Judging Program2020-03-30T14:54:18+00:00

NDCA Judge Membership and Judging Credentials Program

The NDCA Judging Credentials Program offers a unique place for a wide range of members to train, connect and support the role of the dance team adjudicator. We act as an impartial national resource of adjudication knowledge and education. A variety of educational classes lead to 3 levels of credential status: Proficient, Advanced, and High Level.

Who does the NDCA Judging Credential classes/credentials serve?

  • Current dance judges from any US high school, college or studio competition organization
  • New judges
  • Coaches who also judge or would like to get started judging.
  • Coaches looking to learn more about judging to improve their coaching knowledge

What judging credentials are offered?

Judges can take a variety of courses that lead to 3 levels of credential status.

  • Proficient
  • Advanced
  • High-Level

Level 1: PROFICIENT – 3 Classes Total

  1. Introduction to Proficient Level Judging: 2 HOURS

Judges will be exposed to several different scoring systems from around the country and review/discuss performance videos to apply this information. Its recommended that this class be taken first for the Proficient Level, but classes can be taken in any order.

  1. Separating Artistic and Technical Elements:1 HOUR

A practical guide on the important skill of recognizing and separating artistic and technical

  1. Giving Feedback – Verbal & Written: 1 HOUR

This class will cover both verbal and written feedback best practices and techniques.

Level 2: ADVANCED – 2 classes: Prerequisite Requirement – All 3 Proficient Level Classes

  1. Introduction to Advanced Judging: 1.5 HOURS

This course will explore and develop skills related to scoring and feedback for judges with experience.

  1. Advanced Judging LAB: 1.5 HOURS

In this trainer course judges preview and score performances prior to the class and then work together to discuss the performances and learn from each other. Anonymous group scoring range information will help judges understand how their scoring compares to others and lead to personal development. This class is open enrollment for all Judging Credential members to take any time it is offered to practice scoring skills.

Level 3: HIGH LEVEL : To be offered starting in 2020-2021

 How Are the Classes and Credentialing Administered?

Classes are offered at the annual NDCA Coaches Conference in May and at some State Association meetings during the year. To date, all classes are also offered online.

After completion of the Proficient Level series, directors will conduct a review either individually or in a group setting to determine credential status. Any additional needed development work will be offered on a customized basis. Judges receive their lapel pin after achieving Proficient Level Credential status.

Membership, Fees and Calendar

  • Judges can join the Judge Membership for $75 annually or add it on to their Primary or Associate membership for just $25.
  • Classes offered to paid members only.
  • All in-seat classes are included with paid membership fees.
  • Online classes are just $25 per class.
  • Currently all classes are offered both in seat and online.
  • Academic Calendar runs May – April.
  • Membership offered on a rolling basis.

Benefits of credentialing include:

  • Name made available to all member association and organizations.
  • Lapel pin to wear when judging.
  • Access to a network of national judges and coaches.
  • Resources related to current industry trends.
  • Gold member pricing for the annual conference.

How Do I Register?

In order to take a credentialing course, dance team professionals must first be a member of the NDCA, and then are eligible to register for classes.

Sign up for the Judging Credential courses with these easy steps:

If you are an NDCA member and would like to add the Judging Credentials, CLICK HERE.

If you are affiliated with a State Dance Team Association and are interested in credentialing your state’s dance team judges, or you just need more information, please CLICK HERE to contact us.

Here’s what our members have to say about the NDCA:

TJ Maple
Head Coach, Stephen F. Austin University / Nacogdoches, TX

many rewards

Being a member of the NDCA has created so many rewards and memories already in the two years of my involvement! Our organization is great for All coaches – old and new to be able to work together, learn together and grow together to help make an impact on our amazing dance team industry. Being a member is rewarding and humbling knowing that we are all in this crazy career together!!

Karl Mundt
Owner, Innovate Dance

I became a member of the NDCA because I feel it is important for all of us to join forces and share ideas

I became a member of the NDCA because I feel it is important for all of us to join forces and share ideas. Coaches and choreographers work hand-in-hand to create the best possible experience for dancers. Often, people move between the job of coach and choreographer. Working with each other through the NDCA allows us to inspire each other, grow as coaches, and influence others in the dance team world.

Toya Ambrose
Former Coach / Owner, TRA Choreography

The NDCA is exactly what our industry needs

The NDCA is exactly what our industry needs. I’ve been a part of the dance team industry on all levels (first a dancer, then a coach, now a choreographer). I love that the NDCA has the ability to unite us all, despite various levels of experience - it will give us a powerful voice. I’m looking forward to the NDCA Conference and being able to develop a fellowship with others who share my passion for all things dance team. If you’re thinking about joining- stop thinking and DO IT!

Jodi Maxfield
Head Coach (27 years) / Brigham Young University Cougarettes - Provo, UT


As coaches we all have similar experiences and deal with very similar challenges. I’m excited about the NDCA because even as a very ‘seasoned’ coach, it is invigorating to learn from other coaches and share ideas. I feel it helps me stay current and gives me ideas to keep my dancers motivated. I'm excited to be a part of such a groundbreaking organization.


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