Blacks in Ballroom

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01-08-2006, 12:49 PM
Blacks in Ballroom
Very Interesting Dancescape...

Yes, it would be nice to see more interest in dancesport and to attract enthusiasts from different walks of life.

Also interesting that Master P. was introduced as a multi millionare, and a music Mogul.

And while one week is certainly not enough even for a multy talented Master P. to make up for the lost time in jive, there was no doubt that Master P. was the weakest link, and a dancer who has not dignified the ballroom by failing to put on even proper dancing shoes.

Was he cool, of course ! Did he look as a dancer in his cool cap and street boots ?

In the previous shows, whether in So you can dance, or in the Balroom Bootcamp all dancers had to look as dancers, they were made to shave their heads, cut and smoothen theit hair, they were required to play their part.

I would like to see the Ontario judges if I entered comeptition wearing a cap, playing a cool dude.

Also interesting that Politics were immediately brought into this competition. After all Master P did not enter for himself, but for all
black, and geto, hood, types to give them another option to get a life.

I agree 100% with Master P. and I commend him for what he chose to do, for the exaple he gives, and what he stand for; however, I believe that it is the Politics that has saved Master P from being eliminated...

It was not the judges this time, it was the 10 calls everyone is allowed place to vote for their favourite dancers. And if everyone with a cell phone and a TV living, who Master P. "dances" for dials 10 times for Master P, Master P just may win this competition.

Lets watch and see.

Also notice : all professional instructors so far, have taken a charge over their students, they 'tore' them apart, they sometimes humiliated them, other times they ridiculed them, BUT This time, Master P was the cool dude, in charge of his instructor.

I find this interesting, and hope that next time, the best will win, and the worst dancer shall be eliminated. There is no place in ballroom and our dancesport for politics.

Lets keep it fair. PLEASE
01-09-2006, 11:12 AM
Hi greenpin,
Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post all your feedback/comments! Personally, we LOVE trying to understand all sides of various arguments and viewpoints.


Judge What is interesting about the show (and "American Idol" kind of set this precedent) is that we can actually hear the judges' comments immediately after each performance ... so their reactions are "REAL" ... not necessarily have time to be politically motivated, or at least that there is less lead time for "conferring" with the other judges. We actually like this approach! It adds another dimension.

It's kind of like at World Amateur Championships when they do open marking in the finals ... scores are immediately posted. Of course, the disadvantage is if there is a long line-up of judges, those down the judgin lineup can still change their scores quickly.

We watched a documentary over the weekend about the Skating controversy at the last Olympics (where the French judge confided to one of the British judge that her mark was influenced by another judge). Apparently, the British (female) judge who turned her in is now banned from judging (more because she had tried to set up a competing body) ... while the French judge has served her "sentence" and is back judging.

Human behavior is interesting, isn't it? Fairness in judging is an ideal, and they're trying to get closer now in the Skating system to more objective marking processes. Maybe one day, DanceSport will do the same!

Kiss My Ass It's always been another of our BEEF that judges can also mark their students. Hello ... yes, we can argue all we want about how there is not enough judging work, etc. etc. ... but in terms of rules/guidelines and values/principles that we want in a sport ... this wouldn't pass Olympic (and media) scrutiny. This is a case where sometimes it is important to maintain "tradition" ... but in cases like these, that tradition has to be examined and policing bodies should work towards more objective processes in judging.

Ooops ... off track. Sorry! Shut Up

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01-09-2006, 01:31 PM
Hi Greenpin: The only thing I can say is: I HOPE the judges took into account the fact that Master P had one week to learn the dance. That can be the ONLY reason for their decision in my humble opinion.

Master P was pretty bad, and should have been eliminated by all rights. But I guess there WERE exigent circumstances (honestly I was hoping they would take the time frame into account).

Dancescape: I'm happy that there are 2 African American competitors this time around...And so different as well....Master P was all about bending the situation to suit him, and Jerry Rice kept talking about this developing chemistry with his pro-partner (which is a HUGE part of ballroom dancing).

As a life lesson it would be interesting for the urban audience to see which contestant ends up being more successful. Others may make it into a racial/political situation, but part of being successful in any endeavor is knowing what the 'rules' are and mastering them!


01-09-2006, 02:49 PM
You know what, sambakid, that is one of the interesting "struggles" personally for us ... it's that fine line of respecting tradition versus standing up for what you believe in.

We have been fortunate enough to meet a whole range of people throughout our lives, some very wealthy, others struggling to put food on the table for the next day.

We read in the news about gang members (and also racist attitudes sometimes towards the Black community). Our experience with urban dance groups is quite different ... they are REAL people with same passions and desires/dreams as anyone else.

Small Dancer We sponsored an Urban dance competition (Hip Hop/Break Dancing) a number of years ago, and the participants were just AMAZING people. OK, yes, some of them may have belong to gangs ... and some of them may even have been "pretending" to look like they belong to a gang ... but they LOVE dance just as much as we LOVE dance (from a Ballroom/Latin perspective).

It would be so great to break barriers that urban kids can take Ballroom, Latin, Salsa ... even at a Social level first ... and out of that group, perhaps a certain percentage (even if just ONE Black dancer) finds the Passion and the right people to develop his/her talent. We share this same dream/aspiration with any other minority group which Dance has not yet reached.

Idealistic, yes, but ... that's what personally inspires us.

Soap Box

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01-10-2006, 04:49 PM
Hi, Gang!

Welcome new posters! Unfortnuately, I didn't get to see the first installment of Dancing With the Stars for 2006, but I did catch the clips the following night when the scores were tallied. Master P was horrible! I understand that he only had a short time to prepare and was substituting for someone else. However, like Greenpin, I feel he could have shown a little more showmanship and went along with the program--look like a dancer! It's not like they wanted him to wear something embarrassing--just a suit! That's something that I think may hinder young African Americans in other aspects of life too. We heard same complaints when the baseball (or was it basketball) leagues asked the players to show up for press conferences in business casual attire. The players complained that their baggy pants and backwards caps were a cultural statement and that they should be asked to change. I think it's cool to be down with the hood culture when you're chillin' wit' your peeps. But when you go on an interview or in you're in a business setting (press conference, court appearance, etc.) you're expected to be (within reason) what they need you to be. If you're auditioning for a ballroom role, look the part.AAANYWAAAYYY!! I wanted them to send Master P home--it was so painful to watch--but I think Jerry Rice wasn't half bad. He at least has a little swivel in his hips!

Clive--Are you in Washington State or Washington, DC? Either way, I'm sure there's a follower out there waiting to pounce! There is definitely a shortage of leaders regardless of ethnicity. Checkout *********** to see what comps are available in your area. I'm curious about the dance scene in the UK, though. In NY there are lots of schools available. Are schools very accessible in the UK? If I were in London for a couple of weeks, where could I do a drop-in class or attend a Social?

As I've mentioned on this and other posts about Blacks in Ballroom, I'd love to network and dialogue with other black people--Latin, Standard or Social dancers--to hear their experiences and to explore ways to encourage more blacks (especially leaders) to get dancin'! I'd love to hear any ideas you'd like to add.

Sambakid--Hey, girl! K-man and I did our Hustle showcase in December and got good feedback. I'm showcasing this Friday (Int'l Tango) and in March I'll be debuting the long-awaited Viennese Waltz! I wasn't in the studio during the Transit Strike, but I was one of a group of winners of the Top Student of 2005 prize--how cool was that!? What are you up to these days?
01-12-2006, 01:55 PM
Hey Yvonne:

Congratulations, Top Student!! Good to hear from you!! Well...who would have thought a dance competition would spur socio-political comment about African-Americans and their place in this society?!?! I LOVE the fact that it has, though...

How are things at the old studio these days?? Heard they've gone through quite a bit of change. Oh, well....

You're really showcasing these days, huh? Lovely....If I get a chance, I'll come check you out.

I'm working with a pretty well known pro these days. Very demanding and exacting, but its all good for me. Hopefully I'll work my way back to some semblance of dancing (comps, showcases). We'll see....


02-08-2006, 11:57 AM
Psst!! I saw Black people!! Did you see it?? While watching America's Ballroom Challenge on PBS last week, I saw Emanuel Pierre Antoine dancing in competition and Solo exhibition (Mambo) and I saw a Black woman in the audience!
02-22-2006, 09:28 AM
I know I wanted to see Blacks in Ballroom, but how many people are gnashing their teeth over the fact that Jerry Rice is still "Dancing With the Stars?" I think he was just as shocked as I was that he made it to the next round! On a positive note, this means that either Black people are watching and wanted him to continue or the football crowd is watching. Either way it's wonderful that I'm hearing Black men discussing Jerry's Paso or his Quickstep as I get my coffee in the morning Banana
07-03-2006, 12:32 PM
Hey, sambakid!

I didn't see you at the Manhattan Dancesport Championships this Saturday. Speaking of Blacks in competitive dancing, there were 3 Black people in the Rising Star Pro Rhythm division. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by their performances. One couple (a mixed couple--black man/white woman) danced so timidly and the other couple (a Black couple from Florida) danced so poorly they didn't make the finals. The woman was overweight and wearing a costume that wasn't "size appropriate"--you can imagine the result each time she raised her legs!

Any comments?
07-05-2006, 08:13 AM
Sammie Thompson
I am the first black founder of a collegiate ballroom dance club and competition team. It is called the TLU Ballroom Dance Society, based at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin (near San Antonio/Austin). The club recieved its charter as of February 21, 2006. TLU is a small school of 1,400 students that is 70% white, and has about 100 black students. With me competing and teaching as well, this breaks race/ethnic barriers, and along with the success of Jerry Rice, the first runner up on season 2 of TV's "Dancing with the Stars," may help boost interest in ballroom dancing among blacks.

I would also like to help start ballroom dance programs at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) such as Prairie View A&M, near Houston.

I have been doing many partner dance styles (ballroom, country, swing, salsa) for more than two years. My parents were either involved in ballet, tap, or modern dancing when they were young.

TLU Ballroom is searching for professional instructors and the club's first-ever classes start in September.

Mr. Sammie Thompson
President, TLU Ballroom Dance Society