Ballroom Dance > Ohio Star ball - "Collegiate" comp...yeah right

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Casayoto, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Casayoto

    Casayoto Member

    Why is it that the Collegiate National Championships are always overrun by non-students? When I was a student, it always annoyed me to see people competing(and winning) who I knew for a fact weren't students. Now that I'm an alumni, I feel like the only person that respects the rules. Every time I get asked if I'm going, I say "no, I'm not a student". The answer is always something along the lines of, "So what? Neither am I.", followed by a confused look. This is the only competition in the country that I know of that specifically lists being a full time student as a requirement. Should they get rid of that rule since they don't enforce it anyway, in the same way that USA Dance got rid of the amateurs being paid rule? Or should they actually start enforcing it? Or should I just ignore the rule like everyone else and compete there?
  2. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    I'd vote for enforcing it.
  3. BasicsFirst

    BasicsFirst New Member

    They probably should change rule and if I was member of appropriate association I'd lead that charge. However, I like the saying (to be applied loosely here): "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." If the unwritten rule is to ignore certain stated written rule, well you wouldn't have to tell me twice... I'll play the game.
  4. cshorte

    cshorte Member

    personally i don't mind, and in fact encourage others outside of college/school to join the collegiate community, it adds for an interesting social group such as the one around here in dc, bigger network, more competition... i believe that "you are only as good as those you train around" having a strong community regardless of age has many benefits, and personally i don't see these people as "oh they graduated (or are youth) so they shouldn't be here" i see them as any other person/college student, fun loving people that like to be around people of different/similar backgrounds, i mean if anything ballroom has been a great way to bring "us" together

    on another note, around here its not just strictly competitions that we see older couples, we go out, hang out, party... etc etc :p

    even if some of these alums/older/youth peops are kicking major tail, its good to aspire to get to that level, its great to see great dancing and have it within your community, its good to have competition, and on top of that i still think most collegiate comps still have that warm vibe that i don't find anywhere else, regardless of who ends out in the finals... i dunno, i could go on forever about this but basically i encourage these couples to continue to come out to comps
  5. syncopationator

    syncopationator Active Member

    If I had to guess why the "rule" is not enforced its probably because of money.

    Let's be honest, amateur competitions do not generate huge $$$ for the organizers so if I was an organizer of such a competition, I'd probably look the other way. Afterall, someone has to pay for the judges, floor, ballroom etc etc etc...
  6. kimV6

    kimV6 New Member

    agreed. plus for me, the place where i would see conspicuous "non-students" is at the higher levels, and at ohio especially, i don't particularly mind them there. last year, the pre-champ standard field was only 5 couples as it was, and the novice field was only a quarter IIRC. as someone who likes competing against people regardless of age/affiliation over an empty floor, if a non-students wants to play with us instead of going upstairs, more power to them.

    and honestly, below gold, there's like 100+ couples anyway. i'd probably encourage non-students to compete just to get more people to be interested in ballroom. otherwise where would they go?

    moreover, i understand that the name "national collegiate championships" is sort of invalidated if you don't limit non-students... but honestly, who's really walking around pimping their silver title from NCC, outside of to their school administration for more funding?
  7. hustleNflow

    hustleNflow New Member

    Ditto to everything you said. I think if they enforced the "you have to actually be in college to compete in this comp" rule, we'd see some of the higher levels disappear altogether, as sometimes 4 years (and sometimes more, assuming said competitor dances for their entire college career, and possibly through grad school) isn't long enough for collegiate competitors to reach that level. And then there's the dilemma of where to make the cut-off of what is considered college age and what isn't - I know on my college team, the bulk of competitors were graduate students, and some were in their late 20s to early 30s, sometimes older. Would they be disallowed to compete just because they weren't part of the traditional 18-22 "college age"? And someone pointed out earlier the "community" factor of college dancing - it's not so much about trying to cater to a certain demographic or to shut out older dancers, it's about just trying to get people interested in dancesport. It's that "the more, the merrier! come play with us!" attitude that has made collegiate dancing so popular in recent years, and is likely to bring in dancesport competitors for life.

    And just like kim just said, as cool as it may sound to outsiders, being a collegiate champion doesn't really carry much weight in the dance community. Winning collegiate pre-champ Latin probably won't ever be as "cool" as winning adult pre-champ Latin, but it is a stepping stone. The competitors really looking to improve their dancing and status will go to compete at the adult level. Let's keep college dancing as it is :cool:
  8. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    A "collegiate competitor" traditionally has been defined as a full-time college student with an age limit of 35. That's more than liberal enough to include most graduate students.

    I am all for alumni and adult competitors participating with and helping collegiate teams. It can be a huge asset for the team. But that has nothing to do with whether or not we let these non-students compete in the National Collegiate Championships where the rules say "students only." It's the RULES people. If you don't like it and don't think its fair then petition to have them changed. Otherwise, you are cheating.

    Would you knowingly encourage a pre-champ dancer to dance bronze in order to fill the ranks and to win for your team? I think most of us would find that to be offensive. I don't see how it is any different when teams encourage their non-student open dancers to compete.
  9. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I have to agree with wyllo. Not saying that the rules should stay as they are, but they should either be enforced or changed.
  10. hustleNflow

    hustleNflow New Member

    Yes, you make a good point about "students only" being a rule, wyllo; however, who seems to be enforcing this rule? If it were as important as it should be, than you would think that competition organizers would be making greater strides to ensure that no "non-students" were slipping through the cracks - whether that be checking ID or what have you. But never once have I been asked to prove at a collegiate comp that I was, in fact, a college student. I daresay that, as someone mentioned earlier, these competition organizers aren't necessarily making a ton of money off collegiate comps, and thus don't really care who is competing and who isn't - as long as there are couples paying the entry fees.

    And as for "filling the ranks", I think I should explain myself further. Many of the higher-level college dancers (at least on my team) began dancing at the collegiate level, in syllabus, and dancing in open events at the collegiate level just seemed like a natural progression for them, even though some of them "aged out" of collegiate in the process. It wasn't as though they were already dancing at the adult amateur level and we asked them to "dance down" in order to "fill the ranks"; it was their own choice, as they felt more comfortable on the collegiate floor than they did on the adult one, since that's where they "grew up". My team would NEVER have knowingly asked an advanced dancer to "dance down" in order to improve our team standing. In fact, we were one of the few teams we knew of that religiously followed the proficiency point system, even when it wasn't as strictly as enforced. I myself moved up out of bronze, not because I felt ready to (lord knows I was TERRIFIED to dance silver against some of the other competitors I'd seen!), but because I had pointed out and it was the right thing to do. I can't speak for other college teams, but I knew we followed the "honor system".

    And a final word about the "collegiate" status - should it really be so much about age? Yes, while 18-35 is a pretty broad spectrum, there are people in college that are outside of it. We had an exchange student on our team that was 37 and working on her bachelor's degree. Would she not be considered a "collegiate" competitor because of her age, even though she was learning to dance under the same circumstances as every other collegiate competitor (i.e. same financial situation, same course load, same amount of time to devote to dancing, same difficulty finding/coordinating schedules with a partner)? And what about the couple that had dropped out of college for financial reasons, and was still of "collegiate" age, but wanted to participate in the team? They had the exact same training the rest of us had, in the same facilities, under the same coaches. Would they be disqualified from competing in the same comps their teammates did, just because they weren't in college?
  11. Laura

    Laura New Member

    All the college competitions I've ever been to (all in California) do allow and encourage non-students to compete. I also know a number of student dancers on college teams who have non-student partners. So in the case of individual college's competitions, I can see how it doesn't matter. I also see how these practices could get people into the habit of thinking that the NCC is open to anyone.
  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I'm of the opinion that the "studentness" rule should be enforced (age range is another issue). If they want to give a grace period (say, a year or two) for partnerships where one person has graduated and the other person is still a student, that's up to the organizers, and it's fine if they decide to do that. I've been invited to compete in the event "because so-and-so is doing it and they're not students," even though I haven't been a student for over a decade, but I've declined. I was there to dance in the adult events, which is where any non-student should be competing at OSB.
  13. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    A number of comps charge lower rates for collegiate vs. adult competitors. If it's so easy to lie and not have your ID checked, comps can lose money from the dancers who lie about their status.
  14. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    As Laura pointed out, many collegiate competitions allow and encourage non-student competitors. I think that's a great practice and as a non-student have taken advantage of it.

    The issue is the NCC at Ohio Star Ball which has rules that explicitly limit the competition to college students only. I believe that as a competitor it is your job to know and follow the rules of each competition to the best of your ability. It would be nice if this particular competition could make it clearer through enforcement that you must be a college student, but just because they don't does not invalidate the rule and there are many teams out there that prohibit their non-students from attending the competition.

    If the organizers really didn't care as to the student status of the competition then they would get rid of the rule (and attract a much larger pool of competitors).
  15. Daphna

    Daphna Well-Known Member

    Hi to All, I'm writing today as the Registrar for the NCC. As someone stated, the rules for competing at the NCC is that (a) one is a college student with a valid college ID and (b) between the ages of 16-35, and (c) that one is a USA Dance competitive member. The age range allows many of the graduate students who are team members to compete with their teams.

    When one registers for the event, one needs to list their college affiliation, and during the packet pick-up I ask everyone for their college ID. Do some people slip through? I'm sure they do. However, I do try to check everyone and make sure that they are students.

    I want to thank everyone for their interest and would like everyone to know that the registration and website will be open for business next week (Sept. 22, 2008.)

    See you in Ohio
  16. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for weighing in on this Daphna, and welcome to DF! :D
  17. Meagan

    Meagan Active Member

    In response to whether the rule should be changed, I think that it should be. As someone said it is all about the community and as we've seen at other competitions having non-students participate doesn't take away from the students and certainly doesn't overrun the competition with adults. (not to mention all the age issues and students who can't compete cause they don't have another student to partner them that others mentioned)

    I think its great for syllabus dancers to see where they can progress to whether its in their 4 years of college, their 3-8 years of graduate school, or beyond. And if adult competitors want to get the vibe of a college comp I certainly don't blame them, they can be much more fun!

    I am a student and I appreciate the Ohio comp for exactly what it is...which is why I plan on dancing in both the college and OSB portions of the comp. I think "collegiate" should be taken in the sense that it normally is, with events being fun and open to all. As much as I've been involved in USADance over the years and appreciate what they do, they already have so many rules that don't allow them to cultivate a "collegiate" atmosphere I don't really understand why they want to make more.

    So yes maybe people should follow the rules, but in this case I think the rule should be scrapped altogether.
  18. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Having an atmosphere is great, but Ohio collegiate is a "closed" event. Meagan, do you want to change that? why? there are plenty of "open to all" college comps,

    why not have one closed event?

    Just because people cannot stay organized for one competition and respect the rules?

    So i guess the question is whether people want this to be "the biggest colege comp ever" or "the contest for best _student_ couples"
  19. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I'm in agreement with Kitty -- as a non-collegiate dancer I really like being able to dance in collegiate events, but I also see that it's a good and nice thing that there is an actual National Championship for actually-defined Collegiate dancers.
  20. Meagan

    Meagan Active Member

    I just think that keeping it a closed event takes away the fun of a college comp anyway. The fun of going to the comp isn't to say I was the best *student* couple at the blah blah blah in 2008, its to be a part of OSB but in the way that "collegiate" competitors (students or not) enjoy...

    I prefer that "collegiate" refers more to the style of the competition than the person allowed to compete and I would be for the rules reflecting that.

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