Ahh, dance judges....those God's who stand around the edge of a dance-floor, who hold the power to transform your life. Collectively, it is their job to come to a decision as to who they think is the best dancer on the day.
However, each judge is their own person, whose opinion of dance has been cultivated over a lifetime of training and experiences. Now a judge myself after being a former dance competitor, here is a list of my 10 types of dance judges. As ever, let me know what you think!
1. The Everyday Judge
Come rain, shine, sleet or snow, this judge manages to make an appearance at every single competition you ever enter. So often do you see them, your paranoia makes you believe they are able to judge at 3 different competitions, at 3 different locations at the same time.
Whether they are just an expert in the field, or well connected, it is best to keep this judge on your side if you want to do well!
2. The Young Judge
Their is something quite charming about seeing the young judge take their first, tentative steps into swapping the dance shoes for the pen. Aside from their youthful appearance, they are more easily spotted by their 26 inch waist, tight fitting hipster outfit and fashionable glasses.
3. The Dancing Judge
We all love the dancing judge! The first beats of the Samba erupt from the speakers and before the competitors are even ready, the dancing judge is already bouncing and bopping along. Whilst showcasing their Samba whisks and rendition of Shakira's 'Hips Don't Lie' to the bewildered audience, they usually forget to actually mark the dancers in front of them!
4. The Biased Judge
I know what you are thinking....ooft controversial! But unfortunately it is a reality and we all know it.
Whether it is biased towards a certain nation, or more often, towards the pupils of their own dance school, the biased judge will stop at nothing to further their own agenda through their marks.
5. The Ancient Judge
Me: 'Who is that judge that over there?'
Competitor: 'Oh that's Denis, he was World Ballroom Champion in 1774.'
Bless them. The ancient judge is the one who was taught to dance by some of the great masters, such as Da Vinci, Cicero and Plato. Usually very smartly dressed at competitions, they have the look of a person who is one gentle breeze away from being blown into dust.
6. The Well-Dressed Judge
As well as being there to judge a competition, a judge is also there to promote themselves to their fellow judges and dance competitors.
However, there is always something peculiar at being in a dingy, cold sports hall in the West Midlands and seeing a judge introduced to the floor in an outfit that wouldn't look out of place at the Oscars.
7. The Fast Marking Judge
Compere: '6 from 1 adjudicators. Dancer's it's your Waltz, thank you.'
'1, 2, 3. 1, 2 ...'
The fast marking judge is clearly more talented then the rest of us mortals. Just by seeing the Ballroom dancers enter hold, they are able to ascertain not only who is their final 6 couples, but also the order they will be in the future final!
8. The Popular Judge
Most judges are lucky to be welcomed to the floor with a smattering of polite applause from the dance competitors. However, their is always one judge who is welcomed by a crescendo of noise louder then a Wembley stadium crowd.
Milking the moment, the popular judge will pause to bow to each side of the room, give a courteous wave to their fans, before taking their place beside the other, envious judges.
9. The Rogue Judge
One of the problems with competitive Ballroom and Latin dancing, is that it is marked on the informed opinion of human-beings. This is why most competitions will have at least 7 judges, to try and keep everything as fair as possible. Though most judges are quite consistent with getting the correct result, the rogue judge is the one who always gets it wrong!
Whether putting the winner last or the last couple as the winner, either through a lack of skill, a biased opinion or perhaps a missed appointment at Specsavers, they never seem able to get the correct result.
My personal experience of this: After battling through 3 rounds to make the final and win the Open Rumba event, I was shocked to see that one particular judge didn't mark myself and my partner through any of the 3 rounds. However once in the final, this same judge then marked us in first place! Figure that one out!!
10. The Stony Faced Judge
The one thing that unites us all is our love of dance. Dance has the power to fill you with joy and bring a tear to your eye all at the same time. Not for the stony faced judge however!
This judge has the power to watch the most beautiful, or awful dancing and show zero emotion at all. Give them a smile as you dance past and you may be lucky to receive a raise of an eyebrow back. At worst, you will receive a look at your number, a glance at their mark sheet, a stare back at you and then a slow turn away from you towards another dancer!