Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dance Ratings

Dance Ratings 120520

You may have noticed the Dance Ratings page on the upper right of this blog. For about a year and a half (2009/2010) we did dance rating sessions to place dances on a scale of 1 to 10. At that time I gave the following note to each person who attended a session:


SL has over 3000 dances. With so many choices it is hard to know what to add to your collection and what to reject. Dance Ratings offer a way to identify those dances that experienced and dedicated dancers think are the best. As a member of DANCE QUEENS that means people like you.

This note explains how to rate dances.

On a frequent basis DANCE QUEEN organizes a rating session. These are announced in the DANCE QUEEN Daily Notices and usually are on a Saturday to gain maximum attendance.


Each DANCE QUEEN member who attends selects a spot on the floor to stand. We don't use pose balls because some dances are affected by the original pose in a pose ball. Standing at an easily recognized spot is important so you can see if the dance returns to the original position when looping.

Nottoo or the leader will annouce the dance name and show it. Several repeats of the dance may be necessary to be able to rate it. Rating is described below. Each member then votes using a voting board on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 is lowest and 10 is highest. Nottoo or the leader records the results and the process is repeated with the next dance.
At each session there will be a brief rating training session at the beginning.
After the session a summary of the results will be sent to all DANCE QUEEN members.
A session lasts 1 to 1.5 hours. You can attend as much or as little as you want.


When you see a dance it is easy to tell whether you like it or not, but it is more difficult to determine a ranking for all the dances in a group of dances. The DANCE QUEEN Rating System helps put some criteria into the process so ratings are more uniform.
We are using a scale of 1 to 10 because most people use this type of scale. 1 is low and 10 is high.

There are three things that you should consider in rating a dance. First is the technical aspect. Is it looped well? Is it jerky? is it made with motion capture? This should comprise about 3 possible points with poorly looped, jerky dances scoring 0 and very well looped, smooth dances made with motion capture getting 3 points.

Second, what is the utility of the dance? In other words, how useful is it? Is it one that can be used in a wide variety of songs? Is it too specialized? Does it offer some unique features that make it special? Again allocate 3 points to this area. 0 points means that it is very, very specialized with no unique features. 3 points means it has wide use and lots of unique features.

Third, how much do you like the dance? This is your opinion about how the dance makes you feel. 0 points means you hate it. 4 points means you love it.

Adding the three rating parts (technical, usefulness and like) gives a total posible maximum score of 10 (3 + 3 + 4). So it takes some time to determine the score you assign. At each session, Nottoo or the leader will give a brief rating practice session.

By averaging the voting of the group (hopefully of at least ten members voting) we can come up with a DANCE QUEEN rating.


By rating dances using specified criteria we can identify the great dances in SL and you and others can choose what you want to acquire wisely. Ratings will be available to all DANCE QUEEN members and eventually sent to Dance Creators so they can see how their work ranks and improve.



We stopped the sessions for two reasons. First, there was not much interest in frequent ratings sessions. The membership of the DANCE QUEENS group was about a third of what it is now and people didn't want to do so many ratings sessions to cover all the dances in SL. Second, some people didn't like the ratings system. Two dance makers expressed negative opinions. One said that it doesn't account properly for specialty dances and another said that ratings are meaningless.

So, through this note I am asking for ideas of how we could do dance ratings. Or, are they even useful? If we do them, they need to be meaningful and not open to bias by one maker. Any system needs to consider specialty dances. The system has to be easy and fun to do and not too complex to understand.

I have some ideas of how to do this, but I really would like to hear from DANCE QUEENS members about how to do this. You can comment on this blog post or send me your ideas and feelings.