Ballroom Dance > Comp Organization--Stuff We Like - Stuff We Don't Like

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by ChaChaMama, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    What are some of your favorite things that comp organizers do that make you enjoy the experience more or make your life easier?

    What are some of your least favorite comp practices?

    This is going to seem like a really minor point in the grander scheme of things, but I really appreciate it when comps will accept credit cards or personal checks. (A few require cashier's checks or money orders.) I know it's not the biggest deal in the world, but each extra errand I have to run is another 15 minutes or so that I don't get to spend dancing (or getting stuff done around the house, or whatever.)

    I do understand that some comp organizers have probably been burned one time too many by checks that bounced, and I sympathize. On the other hand, given that it's a competitive industry (i.e, lots of comps to choose from), comp organizers do have a vested interest in making things relatively hassle-free for potential competitors.

    Any other favorite/least favorite practices?

    ChaCha Mama
  2. Laura

    Laura New Member

    At some of the NDCA-sanctioned competitions I go to, competitors have to pay their entry fees plus buy tickets to the ballroom. That's fine, except that in the past two years the ballroom tickets have gone WAY up. What used to be a $25 General Admission ticket is $37 now. I help to organize some comps, so I know that you have to have a budget and figure out your ticket prices to meet that budget, but on the other hand I can barely ask friends to come watch any more. And these tickets aren't for the big Saturday night session with a great pro show and top-level Pro and Championship Amateur events. No, it's for Friday night, where all the low-level Amateurs and some poorly-attended Rising Star Pro events are held, and without a Pro show.

    I really dislike comps that don't even have a basic "here, download our PDF" web site. In this day and age it's just uncalled for. I don't need to have online registration or a big fancy site, I just need to be able to get the entry forms and ticket information that I need.

    Here's my biggest peeve: competitions that run too many same-level events back to back. In the NDCA, Championship-level amateur events are goverened by the "20 minute rule," where there must be a minimum of 20 minutes between rounds. This rule does not extend to lower-level events, although I've never seen an organizer that didn't also honor it for Pre-Championship events. But for Novice events, it's a whole other story. Twice now I've been to NDCA-sanctioned events where Novice was run as two events, a W/Q event and a T/F event. These events were run back-to-back, and the semi of one was run directly after the quarter of the other. So, if you made the cut from the quarter to the semi, you'd dance all four events (W/Q quarter, T/F quarter, W/Q semi, T/F semi) back to back. That's just obnoxious. Even a mere 5 or 10 minutes between the two quarters and the two semis would be helpful -- I'm okay with having to dance two different 2-dance events back-to-back, but two ROUNDS back-to-back is not good scheduling.

    Now I'm trying to think of what I like...I'm not really all that picky I long as the competition runs on time I'm pretty darn satisfied.
  3. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    If they would say, "personal checks are OK up to 2 weeks before the comp date, only money orders/cashiers checks after that," it would give them time to let the deadbeat checks bounce and tell them, "sorry but your registration has been canceled."
  4. saludas

    saludas New Member


    Sensitivity to amateur/amateur competition
    Low prices
    Easy acces to venue (easy to get to via plane or driving)


    Gouging - comps that put similar techniques and entries on different days so they generate more entrance fees (like putting prechamp on one day and novice on another, for example). Or, first round in the afternoon and the final at night.

    High prices

    Bad judging and bad reporting - they way the reporting was handled at the Nationals, with Palm Pilots giving immediate results was very satifying. Which brings up;

    Interminable waits for 'awards' - this might be ok in a ProAm comp because the 'award' moment is part of the big experience (what Proam dancer would be happy to know their placement and just go off the floor without the 'recognition' moment) but Ams waiting an hour in their costume for a hurried 'award moment' is lame and unneeded. And what's with the awards given with the dancers facing THE JUDGES? How about facing the crowd? Oh yeah - comps that don't try to attract outside viewers means a sea of empty tables; guess that's why the organizers have the couples face AWAY...

    Wierd judging panels - just because a Pro brings 300 Proam entries does not mean that he should be made a judge .
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I would be thrilled to just know my placement immediately and not have to do that whole courtsey and phot op thing....
  6. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    I hate when my cc is charged with late fees even though I was not infored I will be charged late fees when I provided (what if it was my debit card and I only had money for the entries in the account at the moment.. I would be charged additional $30 by the bank...) Don't like late fees, but understand why they might be charged. Don't like when they use my cc freely without letting me know how much I will be charged... :evil:
  7. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    As long as a comp. is reasonably well-organized and runs close to schedule I am happy (I am talking about amateur comps, not pro-am).

    A couple of things that bother me :? :

    Changing the order of heats wtihout giving multiple announcements to explain the changes.

    Giving out multiple awards at once only by heat number. I can't remember which heat is which, so I really appreciate an announcer who says "Now the awards for heat 101, adult bronze cha cha."

    Things that make me really happy :D :

    Friendly, numerous volunteers who know what is going on and can answer questions.

    Ample room to stow all my stuff.

    Things that make me really angry :evil:: knowingly letting non-students dance in a collegiate scholarship event.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    probably petty but it ticks me off when there arent enough videographers so if you aren't the first one there they inform you that you cant get a tape of any scholarships etc....for my first comp I was clueless and by the time I got there was informed that there were only three cameras doing the then I win the waltz and place third overall at my very first comp and I dont even have the doggone tape and I called the video folks to see if I could at least get a panoramic one and no one ever called back.... :cry:
  9. alemana

    alemana New Member

    asking competitors who paid to compete to pay for a general admission ticket to the ballroom FOR THEIR OWN SESSION.

    totally unforgiveable. it's double-charging.
  10. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Since you're doing Proam this should have been discussed by your teacher prior to the comp, and he should have handled this at the comp. That's why you're paying him... to get the whole "proam experience", right down to the souveniers for the relatives to see...
  11. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of things teachers don't clue students in on before their first "big day." My experience was blown by the fact that my teacher told me I was doing newcomer and put me in full bronze. I was not dressed appropriately. He also said "do your make-up differently than you normally would". What the heck does that mean? There should be some sort of little session, with the teacher having a checklist or something, for new students for the first comp.

    But I digress.

    I guess one of my pet peeves would be when organizers schedule your events all over the place. So, if I'm doing latin, I have to do a scholarship or championship one day and the single dances the next. So, if I'm traveling, I have to stay an extra night, and pay an extra admission fee. Last year, I was foolish enough to do both latin and rhthym at one comp (luckily it was local) and had to pay 4 separate admissions. Won't do that again.
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    my instructor has more important things to do than babysit my polaroid moments....besides, that mr smart aleck....I wanted the tape for review for MYSELF to see what I did well and not so well....I am nowhere near satisfied enough with my dancing to go toting my beginner bronze butt around for all of my poor unwitting relatives to see...perhaps AGAIN, you cynically and negatively misjudge my priorities :kissme:
  13. alemana

    alemana New Member

    that's a whole nother thread, isn't it:

    Things the Pro Should Cover with the Student
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I instructor was very good about discussing wardrobe and make up...but I don't fault him for the video thing...I personally, and I bet you agree, would rather that he be spending his time focusing on whether I am over my foot and have my head back far enough and am swinging at the right moment, etc....
  15. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    I don't get it. Why would a teacher not put a student in newcomer for their first compettion? That's the whole point of the newcomer category, where first time competitor's, most likely without costumes, can compete against each other. :?

    Maybe he should have said wear more makeup than you would usually wear, like for evenings out. And don't forget the false eyelashes, liquid black eyeliner, white eyeliner pencil, and red lipstick. Oh heck, the trampier the better. :D :wink:

    Agreed. I was fortunate enough to have that discussion.
  16. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member


    Yup. Which is why I ask some of these questions *after* my lesson is over! You just live and learn as you go along...and hope maybe some more experienced student will tip you off on things based on their experiences.
  17. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I don't know. I had been dancing around 6 months, so maybe it was more than a newcomer generally does? And I think they had 2 other students in the same category and maybe that had something to do with it (although it wasn't my teacher's students...). Honestly, I only found out after I did the dances, and I did pretty well considering. I was just annoyed because I would have stepped the dress up a level. And then there's just the principle of the whole danged matter!

    Maybe there are just some male teachers who are ignorant as to make-up. That's all I can think of. I wished I had talked to a female student or teacher prior to the comp.

    No biggie. It was an enjoyable experience nonetheless.
  18. saludas

    saludas New Member

    This is a good topic for discussion: what the Proam teacher should tell the Proam student. For you, the things that was discussed were apparently your makeup and your wardrobe, but not your video (for learning purposes); that shows a lack of concern for what might have been more important to you as a student.

    Yes, I think you ARE to blame, if even in hindsight not really (not YOUR fault that you didn't know what to ask...) but the learning experience here is that. You are paying for the Pro's knowledge. Yes, you went up to pay for a video, but the Pro is there to make your experience enjoyable... you ahould have at least asked him what alternatives there were, or have HIM figure out an alternate plan. I personally wouldn't have gone on the floor knowing that you would have had no record of the event - now, it's just a 'greeting card memory' and you have nothing to look at with your teacher to discuss an event that went over days and probably blended in with a half dozen other students and 50 or 60 dances...

    My thought is that over the next 10 or 20 comps you'll find out a lot of things that you 'missed' at this first one.... hopefully, you'll learn (reread a lot of the 'omg it's my first proam comp!' type threads on this forum) and you will know the right questions to ask your teacher before the next comp. I'll bet there are a lot more...
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    am sure MQ can answer this better than I but ....if he put her in full bronze rather than newcomer b/c she could do it and was that good...kudos to him...but maybe he also had two newcomers and she was better and he wanted to get $$ for both...who knows?

    anyhow, I have seen the reverse with instructors who get downright snarky about what you wear and whether or not it is acceptable.....there is a happy instructor had stuff to say about my hair(back and not moving please) and gave me some dress(longer floats please) and hose(darker please)advice...but for the rest he politely steered me toward his more experienced ladies and the female studio owner ...which I think is for the most men, he knows when he is on dangerous ground :wink:
  20. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    Dressing rooms that are a couple of floors away from the ballroom.

    Dressing rooms with no mirrors! WTF? Are you kidding me?

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