ACDA’s judge certification offers a path for interested parties to be certified to judge American Country Dance Association competitions.

Certification Process

The process begins with the submission of an application. Please email completed application to Sherry Reynolds or fax to (512) 287-4392. The next step is to prepare for and complete a written exam. To assist you in preparing, we offer judging seminars throughout the year. Contact Sherry Reynolds for the next seminar date. Attending one or more of our judging seminars is not required, but strongly encouraged as all test questions will be covered during this seminar. Testing is offered at all ACDA events, but arrangements should be made in advance by contacting. The test takes approximately two hours to complete and costs $20. The test is graded either pass or fail by each dance. Additional training and retesting is available for any dances not receiving a passing grade. Tests for all dances must be passed before applicants can move forward in the process.

Following completion of the certification test, applicants must complete our scoring seminar, which covers additional aspects of a judge’s responsibilities. The seminar prepares applicants for their first assignment. Judging and scoring seminars are open to the public.

Next, judge candidates will mock judge at least two of each Pro Am session–Newcomer, Novice, and Intermediate/Advanced–and two Couples sessions totaling eight mock judging sessions. Assuming satisfactory completion of these prerequisites, candidates will sign the ACDA Judge Agreement and be eligible to judge at ACDA events. Successful completion of ACDA’s judge certification requirements does not guarantee the offer o contracts to judge ADCA events. ACDA judges agree to have their names released along with their scores for all sessions they judge. Judge’s scores are open to review by the event director, the contest coordinator for that event, and Judge Certification Committee. Additionally, all judges receive a recap of their scores allowing each judge to review their scores in comparison with the scores of other judges on that panel.

Judge Seminars

Judging seminars are offered throughout the year. Seminars are open to the public and cover the nine competitive dances. Seminar are designed to cover the “Visual Expectations” of each dance, including the following:

  • Character & Signature Characteristics of the Dance
  • Footwork & Lower Body Use
  • Motion & Body Work
  • Posture & Partnership
  • Rhythm & Rhythmic Accent
  • Spatial Structure
  • Timing
  • Turns
  • Use of Arms & Head

Scoring Seminars

Scoring seminars or offered throughout the year. Seminars are open to the public. Each seminar presents judging methodologies, including relative placement and scoring, ethics and conduct, and clerical methods. Scoring seminars address the following topics:

  • ProAm and Couples Scoring Standards
  • ACDA Ballots and Usage
  • ACDA Standards for each Level
  • Expectations of Judges
  • ACDA Rules

Please download documents at the right for more information.