qualifications for judging?

mysterious maan

New Member
Messages
1
Recently there have been a few issues that many people in the circuit have been having regarding the quality of judges at recent competitions. These issues tend to bring up the age old question of "What qualifications does one need to have to be considered as a judge?". Some would answer that by saying a generic answer consisting of something to do with experience in the circuit. This seems to be true when competitions decide on who is going to judge. They tend to go towards the applicants who seem to have the highest amount of experience listed in their "bhangra resumé". But what if the applicant lies about their qualifications on their application? What if the individual lies about who they danced for, or never even made stage time with the team they listed? What if the individual lies about the teams he or she led on their application? One example I'd like to point out is Amrita V, who has just judged Vice City Bhangra and Bhangra Blitz and is about to judge Lalkar. In her biography given out by both Vice City and Lalkar there is a line that states, "she danced and led several award winning teams within and beyond Boston area including: New England Bhangra Club, MIT Bhangra, Shahi Taj Bhangra, and Sherniyan Di Sarkar". To some that aren't as involved in the circuit, this seems like a decent amount of experience, especially by the way the statement starts of i.e. "danced and led several award winning teams". However upon further review, you'll realize that she never really danced on a competition stage with two of the teams, was removed from one of them, and hasn't really led any of them. The sad thing about this and other situations like this is that its the competition that gets the brute end of the stick and not the judge who lied to get to that position. Is it the competitions fault for choosing judges like this? What should be done to prevent situations like this in the future? This isnt a post to oust an individual but one to help prevent unfortunate situations like this from happening and making the quality of judging at competitions both better and fair to everyone. Please feel free to add on.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Lally

Active Member
Messages
332
This has been going on for years. Everyone knows Bhangra resumes are pumped to the max. Competitions need to do their own review before accepting judges. I've been judged by a Gidha dancer at a live competition before. I've been judged by a chimta player, once again at another live competition. Shits just getting pathetic. Judges should also be submitting bhangra videos of themselves to prove they've actually danced at competitions before.
 

sdadoo15

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Messages
296
This has been going on for years. Everyone knows Bhangra resumes are pumped to the max. Competitions need to do their own review before accepting judges. I've been judged by a Gidha dancer at a live competition before. I've been judged by a chimta player, once again at another live competition. Shits just getting pathetic. Judges should also be submitting bhangra videos of themselves to prove they've actually danced at competitions before.
+1

Interview every judging applicant face-to-face (skype or whatever) and get a full view of what their qualifications are. Force them to talk through their role on the teams they've danced for, and I am sure you can eliminate those who pump their resume. Could even have applicants watch a performance and provide feedback in 90 seconds to see how well they can analyze sets. This doesn't have to take long at all, even 15 minutes face to face with some applicants will be super telling about their experience.

This isn't true for every competition, but its a little too easy to apply for a judging spot right now. I recently judged Vice and the entire application process was a 5 minute google form, and I know other comps operate the same way. Comp organizers gotta realize how much poor judging can impact their reputation, and do what they can to verify they have the right judges selected for their comp.

EDIT: Some of the best judges I have experienced were first-time judges. Judging experience does not necessarily correlate to judging potential. Dancing experience, leading teams, being able to provide feedback, training dancers -- these are the things that competitions need to look for in their judges.
 
Last edited:

ampal

Member
Messages
43
Well I think this competition in particular, Bhangra Blitz, the committee was at fault too. You could just tell by the way they talked and treated the teams that they knew nothing about Bhangra or what it’s like to even host a Bhangra competition. They hated us. This used to be called Raas Rave and Bhangra Blitz. Last year they took Bhangra out and this year they only did Bhangra. I think they should just stick to raas or nothing at all really. There were 3 judges here, one being Eric who had us at first and the other two were Amrita and Sidra. The comp also never told us who the judges were “to keep it fair” or send out the rubric until the Monday of the comp. We consistently asked and they never responded to us. As far as I know, Eric is the only one who has led, captained, and taught Bhangra. I have no idea who Sidra or who she even danced for. I know she used to help run this comp and a few other competition back in the day, but that doesn’t qualify you to be a judge. Amrita on the other hand, just doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She blatantly said things that weren’t true and it’s not me just disagreeing with her, it’s just the fact that she’s wrong. Sidra and her were apparently on the same page. At the end of all of this, it’s not the competition the gets the brute end of it, it’s the competiting teams that work hard just to have someone who has lied on the application say that we weren’t good enough and place a team that just wasn’t even close, even according to the rubric. We were also first in lineup so clearly that didn’t help our situation.
 

Howie Magz

Well-Known Member
Messages
454
Thank god someone finally brought this topic up.

This is a funny issue year to year. I have applied to a bunch of competitions in the past as a judge and have either gotten waitlisted or straight up denied. I was curious as to how this is, but was under the impression at first that other more qualified people were applying as well until you see the judging lineup. I have also judged with a handful of people who I was curious as to how they were able to even get the judging gig as well. Competitions need to have people who are well versed in bhangra pick the judges from either a application or just pick them themselves like how they used to do it.

I agree with Sahil and Lally. I think people need to do their research on the resumes they have gotten from these applications. I have had other people claim that they were former captains of teams that I have captained only for me and others to realize that they never even danced on those teams or just chimta player claiming to have led 50 dancers to win WBBC. It gets extremely frustrating to see this over and over again especially for the captains who have actually captained those teams to see their work go to waste.

I completely agree with Lally in saying for people who are applying to judge to submit videos of them from their past competitions. This is the easiest way for competition organizers to see if what people are claiming on their resume is actually true. Also people in the circuit know who is captain of what team (Ex: FCB: Sid, Ram, Umer, Sagar). Union of Bhangra Judges probably would of worked out if it wasn't for that one mishap 2 years ago.
 

TegHans

Well-Known Member
BTF Mixing Mod
Messages
112
the problem is that people have connections and are able to get into the judging scene simply by knowing ppl on boards or by having a strong btf presence. they dont actually have any real qualifications as dancers cause they havent been outstanding dancers or set designers but the more comps they judge the larger their resume gets and before you know it they somehow pop up at large comps that they should not have been judging in the first place. wasnt really an issue on the west coast, i've only noticed it when i came to dc. smaller comps like blitz dont have the budget to fly out super experienced judges, but big comps have no excuse to have underqualified judges on their panels.
 

sahab

Well-Known Member
Messages
169
Bro, I’ve heard people straight on my past teams say they were captain of the team in their apps/resume when they definitely were not. Application process for judging needs fixing. Union of bhangra judges is a good way to fix it. Thanks for dropping this post Mann
 

saagarm

Active Member
Messages
20
Honestly, if theres resumes, might as well put reference contacts, like cocaptains or managers of teams that could back them up, as a thing that potential judges have to provide. Also one thing that BTF in general could do or just bhangra teams should do, especially with collegiate teams, is post their captains on BTF for the year. Could help everyone on the circuit learn more about whos leading teams and helping in the creation of sets and such.

I think the point sahil brought up is also a really good point. By doing a sort of face to face analysis of a set in one segment could point to a lot of what a person understands about bhangra and or set design. I know there were a few competitions back in the day that required people to give their critiques of like a 90 second clip from the past year winning set, that allowed the board to see how the judges examined and thought about bhangra.

I personally think that judges at bigger name competitions should be active dancers or only 1 year or less removed from the circuit, unless they are currently coaching or helping to coach a team. This circuit changes trends each and every year based off the past years winning teams and variations and having a strong understanding of that would go a long way in terms of reducing comments from old school judges who are stuck in the past, when the circuit is always moving forward.
 

srikarran

Well-Known Member
BTF Mixing Mod
Messages
143
smaller comps like blitz dont have the budget to fly out super experienced judges, but big comps have no excuse to have underqualified judges on their panels.
I think this is a very important point. Competitions are inviting judges that are willing to pay out of pocket for their flights, meals, and/or accommodation. Why are competitions acting cheap when it comes to judges but their instagrams are always filled with all these awesome goodies for the teams. Teams are paying $50 - $200 per person for a comp weekend and understand it costs a lot of money to run a competition. If you dick them on the judges you've pretty much screwed yourself. Id rather not get any comp gear than receive shit feedback from a judge.

Another issue is judging resumes and applications. This problem stems from the competition board. A competition board needs to have members who are in touch with the circuit doing the job of finding qualified judges for the comp. Or at least have the humility of outsourcing that job to someone qualified like BBC did this year.
 

UmerQureshi96

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Messages
94
End of the day I'm not sure how much can feasibly be accomplished because most of the time, bhangra comp directors are not FROM the circuit. A lot of these competitions are run by people who spend most of their time in the Fusion or Raas circuits, so they just go off the resume and not by actually asking around about the judges applying. If we as a circuit, raise a big enough of a stink about unqualified judges sure. But 90% of the time if a team complains, the other teams won't back them up on calling out unqualified judges.

The biggest qualifications for a judge should be: Did you design a set, have you made choreography/formations or at least played a big role in helping make choreography/formations for a set? Have you trained other dancers on your team how to dance? To some degree, were you successful as a team? (success is obviously subjective based on the starting point of the team). If you haven't made a set or honest to god LED a team you shouldn't be a judge. I agree with @sdadoo15 that there are plenty of first-time judges that have HELLA more experience actually leading teams. From what I've heard, Dole Re Dandiya has a judge who hasn't actually competed on the Bhangra circuit, no offense to the person who was selected to judge this is no slight at you, but that's not right. It's disrespectful that comps will let teams put all this work into making a set and practicing for hours to get judged by people who aren't qualified. There are dozens of people that are more qualified than the people I've seen getting announced by comps, there is no shortage of people.
 
Last edited:

UmerQureshi96

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Messages
94
Union of Bhangra Judges probably would of worked out if it wasn't for that one mishap 2 years ago.
@kdshah
I think UBJ was def a good starting point and should get revived again. If everyone posted their bhangra resumes for all to see on that website, I think there'd be tons of people who'd stop saying shit like they ran the team x number of years or were captains of a x team for so many years.
 

ampal

Member
Messages
43
smaller comps like blitz dont have the budget to fly out super experienced judges, but big comps have no excuse to have underqualified judges on their panels.
Originally I think Sid wanted to but couldn’t, and I heard today from a lot of people that they wanted to come judge, people from the current circuit but this competition just didn’t see the value in those individuals “resume” I guess. They flew out 2/3 judges. Not to forget that sometimes you don’t even need to go that far. In Texas alone, there are credible dancers and captains but the committee just doesn’t know anything. Few years ago they had two judges that do Gidha as judges. The budget was there but what Umer said is correct. It’s a raas and fusion circuit type people that run most these comps and the most you can do is not go back.
 

TegHans

Well-Known Member
BTF Mixing Mod
Messages
112
It’s a raas and fusion circuit type people that run most these comps and the most you can do is not go back.
definitely a big point. these people have no clue wtf theyre doing. a couple weekends back i saw this at drd in north carolina. well run comp, but they got a judge named nina gupta who danced with gmu bhangra for 3 months and did one gig with them....the board was aware that she had never competed but still let her judge. its clear disrespect for bhangra but this kinda shit just doesnt surprise me anymore. whats worse is having FULL panels of judges at big comps who dont understand a word of punjabi that basically give (often times big name) teams a free pass to do things like use inappropriate songs about shaheedis, drugs, alcohol etc and just contribute to this disrespect.
 
Last edited:

amrita_2019

New Member
Messages
1
Dear “Mysterious Mann” and to those of whom which this concerns,

I would like to bring attention to the points you have listed in which you have accused me of “lying” to receive several judging positions. You have accused me of the following; “you’ll realize that she has never really danced on a competition stage with two of the teams, was removed from one of them, and hasn’t really led any of them”. Here you will find for your review a video of me dancing with SDS recently at QCB in blue (), MIT Bhangra in pink and blue () () in which I was heavily involved with set construction and choreography alongside those year’s captains, NEBC in yellow (), and as for STB (practice video- ) due to personal health issues and family related issues I myself have spoken to the captains to say that I am unable to compete with them and dance this semester (which is when I intended on competing with them for a competition in NYC, hence why it's listed on my 1 paragraph summarized bio for publications by committees for competitions). It is upsetting and unsettling for anyone to have to deal with and publicly write a statement like this where not only their character is being questioned however feeling forced to share with random dance community members struggles going on in their personal life in which have caused them to withdraw from participating in things that they love. As for eligibility, I have been dancing since 2013 and have just recently decided to explore the world of judging as I would like to give back to my Punjabi community in a positive and constructive manner in efforts to continue the growth of our culture.

As a courtesy next time, I believe it would be more appropriate to contact people directly first before defaming them unnecessarily.
If there are any further issues at this time I would be more than happy to discuss them offline.

Below is my contact information:
dancewith.amrita@gmail.com

To all teams- the core tenant of judging is to follow the rubric. If any teams has questions, I encourage them to please refer back to the rubric and compare it to their performance video with the notes we stated during judges meetings to see where they lost points and which categories were weighted the heaviest. This is what all judges should and have to follow.

If any team wants me to publicly go into why their team placed accordingly post judges meeting, I can do so however I will not be posting such breakdowns without their permissions. I would never do so without any teams permission as that is not appropriate however if they would like this, I am happy to share as all of the judges are confident in the decisions that were made at each competition and so are the committees.

Respectfully,
Amrita
 
Last edited by a moderator:

yomamajama

Active Member
Messages
230
We should let the fans vote. Get rid of judges, bring in BTF phone app for voting. Make it more interactive.

We should then give all teams that didn’t place one of those cheap plastic “participatory” trophies that they hand out to kids youth soccer teams, just to make em feel better. Cuz people crying too much now a days, OVER A DANCE BRO?
 

yomamajama

Active Member
Messages
230
And people who kick people off of Bhangra teams are just sad and the antithesis of being a decent human.
 

ericsingh3

Active Member
Messages
41
A lot of good discussion about this topic and much needed as well. Comps need to do a better job of screening their judges as well as relaying judging/rubric information to teams timely. If you’re throwing a Bhangra competition, actually focus on the competition aspect. It’s not hard to reach out to a local captain or someone in the community for feedback on your rubric/judge selection. Like someone said above, I’d rather time and resources be spent on proper judges and a rubric than shot glasses lol.

Also, if you’re applying to be a judge.. why even lie or boost yourself to get that spot. It’s much more rewarding if you know you’ve earned it and the teams don’t have to question you. There’s a lot that goes into being able to score a team or provide actionable feedback, and all of the things mentioned above (leading a team, success, captaining, etc) play a huge role in being qualified.

As someone who judged for the first time recently, it’s been tough to get the opportunity even to be selected to judge at one, more “lowkey” comp so I was grateful for that and the kind words teams have given me on how I went about judging/feedback. It’s even tougher to be denied at multiple competitions thinking the judges there may be more “qualified”
Many times these qualifications are just quantity of comps rather than genuine knowledge.

Just my 2 cents

Edit:
Hopefully comp organizers are reading this thread as a lot of frustrated captains, judges and multiple teams have the same concerns.
 
Last edited:
Top