Judge’s Table with Lesley

Name:Lesley Mealor

Time Judging: Three Years

Competitions: Headliners, Elite Dance Cup, NYLA Dance Competitions and Conventions

What’s the best/most memorable number you’ve seen at competition? A hip hop routine to Rhianna’s “Raining Men”. The style was perfect, the dancers hit it so hard, and I still think about it a year later! They were really engaging and you could tell they were having a blast.

What’s your biggest performance pet peeve? When a dancer messes up, or is unhappy with their execution of a step, and they show their feelings on their face. No matter what happens, your “performance face” must be on!

What are you looking for when judging? Potential. Oftentimes, the best dancer is not my favorite dancer. I look for dancers with the potential to be better. The dancer who has a sparkle in their eye. Dance competitions are about challenging yourself to be a better dancer.

Any advice for dancers? NEVER stop taking ballet. You will thank yourself when you’re older. Take each opportunity to compete as an opportunity to challenge yourself to go further than you did last time. It’s not about the trophy. I truly believe that.

Any advice for teachers/choreographers? Please please please put your dancers in tights. Please make them take ballet. Please encourage community within your studio. Generous dancers are the ones who will be the most successful, not only in the industry, but in their personal lives.

Thanks, Lesley, for giving us an insight to the judge’s table!

Do you have a question for the judges? Do you want to sound off about your judging experience? Let us know.

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