Ballroom Dance > Uncontested heats - how to be sure there will be competition at the competition

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by flying_backwards, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. flying_backwards

    flying_backwards Active Member

    Hi experienced ballroom* competitors.
    Or if there is an event organizer on the forum, it would be so valuable to hear from you!

    Is there a way to register for an event on the condition that it have at least 3 couples? How can we be sure there will be competition at the competition?

    I've seen a lot of uncontested or near-empty heats in results and want to avoid registering for (and paying for) that. How can we see ahead of time which events will have some competition? Why do they not combine the uncontested heats? (I mean actually combine them, not just run several uncontested heats at the same time.) Those pro-am categories are so finely split that there are only one to 3 couples in each. The pro-am scholarship events tend to have more entries but also require single-dance entries and those are too often uncontested. Would it be a safe bet that the previous years' numbers of entries per event are likely to repeat? Maybe more couples would attend if they could count on a full field. That is how I would choose which event to enter... if that information were available.

    Thank you for your advice.

    * PS: I only look at ballroom. I am guessing this is less a problem with latin, rhythm or smooth. Maybe there are just too few standard dancers?
  2. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Definitely no way to make your registration conditional, but other posters have mentioned their teachers working with the organizer to shift registration day of to make an ucontested heat contested (happened to me with a championship at the one pro/am comp I did - was grateful to not just get 1st by default). Maybe that's a partial solution to your issue?

    Definitely no guarantees on entries unless we're talking the really big name competitions - single dances will always be contested at OSB, for example*.

    *I think. I'm definitely not clicking through compmngr to find out.
    theAnnelis and flying_backwards like this.
  3. flying_backwards

    flying_backwards Active Member

    Perhaps then the solution is to register late, after heatlists are posted. Fees are a bit higher late, but that could save a lot on fees paid for uncontested heats. Of course that will not work if everyone does that! I have only seen heat lists posted per individual though. This solution assumes there are available heatlists showing all entries. (That is, without reverse engineering the other kind, which is tedious.)

    I've done a lot of clicking thru compmngr in search of this answer!
  4. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    The simplest way is to get to know other competitors that are in your category, communicate in advance (text, email, etc), and let each other know which comps you are thinking of entering (and exactly what age category, level, etc), and then try to attend the same comps as your fellow competitors. Then you will know that at least those people will be in your heat(s).

    Previous year's entries will give you an idea of trends, but no guarantee.

    As far as I know, most pro/am comps do not post heat lists until a day or so before the events start. Most seem to list them by individual, not by category. So that's not much help typically.

    Bigger comps (Ohio Star Ball and some others, if you post the area of the country you are interested in competing in, you may get more suggestions) are much more likely to have well contested heats, but even there, it depends on your particular age group, level, etc. Some age groups are just not heavily contested in some styles and/or levels.

    Sometimes entering multiple age groups will increase your odds of seeing contested heats in at least one age group - but it depends on the particular details.

    You may also be able to figure out which comps tend to have a higher density of standard (ballroom) competitors - ask your coaches and/or fellow competitors where the other standard dancers compete in large numbers.
    flying_backwards likes this.
  5. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I always knew which of my men wanted competition even if it meant dancing against the women. So I always put a note in my entries for the organizers to merge his heats if he were uncontested. Most of them have no problem with it. But some times they forget. And that is understandable.

    When I get to the competition I check the program, find the heats where my guys were alone, find a suitable ladies heat, or a younger age category, or higher proficiency heat... noted all of the changes I wanted and then approached the organizer to ask permission. Usually they just wave you on to the registrar and she then puts your changes into the computer. I was always very thankful and polite. And I always made sure I had the changes written down BEFORE I went to the registrar. I tried to make it as easy for them as possible.
  6. Dr Dance

    Dr Dance Well-Known Member

    You should be! Judges have a "minimum score" for uncontested couples. If such a couple fails to achieve that score, then they come in "second."
  7. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    A few things:

    * Consider dancing in a younger age category. Most comps will let anyone move towards Adult A. In general, the younger adult brackets are more likely to have competition.

    * Some levels are more likely to be contested. From what I've seen, the closed Gold heats almost never have competition. If you're just barely dancing Gold, stay in full Silver for a while. If you're dancing full Gold, move up to an open category.

    * If you're a Bronze or Silver dancer, some comps have "open bronze" and "open silver" where they don't sub-divide the levels, so you're more likely to get competition there.
  8. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    :rolleyes: I'm nearly convinced that's an urban legend. Regardless, I was solidly above any "minimum" bar for closed / open silver. Good, no (still not there). But definitely better than a "minimum."
  9. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    I've seen a second for an uncontested couple. Not an urban legend
  10. theAnnelis

    theAnnelis Active Member

    That's embarrassin' as HAYLE.
  11. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I have given second place for an uncontested entry.
    ocean-daughter, Purr and stash like this.
  12. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    Uncontested heats are part of the reasons that spectating ballroom events can be very boring.
    wooh, s2k and danceronice like this.
  13. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    This 'problem' was mitigated several years ago with the introduction by O2 CM of their entry forms that allow everyone to see who is entered and gives you the ability to change your entries. The older forms used by comps are what you're referring to which make it secretive who's been entered, and do not show you results of that and your specific results in your specific heat. The politics surrounding the use of O2 CM are well-known, and hopefully a change in the administration of USA dance to one that looks beyond their personal comps and focus will allow more widespread use of programs like O2 CM and have a competitive world there's more focused on the competitors
  14. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    As far as second places in uncontested events go, I went and looked up a few comps out of curiosity. I mean, Larinda's say-so should be the final word anyways, but I'll also confirm that I was able to find a few examples of it. It's really, really not common, but it happens.

    I will say though that "minimum score" makes it sound far more quantified than I think it actually is.
    Dancing Irishman and raindance like this.
  15. Dancey

    Dancey Member

    compmngr tip from a computer nerd...go to the main heat list/results page. Right click and 'view page source'. Everything is there in a single html page, which is totally searchable. Boom.
  16. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Your first point is very much the opposite of my experience for pro-am. Turning 35 and becoming eligible for B scholarships at championship competitions was the best darned thing that ever happened to me in terms of having competition in my heats. I am very, very hesitant to attend competitions where the A scholarship runs through 45 years old.

    The second is generally true though, in my experience. It's not a universal truth, but quantity of competition going down as level goes up is a reasonable rule of thumb. Of course, there's little joy to be found in beating up on a bunch of inexperienced dancers if that's where one finds oneself. Better the smaller field if that's where the competition is actually.

    Eh. Sometimes true, sometimes less true, in my experience. Unless someone specifically wants to do the bronze or silver open events to work on their choreography, I'd generally recommend signing up for closed freestyles and asking if you can be moved at the competition if necessary. It's easier to move from a closed event to an open event than vice versa. Make sure to thank the registrar for their hard work though!

    That said, championships and scholarship events are always going to be one's best bet for finding good, plentiful competition. I mean, it's obviously better when you can find it in all your events. But as a guy, I've pretty much given up on ever having even full finals in my freestyles unless there's a larger ladies' event than I'm able to be rolled into. And I've never, ever had the opportunity to dance in a semi in a freestyle. 'Tis what tis. The practical experience is still genuinely helpful.
  17. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    They certainly don't help, although I suspect the average non-dancer would have no idea what it would mean to have four different events on the ballroom at once with three of them uncontested. It's pretty rare for them to run uncontested events by themselves unless there's a very specific reason for them to do so. (e.g. The Person That Dances Peabody being on the floor by themselves because they're *literally* the only person dancing Peabody at a given competition.)
  18. SmoothCriminal

    SmoothCriminal New Member

    It's not common that it appears in the results. But I've collected enough ballots from judges to know that they will do it and usually see something like that once a day. It's just that it's strongly discouraged, so I know scrutineers will ignore it and the Chairman of Judges will occasionally pull aside a judge to warn against it.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
  19. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    As have I.
  20. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Do you happen to remember why? I've been told that being off time is about the only reason for placing 2nd unless you're really, really bad and shouldn't be dancing at a comp anyway.

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