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Judging: What to look for

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  • Judging: What to look for


    If you follow the powwow trail, sooner or later you are going to be asked to judge.

    How do YOU judge this contest ? In this division, I look for:

    Original choreography (new moves), keeping up with the song (no matter how fast), showmanship, regalia (should be matching and complete), and stopping on time (not before or after).

    I also take points off for incomplete outfits, dancers who wear surf shoes, not stopping on time and if a major article falls off.

    What do you look for?
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    Probably, some dancers wear aqua socks ("surf shoes")
    because the ground is wet or slippery, but they still look
    (to me) out of place with regalia. There is a much better
    solution to the problem of wet/slippery ground in the dance
    arena--take your moccasins to a shoemaker and have them
    cement on over the soles a thin layer of "dance rubber" or "topi
    rubber" (actually a kind of plastic). This material is non-slip,
    waterproof, and very flexible--and it will not detract from your
    dance outfit. When it wears out, it can just be peeled off,
    and a new one cemented on.


    • #3
      If your too lazy to go to the shoemaker, just go to walmart and get you some SHOE GOO. Get your moccs, and clean the bottom off of any dirt, then apply some SHOE GOO with a butter knife. Do this just like you are making yourself a peanut butter sandwich. HUNGRY? This works better if you just get new moccs. or new soles put on.

      Getting back to the aqua might have to look a little bit closer at some of the dancers moccs. The reason I say this is I know a couple of dancers that wear these aquasocks with a fully beaded top sewed on them. If sewed correctly,, you cant tell the difference between real moccs and the aqua moccs. This all purpose aqua mocc provides the dancer to dance in very wet grass, get traction on slippery gym floors, and traction on very very dry grass.

      When judging Fancy, I look for:
      2-Keeping time with the drum
      3-How the dancer uses the rest of his body(head,shoulder,arm,hips)
      4-How well the Rocker is moving, or how much the spinner feathers are moving
      5-Watching the dancers expression, by this you can tell if that dancer is just dancing to be dancing or he/she is really putting their heart and spirit into their dancing
      6-What kind of stop will the dancer do? something everybody does or something different.
      7-How well the dancer dances to different songs(slow,fast,ruffle,crow hop,etc)

      NO NO'S
      1-No moves
      2-Too much spinning
      3-Just bouncing around the arena(see 1 & 2)
      4-Doesnt stop on time
      5-Dropping of a major article


      • #4
        Foot work
        Use of regalia
        Moves, like above not to to much spinning
        Are the dancer ready when contest is up or do they coming running in last second.
        Stopping and originality
        Knows type of song'
        Spirit of their dance are they into it.
        So broke I'm thinking of pawning my gold toof!


        • #5
          When I judge Fancy there is only a few basic things I look for. My main sign is the use of a rocker. I will always watch a person with a rocker and knows how to use it. The second is use of footwork. I love the old style footwork. The third is the regalia.

          I usually eliminate all but three or four by the second push up. And I can only watch maybe two for the stop. So if a person is using my criteria and doesn't drop anything or miss the stop, that's usually who I'm watching.
          If life is a waste of time and time is a waste of life; let's all get wasted together and have the time of our lives!


          • #6
            Foot work- original, or over used
            Keeping time- whether they keep their beat and stop on time
            Outfit- if everything is right (ex. mocs vs. water shoes)
            Dancing- if they dance other songs vs. just the competition song

            One more thing i look for is how they act out side of the arena but thats just me
            Last edited by Fancy Maiden; 01-12-2004, 07:39 PM.
            Why we dance.........
            we dance to pray, we pray to heal, we heal to live, we live to dance!


            • #7
              Watch out dancers! Have you ever wondered why you danced your best, looked your greatest, but didn't get the highest score?
              I'm one of the judges that are picked to watch your powwow etiquette from the beginning.
              Did you get to the grand entry? Honor those vet's, or stand up for the honor dances? I deduct alot of points for that. Also, did you drop part of your dance clothing and pretend it wasn't you ? A big "your out of there!"
              Also, can you believe I actually saw a dancer drop eagle feathers, but try to say it was the drums fault, because he never danced to it before. Guess what , he lost those feathers----to the drum!


              • #8
                Wow Powwowjudge dont get too excited!!! lol
                Why we dance.........
                we dance to pray, we pray to heal, we heal to live, we live to dance!


                • #9
                  In the last few years I have watched contest dancing in every category, and I have noticed that the most important thing in contest dancing is nearly gone. What you do on one side you must do on the other with equal balance and agility and speed. I see alot of dancers win consistently just being a "one sided" dancer. There is also more skipping and hopping, rather than dancing. All the comments so far are real good.
                  At one point there there was lot of stress put on dancers to dancer and not run around the arena. YOu will also notice the type of bells the dancers wear , if any. Watch for these when you watch your next powwow and you will see what I mean.


                  • #10
                    hey, you guys must be new to competition.
                    First, vote for your relatives.
                    My bark is worse than my bite


                    • #11
                      My dad was a fancy dancer, and then both of my brothers danced fancy. RG is on his comeback trail for the 35 and overs.(we are working on new regalia)
                      Our dad told us when you are looking at fancy dancers, watch thier whole regalia and body (rockers, bustles, fringes, bells, feet should be moving..more that 1/2 inch off the ground especially when they get tired) should be moving with the drum. Look at their should be complete and that's where the bells come in. yes, bells are important to the rhythm of the fancy dancer. I know rg would get his "burned" at a welder's shop so that they would have a good sound ( not so metallic sounding, more melodic), and knowledge of the song...they have to know the different drum styles, stop songs, and their movement is vital to the drum. Too much hopping and spinning is not dancing, it's just hopping and's cheating. When you dance, you should dance not just skip and hop but MOVE.
                      And even though it shouldn't matter to the judges, being a friendly person does count when you are being judged. If you are good to everybody, shake their hand, say hello then when they are judging you, they won't have anything negative to hold against you. If you act too good, or too much, it wouldn't matter if you were the best, your personna is negative and therefore the public is not on your side. Cold hard facts, to say the least.
                      Also, relatives and traveling buddies are a for sure vote.LOL
                      I am thankful for my grandparents, my parents, my brothers, my aunties and uncles, my children, my companion and all of those who influenced me to be strong and proud of being who I am and where I come from. Knowledge is power


                      • #12
                        You guys should listen to sltate, Sage advice from Toad Hill.
                        My bark is worse than my bite


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