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How to communicate with the Judges

There is an element of stage etiquette that when you implement it, will mark you out as a competitor with class, maturity and sophistication. On the other hand, failure to implement this element of stage etiquette, will mark you out as immature or rude or possibly just ignorant.
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This element is communication with the judges. When you're on stage you obviously can't talk to the judges, so you need a way of communicating with them to let them know that you’re ready to do something, or you’ve finished doing something and want to thank them for their time and attention and that is why we curtsey.

There are three key points when it's used;
1.When you are in line ups and you hear your name or number being called you curtsey to acknowledge the call. This tells the judges two things:

a.You're engaged, alert and you're switched on and ready to go.

b.It’s also telling them; ‘I've heard and I understand that you want me to do something’, so they can then proceed with the instruction they are about to give you.

2.The second time that you use it of course is when you've finished your stage walk, and you’re about to exit the stage or join the lineup. You curtsey. This tells the judges:

a.That you’ve finished. It’s like putting the full stop on the end of a sentence.

b.It’s also telling them ‘Thank you for your time and attention, I appreciate it’.

3.The third time that you use it, is when judging has finished and your whole lineup is asked to leave the stage. Again, the curtsey at this point tells the judges that you are thanking them for their time and attention.

It doesn’t have to be a huge, over the top flamboyant gesture almost doing a full squat, as I have seen done, just a simple wave of your hand and slight 1/5th squat is enough, do whatever suits your personality so that it comes across naturally and doesn’t looked forced or robotic.

Women posing by the wall

How to Eliminate Gluteal Fold

There’s a saying in the competition world that you may love because it plays to your strength or you could hate, because you know it’s an area of weakness and that saying is:
‘Competitions are won from behind’
Now, if you’ve never seen yourself from behind, get someone to take a picture of you and do an honest assessment of yourself - is this an area that you could work on? 
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If so, I've got a little tip here, and although it's probably more relevant to us older ladies - this unfortunately does happen - it equally applies to anyone who wants to look as good as they can from behind.

In any pose that you're doing; if it's an upright pose and the judges are behind you and you've got a little bit of a loose skin here on your glutes, you simply just tilt your pelvis up.

It's a very tiny movement literally just from your hips you’re not bending forward, you’re still standing upright and just tilting your pelvis and you should feel the bend in your lower back.

Try that, practice that, watch yourself in the mirror or set up your phone somewhere you can video yourself and see what a difference it can make.

Young women showing their body
Young women showing their body

How to Wait Your Turn

Okay so I just wanted to give you a quick tip on how to wait your turn when you’re ready to come on stage and ensure that you create the perfect first impression on the judges.
When you walk on stage, you might think that you have plenty of time to create a good first impression on the judges. 
What if I was to tell you that not only do you NOT have plenty of time, chances are the judges have already formed their opinion of you BEFORE you’ve even taken your first step!
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How is that possible?

Well, in a lot of venues the judges can sometimes see either the whole line-up behind the curtain or the first two or three people. Now, if you look out from behind the backstage area and you can see the judges, you can bet your boots they can see you. And if they can see you, they are already judging you from your body language. Body language forms 55% of communication and you only have a window of about 3 to 5 seconds if you’re being watched before that crucial first impression has been formed.

So, let’s say you’re standing-off in the wings, and the show is running 2 hours late, you’re tired, and pissed off and hungry and thirsty and you just want to get on stage, get it done and get off so you can have your refeed meal…let’s just say that the judges can actually see you, and the moment they were watching you, you happened to be kind of slouched or looking at your wrist like you had a watch on it or you throw your arms around in irritation…guess what; the judges have already clocked your attitude and your whole demeanour from your body language, and that will create an impression on them that you do not want them to have.

So, when you’re waiting to come on stage, always be ready to go on. Stand in a pose – it can be a formal pose or just kind of looking ready to go, it doesn’t matter what kind of pose you do.

Obviously, if you’re a bodybuilder or figure competitor, you’re not going to stand in a mandatory pose, but you know, make sure that your whole-body language is up and that you’re switched on, you’re watching out what’s going on stage so that the judges know that you’re engaged in the whole process and you’re excited to be there

What to do with your arms

One question I often get asked is;
‘What do I do with my arms?’
Now some of you may feel a bit silly asking that, but don’t be – it’s a very valid question, because your arms can be an incredibly important part of your posing! 
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Arms when used effectively, will draw the judge’s attention and guide them to where you want them to look. Conversely, when your arms are not used well, it can be incredibly distracting and make the judge’s actively want to look away. In fact, once you’ve been a judge, it doesn’t matter where you sit in any auditorium - even right at the back - and if a competitor is not using their arms well, you just feel like telling them to stop it – for their own sake or jumping on stage right there and then and showing them what to do!

Arms should be shaped to create a soft frame for your physique. When you pose, you’re always trying to create as feminine shape as possible, with the illusion of an hourglass. Your shoulders need to be wide, your waist as small as possible and your hips also widen out to form the bottom of the hourglass. Your arms need to complement the inward curves from your shoulder to waist, by creating an outward curve that allows the judges to see your curves. This is especially important in the figure category.
You want your arms to look as elegant and graceful as possible, and my tip is to suggest you watch videos of ballet dancers. Their arms are always beautiful. Every movement they make is choreographed and purposeful, and anytime you’re on stage, you need to do the same – no random flapping or jerking or sudden movements – move smoothly and slowly – take the judges to what you want them to see.

Let’s break it down what ballet dancers do. The way to make your arms look beautiful is lead to with your wrist and keep your hands totally relaxed. If you move your arms up, your hands are floppy. As you move your arms down, your wrist leads down and is lower than your fingers. Moving left or right, again your wrist leads with your fingers and hands totally relaxed and trailing where your wrist goes. And that’s it.

In summary, move your arms slowly, deliberately and always on purpose and in that way, you will create an elegant, flowing ‘dance’ with your arms and shape your arms to form complementary curves to your ‘hourglass’.

View of sculpted women body
View of sculpted women body
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