College Dance Comps (was NDCA vs USA Dance Point Rules)

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Laura, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    At New England collegiate comps bronze is like a more advanced newcomer level.
    For example at MIT Open bronze (actually called "beginner" there) is defined as those who started competitive ballroom dancing after January 1st 2004. (and the point system is on top of that: if a couple is doing well at comps, they may place out even though they only started dancing this Fall...)

    In NY NJ and PA comps usually don't impose the time restriction on bronze.
     
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh so confusing. :doh: :lol:
     
  3. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    The collegiate system used to be entirely based on time restrictions in order to make it more accessible to beginners. When it was a new system, it actually made a lot of sense in order to jump start it. But once it matured a little bit, a system based on merit seemed to make more sense. There's just some legacy of the old system left over.
     
  4. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    Well the MAC is one of the USA Dance, Inc comps that gets a pretty substantial attendence from college students, so I was definitely including that in my post above. I have no experience with the current Regionals so I can't comment there...
     
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    The collegiate system, particularly the form with time limits, has a pretty obvious component that is simple crowd management. Proficiency plays a role, but compared to the adult amateur system, collegiate proficiency can quickly get to be very self-referential: people win comps because they stand out from the others who showed up in some way that the judges are willing to recognize. That's a far different thing from saying that they are making exemplarary progress towards some abstract standard of good dancing, because there is little room for such a standard to insert itself into consideration.

    But this is also true when the adult amateur levels in the US are compared to the adult amateur dances on the world stage. And true again in the context of the global "amateur" scene compared to the pool of professional competitors and leading dance teachers.

    What's potentially uniquely troubling about the current trend of the quasi-amateur system is that the leaders - both in dancing and decision making - are those who have advanced to the top level within the system, but chosen for any of a variety of reasons not to cross the line and declare themselves professionals. We don't get to keep those whose goal is to be the unqualified best - neither as examples to compete against, nor as organizational leaders either. While we do get to keep those who want to do some teaching, we don't get to keep those who see their life's mission as teaching and advancing dance through teaching. To date we've hired professionals as judges, but now we're contemplating using competitors who were good enough at playing the amateur game, but did not choose to play the pro one. And it's not just the influence of professional voices getting lost; we also have a system that cannot take full advantage of the potential contributions of amateurs whose primary strength is in something other than rising to the top level of the current structure - organizers, coordinators, observers, theorists, rulebook lawyers - all are held out of key roles unless they happen to be able to place out of the incumbent form of pre-champ.

    Basically, we're setting up a somewhat isolated system of positive feedback, where those who play the game well and are devoted enough to it not to move on are those put in charge of guiding it's future. The narrower the class of individuals involved in this feedback cycle, the more unique this particular segment of dancing may become. I could easily see a point where the primary distinction between IDSF and professional competition was a stylistict one.

    But it's also important to remember that this kind of discussion is a fitting topic for a slow and rainy day. Competition systems in the end are just playgrounds in which to enjoy the practice of our art. Actual dancing is what happens between you and your partner.
     
  6. DanceAm

    DanceAm New Member

    I was told that Nationals in Russia take months to determine a champion not days like here in the states. Dance is so popular there and subsidized by the government and teachers are paid by the government.

    But in America, we have to worry about some people in 1 level. So we must change the entire system for 1 level, Pre Champ. Regardless of what is does to the lower levels.

    I am sorry, but you could extend the proficiency point limit or add new levels, or do whatever you want. But championship level is not for the weak and timid. Couples will still go into that level for the first time and either get eaten alive or lick their wounds and prepare for the next time.

    Did anyone in the world events ever tell Eugene and Maria that they will create special rules for them because they are Americans when they were first starting out? Or did they just stick with it and try to get better?

    How about this, we just give everyone who competes a first place trophy. That way no one's feelings are hurt and we can save money at the comps by not hiring judges.

    And for the prechampers who want to keep winning, we can shuttle them back and forth to the comps on a short bus.

    C'mon, this is Dancesport, with adult competitors, not a local children's soccer league. We are not trying to build esteem and fair play, we want to develop champions and have our best represent us. We don't need more points and more levels, we need to stick to a standard and let everyone keep competing for the same spots. Stop spoiling everyone, boo-hoo I cannot win anymore so I quit.

    The ones who stick with it are the ones really prepared to compete at the world level. The harder it is to achieve, the more glorious the victory.

    As for those who want to dance more, there are 3 other catagories, to choose from. If it is that important, learn some other dances.
     
  7. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Oooh, I like that last tip! Rather than looking down their nose at another style, they could embrace it to give themselves more personal challenges!

    Or they could turn pro and have both rising star and open pro categories to dance in at every competition!
     
  8. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    Excuse me!!!??? I don't know who said there was not a YCN anymore but they sure don't know much about USA Dance if they believe that. The YCN still exists within USA Dance but it doesn't have the people who were running that part of USA Dance a year ago. They all quit in a huff (I happen to agree with their arguments for leaving but I don't think they should have quit). Anyway, the YCN does still exist within USA Dance.
     
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I'm not sure why one would think the YCN is defunct. :? Just check the USA Dance website or google it. There are quite a few YCN-affiliated events that should pop up easily in a web search.

    Yup, Just checked. If you google just "YCN" the USA Dance org is still on the top page. Not the first hit, but the top page. If you add "ballroom dance," bingo.

    Maybe YCN is less active in some areas than others? Or less active than it used to be? I don't know. *shrug*
     
  10. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    Actually, only 6 people out of all the people who serve on the USA Dance Councils and Committees need to be Championship Athletes. All the others serve because they wanted to. The DanceSport Council committee chairs are not required to be Champ Athletes and they have a vote on the (DSC). USA Dance is always looking for more people to volunteer but the interest is not there or at least not expressed. The DanceSport Council committees can always use more dynamic input.

    Chris does have a good point in that the six Athletes who are the Delegates need to be Champ level. It may not be ideal but it is actually required by the USOC whose rules we have to follow both because we are members of the IDSF and because USA Dance falls under the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act and thereby the USOC.
     
  11. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    The YCN did undergo a period of transition when the previous board left en masse but things seem to be coming along.
     
  12. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I've pointed out before that I believe this to be a misreading of USOC rules. Since all (adult) competition members are elgible to dance in our highest level, I believe all would actually meet the USOC requirements. However, that's really a trivial detail. Since any realistic evaluation would have to conclude that the Olympic dream has flopped, perhaps it's time to seriously re-evaluate what actual benefits of affiliation with the Olympic structure exist to balance having arbitrary external requirements imposed. USA Dance and the IDSF as organizations may or may not ever get around to making such evaluations, but individual dancers and dance clubs (like the college teams who have effectively distanced themselves from USA Dance/YCN) do so all the time.

    But there are two ways to look at the situation: one is that people left out of the structure are bitter about it. The other is that they are just encouraged to spend their energy on the dancefloor (or organizing functionally autonomous events) and save talking politics for those times when the feet need a rest.
     
  13. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    I'm sorry. I was told by the out-going region rep that YCN had disbanded. I haven't heard a peep from YCN since... (about 6 months ago.)
     
  14. Laura

    Laura New Member

    No, it hasn't disbanded...but I must say it's difficult to find out what, if anything, is going on at the National level. It's not like the YCN VP is sending "hello" emails to the regional Reps or anything. (Or if he has, then my spam filter ate it.)
     
  15. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    Just in case National wants to get in touch with the Region 3 colleges and has lost the email list:

    ycn3-contacts@ballroom.mit.edu

    is a moderated list that should hit all of the captains.
     
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Could someone send the YCN folks a "Hello! Are you out there?" message? Chances are, they're in the process of restructuring and haven't gotten around to communicating with folks. That's a pretty common issue in these kinds of orgs. Maybe they just need to be reminded to keep people posted.
     
  17. standardgirl

    standardgirl New Member

    I agree. Collegiate Bronze is truely an advanced Newcomer level at most comps. I mean, there are large enough comps where the semifinalists of collegiate bronze are more like "actual bronze couples" instead of advanced newcomers......But since the current collegiate rules here prohibit a couple for entering newcomer level twice in any given style (basically, you are only allowed to dance newcomer level once in each style regardless of placements), newcomers who actively participate in competitions are forced to move to Bronze at the earliest, their second competition while they have only been dancing, and taking perhaps only group team lessons, for 3, 4, 5 months. So we are moving couples into bronze too quickly? and we also have dancers who don't place in Bronze because there are too many competitors, and some of those decided to just dance at Silver, or more likely, Novice, where there are probably a direct final, and "making the final" just makes them feel better blindly?

    But then, we also have couples who are regularists in the Bronze finals but don't want to move up to Silver, just because, a lot of time, Silver is danced with fewer that 12 or 20 couples (unlike that common 30, 40, 50 or over 100 at OSB, couples in Bronze) ......hum.....just not compeititive enough??? And those who don't participate in enough competitions will most likely "never" be forced to move up in their college life.....another problem here.

    Combining the two problems, this is what we see at collegiate Bronze. Collegiate bronze contains dancers from all different levels.....and the gap between the finalists and those who don't make the first cut is just way too big, IMO.
     
  18. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I tried twice, directly to the new YCN VP, and both times my emails went unanswered. Then Archie Hazlewood (before he passed away, of course) sent an email to the new YCN VP, copied to me, asking him to answer my questions. Still no reply. I talked to my Regional VP about this and was told I should just assume I'm not going to get any direction or help at the National level and that I should just start figuring out what I can/should/would like/would need to do to take care of the teams in my Region. I haven't gotten that far yet, and I bet some of them are wondering what's become of me just like I'm wondering what's become of the National VP....I really need to get my act together....It's hard to be too critical when I basically haven't done anything in the past six months either.
     
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Tough one, Laura. :(

    So the events I've been seeing around are basically things generated at a local or regional level, under the YCN name for historical reasons? :?
     
  20. Laura

    Laura New Member

    That's what I'm thinking....
     

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