View Poll Results: What do you think of the idea of a Modern Jive Dancers Association?

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  • I think this is a fab idea for all dancers.

    18 54.55%
  • I think this is a fab idea for dance competitors

    9 27.27%
  • I don't care either way.

    3 9.09%
  • I think this is a silly idea - but I think Divissima is lovely.

    3 9.09%
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Thread: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

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    Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by Divi-on-a-mission
    Perhaps it is time to dust off an old idea of Daisy's... and found the UK Modern Jive Dancers' Assiciation (or Federation) - a federation for dancers to have their own voice, separate from the teaching and competition organisations. The MJDA could lobby for things like transparent judging criteria, standardised categories (maybe even an accepted definition of beginner, intermediate and advanced). They could also organise a national league table of dancers with rankings, if people were interested in having one. They could represent the interests of all MJ dancers - maybe by providing information on dance-related matters (maybe a list of dance physio and other therapists), print cool t-shirts, negotiate discounts with dance events, and generally be good eggs...

    OK, so I'm half joking, but I'm also half serious. I think dancers could benefit from having a voice, independently of the ceroc, leroc and other organisations. I particularly think that competitive dancers would benefit from having a voice in relation to the competition organisers - but we competitors are in a very small minority when compared with the number of MJ dancers in the UK. What do people think? If enough people think I'm not completely off my rocker, I could look into it further (look at what the BDF and other organisations do for their members).
    I'm right behind La Diva on this

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    I voted for the "all dancers" option because I think that having a lobbying & representative body that might help standardise competitions would help all dancers. As someone who has never taken part in a competition, I'm hugely unlikely to do so (especially based on recent posts). If there was some form of standardisation and a clear beginners' section, I might have a go in the future (as might others) and surely this would be a good thing (well, at least in the case of others).

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by Feelingpink
    I voted for the "all dancers" option because I think that having a lobbying & representative body that might help standardise competitions would help all dancers.
    ....

    I agree. Anything that makes competitions fairer and more transparent will also make them more accessible.

    As someone who has never taken part in a competition, I'm hugely unlikely to do so
    Never say never !!!

    These were almost exactly my words just one short year ago, and the bug has very definitely bitten

    If there was some form of standardisation and a clear beginners' section, I might have a go in the future (as might others) and surely this would be a good thing (well, at least in the case of others).
    Rather than beginners, you might like to consider the Intermediates section in one of the regional comps. They're nowhere near as intimidating as the Intermediates at Blackpool, and practising with a regular partner, taking part, maybe even getting through a round or two will bring a whole new dimension to dancing.

    And the events are always a great laugh in any case, since you get to meet and dance with lots of new people.

    Definitely to be recommended, IMHO.

    Chris

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    These were almost exactly my words just one short year ago, and the bug has very definitely bitten
    I know she can be a bit of a pest, but I wouldn't call her a bug Especially since she's likely to read this

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor
    I'm right behind La Diva on this


    Fabulous idea Claire. I voted for competitors, because unless one is a competitor or a follower of competitions, the rules and protocol would probably pass one by.

    Elaine

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    A couple of points:
    This would only be of interest to those who have an interest in competitions. Even then, a vocal interest and/or a grumble about how existing competitions are run.
    Of the number of MJers, how many actually compete? And of these, how many 'expect' better than they get? And how many of these think that their opinions should influence future events and other competions?

    IMHO this would create an elite clique giving more voice to an already vocal minority.

    What's wrong with just contacting the organisers and puting your views to them? Especially since most of the complaintives are experanced dancers who are known "on the scene" and who's opinions do actually hold some weight? What's wrong with organisers contacting other organisers or attending events to see what works and dosn't work so that they can apply it to their event?

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    A couple of points:
    This would only be of interest to those who have an interest in competitions.
    I don't think this is true. I think an MJDA, catering for the needs of dancers separately from the vested interests of the venue organisers and franchises would be a good thing for non-competitors as well as those interested in comps.

    And lots of people go to competition events without actually competing. And even hardened non-competitors can sometimes be persuaded to change

    IMHO this would create an elite clique giving more voice to an already vocal minority.
    I don't see why this is a problem for you, though. Why should you label a minority as "elite" and "clique" for wanting to better their lot? If you don't compete, as you say, it doesn't affect you.

    What's wrong with just contacting the organisers and puting your views to them? Especially since most of the complaintives are experanced dancers who are known "on the scene" and who's opinions do actually hold some weight? What's wrong with organisers contacting other organisers or attending events to see what works and dosn't work so that they can apply it to their event?
    This is cloud cuckoo land.

    Contacting the organisers makes no difference at all - there's still no Open category at Blackpool despite, AIUI, requests for years. And the opinions of the dancers only hold weight amongst the dancers, AFAICS.

    Organisers contacting other organisers??? Responding to feedback??? Changing their thing because they see something better elsewhere???


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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    A couple of points:
    This would only be of interest to those who have an interest in competitions. Even then, a vocal interest and/or a grumble about how existing competitions are run.
    Of the number of MJers, how many actually compete? And of these, how many 'expect' better than they get? And how many of these think that their opinions should influence future events and other competions?

    IMHO this would create an elite clique giving more voice to an already vocal minority.

    What's wrong with just contacting the organisers and puting your views to them? Especially since most of the complaintives are experanced dancers who are known "on the scene" and who's opinions do actually hold some weight? What's wrong with organisers contacting other organisers or attending events to see what works and dosn't work so that they can apply it to their event?
    ChrisA has already said a great deal of what I would have said - and probably said it better than I would have. Is Gadget saying 'no change'? Because if we were to carry on as we are I think that's what we will get. The Blackpool competition is the biggest because it was the first to set up after the demise of LeJive and because it has a fabulous venue - but it hasn't changed it's format since it's inception. Members of the 'elite clique' have contacted the organisers, who are very approachable, and asked for change - nothing happened

    In the light of this evidence I think the way ahead is to band together and use a carrot and stick approach. Something like, 'if you did it this way our gang will come to your party' - with a sub-text of 'if you don't change x in particular we will all stay away'.

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    I don't think this is true. I think an MJDA, catering for the needs of dancers separately from the vested interests of the venue organisers and franchises would be a good thing for non-competitors as well as those interested in comps.
    What are the "vested interests" of the venue organisers? How do they differ from the interests of the competitors (or even spectators)?

    I don't see why this is a problem for you, though. Why should you label a minority as "elite" and "clique" for wanting to better their lot? If you don't compete, as you say, it doesn't affect you.
    Correct - but as you said "And lots of people go to competition events without actually competing. And even hardened non-competitors can sometimes be persuaded to change": it may not affect me now, but who's to say that it won't in the future?
    Why do I label this minority as "elite"? - because only that minority have the experiance and ability to have traveled to several competitions and competed in them: and most are placed or have been. These are people who are good dancers - not soley by 'freestyle reputation', but by competiton results. {assuming one can equate to the other }
    Why do I label them as "clique"? - because they all know each other (or at least know [u]of[/i] each other) and the perspective from the ant's view is that you have to reach a certain level or prove yourself before acceptance will be given. "Clique" because as a group they will blackmail competition organisers with bocott of events that don't satisfy them. "Clique" because of this attitude.

    What's wrong with just contacting the organisers and puting your views to them? Especially since most of the complaintives are experanced dancers who are known "on the scene" and who's opinions do actually hold some weight? What's wrong with organisers contacting other organisers or attending events to see what works and dosn't work so that they can apply it to their event?
    This is cloud cuckoo land.
    Really?? With reference back to the first point - what do organisers want out of a competition that is to the detriment of the attendees?

    Contacting the organisers makes no difference at all - there's still no Open category at Blackpool despite, AIUI, requests for years. And the opinions of the dancers only hold weight amongst the dancers, AFAICS.
    {Andy McGregor} The Blackpool competition is the biggest because it was the first to set up after the demise of LeJive and because it has a fabulous venue - but it hasn't changed it's format since it's inception. Members of the 'elite clique' have contacted the organisers, who are very approachable, and asked for change - nothing happened
    Perhaps there is a reason for Blackpool not having an "open" cattegory: entering into this would weaken the other cattegories; by not having it, the competition stands out as unique; there would be one more competiton to run on the day, so the rest of the competitions would have to rush more or not be given enough time; there would be less time for freestyle;... there are thousands of reasons against it, and thousands for it - it is up to the organisers to weigh the pros against the cons balancing on what they want from the competition. Has anyone asked the organisers why, or why not?

    I have known of at a few competitions who have changed rules, policy, venue,... as a result of feedback - and that's just from within this forum. Are the organisers not dancers? So the opinions of other dancers would actually hold some weight with them.

    Organisers contacting other organisers??? Responding to feedback??? Changing their thing because they see something better elsewhere???
    {Andy McGregor} Is Gadget saying 'no change'? Because if we were to carry on as we are I think that's what we will get.
    If they don't change and someone else does... what happens to them? If people discover a different competition that is (in their opinion) "better", what would happen?
    Is the lure of (eg) blackpool the quality of dancers attending? If so, why do they attend? Is it a vicious circle? Would the top handfull of competitors going to a different (better) competition instead start a spiral into it's death? Would a pheonix of the new competition be worth it?



    If, as a group (clique), you all think that competitions woul be better if x,y or z, then why not create and run one to show the rest how it's done?

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    There's obviously a lot of interest in what such an association could do for competitors - but I think it could do things for "ordinary" dancers as well.

    It could give information useful to dancers who don't spend their lives on forums like this one. I wouldn't necessarily say these should list other venues - I would suggest the MFDA might want to stay out of that one - but there would be other useful information that would hopefully be seen as a good thing.

    For example something like Lory's post here (on why you should never wear the same top twice without washing it) should be printed by the thousand and left out at every MJ venue in the country (with official MJDA logo of course...).
    Love dance, will travel

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY
    There's obviously a lot of interest in what such an association could do for competitors - but I think it could do things for "ordinary" dancers as well.

    It could give information useful to dancers who don't spend their lives on forums like this one. I wouldn't necessarily say these should list other venues - I would suggest the MFDA might want to stay out of that one - but there would be other useful information that would hopefully be seen as a good thing.
    Guys ... its all a great idea .... BUT IT WILL NEVER WORK. Why, simply because it is not in the best interests of the Jive organisers. I've become increasingly despondent about the motivation and actions of Jive organsations in the UK ... for the most part everything I've seen has been defensive and designed to stifle competition, not promote it (...I recognise that there are some noteworthy exceptions). You think that any Jive orgnanisation is going to help promote a 'trade union for dancers' ... sorry .. I may be getting more bitter and cynical than usual ... but I cant see it happening .... thoughg I would love to be proven wrong.

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    What are the "vested interests" of the venue organisers? How do they differ from the interests of the competitors (or even spectators)?
    Who knows? If they were the same, though, you'd think they'd listen a bit more.

    Why do I label this minority as "elite"? - because only that minority have the experiance and ability to have traveled to several competitions and competed in them: and most are placed or have been. These are people who are good dancers - not solely by 'freestyle reputation', but by competiton results.
    Er, how much experience and ability do you need to travel and compete? You don't even need to be able to drive. You need enough money to pay the entrance fee, and if you want to do as well as you can, you need to spend some time practising.

    Just because the number of people that actually do this is small relative to the total population of MJers doesn't mean that only a small proportion can. Comps are very accessible - for those that can be bothered.

    And most competition entrants haven't been placed.

    I've now danced socially with lots of people that have been placed in competitions (as I expect you have, for that matter). And I can assure you that the vast majority of them are very good at social dancing. And quite a few people have said that my social dancing is better since starting to compete this year, which is lovely to hear . So it seems that the skills are to some extent transferable.

    and the perspective from the ant's view is that you have to reach a certain level or prove yourself before acceptance will be given.
    Are you suggesting that the judges are biased towards their friends? If not, what kind of 'acceptance' are you talking about? To enter, all you have to do is fill in the form and send it in with a cheque. I don't see your point here.

    But it is very fashionable here, as in other places, to knock anything that can be construed as elitist. The fact remains that without an elite, everyone is the poorer.

    "Clique" because as a group they will blackmail competition organisers with boycott of events that don't satisfy them. "Clique" because of this attitude.
    Well, it wouldn't need to come to a boycott. Hopefully there'd be an amicable relationship between the Association and the organisers - whether of social venues or comps.

    But I don't think the pejorative label 'clique' is fair in this sense - just consumer power, actually.

    Perhaps there is a reason for Blackpool not having an "open" cattegory:
    -snip-
    Has anyone asked the organisers why, or why not?
    Lots of times.

    And they read the forum.

    I don't understand why they're not prepared to explain their reasoning.

    If, as a group (clique), you all think that competitions woul be better if x,y or z, then why not create and run one to show the rest how it's done?
    Maybe Andy's suggestion of the MJDA organising a comp would work. But until there are resources to do it, again, it's cloud cuckoo land to say "just do it yourself if you don't like what's out there."

    Chris

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    Contacting the organisers makes no difference at all - there's still no Open category at Blackpool despite, AIUI, requests for years. And the opinions of the dancers only hold weight amongst the dancers, AFAICS.

    Organisers contacting other organisers??? Responding to feedback??? Changing their thing because they see something better elsewhere???

    Are you refering to all organisers here, Chris? I can see how it would be difficult to persuade a huge lumbering monolithic organisation(TM) to change, however, what about the organisers of Bristol & Brighton? (Or am I too blinkered and biased? )

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou
    Are you refering to all organisers here, Chris? I can see how it would be difficult to persuade a huge lumbering monolithic organisation(TM) to change, however, what about the organisers of Bristol & Brighton? (Or am I too blinkered and biased? )
    Well, there's not much wrong with the Bristol and Brighton comps, IMHO.

    Fab venues, great music, superb organisation, prompt results posting, and three categories.

    It's really only Blackpool that needs a third category, and Hammersmith which needs a better venue and (much) better and fairer organisation.

    Chris

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    Why do I label this minority as "elite"? - because only that minority have the experiance and ability to have traveled to several competitions and competed in them: and most are placed or have been. These are people who are good dancers - not solely by 'freestyle reputation', but by competiton results.
    Er, how much experience and ability do you need to travel and compete? You don't even need to be able to drive. You need enough money to pay the entrance fee, and if you want to do as well as you can, you need to spend some time practising.

    Just because the number of people that actually do this is small relative to the total population of MJers doesn't mean that only a small proportion can. Comps are very accessible - for those that can be bothered.

    And most competition entrants haven't been placed.
    So most MJers don't think about competing, and most that do compete don't get placed, and it seems that the remainder are the ones that do actuall travel and do get placed. It is this minority who want a strangle-hold on all competitions.
    Just because everyone can attend, does not mean that everyone should attend. For many it's not a matter of "can't be bothered": I think that time, travel and money are more likley to curtail these excursions than any true apathy. Are the views of this small, but vocal minority held by the MJ populous as a whole?

    and the perspective from the ant's view is that you have to reach a certain level or prove yourself before acceptance will be given.
    Are you suggesting that the judges are biased towards their friends? If not, what kind of 'acceptance' are you talking about? To enter, all you have to do is fill in the form and send it in with a cheque. I don't see your point here.
    Sorry a bit un-clear: I was reffering to the MJDA or members within it from the perspective of one of the 'normal' people on the ground - since they are all (or the majority of them are) "good" dancers, the stigma of approaching them is just as great as it would be approaching them for a dance, if not more so.

    But it is very fashionable here, as in other places, to knock anything that can be construed as elitist. The fact remains that without an elite, everyone is the poorer.
    I was not knocking the "elite" - they have tried hard and suceeded: I tend to use the term thinking on a positive 'best of the best', "topgun" style reference {actually, truth be told a ZXSpectum game }
    I was having a go at them all clubbing together to force a strangle hold on competitions and forcing them to do their bidding.

    Well, it wouldn't need to come to a boycott. Hopefully there'd be an amicable relationship between the Association and the organisers - whether of social venues or comps.
    What use is a threat unless it's going to be actioned? It's an empty threat that holds no weight and would not work with the organisers: why should they listen?
    If it's not an empty threat, then this group of people can dictate which competitions will run, where, for how long, to what rules, how much to charge, when to hold it... If the competition organisers do not follow their demands, then support for that competition is withdrawn, people don't attend and it dies.
    So would you prefer "Cartel" rather than "Clique"?

    Maybe Andy's suggestion of the MJDA organising a comp would work. But until there are resources to do it, again, it's cloud cuckoo land to say "just do it yourself if you don't like what's out there."
    What resources would you need? Why is the idea so far-fetched? Just because something is difficult does not preclude it from happening.

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    Just because everyone can attend, does not mean that everyone should attend. For many it's not a matter of "can't be bothered": I think that time, travel and money are more likley to curtail these excursions than any true apathy.
    Obviously you've taken my use of the phrase 'can be bothered' and inferred that I mean that the rest are apathetic.

    Well I don't. Of course the time and money are significant.

    Sorry a bit un-clear: I was reffering to the MJDA or members within it from the perspective of one of the 'normal' people on the ground - since they are all (or the majority of them are) "good" dancers, the stigma of approaching them is just as great as it would be approaching them for a dance, if not more so.
    Heavens. You think that dancers, acting for dancers, are going to be less influenced than organisers???

    Again this dreadful myth that competition dancers are awful people continues to be spread. Why is it that you think that someone that's competed in one or more competitions is so unapproachable?

    I don't understand why you're so negative about the prospect of an association, with a voice, acting for dancers, run by dancers.

    You come across as incredibly cynical to me.

    I was having a go at them all clubbing together to force a strangle hold on competitions and forcing them to do their bidding.
    Stranglehold? Come on, this really is fantasy land. We're talking about a voice, not an army.


    What use is a threat unless it's going to be actioned? It's an empty threat that holds no weight and would not work with the organisers: why should they listen?
    Because, as ever, things are best achieved by negotiation.

    What resources would you need? Why is the idea so far-fetched? Just because something is difficult does not preclude it from happening.
    Er, huge amounts of time and effort; the financial underwriting of an expensive venue hire. Will that do?

    It's not far fetched. I'm just saying that Joe Bloggs wouldn't necessarily be able to get up one morning, put his entire life on hold while he organises something that would compete with the Blackpool comp. It would take more resources than most individuals could muster.


    Chris

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    Heavens. You think that dancers, acting for dancers, are going to be less influenced than organisers???
    Again this dreadful myth that competition dancers are awful people continues to be spread. Why is it that you think that someone that's competed in one or more competitions is so unapproachable?
    Is it true that most people are intimidated to ask far superior dancers for a dance? Is it true that entering a competition automatically makes you appear to be a superior dancer to those who have not entered? And if that person gets placed, then they appear far superior? And now they are commenting on things to do with dancing that you have little knowledge of: is this a condusive situation to approach someone?
    I am not saying that competitions are evil, or the people who enter them are spawn of satan; {...although for some...} I'm saying that this would increases an imaginary gulf of ability (and hence approachability) between your average joe and the 'elite'.

    I don't understand why you're so negative about the prospect of an association, with a voice, acting for dancers, run by dancers.
    because dancers are not organisers: they pay at the door, dance and leave. They have very little knowledge of any deals that were made to get the venue, the bar, the light system, sound, floor, cleaning, door staff, tables & chairs, and a thousand little things that you only notice if they are wrong.
    You have no idea why X was like it was, or if Y let the organisers down - any suggestion should be* listend to, but to say that the organisers should answer them and take them up without question is more cloud coukoo land than anything I've proposed.
    Yes, I'm all for making comments and suggestions - but what's he difference between an individual making a suggestion and a body? The only difference put forward here is that the suggestion can be made into a demand.

    You come across as incredibly cynical to me.
    Really?

    Stranglehold? Come on, this really is fantasy land. We're talking about a voice, not an army.
    Because, as ever, things are best achieved by negotiation.
    Negotiation? When did blackmail become negotiation? Are you saying there is a middle ground in your argument? Remove all your dancers from the competion (and all the tag-allongs) or what? Only remove half of them? Tell members, "sorry - you can't go to that competion, there's a half boycott and the places have been filled."
    If you do not have this sword or Damaclease, what do you have to make the organisers pay any more attention to you? Any solutions or suggestions proposed through the body will have been at the penalty of others - you have to go with the majority I assume. As an organiser, why should there be more value to a narrower vision?

    Er, huge amounts of time and effort; the financial underwriting of an expensive venue hire. Will that do? {Obsticals, but not insurmountable ones. }
    It's not far fetched. I'm just saying that Joe Bloggs wouldn't necessarily be able to get up one morning, put his entire life on hold while he organises something that would compete with the Blackpool comp. It would take more resources than most individuals could muster.
    Correct - but we are not talking about "Joe Blogs"; we are talking about a selection of motivated and driven addicts; not an individual and not without experiance in the very feilds needed.

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    ...load of negative cynical stuff snipped
    Whatever.

    You don't have to join, if it ever comes into being.

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    Is it true that most people are intimidated to ask far superior dancers for a dance? Is it true that entering a competition automatically makes you appear to be a superior dancer to those who have not entered?
    Not necessarily always. I often felt scared, but I did it anyway, and there are a few that I still feel nervous dancing with in case I f*** it up, as I so often do

    But so what?

    Some people think that it's up to the good dancers to break the ice with the shy ones. And up to a point, fair enough. But shyness can be overcome. And it's also up to the shy to put the effort into overcoming it.

    {insert the whole of all the hotshot threads here, I just can't be a***d anymore - if you want to dance with someone, ask em. If you don't, don't.}

    BTW, you can soon find out if a competitor really is better, just by dancing with them. And not all of them are

    Chris

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    Re: Modern Jive Dancers Association - Viva La Diva!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    Not necessarily always. I often felt scared, but I did it anyway,
    You think you're scared! You've got nothing to be scared about. You dress like the other competitors in mostly black, the only difference is dancing ability - if you're good the audience watch you, if you're not they ignore you

    I, of course, take the difficult road. When I dress up in some silly outfit the audience are watching me from the moment I walk on the floor - if I get it wrong everyone sees - me scared?

    But, I like to laugh in the face of fear. And that is one of the reasons I do it. I'm scared, but it's a fear of nothing. You will come to no harm if you compete in front of a thousand fellow dancers and completely blow it - all you will suffer if things go horribly wrong is humiliation

    .. then I remember Gareth


    ".. and this year's award for bravery in the face crushing sympathy goes to ..

    ..

    ..

    .. Gareth's partner "


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