In dancing judges have the final word and the main focus lies on the comparison of assessment and application of skills of the competitors on the day. Declaring the winner by use of the skating system (in principle a majority decision). The judges will place the dancers in order of merit, not assess the individual quality, but the order. What better way to do this than by seeing all these couples at the same time, under the same conditions?
Anthony Hurley discusses the process of adjudicating to give insight to how it should be done. Adjudicating is without doubt a very responsible, highly qualified and often daunting position. To be engaged as an adjudicator one has the confidence that the organiser of the event is also confident that your expertise, experience and honesty will give the competitors a fair crack of the whip and a result that records the dance performances seen on the day.
From Leonid Pletnev I made up my mind to write this series dictated by time, according to my own convictions of the necessity to express my opinion and at numerous desires of my friends...
To limit the judging of any performance to the objective and (by definition) rigid elements only would be an insult to the performer and disallow development in dancing. Apart from the pure fact that judging is done by means of our senses, in itself very subjective instruments to measure anything at all.
Graham Oswick asks dancers for their thoughts on judging higher levels of competition, with a list of responses.