Expectations for competitors in professional competitions are very high. A three judge panel is often seated to score the contestants. Many of the participants compete for the cash prizes that will be awarded to the winners. Dancers that have not yet had a big break will often compete to get noticed. This is their chance to show the dance world their abilities. No matter their reason for competing, each contestant must satisfy the judges to get a great score.
Rules for professional competitions are much like amateur competitions. The dancers have only a small amount of time to perform their dance routine. They must be able to show they are at a professional level in several categories. Their music, dance style, outfit and makeup must all match. Being out of character in any of these categories will lower their score significantly.
Age is not a factor in professional dance competitions. While a few professional competitions do require a background of professional dance work, not all have this rule. This allows beginners to compete as they try to break into the world of professional dance. There are contestants in these competitions that have no intentions of stage or video dancing. Their work is being professional dance competitors. These professionals often teach dance for a living rather than perform for audiences.
Proficiency is the criteria by which the judges score the contestants in professional competitions. They begin by looking at the style of music and comparing it to the performance, costume and makeup. Following the rules for lifts, stage props and footwork are all part of the final score. Completing each step and motion is important because the judges are looking for any errors in execution. Competitors must be perfect in every phase of the competition if they want to win.