Ballroom Dance > Carrie Ann Inaba as Nationals judge?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by wooh, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. drsamba

    drsamba New Member

    Just to chime in - Ms. Inaba has been a judge on the crown jewel of ABC's prime time lineup for the past ~6 years, which dwarfs anything we do. Relegating her as an MC or commentator would undermine her pseudo-authority on DWTS and ABC cannot have that. On the other hand having her judge might be a great PR move but it is really unfair to current competitors, particularly those going for world representation. I think they'd be best served getting a replacement, if possible.

    Having said all that, I would humbly add that we all should bear in mind that the dance-powers-that-be are responsible not only for dancesport present but also its future. I think it is great that they are trying to keep dancesport's popularity going...even if this effort is a failure - b/c we can't count on DWTS and Richard Gere movies to keep instilling new blood into the sport forever. At some point people must be drawn to the 'real thing' and while CAI judging isn't the answer, we experienced dancers should also be prepared to make sacrifices if it means a greater good for the sport as a whole.

    On a totally unrelated note - is Comcast broadcasting again this year as they did last year? This would increase viewership beyond local area if so.
  2. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Great pov drsamba.
  3. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    drsamba's post misses the point. The issue is NOT whether she is qualified, based on her abilities and judgement, to judge the USA Dance Nationals. The issue is that USA Dance has well-documented rules for the qualifications for judges at Nationals (see the USA Dance DanceSport Rulebook). Using Carrie Ann Inaba to judge any event at Nationals breaks those rules. Even further, the issue is that USA Dance is perceived to be not following its own rules in this case AND in others. This upsets people. It certainly upsets me. I helped write a lot of those rules, including the ones at issue here. One does not simply ignore or change rules because they are inconvenient in some cases. There is a reason for them.

    I would be happy to have a discussion at some point on the A+,B+,C+,D+ qualification rule but, for now, the rule exists and should be followed.
  4. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    This is especially true for organizations that are involved in choosing athletes for the Olympics, which USA Dance hopes to be. For such organizations, there are probably few attributes more important than following the rules.

    If USA Dance violates its own rules to allow Mr. Inaba to adjudicate the national competition, it will greatly damage its credibility in that regard.

    We must remember, however, that we still don't know exactly what role Ms. Inaba will play at the competition. The most recent word we have at this time is Mr. Pover's message to Cantskiforlife in which he indicated that "no decision has yet been made about her precise events" and that USA Dance will be using her "in some capacity."

    It wouldn't surprise me if we don't find out exactly what role Ms. Inaba plays until the competition begins. It's entirely possible that USA Dance will avoid further clarification until then in an attempt to reduce the chance of a boycott by competitors -- which would probably be their only effective recourse.
  5. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I think possible boycotting is the least of the problems USAD should be worrying about. Disruptive protests, very negative media exposure, and complaints filed with the USOC are all very real possibilities if CAI is used as a judge in direct contradiction of the organizations own rules.
  6. White Chacha

    White Chacha Active Member

    The CN8 channel on Comcast, which produced last year's coverage, no longer exists. They also had produced a couple of years of coverage of the Cherry Hill, NJ NDCA comp.

    I started a thread on this but nobody had any info to contribute.
  7. sambanada

    sambanada Active Member

    perhaps if they insist on judging, she can judge newcommer events? just a thought....
  8. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Judging Newcomers is HARD. Honestly. People are a mess. Some have footwork down but horrible posture. Some have posture but are grossly oftime. It really is just as hard to judge that as an Open Championship.
  9. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    As a former member of the IOC affiliated US Figure Skating (ISU) and USA Equestrian (FEI), I will be over in a corner laughing my head off for a while. IOC member bodies are dedicated to making rules flexible enough that they can get the results they want regardless of what happens in competition. If they bend/break their own rules, it's more like a 'welcome to the club' moment. They "follow" the rules by making the rules say what they need them to say and making it almost impossible for atheltes to do anything about it except take their toys and leave.

    I'm not saying the Olympics themselves aren't a worthy goal. I'm just saying don't expect the IOC affiliates to be paragons of virtue in getting who they want there, or rigid sticklers to rules when those rules cease to be convenient.
  10. Another Elizabeth

    Another Elizabeth Active Member

    Unless, of course, you're complaining about a sport that many of them think of as an embarrassment.... :rolleyes:
  11. drsamba

    drsamba New Member

    To clarify, I wasn't making any point at all about CAI's being qualified to judge nationals - in fact, although I know my post was a little confusing, I was actually arguing *against* it and just saying I don't think ABC would like the alternative of CAI having a non-judge role because it makes her and ABC lose face. I also agree that most important point of all is that it goes against the designated rules.

    Turtle could I ask you about an earlier post you made? Did you say that some exceptions were made about the A+/B+/C+/D+ rule for judges in the past? That's an important point b/c it means a precedent has been set for making exceptions. What kind of exceptions were made, if you recall them?
  12. Hearts

    Hearts New Member

    Perhaps we should get an email going to show we are concerned with USA Dance choice of Carrie to judge.Ask for some qualifications and answers for how exactly she is excempt from certain rules. As competitors and participants at this years nationals I think we all have a right to know the qualifications of all our judges. We could have as many amateurs as possible put their name on this email and then send it to the vice or president.

    just an idea

    And really if she isnt judging she inst talking and thats what she does best :D....unless of course they just want her to sit and be quiet. Which doesnt make much sense..
  13. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    This was suggested earlier in the thread H - and actually happened but the reply was taken as to be ither obtuse or politel political, depending on how you read it.
  14. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    First, some history is probably in order:

    The A+/B+/C+/D+ rule for judges was originally only an internal policy which the Executive Committee used as a way of choosing the adjudicators. Because the EC was not made up of people who regularly went to a lot of competitions and were not current competitors, they had to have an objective method of choosing judges for Nationals. I was on the EC but, of course, I could not be part of the discussion and was, in fact, not even in the room when any of the adjudicators were chosen. Yes, this was not an ideal method for choosing the judges but it was relatively objective. It also worked for something like 10 years. Sometime in the last year, the A+/B+/C+/D+ rule for judges was made an official Rule. (I compared the current Rulebook to the last one I posted when I was still maintaining the website.)

    OK, some exceptions to the policy were made. However, the exceptions were always people who were experienced adjudicators who were certified in both International Latin and Standard. In some of those cases, the adjudicators were IDSF judges. The other type of case involved super 10-Dancers (Pierre & Mirielle, Jean-Marc & France, and Alain & Anik) who all had extensive judging, competing, AND performing experience. None of the 10-dancers, however, at the time, had American style certification. (I suspect they do now.) A very good case was made each time that these people knew ballroom inside and out. I very much agreed and agree still (even if I wasn't involved in the decision to use them).

    So, in my opinion, the 10-dance exceptions were acceptable. Further, at the time of all the above exceptions, they were not breaking a Rule, they were bypassing an internal, unpublished, USABDA/USA Dance policy. I can say that we never got a complaint about the 10-dancers as judges at Nationals.
  15. Throwaway Overshare

    Throwaway Overshare New Member

    Well there was Ann Harding's complaint about being on the panel with an IDSF judge.
  16. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    That was some years ago but I don't know if Ann still would have a problem with it.
  17. sambagirl

    sambagirl Member

    The following has been posted on the USA Dance website under Breaking News, though it's not clear exactly when:

    CARRIE ANN INABA will be participating at the USA Dance 2009 National DanceSport Championships as an Honorary Adjudicator. Peter Pover, USA Dance President stated:

    "In addition to all of the major Championships, Workshops and social events the 2009 USA Dance Nationals will explore a new major initiative in the critique of DanceSport and its public appeal.

    "USA Dance is proud to announce that Ms Carrie Ann Inaba, the celebrity judge of ABC-TV’s Dancing with the Stars, has graciously offered to assist in the first stages of the review by USA Dance of competitive ballroom dancing in the modern era. Her input will be outside that of the traditional judging panel, and will be focused on aspects of performance and personality that may escape normal judging standards. USA Dance will present awards to couples being judged successful in these areas. In addition, Ms Inaba will conduct a Master Class for top USA couples entitled 'The elusive factor of stardom.'"

    USA Dance President, Peter Pover, in welcoming Ms Inaba’s commitment, said that her experience and reputation provided an opportunity for the first time to create a bridge between ballroom dancing and the wider dance community. Ms Inaba expressed excitement at the opportunity, and that she was honored to be invited. She added that the opportunity for a two way exchange of ideas, and that the dedication and discipline of DanceSport couples could provide a good example to dancers in other disciplines.
  18. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    seems as if someone did listen...
  19. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Sounds like they found a way to have her participate without breaking their judging rules or upsetting competitors (least, too much, some people wil lcomplain about anything). Good for them. As ED said, seems like they listened.
  20. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    Good for USA Dance for making something work of it without breaking their rules or commitment to their own dancers.

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