Whether you’re a competitor, a professional, an event director, or someone who just enjoys watching dance videos online, judging has a big impact on you – and the dance we all love. In this episode, we discuss the skills it takes to judge, what judging looks like in practice, and how judging influences what constitutes “good” dancing. Listen to how we each go about judging, what we think about the quality of judging these days, and what we think is needed to raise the standard and provide greater accountability for judging. (Also, Eric has an encounter of the eight-legged kind…)

Reinventing Performance Management
(Eric misspoke when he said 80% of variance in managers’ ratings was due to the managers’ perception; the study found it was only 62%. Read more about the study and performance ratings in the article above.)


  1. Brilliant Podcast ,from start to finish , totally agree with all points raised. Fell in love with this dance where every movement & or syncopation highlighted the neuonces of the music and interconnection between partners eg Arjay &Tatiana at Swing Diego 2008 still one one of my favourite lead follow dances to watch. I agree Something needs to happen to redirect the focus of the dance back to dancing together to music and not extremes of performance with scartered elements of luck. I myself as a judge am happy to sign my name to and stand behind what I’ve written in any completion so also believe that judges names should always be there it should be that simple and as someone who has I believe felt and experiences biases in the competitive field hope that in some way judging can evolve with this dance also without loosing any of its soul. Love and admire you Deborah and as this is the first time I’ve stumbled upon this I like you too Eric . Thank you for this all the way from Australia 👍🏼👍🏼

  2. I found this discussion fascinating, enlightening and educational. Thank you. I am a subscriber and receive email notifications.

  3. Thank you for your honesty, and I do hope it will open eyes and minds of those in the community who have the ability to lead efforts that will result in change.

  4. Regarding judges’ names being paired with their placements and marks, I am reminded of what happened at SwingDiego 2014. Long story short — the EDs wanted the scoresheets to be publicly available online with no information omitted. Liza May wrote about this in the blog post (http://lizamayliza.com/categories/swingdiego/updates/swingdiego-2014-update-9-scoresheet-debates-and-22-more-songs-you-need-to-memorize/), and also gave some reasons why some people don’t want information being made publicly available.

    As a personal preference, I would like to see full disclosure. However, given that there have been incidents where judges were attacked, I can’t blame anyone for not wanting this type of information disclosed.

  5. I don’t think Step Right Solutions (SRS) provides scoring for a majority of WSDC events, or possibly even a plurality. There are other companies such as danceConvention, World Dance Registry, and EventExpressPro that provide scoring services. Other events hire individuals who provide the scoring services they want.

    Offhand, I compared SRS to danceConvention for a couple of years. In 2017, danceConvention did 28 events, whereas SRS did 20. This year, so far, danceConvention has done 24, and SRS 20. Whether judges names or other information (e.g. people who did not get at least a yes or an alternate mark (or their equivalents)) are included online varies with the event policy.

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