September 2016 | Venue Vagabond

As an adjudicator, Diane Gudat travels often and far, including to Pretoria, South Africa, where this photo was taken. Photo courtesy Diane Gudat

At dance competitions, it’s easy to be critical of the judging panel. Teachers and parents spend hours staring at the back of the judges’ heads trying to gain clues from their posture about what they’re thinking, and they study the judges’ biographies. Who are these people who will critique and rank their students or children?

But how many people know what goes into judging a competition? Not that many. I have been a dance adjudicator for more than 30 years, and it’s always an honor and a privilege to do this job. But it’s not always what people expect! Here’s a glimpse into the on-the-road life of people like me.

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Ask Rhee Gold | December 2007

Dear Rhee,
I know you have had a lot of experience in the competition field and I am hoping that you can help with me with some advice on how to become a judge. For the past couple of years I have been sending my resume to many of the national competitions inquiring about a judging position, yet no one ever contacts me.

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