Collegiate Competition Stereotypes

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by footyjammies, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    1. Collegiate dancers don't know syllabus.
    2. Collegiate dancers can't do lead and follow ("How do you beat a bronze standard dancer in collegiate? Cut him off and he has to go back to his corner and start over."
    3. Collegiate dancers don't know American style ("Your rhythm is international cha cha, no fan and hockey.")
    4. Collegiate dancers really don't know American style ("They can't find the 2 in mambo and they can't find anything else in rumba.")
    5. Collegiate dancers only care about Latin.
    Those are the stereotypes. I admit that I bought into them for too long and I was pleased to both see that I was wrong and to admit and apologize for my mistake. Oh sure, they hold true for some collegiate dancers but no more so than for the population of dancers in general.
     
  2. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    At my first team, I didn't even know private lessons were a thing. Granted, at the time, the team only went up to Silver, but the point still stood. Plus, it was difficult to get around my college town unless you had a car, so traveling to get lessons couldn't have happened either. There are a lot of mitigating factors for some college kids who don't have the means, whether monetary, transportation-wise, or even pro-availability-wise, to take private lessons.
     
  3. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    I think this is probably true of newcomer-bronze (and maybe silver). At least for my team, the way we advertise is to let everybody know that the team is super chill and that everybody can learn to dance. The upside to this is we get people on the team who might have been to intimidated to join if we had immediately told them how much time/money/effort it takes to advance beyond a beginner level. The downside is, some of our members are a little less dedicated. About 70% of our team does ballroom as an extracurricular. They come to the required lesson and once a week practice to do something a little different than schoolwork, get some exercise and see friends. Another 20% is a bit more serious- the practice outside of class a considerable amount on their own, etc. The last 10% is as committed to ballroom as they are to school- they often spend many hours practicing both on their own and with partners and have ballroom as their only outside of class activity. The last 10% take as many private lessons as can be afforded- which for some is still not that many.

    I would argue that these are more of an effect of who your coaches are rather than the fact that a person is collegiate. My team is primarily international (our coach dances latin, and just recently added standard). Lesson time is focused on doing what he knows best- it really is the best use of our time. With only 2 hours a week in lessons, we don't really have the luxury to cover both American and International. However, when we go to competitions, it costs $0 extra to dance the extra American heats. For the sake of getting our newcomers on the floor as often as possible and having the most fun, we usually tell them that rhythm chaha is no fan and hockey.
    This is just our team though- I have several friends on another team which is coached by an american couple- they don't even learn international style!
     
  4. slhull.13

    slhull.13 Active Member

    That sounds a lot like my collegiate team. Our coaches are strictly American coaches, so therefore we only focus on the American styles. We've picked up enough technique to encourage our newcomers to try out some Latin and Standard, but past the Bronze level we don't bother with it too much.

    I also think it's kind of funny to hear the stereotype that Latin is the primary style at collegiate competitions. While it is certainly popular and seems to attract a lot of competitors, Standard seems to attract very few and Smooth/Rhythm are fairly even, not far behind Latin at all.
     
  5. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    The "timing out of bronze" is not a rule. Collegiate comps can choose to go by points earned instead, and a few do that. I agree that there *should* be a time-out rule for newbies though. I don't know if there is a reliable database in place at the moment, but it would be nice if one could easily track points in order to enforce the pointing-out-of-a-level rule. Sandbaggers stink:mad: .
     
  6. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    It is up in Boston -- many if not most Boston comps I have been to abide by it. Which goes to show there are also regionalisms, which help contribute to different experiences with teams and comps. Other threads on this forum have noted how Latin and Standard seem to be prevalent on the coasts while American seems to be prevalent inland, as a gross generalization.
     
    smidra86 likes this.
  7. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Are you perchance somewhere in the Midwest?
     
  8. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    To substantiate my point:

    Harvard Invitational: http://www.harvardballroom.org/hi2013/rules.php#rules
    - Dancers may compete in the bronze level only if they have started to dance after January 1st, 2012.

    MIT Open: http://ballroom.mit.edu/comp/rules.shtml
    -
    Amateur competitors are eligible to dance in the Beginner level only if both of the competitors in the partnership have less than 3 full semesters (or half-year equivalents for non-students) of competitive ballroom dancing experience. A full semester (or half-year equivalent) of competitive ballroom experience includes participation in one or more competitions and/or competitive training during that semester.
    - Bronze: Competitors in this level must not have begun ballroom dance training prior to August 2011.

    BU: http://people.bu.edu/ballroom/comp/rules/
    - Bronze: Must have danced for three semesters maximum or less.
     
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  9. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    I just realized who you are, slhull. Geez. I'm perceptive. x_x (PS, HI!) The team in question is in Massachusetts, but it is a rather special case since the team coaches are AMDS affiliates. I've only heard of teams in the NE specializing in Rhythm/Smooth at this school (my alma mater) and at a school in upstate NY. The general trend elsewhere in the collegiate world in the NE seems to be Latin/Standard.
     
  10. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    I am not sure where you're going with this - many college kids do prioritize dancing over other costly things, although of course not all of them. And again, not every student is hurting for money or was missing out on something growing up.

    Perhaps you can further elucidate what you initially said?

    What exactly do you mean?
     
  11. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Interesting! I know quite a few schools who do American only and don't know International at all, although of course there are also many schools who only know International.

    In my experience... trained or not, a lot of us can't find the beat in mambo! :D
     
    5678dance likes this.
  12. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    As I said, I was pleased to both find out how wrong I was and apologize; nonetheless, in my area of the country these are the stereotypes about collegiate dancers.
     
    dbk likes this.
  13. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member


    They might prioritize dancing over other things thats true, but they do not understand the value of private lessons at a lower level. I took only a few privates when I was just a bronze kiddo, but I was also partnerless at the time. But I know plenty of people who always wonder why they aren't doing super well in silver and i tell them every time, take a few privates and they turn up their noses saying they don't think they need privates until they are at least in gold if not open. It seems to me that some people are led to believe that private lessons are only to get good choreography and that technique can be learned just from group classes. At least in my experience.


    Your second point, I noticed, at least at MAC this year, that a lot of the people in gold and silver (and especially in MoS) had amazing technique that you clearly will not learn in just plain group classes. So, these people clearly must take some privates, while my point about privates not being taken by most college kids stands, that they aren't getting this information about technique and then believe they are a better level and comparatively they really aren't. Idk if that made sense.

    This is just my opinion from my observations and my interactions with the 3 or more college teams in my area (aka the Boston area and dlliba mentioned)
     
    5678dance likes this.
  14. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    I would argue that in the area that I'm in that we have a standard biased, seeing that I've had more luck find and holding on to standard partners and have a huge difficulty finding a Latin partner shmma. As a good friend of mine said, I just gotta wait for my Latin prince lol.

    But I agree. People in collegiate sometime turn their noses at privates. I even had a partner drop me in one style and then I turned around and dropped him in another style because he refused to take privates. And he kept wondering why we couldn't make it past semis in what we did.
     
  15. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    No apology necessary! I'm just amused at the differences, especially between different regions. :)
     
  16. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    agreed, at lower levels on collegiate teams, group lessons are the primary thing offered; privates aren't as prevalent like at a studio. and i can see how teams don't want to change that because privates mean time and money and commitment, and generally collegiate teams foster an atmosphere that is as least intimidating as possible. i was on the same collegiate team as dliba, i didn't know privates were an option until at least silver. and like what llamas said, and i said before, in my experience most students join a collegiate team just to have fun. privates are an option for the 10 percent, but it's not for the majority.
     
    smidra86 likes this.
  17. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    this is my experience, too. maybe the numbers are a little different but it's the same idea at the school where i came from. and there's nothing wrong with being in the 70 percent. that's another thing i like about collegiate teams-- i like that so many schools simply have ballroom teams/clubs and can expose more people to this awesome sport, even if they don't stick with it.
     
  18. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    So Boston comps have a special rule that forces them to put a time limit on Bronze? Where exactly is this rulebook? "Many" does not equal "All". I just wanted to mention that I have heard of collegiate comps that limit newcomers only, and eligibility for all other levels goes by points earned. Perhaps this is no longer occuring. Similarly, the "level-spanning" rule between styles can vary from comp to comp. Some require that they are adjacent (bronze/silver or silver/gold, for instance), while others allow silver/open, or say that you may span two levels as long as one is not bronze, or make allowances for dissimilar styles (Latin/Rhythm vs. Standard/Smooth). What about that strange option of being allowed to partner with a TBA in another level if you did not make the final with your registered partner? I don't recall the exact details, but it sounded kinda wild. And then there's double registration, or its opposite: combined levels. I remember a comp years ago that combined silver and gold events. Gah! :eek:

    Seems to me that collegiate comps can tailor things to their own needs and preferences, within a few basic confines. Not that there's anything wrong with that, as long as a semblance of consistency and fairness remains.
     
  19. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    Here are the rule books for a MAJORITY of Boston area comps....

    And another one to top it off:

    RIC (a new competition starting this year): http://www.ricballroom.net/comprules.shtml
    Newcomer and Bronze competitors must compete on a point out or time out basis; whichever comes first.
    • For Example:
      • If a competitor has been dancing at the Newcomer level for more than one year, they must dance at the Bronze level.
      • As such, the Bronze level is limited to those couples that started dancing no earlier than August 2011. If a competitor has more than one year of experience at the bronze level, they will be required to dance silver. This applies per style.
      • Competitors who have accumulated the required amount of points, as specified by the YCN/NECN point systems, will be required to dance at their point appropriate level, regardless of their time at their current level.
     
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  20. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Each individual competition can make their own rule book. Most Boston competitions choose to time out Bronze. You can find the rules listed on each competition's website. "Many" does not equal "all" but in this case it is very close to "most", and IME it is gaining popularity.

    Yes, some comps don't have a timeout for Bronze. All comps still maintain the point system, though.

    It's not all that wild. You have to compete both levels at the same time, since levels are interleaved. It's not like you can turn around and say "oops, didn't make the silver final, better hop on the bronze floor!" because you would have already missed all the qualifying rounds of bronze (and probably the final, for that matter).

    Nor does it have anything to do with dancing TBA. Although I'm sure some people register with two partners for two levels, that's not the point of the rule at all. You can register with the same partner for both levels, and IME this is what most people do. It just gives you a chance to dance more, and a chance to test yourself against stronger competition (especially if you're about to move up to the next level yourself).

    I've seen it happen only once or twice... not really that common, at least in my area. It happened a LOT more at the non-collegiate comps I've attended.
     

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