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Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by jofjonesboro
8/19/2008  8:29:00 AM
Terence, you state that there are good dancers who compete in pro/am because they cannot find partners.

While you may be correct in some cases, I believe that it is equally true to say that many of them do not want an amateur partner. I am making an observation and not a supposition.

A couple of years ago, I listed myself on a couple of partner-matching boards. Over the intervening months, I received a surprising number of responses (surprising given my age).

Unfortunately, every response - without exception - involved a lady in the same situation: she was competing in pro/am and wanted to practice more but couldn't afford to pay additional lesson fees just to do so with her pro.

I did give one of these women a try for a few months. As it turned out, she kept trying to shift more and more of the cost of our lessons and practices over to me (I described this situation in another post). When she let it slip that she was spending more on her pro, I decided to stop being a chump and dropped her.

I went back to the partner-matching sites and changed my notes to read "no pro/am competitiors." The responses stopped.



jj
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by Clary
8/19/2008  8:44:00 AM
I'm a bit confused. It sounds as though you dropped the pro/am lady because of financial reasons rather than because of a lack of dancing skills. Perhaps I misunderstood your objections to pro/am ladies?
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by jofjonesboro
8/19/2008  9:15:00 AM
I dropped her because, despite what she originally told me, she had no intention of ever becoming my competitive partner and was using me only to support her pro/am activity.

She was an OK dancer but not as good as she believed herself to be.

Also, her pro is a jerk but she's infatuated with him.



jj
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by terence2
8/19/2008  8:50:00 AM
I sympathise with your ( and all seekers ) search.

Of course there are going to be ladies with ulterior motives ( as there are , men ). but.... i would not despair as quickly as you have seem to have done.

I would lay down some ground rules from the git go.

Agreement on... Cost, Location for lessons, practice time and floor fees.

Coaching regularity , and future aspirations .

Until that has been settled, to both satisfactions, then practice time only on a trial basis.

I know of one lady in Atlanta right now ( very talented ) and dedicated ,middle forties (?) attractive, very slim and single.. shes about 5.8 in heels and does both Amer. and Intern. style to about a novice-- prechamp level .
They are out there.. ya just gotta keep on looking .
there is a studio in Marietta which has regular fri, nite dances ( i used to work out of there ) there have been several really good lady prospects for Comp. work ( that was 3yrs back ) worth looking into .
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by jofjonesboro
8/19/2008  9:31:00 AM
Terence, thank you for your thoughtful response.

We did have an original agreement. She always wanted to change it because - as she claimed - she has teenaged children and complained about her budget being stretched thin. It turned out that her "needs" had nothing to do with her family.

Still, your advice is very sound.

Except for her age, the lady that you describe sounds as though she'd be a good match. At which studio does she dance?

I know the studio that you mention in Marietta. I have danced there often in the past and took some classes there for a while some years back. I used to inquire regularly about potential partners but was always told that no one was interested (possibly because I'm not very good looking ).

I haven't despaired. I currently have a partner in Dalton but the distance limits us to two sessions a week (she lives in Chattanooga). Right now, she's having some family problems so it's been spotty but I'm going to try to stick with her. I'd like to work with someone in Atlanta as well because two days a week is just not enough for me (my Dalton partner knows what I'm doing; she works with someone else in Chattanooga too).

Thanks again for your supportive response.



jj
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by terence2
8/19/2008  11:43:00 PM
I used to teach the beginners class every week for about a yr in 03/04 (?)
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by anymouse
8/19/2008  9:45:00 AM
"Anonymous. It only takes one rotten apple to spoil the barrel."

And there you are mistaken.

Due to the skating system of mark tabulation used, under most circumstances an outlying mark has no greater effect than a mark one place above or below the norm. The marks are NOT averaged, instead the algorithm finds the placement at which a majority of judges have marked you at or better, specifically to reduce the way in which an outlying mark could distort an average.

Lets say a couple "deserves" 6th place, but their coach marks them first. Unless they are tied with someone in the ordinary tabulation, that first place mark is no different than a 5th place mark in it's effect.

And the opposite is true as well. A couple who "deserves" first receiving a 6th place mark from their teacher's arch-enemy will in the absence of a tie be no more adversely affected than if that "bad apple" had marked them second.

Corruption and favoritism are bad, no question about it. But a single "bad apple" can do very little damage. The placement you get is the placement that a majority of judges thought you should have, and not the average of what they all marked you.

"Would it be fairer if the judging panel stood aside at the completion of each dance and another panel took their place.. Why not."

It would be outrageously expensive to staff competitions with that many judges. Ordinarily you have two to three times as many as are working, but that's so that they can go on real breaks, not be standing up and sitting down after every dance or round.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by dheun
8/19/2008  12:12:00 PM
This has been a very interesting discussion, as I often wondered how the competitions were judged. My only experience in these matters has been local contests, some of them as a fund-raising tool for a worthy cause (you raise money by convincing people to "buy" votes for you... if someone wants to cast 100 votes for you, they pay $100 to the worthy cause!) But I digress. I just wanted to make the comment that the only analogy I can make would be with another of my favorite sports -- boxing. Could you imagine if a fighter's trainer was allowed to judge his fight? It would be even more corrupt than it probably already is!
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by Polished
8/19/2008  3:27:00 PM
Anonymous. So you beleive that judges should judge there own pupils. Let me tell you what once happend to me.With the past record I should have been placed 3rd. Two judges were so intent on marking their pupils 1 st and marking their main opposition as low as possible. What happened was I came first. It has happened before and will happen again.
I have the copy of the marks from a competition in S. Africa. At the end of each dance two judges were replaced by another two.
Have you considered what would happen in a competition with six couples and three judges.
It's not uncommon in some comps to have only three contestants in an event.
I've seen very recently where there were three couples dancing one dance only, the Cha. Two of the couples danced out of time. The other couple never missed a beat. They came last.
This is absolutely true. One of those judging later in the evening came to the couple who were placed last and said I marked you first and told them they were the only ones who were together. They were not his pupils and had never even met before. So you tell me. Are you in favour of judges judging their own pupils . Yes or No.
Even as recent as last weekend I saw the worst decision I have ever witnessed in a competition. This was in the major event when a couple unheralded who had only been back in the country three days could not have been placed any lower. There record in Europe which was much higher than the others didn't mean a thing. So what am I to conclude from that. I think the placing had been decided before the music started playing.
I will add one more thing. I was at a Seminar and sitting quietly in the corner. I was the only amateur present. When one of the speakers said. We have all been in the situation where the organizer of the competition has told us in no uncertain manner who the winners should be. What do you say to that one.If this is to become an Olympic Sport. It never will unless the method of judging changes.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by anymouse
8/19/2008  3:51:00 PM
"Anonymous. So you beleive that judges should judge there own pupils."

I don't believe it is ideal, but banning it would mean either that the best available experts are not available as judges, or are not available as teachers. There's already nowhere near enough true experts to fill the world demand for either coaching or judging work, and most serious competitors would not be willing to accept second rate in either category!

"Let me tell you what once happend to me.With the past record I should have been placed 3rd. Two judges were so intent on marking their pupils 1 st and marking their main opposition as low as possible. What happened was I came first."

The skating system of marking makes such simple explanation unworkable. You would need high marks from a majority of judges get first place - it can't be just the two you cite, at least half the panel must be involved.

What can happen to elevate a mediocre couple is where there is widespread disagreement amongst all the judges over all the couples. Then someone who is universally seen as neither particularly outstanding nor particularly offensive can win. But this generally happens when you have either very sloppy dancers with a lot to object to, or inexpert judges who are looking for their whims rather than anything comprehensive.

Have you considered what would happen in a competition with six couples and three judges.


Running a serious competition with three judges is almost unheard of. If it occurs as a result of economic or scheduling reality, everyone realizes that the result are a bit dubious.

"When one of the speakers said. We have all been in the situation where the organizer of the competition has told us in no uncertain manner who the winners should be."

And having judges who don't teach is going to protect against this how? If anything, having teaching income should make them more resistant to alleged manipulation by a competition employer.

"What do you say to that one.If this is to become an Olympic Sport"

Along with most who are serious about dancing, I rather hope that our artform is never abused as an Olympic "sport" You will find that most of the olympic dreamers in the dance world are either low level dancers who think the idea is fun with contemplating how much damage it will cause, or IDSF bureaucrats who see it as a way to solidify their power.

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