sections although I never entered (impro would have been my worst nightmare!)

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This question probably reveals my ignorance about all things ballet/dance related but does it matter what steps you dance?  My son does modern and ballet and gets taught certain steps eg.  pas de chat etc.  Even in modern the steps seem to be a formula.  When he dances at home he blends everything into a ballet/modern/whirling/ athletic sort of mix-up.  Sometimes I think he'd love to do a festival with his own choreography.  However, is this bonkers?  Does it have to be set steps?  Puts me in mind of Strictly Ballroom when the lead wants to dance at the Pan Pacific and Does His Own Steps, much to the horror of all on-lookers!

Well, whilst you don't have to dance set steps in festivals, each dance genre has it's own "rules" and specific technique which the dancers need to adhere too. If you are competing in a classical ballet section,whilst the choreography will be individual, it would be expected to consist of recognised classical ballet technique - you wouldn't slip a few modern moves in. Another example, is that classical greek dance does not involve turn out. This is something that my DD and many of the other dancers who do a lot of ballet find quite difficult to get right and sometimes Greek steps start to morph into ballet, which a knowledgeable adjudicator will notice and mark down. (My all time favourite comment sheet from a festival tells DD to "lose the attitude" in a greek dance, which I thought was quite witty!) And as the previous poster mentioned, national dances do need to be authentic, though a bit more personal interpretation is allowed in the older age groups. Some of the differences are quite subtle - for instance DD assures me that lyrical is different to slow modern but I can't always see that - and there is some overlap eg some of the choreography in a lyrical modern may resemble ballet or greek somewhat.

Some festivals do have own choreography sections, and many have "impromptu" sections which your son may enjoy. The adjudicator chooses the music for impromptu though and it can be quite interesting on occasions! Sounds like your son may like that challenge though.

Dancers can do their own choreography for other sections of course, but it does really need to stick to the correct technique for that genre. My DD has significant input into all her festival dances now (she's nearly 16) and has also choreographed dances for younger dancers at her school, but it's taken her quite a long time to get to that point.

Edited by Pups_mum
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