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Thread: Gender balancing ...

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    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Gender balancing ...

    Based on the Bliss discussion thread, it looks like this is starting to become more of a problem, at least at some Ceroc weekenders, over the past year or two. Is that a reasonable statement?

    (I must say, I didn't really notice this to any large degree at the last one I attended - Storm 2011 - but I don't have an extensive set of weekender experiences for comparison, And at my regular venue (Berko), I've seen the ratios become more even. Last Sunday, even, we had a lot of guys over; it was quite amusing to see men wander round on the hunt )

    So, if this is an increasing factor, is it a question of the general ratios changing? Are more women than men coming along to events?

    Or is this simply a case of more women learning to "play the system"?

    And what possible solutions are there?

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Based on the Bliss discussion thread, it looks like this is starting to become more of a problem, at least at some Ceroc weekenders, over the past year or two. Is that a reasonable statement?
    No. Perhaps ladies having seen Ceroc go overboard in the past, consider anything else unbalanced, or simply thin slice.

    The classes they like to do and (for example) afternoon freestyle might be unbalanced.

    That doesn't mean the weekender as a whole is significantly unbalanced.


    Blues classes do tend to be increasingly follower heavy but that probably relates to the changing content of the classes, and the changing mix of experienced / beginner followers.

    Check out hot new moves 365 vol 2 for contrast.


    I don't believe either Camber or Southport are significantly unbalanced.

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    I worked on the Ceroc Central database which was the precursor of the Ceroc database system. I used the bulk anonymous data to investigate several matters that interested me for the intended advantage of Ceroc Central. One of these subject was how gender balance affected the business.

    Every week somebody has their last Ceroc dance. It is a fair supposition that for many of those quitting it was a less than satisfactory experience. So I plotted the M/F ratio at classes on a graph vs the numbers of Men and women quitting. The graph pretty much resembled the landing places of a drunk throwing darts. Gender balance was a very minor factor.

    Excle is much better at extracting trend lines from such graphs than a human being. It did show a general effect of a bad gender balance causing the deprived sex to quit. It is a very minor effect. FWIW the class with the highest rate of Men and women returners was one at which women outnumbered men by more than two to one. At that time the database did not even record who the crew were, so I could not enquire what happened. I suspect that I was at that class and it was the one where the lesson was changed to co-pilot dancing with fixed partners.

    The lesson I took from that was that gender balance mattered very little if everybody had a good time. I suspect that organisers that gender balance are throwing money and opportunities away. A few women leading, doubles and co-pilot sessions on a weekended might turn this apparent handicap into an exceptional weekender. That night is certainly way up in my most sizzling memories. I was fortunate enough to be dancing with two very attractive women, and I suspect that the co-leader fancied the follower even more than I did.

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    I have yet to meet a balanced gender...

    Ceroc balances the event, so there are roughly the same number of male and female bookings taken (I've no idea if this means exactly 50/50 or something else). It appears that the issue here is that significantly more men don't show up.

    Whether this is a product of actually plans changing or of phantom bookings is not something I've seen any clear evidence about. I know one of the guys in my chalet didn't show up because he was ill (I think someone else got his ticket, but I'm not sure on that). I also know that without our rather large group (over 50 of us, in total), the individuals who actually showed up was quite fluid. This was simply a product of us being relatively busy people with busy lives that include things that aren't dancing.

    A second dimension relates to the numbers who actually turn up to things during the weekender - classes, freestyles and so on. Ceroc will have the numbers on this (ie the number of complete no-shows).

    Punitive measures are unlikely to work. Ceroc can keep track of how many men and women people book but, beyond that, there's not much they can do. Any approach is likely to produce game playing to get around it (that is behaviour to avoid the 'punishment' rather than change actual problematic behaviour). So putting a lot of time, effort and pain into making it 'more balanced' is likely to have little reward in terms of actually producing a better balance.

    One obvious and simple approach would be to deliberately unbalance an event: to allow more men than women to book. This would partially compensate for the fact problem, without really changing the behaviour. The problem, for Ceroc, is that this will probably reduce the total number of bookings while not changing the costs and thereby hit the profitability of the events (at least of the ones that don't completely sell out under this regime).

    Pull measures are more likely to work - making weekenders more appealing to males, providing more classes where gender imbalance is less of a problem, perhaps providing non-dancing things to do. All of these can potentially change behaviour. Whether they justify the effort involved or not is a different question.

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Could a couple of different beginners classes for potential double trouble be added? I took part in 1 class on double trouble quite a while ago, and although I really enjoyed myself, the only double trouble leaders are also the very good dancers, who hardly get off the floor. I would love to have more beginners to practice with

    WT

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Based on the Bliss discussion thread, it looks like this is starting to become more of a problem, at least at some Ceroc weekenders, over the past year or two. Is that a reasonable statement?




    Or is this simply a case of more women learning to "play the system"?

    And what possible solutions are there?
    I think this is biggest problem. This is not fair to anyone. To the guys as they are constantly hounded for dances and to the other ladies that have taken the trouble to book legitimately and often many months in advance, with the hope of a decent dance.

    I have a few ideas - may not be workable though:

    1 Names of men on the booking form and don't accept the booking form without them
    2. Take the names of any ladies in a chalet supposed to be booked for a mixed party but strangely only the ladies make it. If this happens again turn them away.
    3. Place a large deposit on ladies booking a mixed gender chalet that is refundable when the guys check in.

    Obviously the individual room can't be gender balanced so it could appear to be unbalanced but I don't think this was the case at bliss

    I would not like to think how awful the weekenders would be though without gender balancing - probably 10 deep with women

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Breeze 2011

    The first class I attended, (a general class for anybody), had a few men over

    The last Class (Tango intermediate) , had nearly twice as many women as men

    Looking at the bar area, in the Thunder room, I would say more men than women

    Early in the evening, men were waiting for women to dance with

    Later in the evening men could not get off the floor with out being grabbed

    When women say, there are not any men to dance with, they sometime mean ,there are not any men worth dancing with

    I Dont think Ceroc Can win

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    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by whitetiger1518 View Post
    Could a couple of different beginners classes for potential double trouble be added?
    That'd be pursuing the "catering for the imbalance" strategy. And honestly, I think that's the way to go - working with the customer need rather than trying to fight too hard against it.

    If I only get females in my tango class, I teach them follower technique. If only men, I teach them about leading. It's pointless trying to ignore the imbalance.

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by geoff332 View Post
    It appears that the issue here is that significantly more men don't show up.

    Whether this is a product of actually plans changing or of phantom bookings is not something I've seen any clear evidence about. I know one of the guys in my chalet didn't show up because he was ill (I think someone else got his ticket, but I'm not sure on that). I also know that without our rather large group (over 50 of us, in total), the individuals who actually showed up was quite fluid.
    Yes - it's possible that men simply book and shrug if they can't make it, whereas women make more effort to sell on their tickets to their friends. Dunno.

    Quote Originally Posted by geoff332 View Post
    A second dimension relates to the numbers who actually turn up to things during the weekender - classes, freestyles and so on. Ceroc will have the numbers on this (ie the number of complete no-shows).
    Actually, Ceroc are quite good at organising female-oriented classes - lady's styling, pole dancing, double-trouble. I think most of the complaints are about the freestyles; there's not a lot you can do about an imbalance there...

    Quote Originally Posted by geoff332 View Post
    Punitive measures are unlikely to work. Ceroc can keep track of how many men and women people book but, beyond that, there's not much they can do. Any approach is likely to produce game playing to get around it (that is behaviour to avoid the 'punishment' rather than change actual problematic behaviour). So putting a lot of time, effort and pain into making it 'more balanced' is likely to have little reward in terms of actually producing a better balance.
    Agreed. At some point, the law of diminishing returns comes into play, and Ceroc get a reputation for being too heavy-handed.

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    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxine View Post
    I would not like to think how awful the weekenders would be though without gender balancing - probably 10 deep with women
    Ahhh.... memories of Franco...

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    No. Perhaps ladies having seen Ceroc go overboard in the past, consider anything else unbalanced, or simply thin slice.

    The classes they like to do and (for example) afternoon freestyle might be unbalanced.
    It always surprises me that weekender classes don't have 100s too many men. Many classes, especially move-oriented ones, don't seem (to me anyway) to offer much for a follower as they may never be led into those moves again. At such times it would also be likely that the afternoon freestyles had too many women (because more men were in the classes).
    Love dance, will travel

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    It always surprises me that weekender classes don't have 100s too many men. Many classes, especially move-oriented ones, don't seem (to me anyway) to offer much for a follower as they may never be led into those moves again. At such times it would also be likely that the afternoon freestyles had too many women (because more men were in the classes).
    Simply put, men are lazy.

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    I can't speak for any classes, as I don't choose to do them on weekenders but during the freestyles, the trend I've noticed is... its very women heavy at the daytime freestyles, which is another reason why I think the S'Funk sets are popular, as the ladies can handbag dance together and don't notice the imbalance so much.

    Men (and less experienced people) come out earlier in the evening and go to bed earlier

    Ladies (and the more experienced men) come out later and stay later/longer

    More men go home early on Sunday than ladies.
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    whitetiger1518 (21st-November-2011)

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Let the customers decide - Post on site number of vacancies remaining until next price increase and Gender Balance at present ?

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdjiver View Post
    Let the customers decide - Post on site number of vacancies remaining until next price increase and Gender Balance at present ?
    The problem with that is, 'someone' has to be first to book and obviously at the time of booking, there is no GB imbalance.
    Say you get to 3 weeks before the event and look again and its 75% women.. What happens then?
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    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdjiver View Post
    Let the customers decide - Post on site number of vacancies remaining until next price increase and Gender Balance at present ?
    Presumably, you'll get a similar imbalance to the ones you got in Franco-times. Which, and I don't know the figures, was quite a high imbalance. And that'll lead to more dissatisfaction with the events. Gender balancing is not just an optional extra, it's one of the essential ingredients for a decent event of this kind.

    And what may not be obvious is that a good balance is not just good for women, but it's good for men as well. It may seem like a male fantasy to have women queuing up to dance with you, but the reality is that, given a high enough imbalance, women will queue up to dance with anyone.

    The typical example I give is a 60-40 split (say, 600 women, 400 men). Which is quite possible on occasion in an uncontrolled event. Now that doesn't seem too bad - 10% more men, 10% less women.

    But then you figure that (say) 100 men are resting, asleep or away - but that there are still loads of women hanging around desperate for a dance. So that's 300 men, 600 women - 2/1 ratio already.

    And then you assume that another 100 men are dancing with a regular partner, or are, ahem, dancing with someone they're focussing their attention on for some reason. So that's 200 men, and you've still got 500 women looking to dance with them.

    Which is a nightmare. I went to a salsa / jive weekender in Breen Sands around a dozen years ago, which was uncontrolled. There was, literally, a ring of women, 2-deep, around the dance floor, waiting for you to come off the dance floor so they could grab you (as a warm male body) to dance with. It was horrible.

    If I get asked to dance, I want it to be because my prospective partner wants to dance with me.

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    I can't speak for any classes, as I don't choose to do them on weekenders but during the freestyles, the trend I've noticed is... its very women heavy at the daytime freestyles, which is another reason why I think the S'Funk sets are popular, as the ladies can handbag dance together and don't notice the imbalance so much.
    Which is a way to manage the imbalance. As are pole-dancing classes, ladies' technique, double trouble and so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    Men (and less experienced people) come out earlier in the evening and go to bed earlier
    And if they're dancing more because of an imbalance, this will be exacerbated, because they'll be more tired.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    More men go home early on Sunday than ladies.
    Any idea why?

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    I suspect that the women who are not particularly complaining are the ones who are booking in phantom men thereby exacerbating the situation.
    I also suspect that a lot of those that complain,as Philsmove pointed out,cant find anyone worth dancing with or those that they only want to dance with are snaffled up before they get to the edge of the floor

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by djtrev View Post
    I also suspect that a lot of those that complain,as Philsmove pointed out,cant find anyone worth dancing with or those that they only want to dance with are snaffled up before they get to the edge of the floor
    Well, yes, that's the point surely? I mean, you shouldn't need to be either aggressively pushy, or a 20-year-old with a revealing outfit, to get a dance, surely?

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    Re: Gender balancing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Well, yes, that's the point surely? I mean, you shouldn't need to be either aggressively pushy, or a 20-year-old with a revealing outfit, to get a dance, surely?
    Ahhhh .... that explains why I never get a dance

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