Forum: Highland / Highland

An Open Letter to WOHDA (karma: 1)
On Sun Nov 29, 2009 08:52 PM

WHODA, you have certainly out done yourself.

For years rumors have swirled around the Highland Dance community regarding your lack of ethics, your favoritism towards WOHDA studio members and your overall lack of professionalism. And for years I have defended you against these claims. But I can defend you no longer.

Never in my long association with Highland Dance have I ever witnessed such an outright stacking of the deck as I did this Sunday Nov 29 in Fergus. Mediocre at best dancers, WOHDA dancers, placing above Ontario reps. Dancers who consistently place top in their groups in other competitions placing behind WOHDA dancers of less caliber, or shut out of the awards all together. Dancer who supported HDTA instead of WOHDA on Nov 22 apparently punished for their choice.

This is not “sour grapes” my dancers fared well, perhaps better than they should have. And my intent here is not to take anything away from those dancers who did place, you all danced wonderfully. But I can no longer sit back and watch while WOHDA brings the local Highland Dance community into disgrace.

Obviously I have used a unique ID to express my concerns. I did not do this to try and hide but to avoid any retaliation against my family or dancers.

14 Replies to An Open Letter to WOHDA

re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
By bek24
On Sun Nov 29, 2009 09:28 PM
what is WOHDA for those of us not from your country?
re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
By Another_Mother
On Mon Nov 30, 2009 05:47 AM
Hello Bek24,
WOHDA is a dance organization who run some of the competitions in Canada.

To our new member "XWOHDA", the teacher/parent who I am guessing their child didn't take home the trophy somewhere yesterday, CONGRATS on publicly making yourself, Canada and it dancers look like idiots in front of THE WORLD. Grow up, stop hiding, IF you have a VALID case present it properly to the correct officials NOT A CHAT ROOM online.

Finally to everyone else who will read and possibly comment. I say STOP RIGHT THERE!!! Let's not give this anymore time and space on our useful site, I hate to think we can support the political rants of disgruntled Mommies...(and Daddies)!!!
re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
By hylandmom
On Mon Nov 30, 2009 06:08 AM
I am a WOHDA parent, I was not there yesterday but how is WOHDA to blame? I am very supportive of WOHDA and think they put on great competitions. Is it not the judges who "judge" the dancers? With that said they have taken a course and know what they are doing and overall I think that all judges do a very good at what they do. Sometimes they see things we do not and vise versa, last time I checked that was called being human.
re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
By TamrasMom
On Mon Nov 30, 2009 08:50 AM
Unless the dancers are wearing special signs that say they are WHODA dancers how is the judge supposed to know what affiliation the dancers have and place them accordingly as XWOHDA has suggested? That just makes no sense. Judging highland dancing is subjective. Let's just leave it at that and congratulate those who win and tell those that don't to keep trying because the outcome may be totally different at the next competition.
re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
On Mon Nov 30, 2009 09:32 AM
Not sure exactly what you are talking about??
WOHDA is judged by SOBHDA judges... so I am confused as to what you are questioning.
Perhaps, you maybe talking about the Overall Guelph District Dancer trophies which includes all dancers within the boundaries of Wellington County. These trophies which are presented only to Dancers who live to the above mention County "Guelph District" WOHDA or take from a Teacher in the towns and cities held within this region. These trophies (similar to London District WOHDA district dancers.)have been presented to the "overall Guelph District" OWHDA dancers.
These trophies were carried over when the City of Guelph had it's own closed competition way before WOHDA was ever formed.
For those of you who do not know what W.O.H.D.A is short for is the Western Ontario Highland Dancing Association which was formed by Jenny MacLaughlan Many years ago.
If you are a member of WOHDA... then perhaps if you do not agree with the presentation of these trophies to our District Dancers, perhaps you could join us at WOHDA'S next annual General Meeting held each November, This past month we held our meeting in Cambridge Ontario and we only had 2 parents show up and the rest teachers from our District Reps... Windsor, London, Cambridge, Guelph, Chatham and Halton. You would have received your invitation to with your Membership and your competition entry forms for 2010,
Perhaps you should speak to your teacher who perhaps should have been at the meeting (plus yourself) they should know about these trophies that are present for the past 40 to 50 years.
If you want change and your are a WOHDA MEMBER (which you must be as you were at our competitions) we will expect to see you at the next AGM and persent your concerns.
It is always good to get the facts. If you had a concern you could have submitted you complaint on at the competition with your $25.00 (to register it)
If you have any more concerns or question please see our website and talk to our contact person at WOHDA.

re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
By dancersmom5
On Mon Nov 30, 2009 09:33 AM
I don't usually participate in this kind of email chain but truly in this case I feel compelled to. For the record my dancer was not at the competition on the weekend and I am not on the WOHDA exec.

I think it is terrible to attack an organization made up of volunteers in this way. The organization can't control the outcome of a competition nor is it reasonable to assume that the judges are aware of who is and who isn't a WOHDA member.

My dancer has attended WOHDA competitions over the years and in particular always attends the two championships in the spring. I want to express my thanks to WOHDA volunteers for the time and effort they put into organizing these events which help prepare our dancers for the Ontarios. We are very fortunate here in Ontario that we have dedicated voluteers from all our dance associations helping organize these events which give our dancers so much opportunity. We don't always stop and say thank you and we should.
re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
By batd_teacherPremium member
On Mon Nov 30, 2009 09:46 AM
Wasn't there, nor were any of my dancers...this is an "aside" resulting from this and previous members who have posted inflammatory remarks regarding the running of and awarding of placings at competitions and championships.

I'm wondering if a STICKY could be created here on DDN in the Highland Competitions section for people who feel the need to dispute results at competitions and what the correct steps to be taken are to have the matter resolved. Granted it would have to be designed in such a way that the information would cover all boards and countries in order to provide accurate information. Maybe something in point form at least? Then in cases such as XWOHDA we can refer them to that to have their issue heard in the appropriate venue.
re: An Open Letter to WOHDA (karma: 1)
By beats_and_bars
On Mon Nov 30, 2009 07:41 PM
W.O.H.D.A. is a professionally run organization consisting of parents and teachers. We would be happy to entertain dialogue with the individual who wrote this letter if they would kindly come forward to the Executive. We take pride in our competitions, our volunteers, the judges and the teachers.

Leslie MacDougall
re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
On Mon Nov 30, 2009 09:29 PM
I have attended many fair WOHDA competitions. I did not attend the Fergus, WODHA competition. Please do not think that a judge does not know who the dancers are. The judges can easily see who is warming up which dancers. I have a great respect for most of our Highland Judges. It is a difficult job. I know some judges expect more out of a Rep. than a non rep. In the past years I have seen unfair competitions. If you pay your $25.00 and complain then your students and your reputation are at risk for further discrimination. There needs to be a way anonymously to question a judge’s decision without putting your studio or students in jeopardy of further retaliation by that judge or their friends. I believe that you must have proof not just an accusation.
re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
By Bellheather
On Mon Nov 30, 2009 09:35 PM
Sad so sad when dancers can't dance, parents can't enjoy, judges can't judge and volunteers can't volunteer and be appreciated. Sad sad world we have become
re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
By Dancing_Bek
On Tue Dec 01, 2009 04:53 AM
I agree with Another_Mother and beats_and_bars. If you have a discussion of whatever nature to have about this issue, you should speak with the appropriate people. Which is not (no offence to anyone here) this online website. You should discuss this with the relevant bodies. I have learnt this from experience - if you want something done to fix or adjust the problem then you need to speak with the 'right' people.

Just my two bits worth.

Comment #8698066 deleted
Removed by Ceilidh_Dance (109259) on 2009-12-01 08:22:47 bc

re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
By tavcandancePremium member
On Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:56 AM
What Bellheather said. Good grief, it's only a Highland competition, the world will continue to revolve around the sun and there will always be another competition. Just imagine if all this energy were put into something useful what a different world it could be.
re: An Open Letter to WOHDA
By Eve1
On Wed Dec 02, 2009 09:37 AM
As organizer of the Guelph Competition, I deeply resent your unfair comments. WOHDA, of course,just like any other highland organization has nothing to do with the opinions of the judges who were hired to do a fair job of selecting dancers who performed best on that particular day.
I feel that the judges I hired were competent and fair and I stand by their opinions.
If you are complaining about the Guelph DISTRICT trophies, perhaps you are just mistaken about how they are chosen. Read other comments to understand this process.
It is parents like YOU that have made organizing this competition over the years a headache instead of a joy. I bet YOU don't volunteer or organize a competition yourself. If you did, you wouldn't be making such ignorant comments.
After 7 years of organizing the Guelph District Competition, I thought last Sunday's competition was one of our best ever. I congratulate everyone including the judges, our piper and all the volunteers and participants. I say to all of you, do not let the opinion of one irate and unreasonable parent spoil your
experience or lessen your achievements.
Eve Geisler
WOHDA District Competition Organizer.


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