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National Events

Group Dance Competition

Judging Criteria

The following is an outline of the criteria that the judges will use to score each team that enters the Group Dance Competition.


  1. Authenticity
  2. Research
  3. American Indian Attire
  4. Performance of Dance
  5. Ability to Perform as a Team
  6. Music
  7. General Effect and Impression
  8. Constructive Comments (not scored)

A. Authenticity

Teams will be evaluated as to whether the dance(s) performed are acceptable, non-religious dances. The current use of the dance(s) and their proper interpretation by the team will also be considered.

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B. Research

Teams will be evaluated on the quality of the research booklet they have done for their particular dance(s). This research should include: book sources, other published sources, people, letters of permission (see Rule II, Acceptable Historic Dances, section "B"), pictures/drawings of outfits, descriptions/diagrams of the actual dance(s). Information and historical background of the dance(s) and songs should also be included.

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C. American Indian Attire

Teams will be judged on the authenticity and completeness of the attire. If a particular dance does not call for special attire, teams will be judged on the quality and appropriateness of each participant's attire. In the event of a team performing more than one dance, points will not be subtracted for using the same attire for both dances, if from the same culture area.

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D. Performance of Dance

Teams will be judged on the quality of the interpretation and presentation of their dance(s). Good use of allotted dance time will be considered. Teams will lose one (1) point for every minute that they exceed their scheduled dance time.

NOTE PLEASE: If a team chooses to repeat the same dance(s) or costumes at consecutive National Order of the Arrow Conferences, they can expect to have a more critical review from the judges. Specifically, the judges will be looking for additional research and improvements and refinements in costume, dance, and presentation.

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E. Ability to Perform as a Team

Teams will be judged on their ability to perform their dance(s) so as to exhibit a true oneness and feeling for the dance(s). Teamwork and perceptive interpretation of the dance(s) by the team as a whole will be considered.

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F. Music

Teams will be judged on their use of drumming, singing and any other necessary musical accompaniment that should be used for their particular dance(s). As always, quality as well as authenticity of the dance(s) will be considered. The use of recorded music will be allowed, but it will cost the group a significant deduction of points in this judging category.

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G. General Effect and Impression

The overall general effect and impression of the dance(s) will also be considered.

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H. Constructive Comments (not scored)

All awards will be determined by the evaluation a team receives from the above criteria. ALL JUDGING CRITERIA IS SUBJECT TO THE INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGING COMMITTEE. ALL JUDGES DECISIONS ARE FINAL.

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[American Indian Activities Committee]

[Letter from the CVC] [Individual Dance Competition Rules] [Group Dance Competition Rules] [Group Dance Competition Judging Crieria] [Team Singing Competition Rules] [Craft Fair Guidelines] [Outfit Competition Criteria]

Revised 5/2/00.