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A "Fair Dance Contest"

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  • #46
    fair dance contest

    i would pick; 1, 5, 7, and 10. Use people who have been dancers and know about what it takes to be that particular kind of dancer. Pick an array of judges from all over Indian country who have danced and/or been dancing contests. Pick an uneven number of judges to eliminate ties. And pick men judges for men's contests and same for women for women's contests. As a woman I don't know what it takes to dance fancy/ chicken, grass etc. Being a woman I probably would pick my sisters husband or my next door neighbor or someone in an outfit that I see a lot. I would also suggest that tabulators be picked and paid who have no stake in the pow wow except at the end of the pow wow, they get their pay. Also they need to stick to their facts and tabulations and not be swayed by an irate auntie or grandma wanting the tabulations changed!!!!! Also the points should be a matter of public record. Even court records are public.

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    • #47
      You are way off the reservation on this one. As you all say on the net "ask your elder." All I’m saying is when does this stop being a powwow? Has that already happened? That is what this topic brought to mind. Whining is…. oh, the competition was fixed therefore I didn’t win, they won because they had more flasher outfits, etc. I’m just telling you that I hate what powwows have become, competition taken to far that it brings out the negative side in SOME people. This is not healthy. This does not mean I’m against having a conversation about what makes a fair dance system. I’m saying take the competition out of powwows. Humm… fair dance systems don’t think it possible, but maybe it can get pretty close.
      Oh, BTW, SuzzeQ4, don’t every tell me what powwows I should go to.

      Comment


      • #48
        Fair dance contest

        Okay, let's test this one with the old timers (of which I am one). First off, I have been dancing for 50+++ years. I have seen pow wows evolve to what they are today. There was a time when they almost went out of existence. Then BOOM.... they started coming back stronger than ever. You want to know why? Because of contests. In order to compete, you had to be noticed. You had to be wearing an outfit out of the ordinary (bright color, awesome hairties, more fringes) and right, more flashier stuff. But...besides that you had to have a very adamant pride in yourself. You had to possess a positive identity of yourself and your dancing ability. That's right, besides an awesome outfit you have to possess a fierce tribal pride in yourself and a competitive attitude. Forget those sour grapes people who whine and hate when they don't place. They have not had the teaching from elders who teach their grandchildren that sometimes you will not place but that doesn't mean that you are not good. It means that there will always be someone that's going to beat you so accept it and continue on. That's the way that it is.

        All this competitiveness is what kept pow wows alive and has made them what they are today. If it wasn't for contests, our pow wows would not have the excitement and numbers that I see today.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Ninja View Post
          You are way off the reservation on this one. As you all say on the net "ask your elder." All I’m saying is when does this stop being a powwow? Has that already happened? That is what this topic brought to mind. Whining is…. oh, the competition was fixed therefore I didn’t win, they won because they had more flasher outfits, etc. I’m just telling you that I hate what powwows have become, competition taken to far that it brings out the negative side in SOME people. This is not healthy. This does not mean I’m against having a conversation about what makes a fair dance system. I’m saying take the competition out of powwows. Humm… fair dance systems don’t think it possible, but maybe it can get pretty close.
          Oh, BTW, SuzzeQ4, don’t every tell me what powwows I should go to.
          Last things first: I never told you where you should go, just suggested that if you don't like competion then go non-competition...perfectly rational so calm down!

          Next: This particular thread wasn't started by the whine of "it's not fair; I didn't win" it was started as a 'what can we do to do this better', You can't come down on people who are loloking to improve.

          As for negative?...even zeke is getting along and adding to the conversation constructivly so that pretty much leaves this thread in the 'Lets do some constructive brainstorming' catagory...go look for a fight elsewhere (now I'm telling you what to do)

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          • #50
            Originally posted by blueskysmom View Post
            Okay, let's test this one with the old timers (of which I am one). First off, I have been dancing for 50+++ years. I have seen pow wows evolve to what they are today. There was a time when they almost went out of existence. Then BOOM.... they started coming back stronger than ever. You want to know why? Because of contests. In order to compete, you had to be noticed. You had to be wearing an outfit out of the ordinary (bright color, awesome hairties, more fringes) and right, more flashier stuff. But...besides that you had to have a very adamant pride in yourself. You had to possess a positive identity of yourself and your dancing ability. That's right, besides an awesome outfit you have to possess a fierce tribal pride in yourself and a competitive attitude. Forget those sour grapes people who whine and hate when they don't place. They have not had the teaching from elders who teach their grandchildren that sometimes you will not place but that doesn't mean that you are not good. It means that there will always be someone that's going to beat you so accept it and continue on. That's the way that it is.

            All this competitiveness is what kept pow wows alive and has made them what they are today. If it wasn't for contests, our pow wows would not have the excitement and numbers that I see today.
            That's a good point!

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            • #51
              SUZZQ4, YOU ARE AN OBNOXIOUS PERSON! WHO STILL DOESN’T GET IT! THIS TIME (this entry) I MEAN THAT I HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPRESS MY OPINIONS HERE WITHOUT YOUR ATTEMPTS TO INTIMIDATE & CONTROL ME. YOU DON’T KNOW ME! UNTANGLE YOURSELF FROM MY POSTS AND WRAP YOUR MIND AROUND SOME "CONSTRUCTIVE BRAINSTORMING"
              Blueskysmom, thx, I paused and thunk. How far do you think we should go with competition powwows? Back to the question of creating a fair dance system...I don’t know. Maybe it is not just the judging system that needs improvements. I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, because I include myself in this statement, but maybe people need to learn to be better winners and losers. We see this everywhere (need to look outward instead of inward when we don’t et out way). We see it in little leagues, professional athletics, adults, children and old people. I don’t have any suggestions on how to make a fair dance system, so as long as people continue to try to work towards being fair it all good.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by BizDawg View Post

                There are those who p-w every weekend. They travel together. Stay together. Go to the 9 together. That's cool and it's always nice to see them, shake hands and visit.

                As a part-time p-w guy with a full-time job, I'd be dumb to expect to place higher. When you're on the road, you band together. If I ain't out there as often... well, that's just the way things are. Gonna blame 'em for being friends? Call 'em corrupt? I don't know if I agree with that...

                Many of these people have "put in the time" and inspired some of us to get off our lazy behinds... I'm thankful they are there.

                Example: There's guys who play noon ball here at home. I hardly ever get over there. But when I do, the game is always going. Lots of the same guys. When it comes time to picking teams, guess what? - I ain't the first guy picked. They pick the homies that are always there. I can ball better than lots of 'em. But that's just life. If I wanted to get picked first, I need to make some different choices (like being there more often). I put things on me and my actions. Not the system. It ain't gonna change anyways...
                Yea I feel you on that. The more your out there, the more you get noticed. Like everyone said, people are not perfect, so the idea of a 100% fair contest is pretty far fetched. Sometimes the judges know the dancers and sometimes they don't. And I would imagine it's impossible to really pick judges who don't know the dancers because you can't be sure who knows who, and most of the people who qualify as good judges, obviously are always around powwows enough to know what to look for, and yea, over the years they get to know certain people pretty close. Just how it is. I don't agree with randomly picking people out of the crowd to judge, because I think a judge should have certain amounts of knowledge about the categories they are chosen to judge. The only thing you can really do, is look for respected people in the circuit, who are known for being fair, or as honest as you can find.

                Im never there for the money anyways. I don't even register or go through any of that stuff. I just go to have fun and dance, meet people, trade, and watch. That's the way it should be. When people start going strictly for the money or fame, it just takes away what powwows are suppose to be about. When you throw money into the mix, that's where you get all the negative sides of people and their personalities and actions.


                My suggestion would be to change the judges each session, that way if they do put points for their friends, other judges get to do the same for their own in other sessions, and in the process maybe equal out some of the scoring out.
                www.myspace.com/anishtradish

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                • #53
                  Dudes, its going to difficult to be fair at these powwows. Now that big prize money is at stake; you have all those politically shrewd people who always seem to make friends with people in charge of the powwow or are good friends with the AD or MC or judges. These savy kind of people will just say they have lots of friends due to traveling all over the time. I have been an AD or MC a few times and these same individuals who didn't have the time of day for me when I was only singing suddenly started shaking my hands and asking how my wife and kids were when I saw them. Its interesting on how these people continue to win at powwows in our area. It takes a few years before others notice this type of behaviour. One person I know has told me that they used to be like that when they were living back east as well. I don't know if this is unscrupulous or not but it appears a little too convenient. But I guess you have to know how to schmooze.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by badmaninc View Post
                    Dudes, its going to difficult to be fair at these powwows. ... But I guess you have to know how to schmooze.

                    bad,

                    You have brought up a good and valid point - "smoozing." Just watch throughout any major contest powwow. Also...

                    Many a top dancer or drum group has numerous, adopted relationships with other influential people who participate in powwows as a way of life. For those on the road, top dancers and drum groups often stay with families in the middle of the week-inbetween powwows.

                    These relationships and smoozing DO have influence in judging at powwows.
                    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
                      Many a top dancer or drum group has numerous, adopted relationships with other influential people who participate in powwows as a way of life.
                      Those that derive a significant percentage of their income by virtue of attending powwows have a vested interest in validating interrelationships between those of their ilk.

                      This is, of course, an even tighter circle than merely those who participate in powwows as a "way of life."

                      Metaphorically, the latter are merely part of the same league, whereas the former are -- without question -- on the same team, in a sport that draws officials (judges) from the playing pool.

                      An independent is never going to get an even chance.

                      Schmoozing just maintains the status quo.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Ninja View Post
                        SUZZQ4, YOU ARE AN OBNOXIOUS PERSON! WHO STILL DOESN’T GET IT! THIS TIME (this entry) I MEAN THAT I HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPRESS MY OPINIONS HERE WITHOUT YOUR ATTEMPTS TO INTIMIDATE & CONTROL ME. YOU DON’T KNOW ME! UNTANGLE YOURSELF FROM MY POSTS AND WRAP YOUR MIND AROUND SOME "CONSTRUCTIVE BRAINSTORMING"
                        Blueskysmom, thx, I paused and thunk. How far do you think we should go with competition powwows? Back to the question of creating a fair dance system...I don’t know. Maybe it is not just the judging system that needs improvements. I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, because I include myself in this statement, but maybe people need to learn to be better winners and losers. We see this everywhere (need to look outward instead of inward when we don’t et out way). We see it in little leagues, professional athletics, adults, children and old people. I don’t have any suggestions on how to make a fair dance system, so as long as people continue to try to work towards being fair it all good.
                        This is true!!

                        And not every big money powwow is rigged. So if people would just learn to be better winners and losers.......We would have nothing to post about on Mondays after the big $$ pw...

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by badmaninc View Post
                          Dudes, its going to difficult to be fair at these powwows. Now that big prize money is at stake; you have all those politically shrewd people who always seem to make friends with people in charge of the powwow or are good friends with the AD or MC or judges. These savy kind of people will just say they have lots of friends due to traveling all over the time. I have been an AD or MC a few times and these same individuals who didn't have the time of day for me when I was only singing suddenly started shaking my hands and asking how my wife and kids were when I saw them. Its interesting on how these people continue to win at powwows in our area. It takes a few years before others notice this type of behaviour. One person I know has told me that they used to be like that when they were living back east as well. I don't know if this is unscrupulous or not but it appears a little too convenient. But I guess you have to know how to schmooze.
                          I think in some regards your right, however you see this behaviour elsewhere. we all learn this behaviour in public school, where we learn about the idea of an "in crowd". Now some of us don't care, some do care, and some chat up many people regardless of their "position". So I would say some of these friendships are valid, while others are likely to end when your usefulness to them ends, but in the end I suspect that 90% of such behaviour is human nature as opposed to planned stratic play

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