Ballroom Dance > Collegiate Competition Stereotypes

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by footyjammies, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. footyjammies

    footyjammies Member

    What are the stereotypical pros and cons of the everyday collegiate competition?

    What do you wish you could change about them?

    Do you find it more fun to compete at collegiate comps vs other comps?

    Which are comps do you enjoy the most and why?
  2. caw

    caw Active Member

    1) Judges get there on time/competition starts on time
    2) Either explicitly allow rhinestones and latin shirts, or explicitly forbid them and then enforce it.
  3. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Hi footyjammies! Welcome to DF!

    I like that collegiate comps have a more relaxed atmosphere and more team spirit. It'd be nice if rules were enforced more evenly: dress code, syllabus violations etc.
    smidra86 likes this.
  4. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    I agree with Mindputtee, definitely more rules for syllabus such as costuming should be enforced. I think a lot of problems in syllabus at collegiate comps, IMO, is that people worry about wearing costumes just at syllabus, and they don't focus enough on the dancing itself for it to be there when they get seen because they have a costume.

    In the northeast area (New England especially, i don't know about collegiate comps in many other areas), they have this thing called a time out rule, where if you have been dancing for a certain length of time, you HAVE to move up to the next level for newcomer and bronze. So a bunch of people are forced to dance at silver before they are ready against people who have been hanging out in silver for years possibly and the level of dancing isn't very good. Then people have this false idea that being in silver for too long is bad (because the idea was instilled in newcomer and bronze) and so they think they should move up to gold or open and then they just aren't up to par with the dancers that actually belong in those levels. This then also leads to a false sense of level in competitions where competitors at these levels (starting in silver) are taking private lessons and definitely at a much higher level then some of these collegiate dancers (if this makes any sense at all).

    I love collegiate comps, don't get me wrong, they are inexpensive, its a very casual atmosphere as was mentioned before, its where I really started dancing. They are lots of fun. But when I was taken to my first NDCA comp about a year about (The Eastern United States Dancesport Championships), I fell in love with the atmosphere, I love dressing up, I love being among professionals, and maybe even dancing with them on the same floor if some pro-am events get mixed with just amateur events (like it happened a few months ago to me at Commonwealth Classic and I got to dance on the same floor as Larinda :) )
  5. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    i completely agree with smidra (hello backbend!!!) about how syllabus dancers can get caught up in buying costumes and can forget about actual technique. while i was in college it was frustrating when students would get costumes but wonder why they didnt get called back. what you're wearing may get a judge to look at you, but it wont make he or she write down your number unless you have the technique. but at the same time, as long as students understand this, i have no problem with costumes, even at newcomer at collegiate comps. at these comps, a lot of the lower level competitors are only doing this for recreation, and will probably stop dancing after school. so let them have their fun. i remember how excited i was when i got my first costume, and i see how exciting it is for newbies and bronze dancers to discover glitter and rhinestones.

    plus on the flip side, if you have good technique but get lost in a sea of newbies, a costume might get more judges to look at you and get you called back.

    in addition, i dont mind the time out rule so much... while i do agree it screws over silver, the point of collegiate comps, especially at the lower levels, is to have fun. its not fun, in fact its intimidating when a newcomer freshman had to be on the same floor as someone who's been dancing years longer than you. by silver, you should know the drill and focus on technique- we assume you've already been hooked. i would always advertise to my newcomers that at a comp, you are dancing against people with the same amount of experience as you, and i ALWAYS see a visible sigh of relief there. however, if someone has been dancing for two years but clearly still belong in bronze, then i have no problem with that.
    danceronice, Miss Silly and smidra86 like this.
  6. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    my views on levels and when to move up have changed a lot over the past year. i used to be a strict points person, silver and up (dont have the points yet? dont move up) but by gold, theres rarely even a semi anymore, making it more difficult to accumulate points, even if you deserve them. EG first place five comps in a row might not give you any points if they were all straight finals. now, im more of the school of thought that you should dance where you are comfortable, but with a little challenge. within reason, of course :) but i still like the time out rules for lower levels so the newcomers arent scared away haha
  7. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    I agree with your points perspective. When you are dancing in all straight finals, you can't accumulate points obviously but if you consistently place first you probably should move up to the next level although i would really only say that should happen if it is a full final, if you are dancing against 3 other couples they could just suck more than you (and you then really aren't proving much)..... but if you are at a level where you do have a quarter or a semi, and you can't even get to the next round, you probably aren't cut out to move up to the next level, and I have seen it happen, and people then are disappointed/wondering as to why they don't do well when they do move up to soon.

    And I see your point about the newcomers not feeling scared when they first go to compete.
    dbk and 5678dance like this.
  8. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    I agree with everything that's been said so far. Another pro, just to highlight, is a real sense of team camaraderie with all the collegiate teams that are there. USAD and NDCA, there are friendships and whatnot going on, but there's nothing quite like a team rallying behind a school banner and cheering on their teammates.

    I wish schools/venues in general were more willing to work with collegiate teams for venues. Last year for GCDC, we had the worst time trying to secure a place, ending up with a gym not even in the city proper and having to do it on a Sunday, which sucks for everyone involved. I know other teams have had similar issues with their school powers-that-be or would-be venues either being difficult about scheduling or asking for way too much money. We're students here. Have some mercy.

    The collegiate world is really kind of all I know at this point, aside from MAC, so it's difficult to say whether I have more fun at college comps or others. My partner and I will be doing our first NDCA comp next month (see ya there, smidra ;)), and we're really excited about it.

    My personal favorite academic year comps in the Northeast are BADC and MIT, just because of the sheer size, the great atmosphere, the ability to see so many friends, etc. I'd also throw GCDC in there but I'm quite horribly biased. ;)
    smidra86 likes this.
  9. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    couldn't agree more, smidra, about full finals vs. 3 couple finals. i think it's just about using discretion, trying to put yourself in the context of the rest of the field. and also i used to dislike double registration but now i realize it's a really great tool to test out the next level before really moving up.

    love MIT, too, i think it's a great taster comp, the closest a collegiate comp will come to usad or ndca, just because of the professional feel.

    overall i love collegiate comps because of the wonderful team camaraderie, the prices haha, the variety (the range of different atmospheres at comps is so great!) and just less stress!
    smidra86 likes this.
  10. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    As long as that's what double registration is actually being used for. To dance down ... *shakes finger*
    Jananananana, smidra86 and 5678dance like this.
  11. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

  12. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    I agree. MIT is a wonderful comp that does demonstrate a good feel for a USAD comp, although the feeling of an NDCA its still way off. NDCA really has its own atmosphere, being surrounded by so many pros, the way its run, etc. It is absolutely amazing. Having been to eastern last year I was just in shock and it was probably the most unforgettable experience that my partner took me to. Although it looks as though harvard this year might be looking close to an NDCA comp by being at Hynes etc. It could be interesting to see the atmosphere of that one this year.

    I also agree on the point about double reg, and dancing up/down.

    The biggest problem is if you are dancing am/am going to NDCA comps doesn't really do much for you, because there isn't that much competition there at most. It is usually 1 or 2 couples (unless you are doing something like champ latin or standard), so its not super competitive for am/am like a collegiate comp is. That's a pretty nice bonus on collegiate comps.
  13. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    jealous about ndca comps... it's just not in my budget, but yes from what I've learned I'm not sure it would be worth it for me at this point yet, especially since I'm only am/am. but I'm still hoping eventually i will get to go as a spectator. and I'm intrigued by Harvard this year....
  14. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    *cough* Come do Eastern. *cough* We'll be doing Gold and Prechamp. *cough* It's been forever since we've been on a floor together. *cough*
    smidra86 and 5678dance like this.
  15. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    dlliba, you coming down with a cold? hate to have you sick right before eastern....
    dlliba10 and 5678dance like this.
  16. LittleLil

    LittleLil New Member

    1) In general I wish collegiate competitions had a more competitive atmosphere like NDCA and USA Dance. However, most collegiate competitions I have been to at least on the east coast lack the professionalism needed to bring them to the next level. As stated in previous posts the lack of invigilation in regards to what people can wear is inconsistant competition to competition, along with syllabus dancing regulations. I believe a stricter enforcement of the rules or a more clear line would greatly enhance the feel of the competitions.

    2) Collegiate due to the fun atmosphere, but I am biased.

    3) My favorite competitions have to be MIT, MAC, and DCDI, although it is a close call in regards to the other competitions I have been to. I love the atmosphere of MIT and the high level of competitors. I think the judging is very fair, and just the shear number of dancers is amazing. However, with pro's there are of course cons. Every single year it seems the results system has issues, furthermore there is always water on or around the on deck areas which isnt exactly great for shoes. I am also not a big fan of the gym floor, kind of sticky, but nothing can be done about that.

    MAC again I love just for the caliber of dancers who show up and compete, I also think that its a well rounded group of judges. I was not a big fan of this years venue just because it was such a hassle to get to, and there were some issues with the floor not being completely screwed down (or so it seemed) in some places. However, the old venue was excellent, much more of the classic, upper crust, ballroom feel. The big down side to MAC is the price, but nothing you can really do about that.

    Last but not least DCDI I think has a fantastic venue, there are very few competitions if any held in an actual ballroom. However, it does not draw the caliber of dancers that BADC, MAC, and MIT draw, Im guessing due to it being located so far away from NYC. I also feel like the judges seem to be a bit biased towards the DC dancers than the out of towners. Although similar to MIT the collegiate fun atmosphere is fantastic, it really captures the collegiate spirit.

    Thats my 2 cents.
  17. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    While I do find the time-out at the bronze level annoying, it really needs to be there. Otherwise, most competitors will stay in bronze until forced out, and bronze is already GIGANTIC at most competitions. Only so many people can point out every year, and every year hundreds of new dancers start at bronze or move up from newcomer.

    Personally - and I think I'm speaking for my rather large team here - the "idea that being in silver for too long is bad" was never instilled in us at lower levels, and I've seldom encountered that mentality. If you're seeing people in gold who shouldn't be there, there is a good possibility that they've been in silver for long enough to nickle and dime themselves into gold with the occasional low finals placement. I've had that problem myself, as have several people on my team. You can either drop out of that style, or keep dancing in a level that's clearly above you.

    Not sure why anyone at any level above newbie shouldn't be taking privates, but perhaps I'm misreading you.
  18. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    College kids are poor. They can't afford privates.... Its difficult to take consistent lessons when you don't have the money for it.
  19. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Err... not all college kids are poor. I'm pretty sure the girls whose parents buy her a new dress every month can afford to spend that money on lessons.

    Nor are college kids the only ones who don't have the money for private lessons... it's more a matter of what you can afford, not what level or circuit you dance in. If you have the money and you want to progress faster, why not?
  20. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    Ok let me rephrase that... college kids don't prioritize dancing in college so much and therefore do not take lessons or spend their money on lessons when they can spend it on other things they couldn't have growing up. ON top of which, from what i have seen on college teams, group classes are advertised as being enough for dancing until you are at gold. I rarely see a silver level dancer around my neck of the woods who says "oh i'm taking private lessons consistently" (the key word here is also consistently... if you take 1 private a semester... you aren't getting anywhere obviously

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