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Thread: Intro of New Categories.

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    Question Intro of New Categories.

    Hi guys,
    IÕve been watching with interest the comments re changing or introducing new categories to the competition/s.
    We had similar comments after our comp in Blackpool and that is why we introduced the Veterans category (This is nothing to do with solders from Nam by the way!).
    As this is obviously a great way to shape compÕs of the future, could people making the suggestions please think them through. I am definitely not having a go at anybody, as I truly believe this is the way forward, but as an example:
    A teachers category just for teachers; Who are they, if you have taught for 6 weeks, you will not go up against the likes of Victor etc, therefore do we have a supper teacher cat? If they have a teachers own cat, then what do we do with their cat? Does this become an Advanced for non-teachers, if so who will be allowed in it? I.e 3 years or more, experienced dancers? How do we police it, do we get letters off their teachers? Will this mean the Intermediate cat, becomes 3 years dancing or less? How is this policed, maybe a letter off their parents (Being pedantic now) & if this is the case do we have an absolute beginners category? Finally with all these catÕs would you feel the competition has suddenly become too diluted & too longwinded?
    Your competition had 5 categories, it now has 8. Shall we drop the freestyle maybe????
    Food for thought.
    Please, please, please, send how your ideas can be policed & think about the knock on effect it may have.
    Sorry if this upsets anybody, but if we are going to help you get what you want, we need more help.
    Keith

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    Re: Intro of New Categories.

    Originally posted by Keith
    ...but as an example:
    A teachers category just for teachers; Who are they, ...
    That one was mine; not perhaps thought through as far as you have, but here was my process:-
    Have a category for those who were excuded. Teachers were excluded. Therefore have a category for them.
    Reading the other posts however, I think that it would be better if this category was not exclusive for those excluded, but open for everyone. And I really like the idea of the spectators determining the result.

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    New Cat

    Hi Gadg,
    I can only see one prob, if the audience vote for the winners;
    How would you feel, as a professional, whose career/reputation to a degree, may rest on the results of this competition, when the people voting have varying degrees of dance experience, i.e 2 months to 10 years say, along with people being coerced into voting for particular people, or the local entrants, having 2/3rds of audience behind them, no mater what they do wrong or right!
    In any dance competition you normally work on a points system, from 3 criteriaÕs, Musical Interpretation, Technical merit etc. How many of the audience do you believe would know how to break this down.
    I honestly don't believe teachers would risk their reputations, by letting an audience loose on them.
    It could be the equivalent of asking a Rangers supporter to vote for a Celtic player as Player of the season, above one of their own!
    What do you think?
    Keith

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    Re: New Cat

    Originally posted by Keith
    How would you feel, as a professional, whose career/reputation to a degree, may rest on the results of this competition,
    You mean how would you prevent rigging or home advantage ?
    If you knew the scoring system for the cat. before hand {ie on the entry}, then it's your decision to put your fate in the hands of the mob.
    Preventing bias voting would be hard if you didn't trust the audience. Personally, from my (all be it limited) experiance, I think that people would vote for the best dancer on the night, even if it meant that they were voting against someone they dance with every night in there club. I hope I'm not being too nieve
    Perhaps exclude people who attend the same night regularly as one of the finalists from voting for them ? Difficult to police.

    In any dance competition you normally work on a points system, from 3 criteriaÕs, Musical Interpretation, Technical merit etc. How many of the audience do you believe would know how to break this down.
    I was thinking perhaps on simple ballot forms with 1-5 for each criteria, but I discarded that thought due to the time it would take to count them up.
    ...How about being given coloured balls on entering, putting the relevant ball into the voting hole ? Too easy to lose them.
    ..."Stand here for A, B..." ? Too easy to be swayed by peer pressure.
    ...select a DJ for interpritation, a teacher for Technical, a person from the audience, all random - collect the information on the entry form.
    This is about the best I can think on just now

    I honestly don't believe teachers would risk their reputations, by letting an audience loose on them.
    This is a forum is it not? Any teachers care to respond ?

    {you did ask what I thought...}

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    Wink New Cat

    Cheers Gadg,
    May be a little naive, but I like your answers.
    You only have to read the previous posts to see how people think & react to certain names, positively or negatively.
    You can see the probs in policing some of the ideas being thrown in though?
    The advanced cat in the Blackpool comp C2D is open to teachers & anyone confident enough to enter, but we still have similar problems, for people who do not, & rightly sometimes, feel they can compete against the Claytons etc of this world. This is one reason for the showcase, so the 'Aces' of the dance world can show their stuff here. But would it be fair to stop them entering the Advanced Cat.
    We are then back to the same problems as discussed in the other posts. How do you police?
    Ans on a post card please.
    Keith
    p.s is everyone else out there dancing, or scratching their heads for answers?

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    Omnipresent Administrator Franck's Avatar
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    Re: New Cat

    Originally posted by Keith
    I can only see one prob, if the audience vote for the winners;
    How would you feel, as a professional, whose career/reputation to a degree, may rest on the results of this competition, when the people voting have varying degrees of dance experience, i.e 2 months to 10 years say, along with people being coerced into voting for particular people, or the local entrants, having 2/3rds of audience behind them, no mater what they do wrong or right!
    I agree that in this case, audience voting would be an issue.
    The way I see it though, is that it would make for a really exciting category if the result was decided on the day by the audience.
    A bit like the viewers vote in Big Brother, or I'm a Celebrity, get me out of here... However, this category would have to be a fun / showcase style category, otherwise as you say, no serious dancers / teachers would want to risk their reputation!

    As a teacher, since you asked I may be a bit unusual as I am not interested in competing (unless it is for fun, like the lucky dip etc...). I am also fully aware, that there are people in my classes that are better dancers than I am! I don't feel threatened by that, as I see it as a success in teaching... As someone else pointed out, there are many dancers who discovered Ceroc and turned it into an almost full time passion!
    My passion is in teaching Ceroc and in spreading the word. The sort of comments that Alfie made in the Beginners forum:
    To all beginners: Welcome to one of the greatest forms of fun in the world. I had never danced a step before we started dancing and it revolutionised our lives. Keep at it, but enjoy it too, once caught its a hard habit to break
    is exactly what has kept me so motivated for the last 10 years, and no doubt for the next 30+

    As a result, my views colour the way I would like to see competitions (at least Ceroc ones ) grow!
    As I pointed out before, above a certain level (currently called Advanced in most Competitions), all dancers are fabulous to, either, dance with or watch... Judging who is slightly above or below whom, is pretty pointless in my opinion. We would have more fun if all teachers cooperated and did a Showcase like at the last Ceroc Champs

    Franck.

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    Hi Franck,
    CouldnÕt agree more, which again may sound strange coming from somebody who organises a competition!
    I also do not enter, other than the Take a Chance type categories, I dance for fun.
    However a competition by definition is to compete & I donÕt know how you compete on a completely friendly basis. Respectful yes, but if you enter a competition it is for a reason. The reason may be personal, i.e to push ones self that little bit further, it may be to see if you can get through just one round, or to proceed further than another dancer. I feel if you enter there must be some inspiring reason.
    For this reason alone I feel it is virtually impossible to create a totally open & friendly competition, with lax rules, or rules difficult to police, if you truly wish to have a respected comp.
    What you have is a great mix & works well, unfortunately if you, & I hope you do, grow in stature, then the competition will inevitably become more competitive.
    The only way to help combat this may be to introduce the relaxed fun areas, like Take a Chance, & another etc, allowing you to keep the other areas more professional.
    The other area I feel which helps, is as you did, & we do on the Friday before, have a fun night, This to me is the relaxed fun bit where all dancers participate, dancing with fellow dancers of varying standards, with no politics & no thought of the competition. Fun Fun Fun.
    I also agree with what you say about teachers doing a showcase, like Ceroc, but I also feel it unfair to discriminate against those teachers who wish to participate, again whether to try & win outright, or to get through one round.
    We sometimes forget teachers are only human & have the same dilemmas as the Intermediate dancers, they still have the same sort of intimidation, i.e how can I go against XYZ when I have only taught for 6 months etc.
    Only my view
    Keith
    p.s. keep up the good work, fantastic event & people.

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    Omnipresent Administrator Franck's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Keith
    However a competition by definition is to compete & I donÕt know how you compete on a completely friendly basis. Respectful yes, but if you enter a competition it is for a reason. The reason may be personal, i.e to push ones self that little bit further, it may be to see if you can get through just one round, or to proceed further than another dancer. I feel if you enter there must be some inspiring reason.
    For this reason alone I feel it is virtually impossible to create a totally open & friendly competition, with lax rules, or rules difficult to police, if you truly wish to have a respected comp.
    Oh, I totally agree! You need rules (the simpler the better though) and you need clarity and transparency for any competition. Otherwise, any fun you might build up during the event will be jeopardised by potential arguments.
    You cannot dictate people's motivations for entering a competition, but you can steer the event towards good sportsman-ship and fun. It is all in the balance of categories.
    I like you idea of an over 50 category, and this could be pushed further into new concepts. I hope you (we?) get more suggestions in this thread, as it would improve all events across the UK.
    For example, how about a "Weird music" category, where competitors would be challenged to dance to a very unusual track / beat... and judged on how well they improvised and interpreted the track! This I would enter as a teacher, and would get great satisfaction from!
    In fact people who attend the nights where I DJ would have a great advantage as I seem to submit them to weird music on a regular basis

    Franck.

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    Well this is kind of developing legs

    As this is the first competition I have ever organised my main criteria was to balance the wishes of the non-competing participants with those of the competing participants.

    For me that meant there had to be a balance between their participation and that of people competing. My problem with other competitions to date is that the competing part has gone on for far too long with the result that your average freestyler or people eliminated in first rounds get bored.

    It is vital that the momentum of the day be maintained and unfortunately the introduction of many more categories teachers or otherwise could possibly be detrimental.

    However as I cannot claim to be an expert in this field I am open to suggestions for next years event with maybe one or two additional categories. Not sure about the over 50Õs seems a bit ageist to me.

    Perhaps if we get opinions we can then put it to the vote. I will then go with the majority.

    Keith sad as this may seem I have only ever been to Ceroc competitions so perhaps I will give yours a go this year. Maybe drop some leaflets off for the next Scottish one.

    And Franck if you stopped using an apple computer it would not be so weird....

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    Re: New Cat

    Originally posted by Keith
    Hi Gadg,
    I can only see one prob, if the audience vote for the winners;
    How would you feel, as a professional, whose career/reputation to a degree, may rest on the results of this competition, when the people voting have varying degrees of dance experience, i.e 2 months to 10 years say, along with people being coerced into voting for particular people, or the local entrants, having 2/3rds of audience behind them, no mater what they do wrong or right!
    In any dance competition you normally work on a points system, from 3 criteriaÕs, Musical Interpretation, Technical merit etc. How many of the audience do you believe would know how to break this down.
    I honestly don't believe teachers would risk their reputations, by letting an audience loose on them.
    It could be the equivalent of asking a Rangers supporter to vote for a Celtic player as Player of the season, above one of their own!
    What do you think?
    Keith
    What I was thinking of was more a jury/panel than the whole audience. It would be relatively straightforward to instruct the jury on the scoring categories, and as I mentioned before, the highest/lowest votes could be discarded. The larger number on the panel (as against 3-4 judges), and the fact that any extreme votes wouldn't count, should mitigate against any blatant favouritism. Come to think of it, each entrant to this open category could nominate their own jury member, which would completely eliminate bias (okay not completely, but I don't particularly want to reveal how this system could still be rigged in case it gives someone ideas! )

    Policing entries would probably have to be done like the parliamentary Register of Members' Interests - any exclusions would have to be explicitly listed on the entry form, and people would have to sign a declaration that they were not excluded. For example, if an exclusion was anyone who had received remuneration in excess of £100 from modern jive activities (teaching, performing etc), in the last 12 months, then people would have to declare that this was true. And the penalty for anyone caught lying could be not just disqualification from the competition in question, but a bar from entering in any category the next year (or longer).

    I also think that Franck's idea of the entire audience voting is interesting, but I agree with Keith that perhaps this would need to be a special category separate from the top "open" category.
    Last edited by Graham; 24th-October-2002 at 12:48 PM.

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    Hello,

    you wanted more input from the teachers, so I'll give it a go.

    On a personal note I wouldn't want to compete in any cat except for the lucky dip type cats. I dance to enjoy and I would get too nervous if I was competing on a more serious level, the adrenalin rush would be too much, can you just imagine? I'm hyper enough!!

    I think that a category for teachers or 'those who are excluded'
    is fine. As a teacher you would know the standard that you would be up against, ie the V&L's of this world. If you feel that you can take the best on then yeh, have a go, but it would be a personal and informed choice to go for it. Who would judge this?
    Well I reckon that it would have to be a panel of professional dancers, including experienced ceroc trained teachers and perhaps it would be an idea to have them trained in judging. Gosh where is the fun element in that? Well I can only assume that the people who would enter such a category are intent on winning and I feel that the judging should reflect this.

    Would teachers be putting their reps on the line? Well again this is something which they would have to consider when entering. However, I don't feel that this is the case simply because, the best dancers on the day would win. Just because you don't hold that all important trophy at the end of the day does not mean that you performed rubbish, someone just happened to be better than you on that particular day. I reckon that most teachers would respect that.

    Mt other reason in favour of a 'teacher's cat' is because I do not feel that it is fair for couples in the advanced cat to be competing against teachers. I do however, firmly, believe that not all ceroc teachers make the best dancers, we are fantastically trained teachers of ceroc but as far as style and musical interpretation goes, we are responsible for learning this ourselves. I feel that teachers should sit out of this cat and give their 'students'a go. The best thing about teaching is seeing the end product and I feel that we should be encouraging our dancers and supporting them, not competing against them.

    As a teacher I feel responsible for passing on my knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment for the dance, and nothing gives me more of a buzz than seeing some of my dancers giving it their all out there.

    I hope that wasn't too long winded for you gadge.

    Lotsa love Lorna x-x

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    Balance between competitions and freestyle
    I'm not sure exactly what the non-competitors want. Do they just want to freestyle, do they want to watch every round, or do they just want to watch the finals. I suspect there is a mixture.

    My personal feeling is that a competition is a once-a-year event for the promoter. Over the course of the year he will also have 100 or so classes, 12 monthly freestyles, and a couple of parties. Those that want purely freestyle have more than enough choice throughout the rest of the year, so I would expect the competition event to offer something different.

    I like the split that most promoters have where the afternoon is more competitions, and the evening more freestyle. However I would prefer to have at least some of the finals in the evening. It's not just another freestyle event, so treat the finals as a cabaret. People are good enough now to make it worth watching, so why should the promoter hide them from everyone in the evening?

    Professionals
    One of the many aims of organising a competition is to get a lot of the best dancers from all over the country to turn up on the same day. If you want the good dancers to turn up, you have to give them something they can enter. You also don't want to scare off everyone else from entering.
    Not everyone wants to put the time into preparing a showcase. And not everyone wants to run the risk of losing if they have won before. So I would suggest a Lucky Dip for professionals, and make it part of the evening's entertainment.
    I would include in this category teachers (whether regular or occasional), people who get paid to do cabarets, previous showcase and advanced winners, and anyone who wants to enter. I wouldn't include taxi dancers, demonstrators, or anyone who has taken a class at the last minute due to illness etc.

    Number of Divisions
    I would like to see more divisions. A full list of possible divisions would be:
    Beginners Freestyle, Intermediate Freestyle, Advanced Freestyle, Professional Freestyle, Under 18 Freestyle, Over 50 Freestyle, Showcase (ie choreographed jive/swing), Cabaret (anything other than jive/swing), Dance With A Stranger, Professional Dance With A Stranger, Double Trouble, Team

    I don't think anyone has the time to run all these categories, so you have to pick and choose which ones you want.
    Or you run two categories together, eg Beginners and Intermediate, and give an award for the top-placed couple from the 'lower' division.
    Or you restrict people from entering too many divisions - eg showcase and freestyle.
    Or you give yourselves more time. I would be surprised if the Blackpool competition in particular does not run over a whole weekend within a couple of years. (Not just a party on the night before, but workshops, competitions and freestyle on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.)

    Judges
    I like the idea of audience participation in the judging of a professional division. The more the 'fun' level of the competition, the greater this participation should be.
    I also like the idea of an 'entertainer' award voted by the audience for the dancer that has provided the most entertainment at the event.

    Policing Entries
    (Horrible term, but I couldn't think of anything else.) I think you have to leave it up to the honesty of the individuals. People do enter the wrong category, but I don't think anyone does this deliberately.

    David

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    Originally posted by Scot
    For me that meant there had to be a balance between their participation and that of people competing. My problem with other competitions to date is that the competing part has gone on for far too long with the result that your average freestyler or people eliminated in first rounds get bored.
    From the feedback here, I would say you succeeded admirably.

    I can definitely see the point of wrapping up competition's and allowing more free-style. I think that Bill made a few point about letting people finish a song before eliminating them ~ Having never been to a dance competition I don't know the procedure, but I am presuming that people get a tap and asked to leave the floor?
    How about reversing this and tapping those who get through to the next round to leave the floor ? This would give those who are eliminated a chance to continue to the end, while giving those who are through a bit of a breather. At the end of a song, the floor changes.
    I can only see a problem in the judging with "Dam, I wish I had left A in instead of B!"


    Originally posted by DavidB
    However I would prefer to have at least some of the finals in the evening. It's not just another freestyle event, so treat the finals as a cabaret. People are good enough now to make it worth watching, so why should the promoter hide them from everyone in the evening?
    I like this idea.

    I don't think anyone has the time to run all these categories, so you have to pick and choose which ones you want.
    Or you run two categories together, eg Beginners and Intermediate, and give an award for the top-placed couple from the 'lower' division.
    Perhaps if you have specific judges looking for some of these sub-categories during the day's events; no matter what category they are dancing in, then get the opinions on a short-list from the main judges. ?

    Originally posted by Lorna
    As a teacher I feel responsible for passing on my knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment for the dance, and nothing gives me more of a buzz than seeing some of my dancers giving it their all out there.
    I hope that wasn't too long winded for you gadge.
    I'm sure that you can take pride in the volume and quality of people from Aberdeen who went to the Champs. and take it as proof that at least some of your knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment has rubbed off on us. {not that type of rubbing Bill!}


    (And just so I'm not seen as knowing nout about competitions in general, I have partnered in running a few Scottish Fencing competitions. Weird sport - fencers pay to compete for a medal and spectators get in for free.)

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    Tap on shoulder

    Well Gadge,
    You are ahead of your time.
    We C2D, introduced the 'Tap on the Shoulder' for the dancer who qualifies for the next round & not to be eliminated, for the reasons you gave.
    Keep those proposals coming; it took us 2 years to come up with that idea!:sorry

    Keith

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    After reading other contributions I'd like to suggest just having one initial category. The judges could select from the first round who is to go into the open / advanced section with everyone else going into an intermediate / plate section. The first 3 couples in the advanced and the winners of the intermediate looked to me to have trained for big competitions whereas most of the intermediates appeared to be mainly social dancers who could well have been in their first comp. It should not be difficult for the judges to work out which is which. Straight away we eliminate the problem of people entering the wrong category for whatever reason and the difficulty of making and policing rules. Might be tough on those who just make the cut for the advanced but no system is perfect. And this would also give everyone a chance to dance twice.
    Personally I would have liked to see the winners of the intermediate section in the advanced section anyway because that was where I thought they belonged. This is not sour grapes on my part (I didn't actually enter) but just a desire to see how they would have gone against the others of their level who were all in the advanced.
    Perhaps this idea has been tried before and has not worked. Please let me know - I'm sure you all will anyway.

    Grant

    PS Thumbs down for audience selection of the winner except as an additional 'crowd pleaser' award for the advanced section. It is just too open to local bias.

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    Registered User Wendy's Avatar
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    Whooooaaa !! This is all getting a bit Come Dancing for me !!!

    CEROC is fun remember ????

    Here's a way to judge great dancers - dance with them !!!

    What about having secret dancers (a bit like secret shoppers ??)- say 5 male/female judges who dance freestyle with the competitors and give them marks without them knowing who's judging

    That way we would all have fun and it would still be a competition.

    Aren't the best dancers the ones who are the best to dance WITH rather than the ones who put on the best SHOW ???

    And I like the idea of different types of music categories rather than level. (Up close and personal / Club ??? / R & R / Swing / Chocolate etc .)

    Wx

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    Commercial Operator Heather's Avatar
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    Chocolate??????

    Chocolate!!?????
    Please enlighten me ? I've just had a box sent from the cChocolate Tasting Club (www.chocs.com ) for any chocoholics out there. But 'chocolate' as a type of music/dance style

    Heather

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    OOps sorry to pop into this discussion but I think its simple!! Have a category for all who wish to participate i.e open so that those entering will know who they are up against ie the best, including teachers. This cat. will evidently be the most serious one and its puely a personal choice. If its titles they want then let them have it. Teachers wishing to participate for fun can enter the lucky as suggested. Those entering other cat. ie advanced/intermediate will be doing it purely for personal satisfaction and enjoyment. Again its a personal choice as to which cat, they want to choose. I dont feel that a time limit is needed. Let those competing be the judge of which cat. they wish to enter.
    I have to say that competing against people you know and have danced with is one of the many positive things about competitions. I certainly found it less competitive knowing that i had friends dancing alongside me.
    Only one more cat. needed!! Simple???

    Denise

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    Dont think audience judging is a good idea. You have to have some faith in those who have the experience. If they wish to be unfair in their marking, they'll soon hear about it!! and im sure they wont want bad press!!
    Denise

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    Come dancing

    By the way I meant to say, I totally agree with the 'Come dancing' comment, Ceroc is meant to be fun, the dancing is more important than the competition!!!
    I like your idea for the 'Secret Judges', but they would all be exhausted !!!!!!

    Heather

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