Chichen Dancer Criteria for Judges

Selection Process

1. The Annual World Championship Chicken Dance is judged by a panel of five (Native American representatives from the diverse regions of the United States and Canada).

2. An individual serving as a judge should ideally be a former Chicken Dancer or pow-wow dancer and be familiar with the Chicken Dance. The individual should also be able to provide guidance towards a fairly judged contest.


1. A judge may serve for a maximum of three (3) consecutive years, at the discretion of Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park.

2. A rotation process may be established for judging participation with.

3. An individual may be permitted to serve as a judge after a three (3) year absence.


1. Each judge will present for the entire Chicken Dance contest and will not be permitted to leave only during designated breaks.

2. Each judge will attend the following meetings scheduled during the contest weekend:

a) Pre-contest meeting
b) Orientation meeting
c) Post- contest meeting

3. Each judge will be encouraged to publicize and distribute Chicken Dance contest information throughout his/her area.

4. Each judge will be asked to recommend a successor at the end of his/her term.


1. At the completion of the Contest each judge will receive an honorarium from the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park for services provided.

2. The honorarium will be determined by the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park and agreed upon in writing.


Travel and accommodations are provided by the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park for each judge. Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park is not responsible for any family member or friend who accompanies the judge. Travel – as per rates outlined in agreement.



a) A judge is required to notify the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park if he/she is related to any contestant. This should take place when an individual is first invited to be a judge for the Contest.

b) If a judge discovers at the pre-contest meeting that a relative is entering the contest, that judge must come forward and eliminate himself/herself from judging the contestants – dance category.

c) An alternate judge will be selected (that is, other judges, Master of Ceremonies or Interpretive center staff) to judge the category where there is a conflict.

Judging Confidentiality

a) Once the Chicken Dance Contest is started, each judge must maintain confidentiality at all times until completion of the event.

b) Personal comments or statements to anyone including other judges regarding contestants will be prohibited until the Contest is over.


a) Each judge is to score each contestant on dance performances only.

b) Scoring will not be used to eliminate an individual because of questionable tribal affiliation and individual identity.

c) Contest guidelines and judging criteria will be discussed during the orientation meeting to insure that all rules and regulations are clearly understood by both judges and contestants.


a) If inappropriate actions are noted, fellow judges, the Master of Ceremonies, of Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park staff may immediately inform the individual regarding the inappropriateness of the behavior.

b) Any judge found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while judging will be immediately removed from all responsibilities, the honorarium will be forfeited and all amenities will be discontinued.

c) Any violations of this code of ethics reported after the Contest will be investigated and evaluated by an ad hoc committee before any action is taken.

d) Penalty action may include immediate removal from position as judge. No future invitation to judge the Contest will be extended.





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