Liza May

Tampa 2011 Update #3

Holy Mackerel! What a way to ruin a comp! How completely inappropriate can you get?

Tonight was Saturday night, the Big Night! Wonderful show, the Willis Clan and their Reality TV pilot! Masters routines! Young Adult routines! Rising Star! And Classic! A wonderful exciting night, right? Two weeks before the Open?

But a peculiar announcement was made several times: “There will be a meeting of Showcase at 11:30pm All Showcase couples who competed last night! You will be meeting tonight at 11:30pm!”

So of course everyone here wondered what could that possibly be about? Showcase was yesterday! It was great! A meeting on Saturday night?

Here’s what it was about. Beata Howe, Chief Judge, decided that all the showcase couples but one (Crystal and Dave) should be disqualified. For lack of swing content.

So Beata convened a new, second panel of judges, and had them watch a video of last night’s routines. And after this discussion and viewing Beata confirmed that in fact every single one of the showcase couples (except Crystal and Dave) should be disqualified for lack of swing content. Beata decided not to disqualify them here in Tampa but informed them in their 11:30 meeting that in two weeks, at the Open, they would be judged again by this same panel of judges, and should expect to be disqualified for lack of swing content.

Couples were flabbergasted.

Showcase is 60/40. 60% swing content. They asked Beata what is swing content, according to you, that you would disqualify all of us?

You can’t define swing content, Beata answered.

How are we supposed to do it if you can’t tell us what it is we’re supposed to do, they asked.

Has to do with weight. Where your weight is, Beata said. Your weight can’t be over the balls of your feet.

But that’s technique, that’s not swing content, they said.

Well that’s how I define swing content, she said. And this second panel of judges I’ve convened are the same judges who will be judging you in two weeks at the Open. So change your routines or be disqualified.

The feeling here, of this event, went from an excited Saturday Night high to a shocked, disappointed, worried low. In the space of an hour. People everywhere on their phones calling family and friends all over the world, worrying, confused, not understanding.

Robert and Nicola Royston? Seriously? Greg and Lemery? Lemery is 22 years old. This is her first year on our circuit. She and Greg have travelled at their expense, to every NASDE comp and a lot of non-NASDE comps in order to put this routine on the floor, playing by the rules as the rules were described to them. For a year they have not once received a violation, not to mention a disqualification! The Open is two weeks away and how exciting this has been for Greg and Lemery! They’ve thought they might stand a chance of placing at the USOpen! How wonderful!

And now … this. Really, Beata? This is the “welcoming” community you want to show our young competitors?

What a way to ruin the high of Saturday night!

Of course news of this travelled instantly and after that no one really felt much like celebrating. The ballroom was sparse, mood was gloomy.

Something must be done to rectify this!. Will this second panel of judges, whoever they were, now have already decided that every one of the Showcase routines of last night – including Greg and Lemery, Robert and Nicola who danced more beautifully than before with the most beautiful routine yet, Rob and Connie who have been performing their routine since March, Stephen and Sabrina, Ben and Rebecca, Sheven and Agnieszka, JB and Sarah, and Luis and Jennifer – that these routines are all to be thrown out of the Open? For lack of swing content? Which cannot be defined? Other than to say that your weight needs to be over your heels?

There is so very MUCH here that’s inappropriate, I’m embarrassed.

Filed Under: Tampa

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