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Old 07-18-2008, 10:19 PM   #1
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Question Spot checks during Intertribals?

Quick question...this has been bugging me... Are spot checks REALLY necessary during Intertribals? I've heard so many emcee's say that dancers should be out there dancing. I may be wrong, but I thought intertribals were just for fun, to "warm up", to get to know other natives/non natives. let me know what yall think....I tried making the argument to this pow wow committee that they shouldn't have SO MANY, dancers have things they got to take care of...braiding hair, going to the bathroom, tending to your children, getting food. Being out there for every single intertribal just seems too much......
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:41 PM   #2
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When there is a contest powwow with 300 plus dancers, it is not necessary. Spot checks are put in place for the spectators. Spectators want to see dancers out there. So........... spot checks were invented. If at some time, there is only 20-30 dancers on the floor, the emcee should give a warning that spot checks MAY be forthcoming. That doesn't necessarily mean that a spot check will be taken. It's just something to say to get dancers........ dancing.

They are not necessary. People gotta go. Babies gotta be fed. People gotta eat. Some committees have to lighten up and let the dancers enjoy.
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Old 07-19-2008, 02:52 AM   #3
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actually they are needed cause i know alotof comp dancers that won't dance intertribals at comp pow wows, unless they know that judges are doing spot checks. just my opinion
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:29 AM   #4
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its funny when the MC announces
theres spot checks at the last intertribal

then all the dancers races out to
get to their numbers checked
at the last minute
even tho half of em dancers
are never out there durin intertribals

its like watchin a stampede
of dancers racin out there...for spot checks...

but yeah I dont think its necessary
for spot checks at competition powwows
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seneca*one View Post
Quick question...this has been bugging me... Are spot checks REALLY necessary during Intertribals? I've heard so many emcee's say that dancers should be out there dancing. I may be wrong, but I thought intertribals were just for fun, to "warm up", to get to know other natives/non natives. let me know what yall think....I tried making the argument to this pow wow committee that they shouldn't have SO MANY, dancers have things they got to take care of...braiding hair, going to the bathroom, tending to your children, getting food. Being out there for every single intertribal just seems too much......
Last year I made a point of being out there for every single intertribal at whichever pow wow I was at. It is HARD! lol Especially when the blazing sun is on you and hot as hell. I remember a couple of times wondering if I was going to get heat exhaustion. I had no children to tend to (that is going to change soon). So I can only imagine what it is like for the parents who are dancing.

I think it would depend on the size of the pow wow if spot checks were going to be implemented. If there are less than 300 dancers then yes, I think spot checks can be done. It would keep spectators and dancers interested and active.
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:09 PM   #6
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:20 PM   #7
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the reason why there is spot checks is because there is alot of lazy azz dancers out there who will dress up for grand entry and wont dance 1 intertrbal, just contest. People see that, and I know that you've prolly heard some people at powwows say " all that guy or chick does is dance comp and thats it". Like I said people see that, and so do judges.
The dancers I usually see place pretty good are the ones who dance hard every song, crappy song or not, with a smile on their face, those are the ones who get noticed to me, and it looks good. You can tell the ones who are just there for the money, and the ones who just love powwow dancin.
Thats why there is spot checks, because its not fair to the people who dance hard every song only to get skunked by people who barely dance. The people who dance hard deserve a reward of some sort.
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:39 PM   #8
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There was a time that I liked that they did spot checks........because I felt like everyone competiting should be out dancing as much as they can.........but now that I'm a little older I've found out if I dance all day.....everydance......and then my category of competition time doesn't come up until later in the night, I'm pretty dad-gum tired and it's hard to compete.
So I've found myself slowing down a bit........not dancing all the time, trying to rest some.
I really respect and like the dancers that are competiting that get out and give as much effort as they can.....and I've always tried to be one that was out giving my best effort all the time.
No worries about spot checks when you do that.
But I also see the need to rest some when you're entered in competition.
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:23 PM   #9
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absolutely....I can't dance every single song either, but you know where I'm getting at when I say about lazy dancers. Usually When I see spot checkers, they'll sit in the background for an hour or so while intertribals go on and they'll take your number once, and thats it. Another intertrbial song, some more people come out, same thing, they dont keep taking the same number over and over again. Judges understand that people arent gonna dance every song, but they do hope that you will get out there for at LEAST 1 or 2 intertribals. Thats where I'm gettin at.
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota Sandz View Post
the reason why there is spot checks is because there is alot of lazy azz dancers out there who will dress up for grand entry and wont dance 1 intertrbal, just contest. People see that, and I know that you've prolly heard some people at powwows say " all that guy or chick does is dance comp and thats it". Like I said people see that, and so do judges.
The dancers I usually see place pretty good are the ones who dance hard every song, crappy song or not, with a smile on their face, those are the ones who get noticed to me, and it looks good. You can tell the ones who are just there for the money, and the ones who just love powwow dancin.
Thats why there is spot checks, because its not fair to the people who dance hard every song only to get skunked by people who barely dance. The people who dance hard deserve a reward of some sort.
I agree Dakota Sandz, I have seen and heard of that also.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ojibwaywmn View Post
I agree Dakota Sandz, I have seen and heard of that also.
Guess it just depends on the powwow
I have seen it done and I have heard Dancers grumble about having to dance
LOL
I never did figure out why somebody would want to dress out and then sit and only dance for 3 mins during their contest and then go home
For the most part around here dancers come to the powwow to dance
But if the announce they are going to do spot checks then they should do it. I hate when the committee gets sneaky about it

I have seen where they did a spot check during a Two step
Now that was sneaky!
It got a lot of dancers running around looking for a partner!!!
LOL
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:43 AM   #12
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We were at a pow wow a year or so ago and one of the elders at the drum got up and challenged people to come and dance.......not just to come to compete or to come and dress up to be seen and not dance......but to come out and dance and celebrate who we are.
I was glad he said that...........hope people will get up and dance, do the best they can.......celebrate.
I know, I get tired...........but I'm never tired until the end of the night and then it's a good tired and we all hobble off to our cars laughing and joking about how tired we are or how sore we're going to be in the morning and its all just part of the good fun of being together............course there was a time we hobbled a little quicker to go to the 49!!! Now we just hobble off to Denny's and get some thing to eat!!!! haha
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:50 AM   #13
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yea.. that is funny.. getting all dressed up to "dance" then complaining about dancing.... lol
I was talking about this with a buddy of mine this past weekend.. they kept announcing spot checks coming up but nothing.. but then I'm usually out there anyway doing every intertribal... but the thing I had mentioned was the fact that given the amount of money going out these days at powwows.. there should be a lot more songs.. a lot of different songs.. mixing things up with the type songs.. spot checks that count for something..
dang I remember the few specials I've been in where we ended up dancing 4 to 6 songs for maybe a hundred and a blanket... now there are some powwows where there is one or two songs all weekend long for thousands of dollars!!!!
anyway.. my two cents..
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:49 AM   #14
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braidin hair

I don't get to powwow much anymore so when I do I like to be out there dancin. I am one of those people who likes to be completely ready before grand entry so I'm not running around after getting my hair done or whatever. However, If someone asks me to braid their hair I'm not going to turn them down. I got to my first powwow of the year two weeks ago and I missed the intertribals in afternoons both days because I was braiding hair. so the spot check thing for me personally works against me. Good thing i'm just not all that competitive to begin with. lol.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:02 PM   #15
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I think that spotchecks at Intertribals are also necessary. It keeps the competition going strong and really lets you know who wants to earn those extra points.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:46 PM   #16
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I used to be open to spot checks a long time ago. I love dancing intertribals so I was out there all the time anyway. But my views have changed over the years, and especially this summer.

I don't think there is any fairness to spotchecks. They are not really reinforceable, even though some powwows try. When I was on head staff at PI long ago, the head judge wanted to have a spot check in the afternoon heat. We argued with him that it wasn't necessary, but his words were, "These dancers are dancing for thousands of dollars...they need to be out there dancing." So they had the spot check. We were instructed to go out on the perimeter of the arena and get the numbers of dancers that tried to sneak in. We did that, but I know we missed some...and even if you miss one, that makes it unfair to those that were out there to begin with in my opinion.

I saw at Sac n Fox powwow here in KS a few years back where they had a spot check because no one was dancing. Well, they were intertribaling everyone to death and it was really, really hot. When the MC's called for the spot check, all the dancers just got up from their seats, wherever they were sitting, and then just walked out to the number takers and got their numbers written down. So what was the whole point of having a spot check?

AND, this summer at the Prairie Band Potawatomi powwow in June I was visiting with a friend of mine...I just went up on Sat evening to look on, I didn't dance that weekend. One of the AD's was walking around the outskirts of the dance arena and he was informing different dancers that they were getting ready to have a spot check. I saw him doing this, and he also told the person I was visiting with in the bleachers. Again, what is the whole point of having spot checks if the AD's are going to tip people off? And why just certain people? That's not fair either.

The last time I went to St. Croix powwow my older daughter was just over a year old. We don't travel with a babysitter so I was trying to tend to her. Well, the MC started warning people that they might have a spot check, so I went out there with her, I didn't have anyone to leave her with. She got scared in the arena being so small and wanted me to hold her. so then the AD comes over and warns me that I can't carry my baby in the arena. so I just gave up and went and sat down and said hell with the spot check.

I rarely make spotchecks anymore because I now have 2 small children that take a lot of my time and attention at powwows, but I don't trip either when I miss a spotcheck. That is not high on my list of priorities when I'm busy trying to make sure that my girls are fed, my baby has a clean diaper, and making sure me or my husband are with them if they are sleeping. I don't leave my children at home either just to make it easier for us when we powwow...we go as a family or we don't go.

So I don't think there is any good reason to have a spot check anymore. It doesn't serve it's purpose of trying to get people to dance, and they are not fair....and there really isn't a good way to make it fair, someone will always find a way to get around the spot check and still get their points.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndnMSW View Post
I used to be open to spot checks a long time ago. I love dancing intertribals so I was out there all the time anyway. But my views have changed over the years, and especially this summer.

I don't think there is any fairness to spotchecks. They are not really reinforceable, even though some powwows try. When I was on head staff at PI long ago, the head judge wanted to have a spot check in the afternoon heat. We argued with him that it wasn't necessary, but his words were, "These dancers are dancing for thousands of dollars...they need to be out there dancing." So they had the spot check. We were instructed to go out on the perimeter of the arena and get the numbers of dancers that tried to sneak in. We did that, but I know we missed some...and even if you miss one, that makes it unfair to those that were out there to begin with in my opinion.

I saw at Sac n Fox powwow here in KS a few years back where they had a spot check because no one was dancing. Well, they were intertribaling everyone to death and it was really, really hot. When the MC's called for the spot check, all the dancers just got up from their seats, wherever they were sitting, and then just walked out to the number takers and got their numbers written down. So what was the whole point of having a spot check?

AND, this summer at the Prairie Band Potawatomi powwow in June I was visiting with a friend of mine...I just went up on Sat evening to look on, I didn't dance that weekend. One of the AD's was walking around the outskirts of the dance arena and he was informing different dancers that they were getting ready to have a spot check. I saw him doing this, and he also told the person I was visiting with in the bleachers. Again, what is the whole point of having spot checks if the AD's are going to tip people off? And why just certain people? That's not fair either.

The last time I went to St. Croix powwow my older daughter was just over a year old. We don't travel with a babysitter so I was trying to tend to her. Well, the MC started warning people that they might have a spot check, so I went out there with her, I didn't have anyone to leave her with. She got scared in the arena being so small and wanted me to hold her. so then the AD comes over and warns me that I can't carry my baby in the arena. so I just gave up and went and sat down and said hell with the spot check.

I rarely make spotchecks anymore because I now have 2 small children that take a lot of my time and attention at powwows, but I don't trip either when I miss a spotcheck. That is not high on my list of priorities when I'm busy trying to make sure that my girls are fed, my baby has a clean diaper, and making sure me or my husband are with them if they are sleeping. I don't leave my children at home either just to make it easier for us when we powwow...we go as a family or we don't go.

So I don't think there is any good reason to have a spot check anymore. It doesn't serve it's purpose of trying to get people to dance, and they are not fair....and there really isn't a good way to make it fair, someone will always find a way to get around the spot check and still get their points.
you got some valid points there. I dont' see spot checks being used in 100 degree heat. Most AD's wont enforce them durring the day. Most powwows I see, as soon as there is afternoon grand entry, there is usually a round of intertribals (with no spot check) and then tiny-tots and then they immediatly excuse the golden age and adults till the evening session. at night, they do the spot checks.
All depends on the situation, outdoor powwows or indoor or under a big top. All depends.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:37 PM   #18
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I agree with ndnMSW. We go as a family or don't go at all and It is HARD trying to dance and care for your babies. Spot checks are really unfair in that sense.

I wish people would take that into consideration when deciding on spot checks.
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:58 PM   #19
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real simple as far as spot checks go.. u dont like them.. dont compete.. plenty of traditional powwows around to go to dance at... one cent for now..
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:26 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dancing bear View Post
real simple as far as spot checks go.. u dont like them.. dont compete.. plenty of traditional powwows around to go to dance at... one cent for now..
db

Not every contest powwow has spotchecks. And some that do have them at least make an attempt at making them fair to the dancers. Alot of the spotchecks I've seen lately have the appearance of being for the benefit of a select few dancers, you know what I mean?

The question is not if you like them or not, but if they are really necessary. I don't think they are for the most part.

I will continue to go to the powwows I want to go to, whether they are contest or traditional, and if they have spot checks or not. Like I said in my post, spot checks are pretty low on my list of priorities when I'm at a powwow with my girls so I don't trip and protest that it's not fair if I miss one...lol. If they mattered that much to me I would be out there every intertribal and let my kids get hungry or sunburn, or sick from the heat, or I would leave them at home. I do pretty well anyway, no matter if make a spot check or not. In fact some the powwows that I did not place at didn't have any spot checks, and the ones I did well at had them and I missed them....lol.

BTW, how come I'm not hearing anything from anyone about how we should "dance for the people" and not for points??? If that's what we should all be doing, then that would support the argument that spot checks are not necessary cuz everyone should be out there anyway.....lol. (like that is going to happen......hehehehe).
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