Ballroom Dance > USA Dance Nationals 2011--Back to Baltimore!

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by ChaChaMama, May 25, 2010.

  1. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    I can't believe I'm the first one posting this!

    Everyone in USA Dance should have received an e-mail today. It said that in 2011, the Nationals will be April 8-10 in Baltimore!!! YAY! Hope to see many of you there.

    I *think* I read somewhere that the plan is to do a couple east coast years, then back to the west coast in 2013 (maybe L.A. Live again, though not sure that's written in stone).

    Easter and Passover are going to be late in 2011, from what I've been able to figure out via Google.
    Easter = April 24.
    Passover = April 19-26.
  2. sambanada

    sambanada Active Member

    This is great news.
  3. TAK

    TAK Member

    I was surprised to see the new rule that requires entering the same event with the same partner at the NQE as one intends to enter at Nationals. What about events that might not be offered at NQEs, like nine/ten dance?
  4. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, based on existing contracts its scheduled to be back in Baltimore for the next two years and then back to L.A. Live the year after that.
  5. That seems like a lot of tracking for USA Dance and likely slightly fewer entries at Nationals. I'm likely to compete at a NQE in a few weeks in June, but not with partners who would be my partners at Nationals (out of town etc). Although probably isn't that big of a deal for the syllabus crowd (which was relatively small when it was in Baltimore).

    It is also a little more hardcore than the year that I think anyone who danced even a fun dance at the MAC was then eligible for Nationals.
  6. yayy it's gonna be back here in my backyard :D

    Yeah I was surprised about that too, especially at lower proficiency levels and the collegiate levels, where partners come and go all the time. I myself have switched partners once or twice within the last year... And this would also spell the end of TBA partnerships (a pity in itself... I very much enjoyed my last TBA partnership with Nybz here on DF ;p) I would think it'll be acceptable as long as each individual partner has separately qualified themselves for Nationals for that proficiency and event. Any ideas why this change was put in place?

    Also, wouldn't that encourage sandbagging by making it difficult for people to move up a proficiency level? If wanting to compete at Nationals at a higher level meant I had to travel somewhere to attend another NQE I didn't plan for, I know I would highly consider just staying in my original level even if I felt I should move up.

    I guess for me this will mean just putting off doing my NQE until the very last possible date...
  7. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Is Nationals really an event for TBA partnerships?
  8. Casayoto

    Casayoto Member

    Good point Wooh. And the new rules have been out for several months now, so it wasn't exactly a surprise announcement, more like a gentle reminder.

    I'm pretty sure part of the reason is to keep Nationals attendance at reasonable levels as well as make competing at Nationals something that means a little bit more. Making you dance the same event with the same partner is step 1. The next step is that you'll have to place within a certain percentage in the event to qualify.

    If you place out of your proficiency level before Nationals, but have already qualified, you are automatically qualified for the level you place into. Same goes for age classifications.
  9. I think it can be. For me at least, it's just another dance competition, like anything else. If you win at Nationals with a TBA partner, all the more power to you and maybe you've just met your ideal partner.

    I also know one of the current top prechamp/champ smooth couple met through a TBA partnership at a competition. If there is no TBA, they wouldn't have formed their partnership.

    And it's not just at Nationals, this implicates all NQEs as well. If TBAs aren't allowed at Nationals, they're kinda pointless to do at NQEs too. Potential competitors who may form partnerships by Nationals then wouldn't have a chance to meet and dance.

    Anyway, I guess this thread isn't, and shouldn't, be about the benefits of TBA partnerships or if Nationals is an event for these kinds of partnership. The more relevant and important question is the rationale behind this rule change.
  10. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    There were no TBA's at this year's nationals or at least none that were determined at the comp itself. I live with the registrar and she is the one who had to track down all the TBA's and get their residency papers. (of course, that starts another discussion but let's not go there yet.)

    The National Championships are not a collegiate competition. They are held to determine the best of the eligible competitors in the US. Yeah, we can have fun dancing in the Nationals (I did. Well, this last year, anyway.) but I'm in it more for the challenge and satisfaction not just another night out doing a Jack & Jill. I am all for the new rules and look forward to qualifying again.

    (By the way, 9 and 10 dancers are taken care of in the new rules for qualifying purposes. I believe all other events, ages, and levels will be offered at NQE's although some of the ages might be combined, e.g. Pre-Teen I & II combine to simply Pre-Teen)
  11. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    Just so that we can make sure we all know what we are talking about, I will cut and paste from the USA Dance Rulebook:

    4.2.5 Any Athlete Couple shall be eligible to compete in the USA Dance National DanceSport
    Championships provided that:
    a) Either:
    i) Both Athletes are U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents or
    ii) One Athlete is a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident and the other Athlete
    has appropriate legal documents allowing him/her to travel out-of and back-into the United
    States, or
    iii) Both Athletes have been legally residing in the United States for a period of not less than twelve (12) months immediately preceding the date of the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships and have appropriate legal documents allowing them to travel out of and back into the United States, and

    USA Dance: DanceSport Rulebook Edition 12, 2010A
    Page 35

    b) Neither Athlete shall have represented another country or competed in another country’s national championships within the last eight (8 months, unless a letter of release is received from the original IDSF member body to dance in the USA, and
    c) Athlete Couples satisfy all of the following additional qualifying criteria:
    1. have competed in a minimum of one USA Dance National Qualifying Event (NQE) within the twelve (12) months immediately preceding the USA Dance NationalDanceSport Championships
    2. have competed in the same partnership and in the same event (style/age/proficiency
    level) in the aforementioned NQE that the Athlete Couple intends to enter in the USA
    Dance National DanceSport Championships (effective for the 2011 Nationals and beyond)
    3. have placed in the top 75% of Athlete Couples in that event at an NQE (effective for the 2012 Nationals and beyond) Events which are not offered at all NQEs are exempt from the requirements of 4.2.5 (c2 &
    c3). These include, but may not be limited to, the International 10-Dance, the American 9-
    Dance, Cabaret, and Theatre Arts events. Such events will be identified in each year's registration materials for the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships, with
    specific registration requirements for each. Should an Athlete Couple qualify for Nationals under 4.5.2 (c2), and before the next USA
    Dance National DanceSport Championships they lose eligibility in the proficiency level at
    which they qualified, they will be considered to be qualified for that USA Dance National
    DanceSport Championships in the next higher proficiency level in the same style and age
    category. Should an Adult Athlete Couple qualify for Nationals under 4.5.2 (c2), and before the next
    USA Dance National DanceSport Championships they gain eligibility into a higher age
    category (as of January 1), they will be considered to be qualified for that USA Dance
    National DanceSport Championships in both the age category they actually danced at an
    NQE and the higher age category for which they are newly eligible under rules 4.6.3 and

    Should a Preteen/Junior/Youth Athlete Couple qualify for Nationals under 4.5.2 (c2) and

    before the next USA Dance National DanceSport Championships they gain eligibility into a
    higher age category (as of January 1), they will be considered to be qualified for that USA
    Dance National DanceSport Championships in the age category for which they are newly
    eligible under rule 4.6.3. If the couple also qualified in a higher age category directly, they
    will be allowed to dance in both their new age category and the next higher age category at
    the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships, provided they meet all other age
    eligibility under rule 4.6.4.
    4.2.6 A Medical waiver of 4.5.2 and all sub-sections may be considered under certain circumstances. An
    request for medical waiver must be made by email to the Registrar, USA Dance National DanceSport
    Championships (, according to the following procedure:
    a) The couple asking for medical waiver must be registered at an NQE, and be forced to withdraw
    due to injury or illness.
    b) If there is another NQE that the couple could potentially dance, they will be asked to do so,
    provided such NQE is at least 2 weeks later than the NQE from which the couple withdraws.
    c) If there is no other NQE more than 2 weeks later than the one from which they must withdraw,
    the couple may submit to the Registrar proof of medical necessity for their withdrawal. The
    couple must provide complete medical documentation on a doctor's or hospital's letterhead,
    including proof of office/hospital visit, ICD-9 codes and treatment plans. Any additional
    medical documentation may be included at the athlete's discretion.
    USA Dance: DanceSport Rulebook Edition 12, 2010A

    Page 36

    d) If there is another NQE within the appropriate time frame, but attending it is out of the
    financial reach of the athlete couple because of distance and travel expense, they may still
    apply for medical waiver, but they must also provide a statement of financial duress, which
    includes estimates of travel expense which would be incurred by attending that alternative
    NQE. Such estimates will be checked for accuracy by the Registrar.
    e) All submitted documents will be checked for veracity and accuracy by the Registrar. The
    Registrar will make a decision regarding the medical waiver, and communicate it to the couple
    within 24 hours of receiving the request and complete documentation. Lack of complete
    documentation will result in a rejection of the request.
    f) After receiving the Registrar's decision, should the couple request it, a full vote of the
    DanceSport Council may be taken. Such a vote will take up to 72 hours from the request of the
    couple to be complete. The DanceSport Council's decision is final.

    The DanceSport Council is responsible for determining an individual Athlete’s status and shall revoke
    or suspend an Athlete’s registration if sufficient cause is found to do so.

    (P.S. For some odd reason, when I cut and pasted, a lot of capital Ns got changed to commas. No idea why. I tried to go back through and fix these, but if you see a suspicious comma where there should be an N, you know what to do.)

  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I may be mistaken, but I think the news was previously posted in the LA Nationals thread.

  13. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    I agree. This has been known for a while. Nonetheless, it's awesome not to have to fly for 5 hours and deal with time differences, hotels, etc... Just a 40 minute drive;)
  14. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    My bad.
  15. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    Thanks, CCM, for giving this its own thread. I already knew about Nationals being in Baltimore in 2011, and I'm very excited about it! Traveling to the other coast would be prohibitively difficult at this point for me, so this makes all the difference in my being able to attend.

    And I think the trend towards stricter qualifications is a good one if it is the goal of USA Dance to make Nationals a truly prestigious and meaningful event. If the goal were to maximize participation, which I don't think is an issue at Nationals, then the strategy would need some revision.
  16. What does it matter if it is a collegiate competition or not? I am a collegiate competitor, but I take all my competitions as seriously as the next. I'm not going to be less prepared for a competition just because it is a college comp as opposed to the Nationals or an NQE. Every single competition is challenging and satisfying to me.

    If the sole purpose of Nationals were to determine the best of the best, then why have syllabus competitions at all? In fact, we could even skip Novice and Pre-champ altogether and just have the Champ level.

    My partnership with my current dance partner kinda started with a TBA partnership at Nationals last year... in that I realized he didn't have a partner there. We practiced a bit, and would probably have competed if I had my shoes and were dressed for it. Does it make us any less of competitors? Absolutely not. We had trained hard for it as individuals, and the TBA partnership merely meant we got some help finding the other half of a competitive partnership who are like-minded and well-suited to dance with each other.

    If the purpose is to just make Nationals more "prestigious" or "challenging", sure, I get it and fully support it. So I'm all for the qualifying and being the top 75% or 50% or whatever in the NQE. But why shouldn't they be allowed to qualify individually?
    For instance, if there were two people who previously qualified, say, within the top 10% at an NQE, and their partners decide to stop dancing for whatever reason. Why should these two people not be allowed to form a new partnership and continue competing at Nationals? If they are each individually qualified, it's not like the new partnership will cause them to plummet to the bottom 25%.
  17. I'm not sure about that actually. I worked the entire 2009 Nationals, and even with it being on the East Coast, I seem to remember the organizers being very worried about even breaking even. If we don't maximize participation, we won't even be able to support Nationals as an event.
  18. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    I actually find this is a confusing issue as well, 19dancerbabylin.

    I have only been to Nationals 3 times, namely
    Louisville 2007
    Baltimore 2008
    Baltimore 2009
    So I am not an expert by any means. Here are the things I think I know.

    There is pressure to keep attendance steady but NOT larger because:
    -Schedule is bursting at the seams.
    -Many people do not want a 4th day.
    -Schemes that might allow whole comp to be 2 or 3 days without placing any limits on participants--such as splitting syllabus from novice-champ, or splitting Am style and intl style--are NOT cost effective and are not pleasing to many members.

    Then there is pressure for growth:
    -Financial implications. The more who attend, the more people split the fixed costs.
    -More potential donors in the audience. More potential shoppers, who will attract more vendors.
    -Increasing attendance seems in keeping with Mission Statement of USA Dance, which I have cut and pasted below:

    In furtherance of its educational and charitable purposes and goals, USA Dance:
    1. Serves as the National Governing Body for DanceSport, the competitive version of ballroom dancing, in the United States subject to the statutes of : a) the International DanceSport Federation (IDSF); b) the United States Olympic Committee (USOC); and c) the Amateur Sports Act of the United States Congress.
    2. Organizes and supports programs for the recreational enjoyment of ballroom dancing by all ages and creates affordable opportunities for the general public to participate in ballroom dancing and DanceSport;
    3. Promotes DanceSport as a sport both nationally and internationally and fosters its inclusion in the Olympic and Pan American Games;
    4. Organizes and supports DanceSport events internationally and nationally, including national, regional and local championships;
    5. Selects the DanceSport Athletes to represent the United States in the IDSF World DanceSport Championships and the World Games and helps to finance their participation;
    6. Promotes and supports ballroom dance programs in colleges and secondary schools;
    7. Applies special programs to attract beginners to ballroom dancing and to both encourage and assist these dancers in meeting their goals;
    8. Emphasizes to the public the healthful aspects of ballroom dancing; its physical, mental and social benefits;
    9. Organizes and supports programs to increase the number of dancers and to assist in the elevation of dancing skills, both competitors and recreational social dancers.
    The conclusion I would draw: the organization is under competing pressures. It would like a maximum number of participants splitting costs and a maximum number of spectators WITHOUT letting the schedule expand even one second. It would also ideally like to accomplish these goals without cutting all the "fun" elements, like the Team Match. So this is difficult!
  19. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    Sounds like they need more spectators, not competitors. In which case, the more strict qualifications can help build a more prestigious event to attract the needed spectators.
  20. TAK

    TAK Member

    Rub it in, why don't you! :p

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