The marking system is standard world wide. Solo dancers are judged equally on timing, steps, execution and method, and deportment and style. In smaller competitions there is only one judge. At State level there are three judges and at National level three international judges come to Australia. Two or three dancers compete on stage together. The dances are quite short and judging is instantaneous. Later in your career you might like to find out about how big competitions are judged and the scores allocated don't click here if you are a beginner.
What are they looking for. Well there is timing ( keeping in time with the music). Turn Out - the feet must turn outwards and not point straight ahead or worse turned in. Crossed Feet. The feet should cross the centre line whilst turned out. Deportment - A straight back with good posture and arms at the sides. The ideal is to be in that position and for it to look comfortable and effortless. Rhythm - for the beats with the hard shoes to produce a complicated rhythm which compliments the music. - Good Luck - that's why they have so many lessons.
If your child’s shoe lace comes undone she can stop, move to the back of the stage and stay still till the others dancers finish and leave the stage with them. She can retie her shoe and dance again at the end of the section.
"They didn't even look at my child..." Don't panic. If there are two judges and one of them doesn't look interested in your child then they probably aren't judging that round. There may be two judges sitting there, but in beginners or in the non premiership rounds only one judge might be marking. The other is having a well-eared rest but instead of leaving the judging area stays to watch but not mark.
Medals are given out to place getters. All competitors are invited onto the stage and the results are read out in reverse order. For young Beginners often every competitor will get some sort of medal, which is seen as an encouragement award. But not in all dances. So you might get a highly commended in one dance and nothing in another in your first competitions. Medals and trophies are usually given out at the rate of half plus one. So if there are 12 in the section 7 prizes are given out.
Trophies are given out at Premiership level. Always have pen and paper to write down your child’s results or you’ll forget. Better yet, keep a "dance diary" to track your child's progress. When the little medals start to accumulate you'll be glad if you have written on the back the date, dance, level and place your child gained. You are welcome to video the prize giving, but the AIDA does not allow the filming of competitors above primary level while dancing.