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Author Topic: Do you have to take lessons from the judges to place well?  (Read 889 times)
elisedance
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« on: October 25, 2011, 07:01:29 AM »

Its in everyones heads and its gossiped about a lot.  But is it true?

One could argue that if you take a lesson from a judge they will become aware of you and once they see you responding to their suggestions they will mark you better.  That is totally reasonable - but is that really all there is to it?  How can there not be a temptation to a judge to mark a 'paying' client better than one that is not - or worse is going to different (detested) judge?  BTW by paying I mean not only money but also homage.  I presume Judges, like all other walks of life, have heirarchies too and status is as important to them as finances - indeed one leads to the other.

Perhaps the most concerning situation is where a couple goes to a foreign country and dutifully takes lessons from the judges for several years - and does well in their major tournament.  Then the next year goes, fails to take the lessons and then does far worse.  The question of course, is what about the couples that they used to beat that now come out on top - were they still paying for lessons?

I think most couples accept this as 'part of the sport'.  But of course its not a sport at all if who you pay money or homage to is a major factor.
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Becca
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2011, 08:04:15 AM »

I think this could go the other way as well. I have heard that you only have 3-4 competitions appearances before the judges (that you haven't necessarily taken lessons from,) have sort of made their mind up about you.  Once they have done that, (I have heard) they tend to not spend as much time actually watching your dancing, and compare what they 'know of you' to the other dancers they are less familiar with... for example, if you compete every other week chances are that the Judges will remember you (unless you really just do not stand out at all). If you are dancing against a couple that the judges are not familiar with, it seems logical that they will expend more energy watching that couple. By extension- you are then judged by past appearances, rather than the current one.

I could be totally wrong on this, again it's just what i've heard... but it seemed like an interesting alternate viewpoint Smiley
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Rugby
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2011, 09:46:51 PM »

It never pays off to try and take lessons from judges for marks.  If you take from a judge do it because they have something to offer either than marks.  It is a two way street in that you may get marks from them when you are with them but watch out if you leave as the marks will now reflect that too.  It doesn't pay.  We avoided anyone that judged for years but finally frdid do some with a couple of the judges because we thought we may benefit from their age and experience.  The judge we are still with marks us down if we don't dance like she thinks we can (as in when we are in lessons) so that is a drag and thus no benefit but rather more diffcult to get marks from her.  The other one we left when we had gotten to where we knew we had gotten what we could.  The problem is that not only is he a judge but so is the spouse and the spouse was greatly insulted when we left.  Our marks went from near the top when we were not with them, to near the top when we were with them, to right to the bottom now that we left.  We will not stay to get the better marks so will have to live with the revenge marks.  I trust his marking of us still but the spouse is another matter.  I still like her and we had always had planned on going back down the road but the cold chill from her to my DP has made that a no-go.   

I just wanted to be judged fairly, no favortism and no against for personal reasons.  Is that so much to ask.
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QPO
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 03:52:15 AM »

I think there are swings and roundabouts in this discussion, I have stories on both side. but in the end I think it would work out even over a year!

I wont take lessons from one of our local judges( even though friends says that I should) and they always mark us last behind the worst dancers! do I worry about it....no as I know when I go to a national competition it gives a much better representation where we sit on the dancing ladder.

I treat all local comps as practice and don't worry about our placings....

If I have to go to a judge to get better marks what does that say about my dancing?
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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 04:02:20 AM »

I think the dynamic is different for local amateur competitions from, say, international professional ones.  The former can go both ways, as discussed above, but with the latter there are very large implications - both financial and status - riding on outcome and the question really is can a mark be bought?  There are no checks and ballances on the judging process - indeed its not that easy to see how to impose them - which means opportunity for tweaking outcomes.
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elisedance
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 05:58:08 AM »

When I started this topic I had more in mind the top-ranked professional competitions rather than our own - and I think different rules hold there because the couples are all very well known by every judge. 

I find it interesting how obscure couples suddenly pop into the semi-finals (never finals) of international competitions and then they disappear just as fast from the rankings of the next one.  I'd be rather inttrigued to know the pre-competition 'preparation of these couples and whether coaching correlates with outcome.
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2011, 07:13:18 AM »

I never do it. But funny enough, my coach suggested that some time down the track we should take lessons from other judges, especially the top ranking ones.

One thing came up in our conversation regarding taking lessons from judges is that not only you may be favoured by that particular judge, you may also be favoured by other judges that are friends with the one you took lessons with.

Another experience in this regards is that when me and my new partner went to Melbourne for a competition after moving away from Melbourne since the start of the year, none of the Melbourne judges marked us but all the interstate judges marked us. And the following competition in NSW, we won our division by only dropping 4 first places across 3 dances in front of a judging panel of 7 judges.
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elisedance
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2011, 08:53:47 AM »

Yup, friends of friends is a factor but here its much more studio vs studio.  Indeed, some studios will not let their students complete unless they get a judge on the panel.  And so it goes Tongue Tongue Tongue
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phoenix13
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2013, 11:42:53 AM »

Weird.  I would like to believe that judges, first and foremost, care about the quality of the dancing.  I'd also like to believe that they watch the dancing on the day of the comp and mark couples accordingly.

Maybe I'm naïve  ...
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elisedance
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2013, 01:39:22 AM »

Weird.  I would like to believe that judges, first and foremost, care about the quality of the dancing.  I'd also like to believe that they watch the dancing on the day of the comp and mark couples accordingly.

Maybe I'm naïve  ...
at top comps - absolutely - but as you get into the local ones its not always so simple Tongue
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
phoenix13
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 05:28:03 AM »

Yeah.  I can see that. Local politics, etc, might take a role.   Undecided
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elisedance
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2013, 04:42:34 AM »

... but the best thing is to ignore it and dance as if it does not exist.  You can't do anythign about it anyway..
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
QPO
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2013, 05:15:05 AM »

... but the best thing is to ignore it and dance as if it does not exist.  You can't do anythign about it anyway..

That is what I feel about it too, we just dance our given best....and dont get involve in the politics....you will always loose more than you win.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2013, 08:11:13 AM »

That's all you can do. I'd also go ahead and take lessons from whoever I wanted, without playing on prejudices or asking for favors.  I'd trust them to keep things separate.  It is their job, after all. 

If they play politics, that's on them.  what I do is on me. All any of us can do is our best.
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Dona nobis pacem.
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