A panellist on the Shymkemt, Kazakhastan Flash Mob Jury

Over the last three years, I have been priveleged to be a jury member (judge) for the Shymkemt Flash Mob Jury. This is an amazing collaborative event held at a school in the  Republic of Kazakhstan to celebrate the UN International Day for Tolerance in November. Students at this school in Shymkemt perform a dance as part of a group of 10 or more students to their choice of music which can often mash and incorporate music from different genres including traditional folk.

Organisation on a global scale – largely led by Begaim, one of the teachers. Each year it improves and allows for many of the judges who speak English as their first or second language.

  • a call for jury members (or judges) is sent out world wide through a variety of Skype group lists.
  • a link is provided to a google sheet for educators/classes to add their names as jury members.
  • A Skype group is formed as a backchannel prior to, during and after the event.
  • The Flash Mob is live streamed through Youtube, with a test connection prior to the event.
  • Prior to the official event, a professional and highly engaging video showing Shymkemt is played through the youtube channel.
  • As the event starts two student leaders welcome everyone and announce the global judges which are a mix of teachers and classes from countries across the world – Germany, Bangladesh, Russia, Vietnam, Australia, USA, Sth Korea, Kasakhstan,  Taiwan, Hungary etc
  • Thirteen groups performed. Each of them was judged on a number of criteria and given a score from 5 to 10. They were judged on dance energy, team spirit, musicality, dance synchrony, creativity, appearance. Scores were added to the collaborative google sheet after each performance.
  • Students chose their own music and made up their own moves. All were of a high standard and scores were close
  • A master sheet kept track of the totals
  • After approximately 1.5 hours, the final scores and winners were announced

See the video

Reflections

  • it is very special to be a virtual judge of events like this
  • live participants in the youtube channel came from a variety of countries so their comments came up in their native language – fascinating to watch and to try and translate!
    languages in global judging
  • the youtube channel showed the name of the group who was currently performing so we were all judging the right group
  • however, as a collaborative sheet was worked on, someone was entering their scores on my sheet which threw me out as I looked like I was judging the dance group that had not yet started and not the current one.

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