Comp Organization--Stuff We Like - Stuff We Don't Like

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

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    most of the time...but there are other comps in which every single heat is simply consistently shorter
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    Right...this is the thing for me...I certainly have every respect for what it takes to dance over 100 heats at a comp, particularly to do it full out....I deeply respect that, and I also acknowlege that placement is part of that formula, but except at places like ohio, where number of heats are limited by neccessity, the placement aspect can't even begin to approach a significant aspect in the formula...I certainly have several very nice trophies for my financial contribution to the ballroom world...but I would never use them to represent myself as being a good dancer...I have other accomplishments which indicate that I am a decent to good to occasional pretty darn good dancer, but those top awards are not part of that....I don't be-grudge anyone the right to feel that it is an accomplishment...it is a @$$%lot of dancing and a @$#$lot of money and I am not going to snub my nose at that, but neither would I ever believe that it meant something about quality of dancing...there are some awesome dancers at the top of the leader board, there are some average dancers, and there are some poor dancers...I also have empathy for the fact that sometimes those folks are also objectified and mocked not just because of their skill or lack thereof but also out of some resentment from others who do not have the financial means to do the same (if we are all being honest with ourselves)...some like to call these people cash cows, and I find that term so offensive...because many, many folks would dance that much if they could
    3wishes and debmc like this.
  3. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I agree with all of the above. Nicely said.
  4. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but if the competitors feel slighted they lose our $$$ when we don't come back....
  5. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    wife and i are senior 2 but also dance in senior 1 we have done upto 14 rounds in a day all four styles over 10 hours so i concur!!
  6. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure this is all that different from what Joe said. A competition which schedules more tightly, trying to get more events in, will naturally have to go to a shorter period of time for music. A skilled chairman or MC can help make the most efficient use of the time available, but they can't create more time than exists in a day.
    ballroomlady likes this.
  7. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Frankly, there are times when I feel it's entirely appropriate to cut the music a few seconds short, especially if the comp is running late. Events that have 3 or fewer couples? The judges shouldn't require more than a minute to mark those.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am sure that in a few instances, year after year, regardless of size of entries, there are a few comps that simply run their heats short...I don't doubt what you are saying either though
  9. raindance

    raindance Active Member

    But those three couples paid just as much for their heats, traveled just as far, practiced as hard, etc, and want to get their chance to dance... the judges might not need the full amount of time, but I don't think that makes it fair to shorten their heats because they are less crowded. I don't like to see anyone's heats shortened, but it would be more fair to shave 2 seconds off of 10 heats, than to take 10 seconds off of two heats with not many couples in them, for instance.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  10. chrisjohnston

    chrisjohnston Well-Known Member

    This year at USDC the pro standard final was fantastic and at the end the couples quite rightly basked in the appreciation of the crowd.Unfortunately a lot of couples spend a lot of time basking in the appreciation of a blank wall at some of the smaller events.They also can spend 15-20 seconds poncing around before they start to dance.Stop this and couples will be given longer to dance.
    ballroomlady likes this.
  11. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member


    In the end it is a competition. And the point of your dancing, at a competition, is for the judges to see you and mark you. If you want to dance and have enough time to enjoy it, go to a Friday night social. If you want to dance and have audience appreciation, do a show. But you may be dancing for the wrong reasons at a comp if your are insisting YOU didn't get enough time. Time enough is time enough for the judges... at a competition. Because once the Judges are done, and the papers are off with the Runners, and we are all just standing around waiting for you to "get to your favorite part!!" that no one really cares about but you... it is pretty much just dead time.

    No one is wanting to "rip you off" of your time. But you kinda have to trust that the COJ is doing the best he can to give you a perceived value for your money... while doing his job and keeping the comp running on time.

    And they won't shorten two heat by 10 seconds. They shorten a whole block of heats by a few seconds, gradually edging back into a comfortable time line. Don't get that rumor started that NDCA will cut two heats in half just to make up 1 minute... or we will never see the end of that tunnel.
  12. raindance

    raindance Active Member

    Wow, I don't even know where to start...

    First off, I wasn't starting a rumor, I was responding to a post above (which I quoted) suggesting that some heats could be cut shorter if the judges were already done. I didn't say if I was talking about NDCA or not. I never said anything about cutting heats in half. I didn't say it was my dancing I was worrying about, and hopefully you were using "YOU" generally and not referring to me specifically.

    Second, in your post the first paragraph makes it sound like they should just shut the music off as soon as the judges are done, because no one else cares anyway (wow - I pay to watch competitions and I care, I want to watch full heats even if the judges are done early)... well the runners commonly pick up papers early in many heats (small or large, pro or pro/am), the judges can be quick. Should all the heats just be cut short then?!? Or just the ones where it is easy for the judges to make their decisions? I don't think you really mean that, but that's what it sounds like from what you typed. Dancing at a comp is about more than the judges and placements... that is a big piece of it, sure, but I doubt dancers would keep paying to compete if they were treated in a way that reflects the thoughts and attitude in your first paragraph. (And just to be clear, I personally *don't* think dancers are treated that way at competitions.)

    But then your last paragraph says that they wouldn't shorten two heats (my theoretical example) anyway, they'd shorten a whole block.... which is what I was saying would be more fair, anyway.
  13. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member



    I never said those things. I will state again my point. Sorry it was not clear to you.
    Running late also impacts everyone else... so you (the collective you) have to be sensitive of the fact that an event running 45 minutes behind screws up the waitstaffs schedule when they need to clear the ballroom and set it up for the next session. The ticket-takers, scrutineers, mcs, djs lose their dinner break all together. It screws up dinner reservations for the dancers, and therefore the restaurant goes bonkers. Makes the judges cranky when they are on their feet for sessions that run way longer than originally allotted for. There are a whole ton of people that the COJ needs to make happy, and the dancers are just one group he has to cater to. Lots of people he/she has to make happy and be sure they want to come back next year.
  14. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    This does raise a question though. If there is a minimum time restriction for Pro and Am heats, at least at NDCA and USA Dance events respectively, why not have minimum times for Pro/Am, even if different lengths at different levels?

    Larinda, while I do appreciate the point about it being a competition, getting in floor-time under competition conditions is part of developing one's self as a competitor. Since I have seen situations (although fortunately rarely) where couples have been given less than 30 seconds, that seems unfair. That said, I have also seen numerous events where a pro/am couple are the only ones on the floor for 10+ heats in a row, doing the same routines they have already danced 20+ times that session. If there's any need to shave some time (even if only to keep a cushion for later) I get exactly why the Chair would choose to do this.

    So, perhaps what I'm really suggesting, is that I could see the point of minimum times based on level and number of couples. Its just a thought, and not something I've really considered before. I also realize it might be more complicated to track than its worth.
  15. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I would also have to jump in and say that I enter competitions for a variety of reasons, that don't get fulfilled in a social dance or a showcase and I like to dance the full amount of time. Competing is an expensive hobby, to have heats cut short does not seem the solution to me. I can only imagine the effort it takes to organize a comp and while I empathize,I'm not convinced that cutting dancers time is the solution.
    fascination likes this.
  16. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    From the student's perspective we are spending roughly $35 to the comp per dance,and often an equal amount to the pro, for the tune of $70 for a dance... yes, we do want the entire time! :)
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    right...because, while I agree that there are many people whose concerns and convenience need to be considered, those who are paying the lion share of the cost ought not bear the bulk of the cut
  18. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Actually, one time waster that I have observed during comps is time spent waiting for all the participants to assemble. There always seems to be several instances of pros or students "missing" and usually the MC waits to see if they can be located. I've also seen some comps move all the dances like "american paso doble", west coast swing, argentine tango, etc, etc, to a completely different day, rather than run those heats in between rhythm rounds.
  19. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    The comp is all about efficiency? I don't think so, it is all about the participants. If feeding the judges is an issue due to the time 'running over' it is the comp manager's issue, not the participants. If overtime needs to be paid because the comp scheduled things fancilfully rather than realistically, then the overtime costs are the education costs of the comp business, not something that the participants are punished for. The people who paid to be in the comp's main issue is the participation, not their time frame. Comps that can't schedule or run correctly need to fix their issues, not put them on the dancers.

    Interesting perspective about judges feeling that after they hand in their marks that the time till the next heat, including the dancing till the end of that dance, is simply something to be endured...
  20. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Interesting resurrection. I responded to this thread in 2005, and my preferences have changed somewhat since then. I compete actively in smooth and standard (no more rhythm) and I am no longer dependent on school calendar. So I like it when my styles are back-to-back with no empty day in between. I also prefer it when one of them is on a Saturday (further reducing the amount of time off needed to compete). I prefer well-attended comps where I can have at least a full final in my multi-dances. I will not go to a comp which is hard to get to, regardless of its size (middle of nowhere, too far from a major airport means one has to take a day off to get there, and the transportation costs are expensive). All these are major points to me, meaning that I have declined comps based on one or more of these points. And one can have an idea of how well-attended the comp is from its schedule. For example, at a mid-sized comp like Heart Of America it takes a whole day to run smooth. If I look at the prospective comp's schedule and see that it only takes them half of a morning session to run smooth, it tells me that smooth field there might not be big enough to make it worth the trouble.

    Out of the little things that I like and don't like.

    Likes:
    I think it's really nice when instead of setting up a breakfast buffet (which in a lot of states can only be open for 2 hours due to health regulations, and if you want your breakfast, you still have to get up early even if you don't dance until after lunch), they give you a coupon to be used in the hotel restaurant for breakfast, or even better whenever you want towards your meal purchase at the hotel's eateries.

    I like it when participation prize is something useful (I loved the wine glasses they gave out for a few years, by now I have enough to use for a dinner party of 10).

    Dislikes:
    I don't like that seminars cost is added to the package. When I was dancing bronze, I usually went to them, but now I am dancing at later times and can't go most of the time, and I'd rather not pay for them when I can't go.

    I don't like it when the schedule interlaces gold and silver heats. This seems like a new trend in scheduling, I remember being at comps and having to wait through all gold singles before doing a multi-dance. And now even if I do gold and my fellow am does silver, we still have to switch back and forth just like we did when we were both doing silver.

    Another annoying trend in scheduling is having single dances in the Friday evening session. From spectating point of view, it makes a session more boring to watch. Put all multi-dances in the evening if you must, but keep single dances out of it. I understand it's a catch-22 situation - some bronze dancers will be unhappy that they have to wait until the evening to dance their scholarship, and some would love it because it gives them a chance to dance in front of a bigger evening audience. But I've invited some non-dancers to watch both types of sessions (with and without single dances), and the feedback was that single dances are not as interesting to watch (basically same thing over and over).

    Wow that was long. I think that's the longest post I ever written here.

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