Every dancer wants to do their best at their dance competition, and although it takes technique, unique choreography, and quality performance to get a high score, there are some other things you can do to improve your score. Here are some things that judges look for at dance shows, so that you can perform your best and score higher.

Eye Contact with the Judges

There is a balance with making eye contact with the judges. On the one hand, you shouldn’t stare into their faces during the entire performance—that could get weird—but you also shouldn’t ignore them either. Remember that you are performing for the judges and they love to be acknowledged. Looking them in the eye shows confidence and helps them feel engaged in your performance.

Confidence Is Key

This brings us to our next point: the way you carry yourself can make or break your performance. Confidence in yourself will show in your movements, whether you are dancing in a group or on your own. Confidence comes from recognizing all the hard work you put into practicing and rehearsing leading up to the competition day. Confidence is key to success, so when you walk on stage, you should hold your head high and strut with a positive attitude, no matter the tone of the choreography. It will speak volumes and show the judges that you have earned your spot on their stage.

Be Well-Rehearsed

Let’s face it, you won’t do a good job if you don’t remember your choreography. A sloppy dance will sink your scores and leave the judges wondering what happened; however, a dance that hits every synchronized section with accuracy and flare will impress the judges. The cleanliness of your performance shows that you are well-rehearsed and able to take direction from your choreographer. If you are dancing with a group, the precision and unison of all the dancers show how well you work together as a group.

Point Your Feet

The lines and shapes of your body show how well you have trained your body for dance. When it comes to your toes, you should remember to fully point them! It extends the gracefulness of each dance move and is a basic principle of all good dancers. When you jump or lift a leg off the floor to twirl or transition into another step, remember to point your feet.

A Dead Face Equals Bored Judges

You may have the most powerful dancer’s body and may have the skill to land every single move perfectly, but if your face looks blank and dull it will bore your audience and the judges. Your facial expressions should match the story that your body is telling through dance. If something happy is happening, smile! If something sad is happening, cast your eyes to the floor. Hip hop dance includes many different facial expressions, such as a smirk or a wink. Keep in mind not to make your facial expressions too over the top. Try to keep your expressions authentic and lose yourself in the music.

Present Yourself Professionally

You should never walk on stage for a competition with unkempt hair or ripped tights. You should always have a backup plan and bring extra tools, accessories, and repair items so that you can fix your outfit if there are any last-minute issues. Although costume malfunctions are out of your control, there is still no excuse for a sloppy presentation. You should rehearse your performance in costume before the day of the performance, and make sure that you have everything you need on that day, so that when you walk on stage you look professional and ready.

Be Gracious, Sincere, and Positive

One of the worst things you can do after a dance competition is seeming ungrateful for an award or rolling your eyes if you didn’t get what you wanted or expected. If another studio dancer scored higher than you, you should be kind and supportive towards them. It’s true that dance competitions are about placements and awards, but if you are supportive of your peers it will make you feel better and it will show that you are a gracious person and a good sport.

Performance vs. Technique

When it comes to performance and technique, judges look at both aspects equally. Showmanship and performance quality are just as important as choreography technique. Technical dances that are executed beautifully do impress judges, but they may take off points if your overall performance does not match the technique. Remember to be inspired by the music and give your all to every move.

Be Yourself and Have Fun!

One of the pleasures judges have of watching a dance competition is seeing the different personalities of every dancer on stage. Although you are following specific dance moves, you should find ways to show off your original energy. Show that you are enjoying yourself and loving the performance. Remember to have fun!

How Performing Dance Arts Can Help You

Doing your best at a dance performance can be rewarding, and with these nine tips you can go above and beyond! Hard work does pay off and having the right dance education can get you where you want to go. The trained instructors at Performing Dance Arts have years of industry experience and skill, and we care greatly about the progress and happiness of our students. Our outstanding dance studios in Vaughan and Toronto inspire creativity and our instructors will motivate your child to dance with passion, creativity, and excitement.

Our dance classes cater to children of all ages and skill levels, so contact us today to enroll your child or learn more. If you want a firsthand idea of what our dance studios are like, simply pay us a visit!