Further training for adjudicators with German expert

On the first weekend in March, the STSV adjudicators had the opportunity to refresh their know-how at the further training with the German WDSF adjudicator Petra Matschullat and at the same time to exchange professional knowledge with our colleagues. After the difficult pandemic period, it was a great opportunity for all participants to finally - and moreover without a mask - meet in person again (and for the first time in a long time without a mask). Participant Corinne Roost reports.

Saturday was dedicated to the Standard discipline and was vividly supported by the demonstration couple Davide Corrodi and Maja Kucharczyk. Petra led us through all five standard dances with her great expertise and a healthy pinch of humour and went into detail about the peculiarities and characteristics of each of the dances. The physical movement of us adjudicators with balance and isolation exercises was not neglected. In order to refresh the judging criteria and their prioritisation as well as to train our judges' eye, Davide and Maya were later joined on the floor by the two squad couples Vova Kasilov and Yulia Dreier and David Büchel and Flavia Landolfi. Their task was to provide their dance performance with "mistakes" such as wrong foot technique, leading or posture mistakes or the like. We as adjudicators were accordingly asked to compare the couples, discover the "flaws" and evaluate the couples according to the adjudication criteria - which was not always easy and also led to interesting discussions between Petra and us adjudicators. During the training, Petra also understood very well how to draw a bow to scoring on an international level, i.e. according to WDSF guidelines, and to show us what advantages and disadvantages each of the two systems can bring.

The structure of Sunday's training was the same as Saturday's but with a focus on Latin. Again, Petra led us through the day with Davide and Maja as a demo couple and went into the finer points of the individual Latin dances. The highlight of this day was certainly the "Lady-Challenge" between Maya, Tjara-Sophia Wibawa, Luana Valentino and Blanca Ribas Túron, who - similar to the previous day, but without a partner - had to provide their dance with "flaws" (e.g. exaggerated body movements or hard leg actions) in order to lure us judges out of our reserve and to stimulate an open discussion. On this day, Petra repeatedly gave examples of innovations within the WDSF step material and compared it with the technique of Walter Laird's technique book, which we know better.

Another important input of this training was to remember when scoring not to look for mistakes in the couples, but to focus on the positive in the couple. A judge should always ask himself what couple X does better than couple Y and not forget the order of the judging criteria.

Finally, I would like to thank Petra Matschullat for the exciting two days of training, Gunar Haas for the excellent organisation and Barbara Stahel for her hospitality in her dance school time2dance. Another round of applause goes to the cadre couples who were on the dance floor for us adjudicators.

Text: Corrine Roost

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