National Swing Championship: Is this a Hoax?

Lindy Hop, a USA National Treasure needs a better system to designate who is
the best National Lindy/Swing dancer of the year, Sounds like an impossible
goal, but the Tennis sport has solved that problem with their system of
'seeding players'. How does it work? Every time a tennis player wins a
tournament, no matter where in England or Shamokin, Usa or Siberia, they get
points that are accumulated by an International Tennis Association. At the
end of the year the top seeds are invited to various national tennis
championship events and given the privilege of qualifying to play without
going through the prelude of Qualifying events that give two of the best
qualifiers regardless of seeding a card on that National Championship Event.
Top seeds are encouraged to compete in various National Championship events
like US Open French Open and Wimbledon with traveling and accommodations
paid by the Sponsors of the events.
In the Lindy/Swing field which is a hundred times larger in population
and potentially that much more affluent, we often call dancers National
Champions who are really only regional or State Champions, because too many
of the great dancers cannot afford the expense of traveling and paying the
entrance fees. I happen to know the last National Swing Champions of the
20th Century, Rick Pendleton & Tyra Youland and the first National Swing
Dancers of the 21st Century, Shawn and Debbie Smith Carter, and even today
when I see them dance I believe they are truly National Swing/Lindy
However, I witnessed a couple of so called 'National Swing Contests in
California in 2001 & 2002. In the contest there were perhaps three couples
from out of state, if that many, who competed in this 'So called' National
Swung/Lindy Championship!
How about developing a seeding system for Lindy/Swing dancers?
Joe Lanza aka Magic Pill drug dealer
Riddle me this Batman...

Why do we need to know who the best is?

Why is seeding the best way to do it through competition?

Why not use the track and field method (a far more time tested method, with FAR more athletes world wide)?

Wouldn't the title mean more if there was a huge event that everyone competed on the same level and you fought your way to the finals beating all comers rather than a protected entrance into the upper rounds? I'd certainly have more respect (okay I really have no respect for dance titles but, it would at least mathmatically be more impressive) if the current "champions had made it through a division with one hundred couples rather than just the other top nine couples.
As I wrote in Yehoodi:

It seems that Swing events tend to favor one type of Swing over the other. For example, there is the Grand Nationals here on the East Coast that favors Shag.

I don't think there needs to be a "national championship". If there is one, maybe they could have a national championship for shag in Atlanta, Hollywood at Camp Hollywood, Savoy in New York, etc.

...but it would be more impressive if someone won multiple events than one championship.
Anal retentive note, Hollywood and Savoy are the same dance, just two generalized styles. The two can dance with each other with no change in technique or timing, assuming they are capable of using proper lead follow technique.
How does someone really judge swing dancing?

It's all so subjective! Like literary awards... I don't get that either. Sure there's good and bad (as well as competant and not) but the degrees of such vary greatly for person to person (so I would assume judge to judge). Perhaps coming up with a top ten wouldn't be so difficult but having a concensus on the ranking order of that top ten is impossible.

titles and catagories get really tricky when subjectivity is involved... funny how it is so prevelant, if not characteristic of western thought.
Why would you need a national ranking and how does it pay? And who really has the time or energy to take on such an endeavor?

The biggest difference between the ATP and a national swing dancer. You're ranked 20th in the world and your annual take home pay from competitions is 4 million dollars. You're ranked 20th in the national swing scene and your annual take home pay from competitions is.... wait, do you actually break even?
I can't disagree with a seeding system more. Every seeding system I've ever seen has huge flaws in it. If you want to compare a Compeition to a sport then compare it to the Hoop It Up tour. You sign up for the division you want to be in and then you compete. If you win you move on if you loose you go home. Pretty simple very effective.
seeding or otherwise

I personally would prefer a system I have yet to hear voiced.:
Why when we have the top three winners, instead of placing them First, Second, and Third award them a TRI crown with equal reward?
Too often the differences between first, second and third are a matter of the judges' taste or some trivial circumstance like an unattractive dress or the judges not catching some of the more exciting moves of a couple or even a relationship between a dancer and judge might come into play. Why not pick the best three in the contest and award them equal rewards?
Although Seeding does work in Tennis, there is a difference in the game where Points are scored by the players themselves while in dancing, the judges do the scoring. So my original opinion about seeding does change. I like an Applaudometer to be used only after all but five couples have been eliminated by a group of overseeing judges. Let the final decision of the remaining five couples be decided by a mechanical machine that registers hand applauses of the audience only, eliminating the whistling or hooting and shouting. We have the tecjhnical science to select only hand clapping, I'm sure. And let use give equal reward to the top three contestants.
But a better way of determining the winners has to be devised. We have the technology. Lets use it
Black Sheep, a believer in mom's Apple pie, the Ten Commandments and fair judging.
Dancing and Tennis

You make an important point when you say' a 20th ranked tennis player takes home millions and a 20th ranked dancer is lucky if they break even'. But this can change!
1n 1947, I was a swimming instructor at the Charles Farrell 'Racquet Club' in Palm Springs where several major tennis tournaments were held. This was before tennis players became organized into Federations.
The one tournament I was privileged to watch from behind the scenes was with players Pancho Gonzales and Herbie Flamm playing in the finals. Herbie who just turned 17 and was only 5'6", had 6' Gonzales; down 5-3 and on the last set with Herbie's serving for the Match. One more service game and 17 year old Herbie would win the game, set and match.
Unfortunately, Herbie was not in the 'Tennis Clique' with the rest of the other tennis players, and when he began serving his crucial game, Gonzales' tennis buddies began hooting and hollering every time Herbie's racquet was in the air for his service. Herbie lost the next five games straight and lost the third set and the match at 7-5.
In the locker room, the 17 year old Herbie cried in the arms of the 25 year old swimming pro, who consoled Herbie with the prophetic statement, "This loss Herbie, is preparing you to someday becoming a Champion'.
I never saw Herbie after he gave me a few tennis lessons in his next door neighbor's tennis court in Beverly Hills that summer in 1947, until I was attending a tennis tournament at UCLA in 1986, when I was walking along the concrete pathways inside the tennis complex. Why, I'll never know, but my eyes fell down on a plaque at my feet. It was in memory of HERBIE FLAMM, U S OPEN CHAMPION 1954. Herbie's epitaph read,"born 1930 deceased: 1959.
When Herbie lost to Gonzales in 1947, the winners purse was around $100.00 which Pancho shared with his improvised 'Tennis Bums', a name self adapted by the players themselves.
So if the dancers are so 'improvised' today, maybe its time for them to form a Professional Dance Federation' and begin earning the big purses they deserve for all the entertainment they provide at dance events.
Black Sheep, volunteer cashier.

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