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Judging own pupils
Posted by Polished
8/18/2008  1:37:00 PM
Should judges be allowed to judge their own pupils.
We wouldn't accept that at a flower show a judge judges his own exhibits. would we ??. And yet in dancing we accept it without saying a word.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by jofjonesboro
8/18/2008  8:29:00 PM
Some of us say something but we're ignored.

This practice is not only allowed but even demanded for pro/am competitors. I was working with one for a few months and she told me (what I've been told many times before) that her professional partner regularly brought in one of the judges for special "coaching" at a rate of $125 to $150 per hour.

Later, she told me that she couldn't afford her share of our lesson and practice fees. I haven't seen her since.

How much integrity can any competition have when the competitor can virtually buy a trophy?

Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by anymouse
8/18/2008  9:41:00 PM
I would not equate taking double-price lessons with famous teachers as "buying a trophy". Instead, this is a basic cornerstone of how all serious amateur and professional couples get their training -often from experts that they might be judged by once a year if at all. Its precisely those kinds of lessons where the key ideas needed to take dancing to a higher level of performance come from - the ideas that seem shocking or even outright wrong to those who've only seen these dancers on video, and never talked with or danced with them.

A number of times I've been given a very far-out and seemingly impractical idea by a local teacher, and just have not been able to make any sense of it or make it work. Then an opportunity comes up to work with the world-class expert who trained them. And then I find out what the local teacher was trying to say, but had not quite communicated accurately. The idea might still seem very challenging, but when tracked back to its source (or the nearest living thing to its source) you can start to see how you will eventually be able to incorporate it into your dancing to dramatic effect. Secondhand sometimes is just not enough.

But of course not every expensive lesson is worth the money. Unfortunately it takes some knowledge and experience to know who is and isn't worth the money. If you have more experienced friend without a financial stake in the opportunity, that can be a good recommendation for what is and isn't worth the money.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by Polished
8/19/2008  1:04:00 AM
Anonymous. It only takes one rotten apple to spoil the barrel. When Dancesport was formed there was all these noble ideas that a judge would remove himself from the judging panel if any of their pupils were on the floor. This was a voluntary thing. It only took one person to make another think, if they are going to so can I.
It gets even more ridiculous here where we have three different styles of dancing. Some teachers only teach one of the three styles. So why would they have any interest in the other two or keep up with the latest techniques. But there they are New Vogue teachers judging Latin. No wonder people leave the sport in disgust. Would it be fairer if the judging panel stood aside at the completion of each dance and another panel took their place.. Why not.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by SocialDancer
8/19/2008  1:35:00 AM
So let me see if I have understood you correctly Polished.

You want your judges to be actively teaching high level competitors, but not the ones who are actively competing.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by terence2
8/19/2008  3:10:00 AM
If that really were the case.. there would be very, very, few world class coaches available to judge Championship events, such as the British and International.

It is not to say that it would not be possible, but highly unlikely .

Also, consider this... the adjudicators are booked many months in advance... how are they supposed to know who will and who will not be competing ?.
The possible exception to that rule.. a relative .
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by jofjonesboro
8/19/2008  5:37:00 AM
First of all, I don't consider pro/am to be serious - seriously expensive, yes, but not serious with regard to the development of dancing skills.

Second, it's one thing to take some coaching from a high-level professional who may or may not judge you someday and quite another to hire that coach BECAUSE that coach WILL be judging you.

Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by terence2
8/19/2008  8:04:00 AM
That depends on the skill and experience of the pro, and the dedication and " talent " of the student.

Its fair to say, that there are those in the pro/Am circuit are there for many different reasons.. but.. there are some very serious talented Amats.who cannot find a partner, but rather than bemoan the problem.. compete

I had the pleasure of coaching an amat couple a few yrs back, and the lady was an ex. amat. partner of Joe Jenkins. She was a past 3 times US Pro/Am. champ., and was a remarkable dancer.. the reason she stayed as an amat. was her profession ( Dr,in 2 sciences medical and research )

I have of course , known many others .
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.

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?

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