Event Announcements > MIT Open Ballroom Competition!

Discussion in 'Event Announcements' started by yanka, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. yanka

    yanka New Member

    Dear dancers,

    The 9th Annual MIT Open will take place on April 2-3, 2005!

    The MIT Open Competition is one of the LARGEST amateur ballroom dance competitions IN THE COUNTRY, offering up to 19 dances at 6 levels! In past years, it has attracted over 600 competitors and 600 spectators from across the US.

    We are also proud to announce a SHOW BY VICTOR FUNG and ANNA MIKHED – the 2004 British Open Rising Star Standard champions, and the 2004 Ohio Star Standard Show Dance champions!

    Registration is at http://www.ballroomregistrar.com/register/MIT05/.

    Information regarding tickets for the show and lessons with Victor Fung and Anna Mikhed is available at http://ballroom.mit.edu/comp/show.php.

    Hope to see you there!
  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info and welcome to df. Hope to see more of you around. :)
  3. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Per the DF policy about drive-by advertising, I'll offer to take a degree of involvement in "supporting" this one. I'm no longer in Boston, and haven't really thought through my formal relationship to the MIT team at this point, but I still know a lot of the people...
  4. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for chiming in Chris. As you can see here the "drive-by advertising" is something we are now monitoring more stringently.
  5. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    I finally finished producing all the videos from last year's competition. They are linked from the site in the OP. 55 of the 57 finals were taped.
  6. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the information NielsenE . . . and all the work behind it!
  7. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Just wanted to mention that the deadline for regular registration (without late fee) is Monday.
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    What kind of turnout have they had in previous years? Good representation from non-MIT folks? 8)
  9. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Quite good - except when there are conficts, pretty much all the college teams in the northeast (and even from as far away as U. Michigan) plus a number of adults who've become familiar with the collegiate community.

    Registration is online so you can see the present size of events, and full results from previous years are there as well, recent years showing all couples with team affiliations when known.
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Cool. I'll check it out. Thanks, Chris. :)
  11. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    The turn out is looking a little down from last year, but that's been the trend across the board at the New England collegiate competitions this year. There always is a major registration surge in the last 12 hours or so of the registration as several teams do "bulk" registration. There also seems to be a growing trend for Championship level latin couples to "hide" until close to the deadline (or just pay a late fee afterward) to avoid publicizing where they'll be.

    While we're not conflicting with Rutgers this year, our earlier time is during the spring break of both Brown and Harvard -- two teams that normally bring upward of 30 couples each, so I expect the beginner and intermediate levels to be a heat or two smaller (last year we had ~100 couples in the beginner level). Many of their more advanced dancers are coming back early from their spring break! :)
  12. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Is there any clue to why that is?

    Why would couples not want to publisize where they are going?

    I would think the bigger and stronger a comp is in a given level, the more interesting it is to compete at. I like to register myself for comps that I'm going to in advance, so that hopefully the comp is stronger in my level and style and attracts more competitors that want to compete in my events. I hate dancing in direct finals: too much driving for the amount of dancing, so the size of a comp matters a lot to me when I am deciding where I want to go...

    why would that be different for champ latin couples?
  13. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    I think the slightly decreased trend is due to several factors:

    1) We're seeing a tail off from from the Swing/Salsa surges of the past ~5 years and 3 years ago which generated a lot of cross polination. A lot of the people who joined the college teams in the height of this surges have graduated.

    2) The economy has led many schools to give less money to clubs for the past 1-2 years, many teams are feeling a fiscal crunch right now and often have to choose fewer competitions to attend as a team.

    3) Several of the medium size competition have become more established, so there's no longer the feeling of any "must-attend" college competitions that used to really help Harvard/MIT/Brown. Yale seems to have shaked their negative reputatiob from a few years ago, both Tufts and BU have shown strong events for several years running, UConn is doing well, etc. I'm seeing growth in college competitions in other parts of the country, leading to a slightly reduced wilingness to travel across the board, etc

    I have no idea why the couples don't like to advertise where they'll be... Its the complete opposite of smooth where we try to find out where people will be and flock to the comp .... we want a semi at least, but its hard to get...
  14. Taita

    Taita New Member

    *drops out of lurk mode*

    Normally, I look forward to competing in the MIT competition. However, this year it's a bit different. I can only say that I'm hesitant for a couple of reasons:

    1. I think last year's comp could've been run much better.
    2. We're not thrilled with the way the sessions are being organized.

    I dunno if anyone else feels the same, but those were my thoughts
    *drops back into lurk mode*
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Has the structure been changed from previous years?
  16. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    What didn't you like last year? Perhaps we can fix it....

    The sessions are the same this year as last year as it seems to be one of the best compromises... If there are aspects you don't like please let me know, and I'll make sure your concerns are add to our "look-into" list for next year

    The structure of the MIT Open was rather unchanged until about three years ago, when the all-single dance format was changed and an "open session" was split out from the individual style sessions to make it easier for couples travelling from afar (almost entirely Open level)

    Since then I've been migrating it slowly back to all single dance evets, whie preserving the all Open session due to extremely positive feedback.
  17. Taita

    Taita New Member

    *drops out of lurk mode*

    Well Eric,

    Since you asked....(WARNING: Long rambling rant to follow),

    1) Scheduling. Aside from questionable judging (something I generally don't fault organizers for, except in the case of UConn :p ), I had an issue with scheduling. Last year, for some f*#@&* reason, the first round of our "Advanced" event was run at 8AM, before the "Intermediate", and before the "Beginners". Unfortunately, this caused us to miss our events as we were still getting ready. In every competition I've ever been a part of (or watched), the 'beginner' events were always run first. I always felt it was sort of a reward for spending countless hours and thousands of dollars to not have to worry about waking up in time in order to be on the floor at 7AM.

    Specifically, the schedule does not even specify the order in which the syllabus events will be run. In order to ensure our opportunity to compete, we would have to be ready to go at 8AM (7AM if you factor in warmup/prep time). Judging from the size of the field and the posted schedule, we could possibly not hit the floor until 12PM. Normally, I wouldn't sweat it since every other competition, except MIT, would at least give us a general indication of when we would be expected to compete.

    2. The Show. Last Year, I dug deep and paid for 2 front row seats to watch the World Professional Latin Champions put on a great show. Unfortunately, in your zeal to put on an even better show, somebody came up with the idea of using spotlights to highlight the show. Normally, this is a good thing. Unfortunately, it only served to blind us for most of the show. I spoke with folks who thouroughly enjoyed the performance because THEY WERE STANDING IN THE VERY BACK OF THE AUDITORIUM. They weren't blinded at all. GRRRRRRR. Not only did the spotlights ruin the show, they ruined the show for those who paid the most to enjoy them.

    3. The schedule, part 2. This year, you scheduled the Open events (Pre-Champ and Champion) on Saturday and the Closed (Syllabus) events on Sunday. Since we usually dance both Gold and Pre-Champ, that means that we're going to have to decide if we want to spend 2 days in Boston in order to dance both events. Most multi-day competitions normally do something like Standard/Smooth on one day and Latin/Rythm on another day (or Adult/Juniors or some other logical breakdown). Normally, 2 days in Boston would be a pleasant experience. However, since we live at least 4 hours away and we have to go back to work on Monday, I don't appreciate the way it's scheduled this year. Last year, we would've been able to dance both the Advanced and the Pre-Championship events w/o having to spend an extra day.

    Possible solutions:

    1. Post a detailed schedule. If you can't post a detailed schedule, at least post the order of events AND STICK TO IT (for God's sakes, do not punish the more advanced dancers by making them start at 8AM!).
    2. NO SPOTLIGHTS. I remember watching Michael Wentink and Beatta do their show at MIT a couple of years ago. What struck me most after watching last year's show, is that no spotlights were used, and were certainly not necessary.
    3. Run Latin/Rhythm and Standard/Smooth together on separate days. Most serious competitors usually stick to one style or another. This way, only those who wish to compete in both Standard and Latin (or Rythm/Smooth) will be forced to dance both days in order to compete in multiple categories.

    Anyways, hope this helps.

    *drops back into lurk mode*
  18. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    Last year that was done to accomodate one of the large local school that had to be finished by noon. Turns out their event got cancelled and they never told us (and were then one of the largest complainers about the earlier Advanced time.....) Their threatened boycott would have cost the competition a lot of money so we tried to accomodate them... It was a mistake.

    This year the events will be interleaved in the normal "by-round" size order.

    I will post a detailed schedule, probably around Wednesday, after registration closes and I have time to organize the rounds. We posted such as schedule last year as well, more than a week before the competition. We can't post it earlier as we don't have the registration numbers.

    A very valid point. The spot lights were a disaster last year. While we are having them again this year we have them elevated about an extra 10-15 feet, which the operators are saying won't blind front row seats. If our tests during setup proof unsatisfactory I'll talk with the show couple and see if they're ok with proceeding without the spots.

    This year is the same schedule as last year. And the days flipped schedule from two years ago. Syllabus Standard is still saturday morning, Advanced American is part of the open session. So if last year wouldn't have required an extra day, neither would this year.

    We did last year, and we stuck to it. We were never off by more than 10 minutes. Advanced Latin won't be accelerated to the early start time. The detailed schedule will be up in a few days.

    See above. Michael and Beata were upset over the lack of spotlights, many show couples want spots included.

    None of the collegiate competitions I've been to combine Latin/Rhythm and Standard/Smooth as their two days. All cross styles. Most other competitors would prefer we actually do Standard/Latin and Smooth/Rhythm, unfortunately the size of the International fields makes it impossible to run them on the same day. If we stopped having the open session, I could see running a standard/smooth latin/rhythm split and I'll definitely encourage that discussion.
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow. I love the way you've responded to the feedback, NielsenE. Not everybody does that. That's real leadership, IMO. 8) :notworth:
  20. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    The preliminary, detailed schedules are now posted, linked off the main
    schedule page:

    I must strongly state it is EXTREMELY likely that we'll be upto 30 minutes ahead of the published times, if the recent trends of no-shows among beginner/bronze continue. If numbers drop off (due to pairings of TBA or other cancellations, I will update the schedule. Most cuts are currently shallow in the first round and can still accomodate some late adds, but I will track that aspect carefully.

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