Ballroom Dance > Collegiate Competition Stereotypes

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

  1. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    It happened to me last year -- we were doing Gold and we got put onto the floor with a full Silver final. We didn't realize they were going to do that (nor did the other couple doing Gold) and they announced it literally 15 seconds before the heat took the floor, so we all literally stumbled onto the floor putting on our shoes; other couple was missing their number. No bueno.
  2. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's not cool. What comp was it, if you don't mind me asking? The only times I remember seeing a collegiate comp do that is if there was only one couple in a particular level (they used to put open in with gold a lot a few years ago, when there was only one person in the level). Tossing multiple gold couples in with silver seems like a nightmare...
  3. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    Princeton. It was two of us in Gold Rhythm with 6 couples in Silver. Not a nightmare space-wise by any stretch of the imagination, just because of the discombobulation from the surprise floor-share.
  4. Leon Theou

    Leon Theou Active Member

    What nikkitta's talking about (I think) is something I have seen in the rules of some comps, but never been to a comp that allowed it. The first round of bronze will run first, and bronze dancers who did not get called back to the second round can hop down to the newcomer floor to partner TBA newbies.
  5. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    I've never seen even an inkling of that in the collegiate comps around the Boston area (this is the first I've even heard of it). I imagine it would throw the whole thing into complete disarray, adding that many people to the already bloated bronze floor.

    Very strange... has anyone actually been to a comp that did this? Why not just allow double registration? It would have the same effect (allowing more people to dance) without creating confusion and unfairness by letting people hop in after the first round is already danced...
  6. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    I've seen that a handful of times too, but actually it's not what I meant. They literally combined Silver and Gold into "SilverGold" events. All couples were competing against each other, not just sharing floorspace. I think any points earned were declared Silver, though I don't know how that affected the Gold couples.

    It was odd.
  7. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Yes, that is what I meant. It can stink to enter TBA, and it's nice of the comp to give them a chance to compete, but I wonder how crazy things got trying to grab partners from the Bronze-castoffs. I have on occasion seen allowances for a person to register for two different levels in the same style if and only if it is with different partners. Or was it in different roles? Follow Silver and lead Bronze? A friend of mine did that once and made every final. Boy was she exhausted:p. Plus all the variations of "You can dance up a level in a dance if that dance is not offered at your level" vs. "Too bad, one person cannot dance more than one level per style no matter what."

    Having never been intimately involved in organizing a comp, I wonder what the rationale is of each group when they create the rules, aside from the obvious restriction of having only so many hours in a day to dance all of the events. Once upon a time I believe MIT allowed double registration. The comp is so huge now that I doubt it could ever happen again.
  8. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    I do have a problem with MIT's TBA system though. They don't allow double registering even if that person is allowing someone to dance who otherwise couldn't. When someone is already registered in the event, and just needs a partner in front of them it should not add anymore time to the event, so that person should be allowed to double register to help out the TBA.

    Maybe I'm biased towards this because I was on the receiving end of this rule and some of the people at registration were rude to me when I was nothing but polite to them. I understand that registration can get hectic, but then you should have more people working registration so they do not feel overwhelmed and have the urge to snap at people.
  9. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    Weird. I've never seen that happen in my (admittedly relatively short) comp career.
  10. Milen

    Milen Member

    Interesting... most of the comps I go to do it all the time. I even did Newcomer, Bronze and Silver with different partners once. Most of the comps that NYU and Columbia go to do it for Newcomers, some even for Bronze. It's usually not in the rules (if at all) but it's announced by the MC before those events are held. Usually they round up the TBAs at the back of the lined up dancers and let dancers from the upper levels pick them and go dancing right away. It doesn't give you a chance to really prepare so the lead and following can be a bit awkward but doable by a good enough leader. Also the judges don't seem to be big fans of it since they always give me angry looks (not really my fault if I get called back).

    Here's DCDI's part of the rules about how they deal with it:
    dbk likes this.
  11. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    It's so interesting that we're so close (I'm in CT, so between the Boston comps and the NY comps) and I've literally never heard of this practice, let alone experienced it!
  12. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    One year DCDI had a sort of "pro"-am system so that more newcomer ladies could get a chance to dance if they were TBA, not sure if it's still happening. So, the men who were above bronze or who didn't want to be a newcomer would wear a different colored number, such that the judges would only judge the lady. This helped compared to previous years, when sometimes an advanced lead would final with a newcomer TBA lady, which you could say would be unfair to two actual newcomers.
  13. Milen

    Milen Member

    It was the same system last time.
  14. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    They still do, and as someone who was the "am" lady in one of those, I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, DCDI "guarantees" that you will get to dance, we will find someone to dance with you and keep going up the levels until someone is gracious enough to do it. This is great because it means you can go TBA with the assurance that you will dance. However, even if the advanced dancer is wearing a yellow number, it's much easier to dance well when you're dancing with a significantly advanced partner. When I was in bronze, I ended up TBAing with a prechamp dancer and we got 2nd. I still do not count that as a real placement and feel like I don't deserve that ribbon.
  15. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    It's very wise of you think in this manner. This practice could make the follower think she is alot higher level than she really is.
  16. OreganO

    OreganO Member

    My team, being a college team, goes to a lot of collegiate comps. That's one of the things I enjoy about collegiate ballroom: you have a team. Everyone is cheering for everyone else and you're a part of a close-knit community.

    That being said, I tend to prefer a more professional environment. One of the issues I have with collegiate comps is that some dancers aren't as "into" the competitions as others by which I mean, they don't appear to be making an effort. Hair/make-up is sloppy as is costuming and this is a performance art, looking good is a factor. I frequently have to push teammates at competition to even put on make-up, much less the amount of makeup that serious competition requires and it is irking since I am much more intense in those regards.

    Costuming is also frequently an issue. The costume regulations change from competition to competition in collegiate ballroom (or at least it feels that way). This is less of an issue at higher levels but some comps change regulations from year to year. At one comp, the year before bronze was no costumes. We got there and bronze was costumes and out bronze dancers were rather plain in comparison. While movement is the main focus, presentation is important too and the ever-changing costume regulations make that difficult.

    Another issue with the collegiate circuit is the time-out at lower levels, as a few of you have mentioned. There are a number of people on my team who will be forced up to a silver level and they're struggling at a bronze level still. They need more time. On the other hand, I moved up a year early because my coach and I agreed that I was more than ready for it. That said, it is less intimidating for newcomers to know that they will move up to bronze even without placing.

    TBA has also been problematic in the past. I danced TBA for one collegiate comp last semester and it was poorly organized. There were not enough TBA leaders so several silver followers and I did not dance at that competition despite having paid the fee (all dressed up and nowhere to go etc).

    Well, those seem to be a lot of the cons but I'd like to add in that I find collegiate comps very enjoyable for the most part. Not only is it a team bonding experience, but it's an allover community experience. At collegiate comps, you meet other students who are out there doing the same thing, interested in the same passion (at least for me) or hobby, ballroom, and it's great.
    stash likes this.
  17. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    Agreed about TBA. someone needs to come up with an easy system and everyone else should follow suit. Harvard is starting a TBA facebook group, which I think is a good idea. Has anyone had a good experience with a TBA system?

    I guess it's never going to be perfect, though, since the chances of having exactly the right number of TBA leaders and followers for each level are pretty slight.
  18. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    I agree with this completely.

    IMO, I think the way USADance and NDCA have their costume regulations set up (you can't have any rhinestones until open, basically) is very appropriate and I wish college teams would follow that a bit more, at least until gold (as in, in gold you can start to wear costumes). I feel like unless you have really pushed yourself to gold, you aren't really taking it seriously, and shouldn't really be wearing a costume. You don't even need a costume to do well. I did gold latin a year and a half ago at Brown and I wore a rather plain black dress (and the floor there is rather dark as it is, so might not have been the best color but whatever) and danced from a first round, and won. No fancy rhinestones, no expensive costume (my dress probably cost like $20). The dancing just needs to be there, all it takes is the desire and motivation. Although presentation is important, I think people are too focused on having sparkles at a competition than having their dancing up to par. I got judges to notice me without having any sparkles.
    You can see as everyone passes in the samba that they all have a fancy costume, except me, in my little black dress.
  19. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    your dress may have been plain but your hips werent!!! well danced
    twothreefourone and smidra86 like this.
  20. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    Ahaha thanks. I have to say, my partner played a major part in this. He is fantastic and has pushed me/is pushing me to really work hard.

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