"Anonymous. If you are out of time you should not be looked at twice."
Timing is only one of several factors.
If you cast yourself as a single-issue judge, then what you basically say is you don't really care about anything else - smoothness, posture, partnering, etc - all irrelevant unless the couple achieves YOUR PERSONAL IDEA of proper timing.
For example, I would be quite hesitant to mark a couple who dances their foxtrot precisely on the beat, but does this by executing it with a character of movement that looks more like tango than foxtrot. If there were a couple next to them dancing with flowing foxtrot character but with less precise timing, I would probably place them higher, since they showing a better understanding of what the foxtrot is about.
"Will somebody else confirm that in the US it doesn`t matter if you are dancing out of time in a competition."
Of course it matters. But it is only ONE FACTOR AMONGST MANY. All of which are important. Because it is only one factor, it is indeed sometimes possible for a couple who is "off time" to place ahead of one who isn't, if their dancing is better when ALL ASPECTS are taken into consideration.
Anonymous. Originally the discusion was about Latin and Cha Cha in particular. If you remember It was three judges with three couples on the floor. Two of the judges each had a pupil dancing. Those two couples danced out of time and were not dancing together.One of the judges, a complete stranger afterwards made a point of finding the couple who came last and telling them that he didn`t know how they didn`t win, and that he had marked them first. He also said the other two couples both danced out of time. Tragiclly this is not an isolated case.And what is even more tragic it will continue unless something is done about it. I told the young lady. If you are not going to become part of one of the studios and wish to compete for the fun of it. Why not enter into events that you know you cannot win. For example if you are in the over 50`s then dance in the under 50`s in as high a grade that is allowed. If you are over 35 then dance as an adult which is under 35 instead of the Senior events.. And if you are under 35 which makes you the Adult level then enter way above your grade.You must study the system and use it to your best advantage.
"It was three judges with three couples on the floor"
"And what is even more tragic it will continue unless something is done about it."
And the obvious thing to do about it is to hire more than three judges! And not just bodies, but people who are real experts with standing in the community.
This is pretty much a universal requirement for any sanctioned competition. If you want to hold an informal, low-budget local competition with only three judges, that's fine. But you'll get what you pay for - the opportunity for a lot of fun, but marks that don't necessarily mean much.
Anonymous. There were nine judges there. It would have been a simple proceeder to ensure that none judged their own pupils. Terence or lluv2dance would be able to tell you that they have been in many competitions where their were only two judges, usuall the couple giving the demonstration. And sometimes there was one who was the Lecturer that evening. In this one studio I was with others judged by Guy Howard. I mention this because he not only judged. He did his own scrutinizing. And even recalled the couples he had chosen himself. Can you think why he did that in this particular studio.
Anonymous. Which as nothing to do with should a judge , judge their own pupils in a competition. Whether there be one judge or eleven is irrelevant and should be disregarded by the jury. The question remains is it fair for a judge to judge their own pupils.
"Anonymous. Which as nothing to do with should a judge , judge their own pupils in a competition. Whether there be one judge or eleven is irrelevant and should be disregarded by the jury."
On the contrary, it is quite relevant. The more judges, the less the importance of each opinion.
"The question remains is it fair for a judge to judge their own pupils."
As long as it is allowed by the rules, it is permimtted. I don't think that anyone believes it to be ideal - we'd all much prefer to have expert judges who don't have a history with the competitors.
But given the frequent practical need to choose between experts who coach some of the competitors in the event, and dancers who are not expert enough for any of the competitors to have any interest in taking lessons with, I'd much rather go with those that the competitors respect enough to study with.
Anonymous. Your last pharagraph points us to a Catch 22 situation. If the adudicators are not in a class that we would have lessons with and our own teachers are in a class way above the others. What do we do. What would make it fairer in a competition would be if nobody new not even the judges themselves which events they will be judging. That would put a stop to loading up with lessons, which is another side of the story. It was pointed out ages ago on this site that in South Africa in a major comp there were five judges two of which were changed after each dance. That is as it is written. At the end of the Waltz two dropped out and were replaced by two others for the Tango. This was from the first round right through to the final.
I know this isn't a "pro-ams suck" thread... but really, they're being exploited and wrung out and played for cash cows, and some don't care so long as they get what they paid for- a medal, a vase, their picture in Dancebeat, whatever.
Although, let the record show that I think Ruthie Perkins KICKS MAJOR ASS. Something about that woman is fierce, vibrant, and she lights up the whole room when she's on.
Back on topic... in horse showing, the 'upper level' shows actually disallow clients from competing in front of their own trainers. Not to say it doesn't happen, but I think you can't have taken instruction from any particular judge for three to six months or somesuch. No real way to police that, but the horse show world is as small and incestuously oroborotic as dancesport.
Ginger, pro/am is fine for people who can afford it and who are not really suitable for an amateur partner.
I object to the practice of pushing people into pro/am who are not really suited for it. I especially despise the tactic of telling amateur couples that they'll learn faster if they split up and each do pro/am.
You hit the nail on the head with the word "small." The ballroom dance world is simply not large enough to permit the proper administration of judges at competitions. However, recognizing that fact shouldn't blind one to the inherent conflicts in allowing teachers to judge their own students.
That depends largely on the "level " of the comp.... ,.local one dayers, are difficult to administer , and are usually run more for fun than accomplishment . ALL recog. comps have strict rules ,and each Judge has a regist # that is in a data bank, and will be checked for current status . ( we are also issued yearly ID cards by our Soc. )
For those who have been watching the Olympic 10 metre Platform Diving Final. It would have been very easy to have gone along with the favourite. But they didn`t. They marked what they saw.It went down to the last two dives.It`s a pity this doesn`t always happen in Ballroom dancing.
Judging the judges: In university courses, professors are subjected to anonymous "student evaluations", the results of which are available for other students to review in evaluating whether they want to take a class with that professor.
I grant you, those "results" are/were often of very, very limited value. Often students will just fill in all 0s or all 5s and give no comments as to why they scored a professor as they did. But sometimes a few comments could be really valuable and insightful.
Perhaps something similar could be implemented for judges at dance competitions. Competitors could "rank" the quality of the judges at a competition. I grant you, impracticalities abound: not all competitors/spectators know who the judges are; not every dancer knows how to read scrutineers sheets to see how they were marked, etc., etc.
But if a particular judge got comments consistently across several competitiosn that s/he (for instance) didn't mark down a couple performing lifts that are prohibited, or (for instance) that a particular judge rarely gives recall out of a quarter-final or semi-final to a couple that consistently places in the upper half of finals . . . well, . . . at least competitors would have those comments/obersvations available to them and could weigh their value themselves. And maybe, just maybe, a judge on the receiving end of comments like that might take notice of the kind of judging reputation s/he is garnering.
Just a roaming thought. Shoot it down, if you like.