Ballroom Dance > Dancing on TV > Worse for Ballroom Dancing -- Master P or Len?

Discussion in 'Dancing on TV' started by Big10, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. Big10

    Big10 Member

    My internet access was limited over the weekend, so I've had to do a bunch of catch-up reading today on the downfall of Western civilization -- i.e., the continuation of Master P on DWTS over more "worthy" dancers....:eyebrow:

    But is he really that detrimental? Do some of you really think that Master P's performances and/or clothing reflect badly on ballroom dancing as a whole? Personally, I think that it's easy to separate Master P from the other ballroom dancers. Whether or not one contestant dances badly (or allegedly "disrespects" ballroom :roll: ) can't have that much of an effect on whether people who are inclined to like ballroom dancing will continue to like it -- especially when there are so many professionals on the show to demonstrate the best of ballroom dancing.

    On the other hand -- I would be more deeply concerned about the comments from Len the judge. Isn't he discouraging to the "average" person out there who starts with very little natural talent? Why would someone take continuous lessons if he/she believes that a failure to show improvement after a few weeks is evidence that "you're not a dancer" (the comment Len gave to Evander Holyfield last season) or that you will be ridiculed as harshly as Master P has been this season? We've all seen people who simply progress at different paces, irrespective of the endeavor, yet still reach a high level eventually. I think it would be more professional for a judge to criticize a person for failing to live up to potential, rather than stating a conclusion that the person has no potential at all, after just a few weeks of training.

    People like Len seem to be spoiling an opportunity (on national TV) by perpetuating the stereotype that ballroom dancing is for a stuffy, elite clique to which some people will never be accepted, no matter how hard they try. What are your thoughts?
  2. saludas

    saludas New Member

    By Master P trivializing the hard work and sincerity of the pro dancers and the aspiring star dancers, he feeds into the mindset that will actively reject ballroom, by simply representing the average moron who prefers the class buffoon over the smart guy. It's certainly easier to trivialize the effort required to do any artform well, and perhaps Len might have pleased the 'average joe' by making it appear 'easy', but even the average moronic fellow would soon see that it is NOT easy and that 'anyone can do it'. Lying is never good in the long run.

    Master P has been set up. he has no clue (or he's brilliant and will leave this show to host a reality show). He's been set up as the comic foil and the representative guy for all the 'haters' that love to point the finger at the arts and show what a 'real guy' looks like next to the talent. He is everything that Black America does NOT need to be represented by - the overweight, goofy clothes wearing, inarticulate, socially inept male. But, come to think of it, I guess that a lot of American males are that and feel that he is 'them'.

    I certainly am NOT and am offended by this.

    Haven't you all seen the smarter candidate lose in the high school election to the 'popular guy'?
  3. ACtenDance

    ACtenDance Active Member

    ... don't forget he is doing it for all those hurricane victims and kids in the hood

    ... don't forget he is doing it for all those hurricane victims and kids in the hood

    ... don't forget he is doing it for all those hurricane victims and kids in the hood

    ... don't forget he is doing it for all those hurricane victims and kids in the hood

    oops, did I repeat myself?
  4. Big10

    Big10 Member

    There's a big difference between emphasizing the work necessary to reach an attainable goal versus declaring that it's impossible for certain people to get there after seeing them try for only a few weeks. That's where I think Len is giving a bad impression. It might be remarkably difficult to be a championship-level competitor, but it's not nearly as difficult to be an adequate social dancer who is able to have fun on the dance floor.

    I keep trying to stay away from the racial aspect of this whole thing, but I won't deny that it seems to be an undeniable subtext to many comments I've seen here and on other Internet forums. At least you're honest about what you're thinking. In any event, I don't think Master P intends to be a representative of "Black America," nor should he be. He's one guy out of millions. Even on this very show, Jerry Rice exudes the exact opposite of all of those traits you mentioned, so why not focus on Jerry instead? (Not that he intends to be any sort of "representative," either.)

    Yes....and so? Is every school or every society better off if every election simply goes to the "smartest" candidate? Not necessarily.
  5. africana

    africana New Member

    ahh you're PC was offline, that spared you reading some awful stuff stuff posted w/ regards to P's potential as hampered by his physical appeareance. but "they" deleted the posts

    and now we're back to pretending (or trying to pretend) that the ballroom world isn't racist or culturally-biased, until someone posts more stuff on "Soul Man's Syndrome" or some similar crap

    Good thing I hardly watch the show
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    respectfully, mods are not facilitating denial of racism in ballroom...posts are deleted for racially inflammatory reasons as well as for other offensive content...and while in some small way a particular piece of what is actually going on here is lost, it is a piece that we decide DF is better off without, not b/c there is a desire to pretend that racism doesn't exist but rather b/c if a post has numerous expletives a well as potentially racially inflammatory undertones, we are going to eliminate it because it doesn't belong characterize our decision otherwise is not only incorrect but, in fact also something that is against DF guidelines, and we only ask that folks read them and follow them...then we wouldn't have these issues in the first place
  7. smoozer

    smoozer Member

  8. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Personally, for me, if P looked like he wanted to win this (and evidenced by hard work and positive attitude), I wouldn't have a problem with him progressing. I have this little piece of me that thinks maybe he'll pull out all the stops and blow us away one of these days (well, I exaggerate a little bit...with his dance skills "blowing one away" is probably not a consideration). It just really irks me to see him stay on ... not for his dance skills....not like Kelly Monaco, who was really determined to improve from week to week...but because he now has this groundswell of support for some reason that is completely lost on me.

    Big 10 - Do you think he deserves to win?
  9. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I don't think the specific problem has much to do with the amount of work put it in at all. Instead, it's about being open to adopting a ballroom mindset for dancing. P thinks of dancing like an average guy, and moves like an average guy - he's in his comfort zone for relating to the music and reluctant to come out of it for something new and hard to understand (consider he's probably never seen a guy with his build dancing they way they are trying to teach him to - wheras most of the other contestants can see their potential in the dancing of others) Yes, it would take some practice to learn to move in a ballroom way, but no amount of practice is going to accomplish that until someone actually has it as a goal and understands how they might get there.

    Len may not be the most diplomatic ambassador for ballroom, but he does have a point.
  10. Infosaturated

    Infosaturated New Member

    P was a last minute replacement so I don' think he pondered it deeply before replacing his son. He expected to be voted off the first week. Since then I believe he has put forth a sincere effort to learn and that should be commended.

    Len is coming across as an elitist because he is portraying one. The judges are typecast and none are seriously judging ballroom because this isn't a serious ballroom competition. It's light-hearted entertainment. Len is just playing a snooty Simon and I think most people get that.

    I think Mr. Miller is having a positive, not negative, effect on people's attitude towards ballroom and life in general. I think it's a good thing that he started off resistant, then decided to give it a go. While to dancers P's performance may seem horrible, to the average viewer I don't think it was. That is, even the average viewer can see that skill wise he isn't in the running, but, he did appear to have fun with the dance. Ultimately, the message is, you don't have to be a "good" dancer to have fun dancing ballroom style, or at least a loose approximation of it.

    Miller having fun and doing it for Ashley will probably do more to convince husbands to give it a go than Drew's fancy footwork which most people consider well beyond anything they could produce.
  11. P Miller ist not the problem here, the problem is his fan base, the people who vote for him to keep him in the competition. He might be much happier if he did not have to learn a new dance for another week.

    If this was not a dance competition I would not care, keep him in for the entertainment... But since for the other couples, who train hard every week and give it their very best, this is about dancing, I find it extremely annoying and unjust that couples who are so much better than him are eliminated while he is still there.

    But don't we see that in so many dance competitions that not the best couple wins but the couple who is closest or best friends with (one of) the judges? I am not referring to professional competitions but to other dance competitions in social dance circles. I have seen it happen so many times and each time I see it, it makes me mad because I hate injustice.
  12. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I see where you're coming from SA. The issue isn;t that he's breaking any rules but that, as a *dance contest* the rules don't work. Well, that's abundantly clear. The show though is not, of course, strictly a dance contest and seems to be even less of one this time around. And you're right, this is like the 'audience applause' judging at some club
    "competitions" (note that I put that in "s!). That, however, is partly what ABC is after, especially as the different celebs each atract their own fan base and therby boost raitings (and hence revenue). As a dance contest, it has already started to become a farce -- as good exposure for ballroom dancing, however, it is still likely serve a positive purpose.
  13. kansas49er

    kansas49er New Member

    I am not a ballrroom dancer, and never will be a ballroom dancer. P's lumbering around does not inspire me to take up ballroom dancing. Just as many beginner swing dancers do not inspire me to swingdance. It is the good that is inspiring, not the crappy dancers. Crappy dancers make me think
    I can never do it well, and if I will look like that forever, shoot me first. P is (or is playing) a stupid lurching man who takes his INDEPENDENCE and individuality as a joke. WHy do I say that? Because he is playing the bad boy rapper taking on the elite establishment. He cannot be an individual, but must conform to his image. If he was doing the independant and individual thing, he could put aside his persona. Don't see it. It reminds me of the sixties and seventies where INDIVIdUALITY reigned supreme! BE DIfferent! BE your one person. But Don't be square. Have long hair, do drugs, wear torn up jeans, live like a pig, whatever. Just don;t conform to the norm or you were an outcast. Individuality? HAH! Group conformity and rebellion. How do I know? I was there. I was on each side during different times. Believe me, Individuality was only condoned within the acceptable behavior. P? WHat a joke. Get him off the show!
  14. alemana

    alemana New Member

    SDSalsaguy - too bad you already have your thesis constructed. this whole Master P thing is QUITE the powderkeg.
  15. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    LOL -- tell me about it! Hmmm, maybe an article... :twisted:
  16. alemana

    alemana New Member

    (sadly, fairly predictably so.)
  17. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Too true. :?
  18. Infosaturated

    Infosaturated New Member

    Then apparently, neither good, mediocre, or bad dancing inspires you to give it a shot, which is fine, it isn't for everyone anymore than golf is for everyone.

    The show is great because they cast as wide a variety of "types" on the show. All the versions seem to have an older man for example.

    There's a babe or two, a few good dancers, a sports figure or two, someone from the soaps, a boyband type, etc. Some to gush on others to identify with.

    I think almost everyone watching has a idea on how it could be better. I have tons. For example, I wish they would pair older celebrities with older pros, or at least older looking pros. Surely pros don't all vanish at 35 or under.

    I "bought" John and Charlotte because of her style and he isn't that old. George and Etyda are seen as almost father/daughter. Jonathan is a very attractive man but he has a young look about him which made him seem like Giselle's gigalo. I think it is more difficult for the couples to "sell" the dance to the audience when they are so mismatched. I really admired Jonathan's strength and skills when he was paired with Rachel but the size difference was distracting when they danced (for me at least).

    When I saw Jonathan with Anna, the effect was very different, not just because she is a pro too, but also because they are more proportionate to one another.

    Although Alec and Kelly won me over last season with the whole smoldering passion thing she really was too small for him in many of the dances that required a close hold.

    Anyway, point being, it's a fluffy campy show that I enjoy watching because I like dancing and like the soap opera flavor of the backstories and somewhat unpredictable results.
  19. moother

    moother New Member

    Since I LOVE watching ballroom dancing it HURTS me to watch P butchering it. Since he can't do it or doesn't want to try or both, I wish his fan base would let him go!
  20. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    I think it would help everybody's blood pressure to just accept that most viewers don't know or care about dance per se. They vote for the person they like and want to keep seeing. I happened to catch "The View" when Master P was on. Despite the fact that they were talking about how he's not a dancer (implicitly accepting that he doesn't dance well), one of the hosts was wearing a "Vote for Master P" t-shirt. Most non-dancers apparently don't see any contradiction in that.

    Of course, I have to admit I did the same thing the first week. I knew before the show that I was going to vote for Louis' partner, regardless of who she was or how she danced, because I wanted to see him come back!

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