Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by wooh, Jan 13, 2009.
It does look like USA Dance figured out a good way to have this all work. Thank goodness!
Separate but equal?
don't ask, dont tell?
One person's opinion?
THE person's opinion
Well I actually Like it. This is truly a great opportunity to bridge the gap between our community and the general public. And to have her in a public friendly position without disturbing the professional judging will make everyone happy.
USA Dance either listened to the concerns that were expressed or never planned to use Ms. Inaba in any way that would violate USA Dance rules.
If the latter is true, then USA Dance could learn from this situation the importance of clear and complete communication. The initial announcement in "American Dancer" certainly did not make clear that Ms. Inaba's role would be anything like what is now described.
Given the controversy that this issue created, I wonder why USA Dance hasn't given broader distribution to the latest news about Ms. Inaba's role. While the announcement certainly belongs on the Breaking News page of the competition web site, it would be wise for the organization to also
Put a link to the announcement on the competition home page.
Put a link to the announcement on the USA Dance home page.
Issue a news release (sending it to various publications that might be interested, both within and outside the dance world).
Send the announcement to members (especially athlete members) via the organization's email service.
Send the announcement to the editors of chapter newsletters and the webmasters of chapter web sites.
I imagine the organization has some reason for not making fuller use of the communication tools at its disposal. But I can't imagine what that reason is.
Indiana Jay Hi,
Please remember that USA Dance is an all volunteer organization, whose volunteers are people who have full time jobs in addition to their full time volunteer schedule for USA Dance :grin:. We would love to have more volunteers to assist with all that needs to be done. Any takers?
Do you have any concept of how seriously the leadership's lack of open two-way communication with the membership is harming interest in signing on?
Take for example Peter Pover's response to Cantski - while saying that decisions have not been finalized is fine, if he had simply acknowledged the existence of a rule with regard to judge qualifications and that it would be upheld, several weeks of bad feelings by several hundred people would have been avoided.
I don't know if anyone really does know that.
I'm also not thrilled with how things have been handled -- I think the lack of communication was an error in judgment. An email to athlete members from Ken Richards, the DanceSport VP, should have been sent as soon as Inaba's role was fully defined. Even better would have been to hold off on announcing anything about her until her role was set and could be clarified. There would still have been plenty of time to publicize her participation without having to alarm athlete members.
That said, I do think that more of us should become involved if we are unhappy with USA Dance. Please remember that the leadership is not compensated for their time and energy, and that any one of us could -- and in light of things perhaps should -- try to become a part of that leadership.
I don't know about all of you, but I'm just psyched to meet her at nationals
Actually, I think Indiana_Jay has helped to organize a USA Dance competition, so I think you can already count him amongst volunteers.
That's why I joined. It started out because I was annoyed that our local chapter's web site hadn't been updated in about six months. So I volunteered to be the new person to maintain it.
Then I was competing in an Amateur Smooth event, and the schedule for the competition was somehow all fubared and I stood around for nearly two hours waiting for my event to start. That really annoyed me, so I volunteered to learn how to use the computer (first CompMngr and later O2CM) to get people registered, and then learned how to schedule heats/events/rounds in a comp. Our chapter's comps have only run late once or twice in the seven years since I started doing this, and in fact we now have a reputation for running a bit early so don't be late to the ballroom
I do get rather frustrated with how some of the stuff "at the top" is handled, especially in regard to the start of this whole Carrie Ann Inaba thing, that's for sure. So far it hasn't been enough to make me quit, but I've thought about it a couple of times over various kerfuffles (including this Carrie Ann Inaba thing).
Daphna's point is well taken, however:
It might be inaccurate to say USA Dance is an "all volunteer organization," as I believe there is at least one paid staff member in the central office. I grant, however, that her presence is not particularly relevant to this discussion.
Further, I'm not sure being a volunteer organization is an excuse for the behavior we've seen with regard to communication issues.
I suspect that an insufficient volunteer labor pool is not the reason that USA Dance failed to make use of all tools at its disposal when it clarified Ms. Inaba's role at the national competition.
For example, USA Dance has a Director of Public Relations (Angela Prince). Although she is a volunteer, if I remember correctly, she has been described as a professional in the field. I doubt that the lack of additional volunteer labor prevented Mr. Pover from requesting and/or authorizing Ms. Prince to issue a news release. Likewise, I doubt that a lack of volunteers prevented USA Dance from sending an email to athlete members to clarify Ms. Inaba's role.
In short, I suspect that communication issues at USA Dance are more a matter of will and/or wisdom than they are the availability of volunteer labor.
With regard to my own willingness to volunteer at the national level of USA Dance, the organization's behavior has left me with zero confidence that the existing leadership would either heed the suggestions of new volunteers or allow them to fully use their skills to the benefit of the organization. Thus, I'm discouraged from even considering offering my skills and talents.
This may indeed be true, but doesn't that argue for an even greater need for you to become involved? Why give up on the organization as a whole? Think of what USA Dance might accomplish if all the smart, articulate, and passionate members of this forum became involved and helped make sure the organization was more responsive to its members' needs and more strategic in promoting ballroom dance.
Math and science are easy . . .
. . . compared to communications and resulting unintended consequences!
Before a rush to pounce or cheer because this appears to be a defense - it is so critical to carefully think out any/all communications beforehand. Recommendation to organizations is to get the 'thinking' out of one person's brain and into the open where it has to be discussed and defended/attacked by people wearing different hats - and with different brains. This is good practice (I'm not saying best practice because there's a lot that goes into really doing this best practice - but a smart person/organization can pick up on this and do it).
In a public organization such as USA Dance, public statements demand a murder board, Black Hat, etc. (pick the term you are familiar/comfortable with). It is too risky to allow strong personalities to go unchallenged by their peers/colleagues.
Peter Pover did put out a statement that almost came out early enough to deal with the outcry but that statement was so politico-speak that it just infuriated the rest of us. Reb is right but, on the other hand, we are an emotional crowd and pretty smart, too, so trying to weasel out of an direct statement doesn't work.
I'd like to announce that I have nothing to announce at this time!
[seems to me you need to stop this thread and start a new one - the content is much more interesting than the title]
Hey admins! It looks like we might have a new volunteer for the moderator staff!
Separate names with a comma.