Competitive Dance – Judge Expectations

What Do Judges Look For at Dance Competitions?

To stay prepared for your next dance competition, it’s important to brush up on the many elements you’ll be evaluated on. While there are many more factors that contribute to a judge’s final decision, here’s a summarized list of what you can expect from most judges. Brought to you by Rocky Mount Event Center of North Carolina!


There’s often a disconnect between what feels right and what looks right. You can expect to be judged upon many technical elements, including correct posture and positioning. This is why dance studios are often lined with mirrors. Correcting posture outright is the best practice for developing accurate memory muscle.

Rhythm is another technical element you can expect to be judged upon. The core of any competitive dancer, you must have rhythm to be successful in this industry. Dancing as one with the music, rather than simply following along, is when rhythm is on point in a dance.


When dancers are judged on expressions, their facial expressions and body gestures are evaluated. Facial expressions alone can tell an entire story, but in dance, movement communicates feelings and ideas through gestures. Dancing your way through the performance won’t yield high scores with an expressionless face. If you think you need more work in this department, pay close attention to your competition critiques. That should give you an indication of what expressions to work on.


The most essential element of coordination is having balance. In dance, there’s more to balance than standing on one foot. All parts of your body must share the common goal of remaining centered in movement. With balance, you can move with grace and control.

Costumes and Makeup

Maintaining a professional appearance is key in competition. Always bring a backup costume and plenty of grooming materials to avoid looking unkempt. Rehearse in costume ahead of time to ensure the material is not too restrictive or tight in any areas. Just like your choreography, your appearance needs to be clean!

Dance Competitions at Rocky Mount Event Center

Rocky Mount Event Center is the newest home to tournaments, leagues, and competitions across the east coast! With 75,000 square feet of uninterrupted dance space, there’s no competition we can’t handle at our new state-of-the-art facility. If your next dance competition is being held here, visit our website to get familiar with our facility!