These are the criteria as given to the judges; they are provided here for teams' information only.
Dance technique is marked out of 15.
To get the maximum 15 marks, the team's dance must meet all these criteria:
- dancers all working in complete harmony, as a team
- set is always controlled, tight and balanced
- clear shapes and spacing throughout dance
- movements and positions planned and executed with each dancer in control
- all individual movements fluid, smooth and well controlled
- dancers aware of each other
- even, circular spins
- good tumbles, with dancers in time with each other and the music.
Give a lower mark if their dance technique fails to meet any of the good criteria, for instance:
- dancers not working together as a team
- dancers bumping into each other
- poorly shaped figures, e.g. dancers not in line with each other
- set wandering around in dance space
- lack of fluidity in or between figures
- poorly controlled individual movements, e.g. turns
- poor spins, e.g. uneven, varied postures
- poor tumbles, e.g. out of time with music, two tumblers not in time with each other, failing to tumble.
Stepping is marked out of 15.
To get the maximum 15 marks, the team's stepping must meet all these criteria:
- clean, crisp stepping, in time with the music
- excellent volume in stepping
- sharp , light, fast walking, in time with the music
- consistent stepping style between dancers and throughout dance
- consistent walking style between dancers and throughout dance
- starting and stopping stepping at the same time, unless intended
- good jumps, in time with the music
- good, consistent stepping in spins
- variety of stepping (e.g. 4s, 8s, train step etc) with interesting variations.
Give a lower mark if their stepping fails to meet these criteria, for instance:
- poor stepping, with muffled or missing taps, scuffing, faking, etc
- stepping or walking out of time with the music
- dancers not all starting or finishing stepping at the same time
- inconsistent stepping styles between dancers and/or throughout dance
- inconsistent walking styles between dancers and/or throughout dance
- poor jumps, e.g. not in time with the music, dancers not jumping together, not clearing swords, not jumping two-footed
- poor stepping in spins, e.g. feet not all at same height, out of time with the music
- little or no variety in stepping, e.g. only 4s throughout whole dance.
Sword handling is marked out of 15.
To get the maximum 15 marks, the team's sword handling must meet all these criteria:
- swords kept high, above all heads (where necessary)
- hands together whenever possible/necessary
- all swords moving together
- good sword shapes, including display figures and locks
- smooth movements and transitions
- skilful use of swords to create excitement
- no loose or dropped swords
- flat locks held evenly.
Give a lower mark if their sword handling fails to meet any of the good criteria, for instance:
- swords too low, causing ducking
- hands apart when they should be together
- swords not moving together, e.g. not all going up and down at the same time
- poorly shaped locks, poorly shaped display figures
- poor sword shapes during other figures e.g. not level when all swords up
- inconsistent or poor control of swords, e.g. jerky movements
- sword blades hitting people
- letting go of swords, dropped swords.
Presentation is marked out of 15.
To get the maximum 15 marks, the team's presentation must meet all these criteria:
- good entrance into dance area
- good ending and exit from dance area
- very smart, clean and tidy kit, including shoes, hair etc.
- all dancers wearing matching kit, including shoes
- kit is appropriate for rapper and harmonises with overall presentation, enhancing performance
- shiny clean swords
- musician(s) dressed smartly and appropriately
- all performers appear confident and positive throughout dance
- consistent approach e.g. all smiling/enjoying dance or all serious.
Give a lower mark if their presentation fails to meet any of the good criteria, for instance:
- poor entrance
- poor exit
- scruffy, untidy, dirty kit e.g. 'white' shirts not white, shoes not polished, underwear visible
- kit not consistent between dancers
- kit coming adrift during dance e.g. loose sashes, dropped rosettes, shirts untucked, socks falling down
- kit that affects how people dance, for instance by restricting movement
- fidgeting at start or end of dance when should be standing still
- talking in set, if it is not part of the act
- dancers scowling, frowning, looking nervous etc.
Buzz is marked out of 15.
To get the maximum 15 marks, the performance must meet all these criteria:
- exciting, entertaining dance that dominates the space
- audience gripped by whole dance, going quiet at start and paying attention until the end
- appropriate response from audience during dance, including applauding locks, tumbles, responding to characters etc.
- long, loud applause at end of dance, with cries of 'more' etc.
- 'buzz' continues after dance, with audience talking about performance, interacting with performers etc.
Give a lower mark if their performance fails to meet any of the good criteria, for instance:
- 'tame' or boring performance, which does not engage audience
- audience not paying full attention to dance, e.g. talking during performance
- poor or no response to locks, tumbles, characters etc.
- signs of annoyance/resentment from audience
- little or no applause at end
- quick return to pre-dance atmosphere at end of performance.
The musician(s) is/are marked out of 15.
To get the maximum 15 marks, the music must meet all these criteria:
- paying close attention to the dancers, playing for/with the dancers throughout performance
- music is an integral part of the dance
- well played and planned
- music that fits, lifts and drives the entire dance
- music that is enjoyable to listen to
- excellent choices and changes of key and tune that are well timed
- emphasis in the music to bring out the rhythm of the dance.
Give a lower mark if the music fails to meet any of the good criteria, for instance:
- little or no drive or lift from music
- not paying attention to dancers
- unsteady rhythm
- wrong speed e.g. too fast or too slow for dancers
- tune(s) that do not fit the dance, figures and/or dancers
- single tune with little or no variation
- poor playing.
Characters are marked out of 10.
Please mark each character separately as the prize will be awarded to the INDIVIDUAL with the highest score.
To get the maximum 10 marks, a character must meet all these criteria:
- excellent performance that contributes to and is integral to the dance
- actions skilfully tailored to the performance, audience and venue
- positive interaction with dancers, lifting the performance
- effective involvement in dance itself
- draws in audience from the start
- engages audience throughout whole performance, resulting in appropriate responses to locks, tumbles, etc.
- only enhances the performance, doesn't detract at all
- responds effectively to problems if they arise
- appropriate kit.
Give a lower mark if a character fails to meet any of the good criteria, for instance:
- detracting from performance e.g. taking attention away from dancers
- failing to engage audience at start and/or during dance
- failing to respond effectively to any problems that arise
- boring, uninspiring, annoying or embarrassing performance
- obstructing audience's view
- obstructing or interfering with dancers and/or musicians
- inappropriate kit
- no or poor involvement in dance.