Forum: Ask a Studio Owner

Competition Disappointment
By westdancers
On Wed Mar 16, 2016 09:13 AM

I would like to get some feedback on how studio owners feel when you travel to a competition, pay expensive entry fees, travel and meals on the road and come back with no judges comments because their flash drive or cd provided does not work. Seems this is happening more and more! I believe receiving the critiques from the judges are the prime reason we attend these events. They advertise this is part of what they will provide to encourage us to attend........am I the only one who feels this is incompetence on their part and when this occurs they should offer either a rebate on the next registration or possibly even a % refund? My teachers use these comments as learning tools and share with the students so they know what they have to improve on in the future. The wrath of the parents wanting to know what they are paying for is directed at me not the competition.....please give me your insight.....thank you!

6 Replies to Competition Disappointment

re: Competition Disappointment
By hummingbird
On Wed Mar 16, 2016 01:05 PM
All you can do is vote with your feet and not go there again, I do suggest telling the competition why you're not going back though, make the complaint formal that way they might actually do something about it. Lets face it all they need to do is check their equipment is working properly first.

Also when you're looking at entering competitions next year ask round to get feedback and ask the competition you're looking at entering what they would do if this happened.

Lets face it if you bought a computer and it only did some of the things it claimed to do you'd take it back, you certainly wouldn't expect to pay full price for it and have nothing done to help you.
re: Competition Disappointment
By westdancers
On Wed Mar 16, 2016 05:40 PM
Thank you for your reply. I did contact the director of the competition, needless to say it didn't go as planned. This was his response: "We feel we provide a great enviorment for the dancers to perform and have a fun experience at our show.. We feel we offer more then just critiques and score sheets... But maybe you dont feel the same way."
A direct quote, misspelled words and all.....I tried to give him a perspective from the parents and my point of view but he responded back
" Just so you know our experience with studio directors across the country have a much better experience at competition when they don't share Critiques and score sheets with there parents... For many reasons with the main one being them critiquing there children at home..." My daughter and I took both our studios but will not be returning. I knew I was fighting a losing battle.....
re: Competition Disappointment
By hummingbird
On Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:20 PM
Who the heck pays all that money and doesn't share the critiques? I share all of the critiques with my dancers, that's what you go for! The medal is just a lump of cheap metal, trophies are just plastic and worth nothing but an experienced adjudicator's critic is worth it's weight in gold, especially to a group of dancers who think they know it all.

We had a competition two years ago who over scheduled to the point where they ran two and a half hours late, they started at 7.30am and were meant to run until 10.00 at night. If you count the hours up our dancers were there an hour early to rehearse, the sections were one and a half hours long and then they had to wait for the two and a half hours that the competition was behind, that meant the dancers were there for five hours for each section instead of the two and a half they should have been there for. That's just bad planning and greed!

We asked the owner if they had any plans to restrict the number of studios entering and they said no. Last year we didn't go, neither did a lot of other studios. They were down to a one and a half day competition from a five day event. This year is a bit different, they're starting at 9.00am and stop running at 9.00pm and having very carefully done the math with their provisional schedule I think we stand a chance of running on time.

This only happened because people voted with their feet and didn't enter. It didn't happen right away but they got the message in the end.
re: Competition Disappointment
By westdancers
On Thu Mar 17, 2016 08:31 AM
Good for you! I know someone who actually stopped payment on an entry fee check that hadn't been cashed yet after they experienced no critiques being provided along with her studio name being left off all the promotional materials for nationals including tee shirts each dancer was presented as a welcome gift! Explain that to all the students and parents who paid the same amount as everyone else....they actually went to court and the judge ruled in favor of the competition because he acknowledged he did not understand how the dancing world works...... I wish we as studio owners had some sort of clout (besides not attending) to force these businesses to honor their commitments or have to return the fees. Once that happened I guarantee you the legit competitions would fix the problems immediately when they are hit in the pocketbook. I hate to put someone's name out there with a bad reference but what other alternative do we have to help our dance families around the state or nation make good decisions to benefit their students?
re: Competition Disappointment
By kr_WDance
On Thu Mar 17, 2016 01:49 PM
You're right I do see that happening a lot more. However, I think the quality of the judges' critiques has gone downhill as well.

Either they are saying the same stuff I tell my dancers (which is great for them to hear it from someone else, but not that helpful to me) or they don't talk for 3/4 of the dance. I had one judge who's only comment was "I think some of the girls in the back should be in the front and vice versa." Then I listened and that judge said it on every dance. I find them just repeating the same generic comments (point your feet, stretch your knees)...almost like they pick from a list of possible critiques and say those... Some judges don't watch the beginning or ends of pieces because they are setting up their mic (checking their texts).

Sorry to be a negative nancy, I just feel like the quality has gone down so much. Every kid gets a high gold or a platinum and they charge outrageous fees to not say anything useful. I would say getting performance experience is one of the only valuable things kids are getting out of competitions these days.
re: Competition Disappointment
By westdancers
On Thu Mar 17, 2016 02:01 PM
I tell my dancers all the time just getting on stage and performing takes a lot of courage so I have to agree with you the performing end of it is very, very important. I believe once a child feels comfortable on stage they are easier to teach because the wheels aren't turning during their performance.

When my daughters competed you could have 20 dancers in the same category and they gave away a 1st, second and third and the rest went home with a participation ribbon. It made my girls want to try harder that's for sure.

I also have to agree with you on the judges remarks...I am sure by the middle of the day they are just going through the motions...I know how hard it is as a spectator sometimes to watch number after number...wouldn't it be nice to have an event where there is no adjudication but you could take your dancer to perform in front of judges that truly watch and offer constructive criticism. I am the first to tell my dancers if turning pro is their goal put your money into classes not competition......trophies on a shelf mean nothing when auditioning.......I appreciate the feedback......

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