Ballroom Dance > Starting a new collegiate competition

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by BrokeForBallroom, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. BrokeForBallroom

    BrokeForBallroom New Member

    Hi everyone! I did a search for this, but couldn't find much info on the topic. My collegiate team (Boston area) is considering having a competition of our own. My current plan is to use the next year (2017/18 academic year) to research and pitch a really solid plan for the competition to our school with the goal of having our first competition in the 2018/19 academic year. I can't find any resources on this though, and was hopping any of you who have been involved in planning a competition could point me towards some info. I have been competing in the collegiate scene for several years now, so I think I have a general idea of all the people involved on the day of, but I don't know anything about the behind the scenes work, or the costs involved in getting a competition set up.
  2. BrokeForBallroom

    BrokeForBallroom New Member

    I know there was advice given on this topic in a different thread for a school in Texas (it won't let me post a link) but those numbers seem either outdated, or the difference in location has a huge impact on price. $50-$150 for the day per judge just sounds wildly unrealistic to me, when I'm paying $90-100 per 45 minute lesson with my coaches, who do judge other local competitions.
  3. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Try contacting USA Dance. They may very well help you do some of the work. I know they want to grow in this area.
    s2k and Sania like this.
  4. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    Sent you a PM!
  5. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Talk to the other Boston collegiate comps?
    Purr, Sania, s2k and 2 others like this.
  6. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    ^^^ this. Your biggest problem is probably gonna be finding space in the Boston comp schedule.
  7. Titoxd

    Titoxd Member

    As has been already said: Talk to the other Boston schools. More importantly, attend the comps hosted by the other Boston schools (so you get to know them and they get to know you). Figure out how their academic calendar looks like, and if there are any breaks where a competition would make sense. (Typically schools don't like competitions on back-to-back weekends, especially if there is travel involved.)

    The other critical part you have to look at is your budget. Having hosted a collegiate competition in Arizona for the last five years or so, the main costs we have are:

    1. Awards. We have medals for all of the single-dance events we run. So if we have 19 events (four in Smooth, five each in the other three styles) for each of the levels we offer (Newcomer, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Rookie-Veteran) and have to give medals to leads and follows AND have a 15% allotment for the inevitable ties, we are looking at 220 gold medals, 220 silver medals, and 220 bronze medals. That's anywhere between $750–$1000 in single-dance events alone. When you include trophies for multi-dance open syllabus, team matches, formation teams, fun dance events, finalist ribbons for 4th-6th in each of the roughly 130 heats we have... we spend A LOT in awards. While you can reuse your unused awards in future years (DON'T WRITE YEARS IN YOUR AWARDS!), the first year has an unavoidable capital outlay. You may be able to reduce it by not having trophies (which are more expensive than medals and ribbons), or by only handing out ribbons (which are roughly 20¢ a pop, instead of $1.50 per medal).

    2. Professional staff (judges, emcees, music directors, scrutineers, registrars, deck captains). We have trained our own scrutineers, registrars and deck captains so we've saved on that, but you can't eliminate the cost of judges. Figure out what other competitions in the area are paying (in our area, $150–$250 for a one day comp) and offer them a similar rate. Also plan on buying lunch and/or dinner for your judges. If you use O2CM (scoring software), you have to pay a per entry fee as well.

    3. Venue: You may be able to eliminate or dramatically reduce this cost completely depending on how your team is set up within the university (which is what we do), but if you can't, expect the cost of a ballroom to be significant. Don't forget that you might have to rent tables, chairs, a stage, maybe buy tableclothes for everything, etc.

    Those three are the big ticket items, but there are always incidentals (keep $500 or so as an "oh shi" shield).

    Other things to think about:
    * Why should I go to your competition? Why is it unique? What distinguishes it from the other competitions in the area?
    * How many teams are close enough that they would be willing to attend?
    * How much are you charging per person? Per entry? Per spectators? How much are the dancers in your area used to paying?
    * How many people could you expect to attend? (Be conservative in the estimate, and use that to answer the last question and to help you set a budget).

    If you have questions / interested in specifics about how our comp is run, feel free to ask away.
    Purr, Sania, raindance and 1 other person like this.
  8. azntwice

    azntwice Member

    One thing that you could consider at least for the first year is to host a syllabus/beginner's competition. It will be smaller and the costs will likely be significantly less (less space needed, fewer awards required, etc.). It could be a good way to test the waters and see what your potential attendance would be.

    Little things that people sometimes forget -- competitor numbers, programs, safety pins, judging sheets, clipboards, water availability.
    middy likes this.
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    hand sanitzer for the judges after awards...
    Bailamosdance, middy, Joe and 2 others like this.
  10. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    And you can often use high level amateurs as judges.
  11. ralf

    ralf Active Member

    According to this paper, it would in fact be better to use them :).
    However, on a quick skim, the study looks flawed to me in several ways, beginning with using inter-rater agreement as a proxy for rater accuracy.

    J.S. Larson and D.M. Billeter. "Adaptation and Fallibility in Experts' Judgments of Novice Performers", Journal of Experimental Psychology (2017).

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