Weekly Note #66
The Ten
June 24th 2013
This Week's Note
Quote of the Week
Be kind and considerate to others, 
depending somewhat upon who they are.
-Don Harold

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Dear Reader,  

You've been wanting me to write about this topic for some time, and for some reason, I feel ready and willing to do so this week. Are you ready? It's time to connect some dots.

Let's do it.
-Katherine Krok Eastvold
The Ten
Do Not Pass Go
Do Not Pass Go:
The Game of the Ten
I inadvertently hopped on to the website for a big event that was taking place this last weekend. 
"Huh," I thought. "Something's different this time..."
Because the faces aren't different.
They never are. Check.
And the colors on the edges of their black costumes have changed... just like they do every year. Check.
Couple #5 has changed, just like it's supposed to too. Check.
But the faces, the bodies, the goofing and the posing... they are all the same, just as I expected them so be. So what's different?
"Oh right," I murmured, "They're jumping."
You see, this event's website is basically just one huge picture of The Ten. I mean, why not? Its one of the rare events whose rules allow for people to dance in two routine divisions, so those of The Ten who normally dance in Showcase get to also dance in Classic. And, because they are in The Ten, they land right up on that podium.
Just like last year.
And the year before.
And the year before that... 

Like I said, nothing changed. Expect the jumping. Woo hoo.


Scavenger Hunt

This week I'm going to let you do a little detective work. I assume you're going to go out there and find the website I'm talking about. But hold off on that a second, will you? You'll get your chance, I promise.

I'm going to ask you the questions, and then you can connect the dots for yourself. I have complete and utter faith in you! 

Ready - Set - Go!


Go ahead and write down the names of the faces you think you are about to see. Remember, this site has the picture of the top five winning couples in their Classic Division last year. I don't expect you to call the No. 5 couple, just the top 4. Also, remember that dancers were allowed to compete in both Classic and Showcase.

Write your 8 guesses on a piece of paper, along with the reasons why you think you'll see them.

#2: Do your research and find the site. You'll know it by what I've said above and its... jumping. How many faces did you get right? On a scale of 1-10, how surprised are you?

#3: In Convention Mention (Weekly Note #27), I reference a conversation with one of the founders of The Ten:

"Katherine, I love power. I love it. And I'll tell you like I tell everyone else; I'll do anything to get it."

I talk about how she went on to list her "blackmailing, blacklisting and blackballing," that put every single call in the WCS world at her fingertips.

Not surprisingly, this founder is still on the podium. Which one do you think she is? Why?

#4: Considering the information you learned in The Church article, along with the founders also on the podium, how much of a role do you think they play in picking the No. 5 slot? Why do you think it changes every year?

#5: Soon after The Ten was established, they complained about their judges. Their complaining produced the idea of allowing them to judge themselves. Now, many events allow them to hold clipboards while each other competes. How do you think this has affected the community over the last fifteen years?

#6: Currently, The Ten often, at one event, teach, judge, compete, DJ and direct. Can you think of a position that these teachers do NOT currently fill at an event? Why do you think they hold so many positions?

#7: Two years ago I wrote that I could forecast the Top 5 at any event in not only the next year, but in the next five years. Do you think I was foolish to do so? Why or why not?

#8: Of The Ten, certain members are more powerful. They choose who will come up the ranks, they influence the events to hire them and then, once they fill that No. 5 slot, they move against them. 

Who, of those you see, is smart enough, willing enough and powerful enough to shift things like these?

#9: Around four or five years ago, event directors started asking judges to make sure an International couple would be included on the podium. If you've noticed, they never rank higher than 4th or 5th. Why do you think this is? What were the event directors thinking? How does it benefit The Ten?

#10: We're moving into 15 years now of the same podium. Why, despite all their wins, both in Classic, Showcase, Strictlies and J&J's... do you think they continue to compete, while adding DJing, Event Directing, etc to their on-going resumes? What is the natural progression of competitors in other areas?

And finally, the Big Questions:

What do you think the members of The Ten think of YOU?
How do they see you?
Do they want you to improve?
To what extent?

Do you think they really see you, see us, respect us or care for us? Why or why not?

What VISION does this group have for our future?

Get to it everyone.
Peace Out.
Rearview Mirror
We the People
Rearview Mirror:
The Revolution is at Hand
This will probably be the shortest Rearview Mirror I've ever written, but it's one of the most important.
Last week, in #65: The Revolution is at Hand, one of the dancer's posts talked about the explicit lyrics in the songs played during late night dancing at conventions.
In the end, he recommended we start filing our concerns with the Head DJ and/or event directors as a possible solution.
Funny. That's what I recommended more than a year ago. And you know what? Nothing changed. 
I'll be straight with you. People have been complaining to the DJ's, event directors, promoters, etc for more than fourteen years now, but still the music has grown worse and worse and... now we find ourselves at "Pull Your Hair." 
In the last few years, I know a ton of people have tried the solution mentioned - and they get a "promise" and an "absolutely!" and another "I'll do my best," and then... popper-sticks. Nothin'. Nada. No.
Here is my own suggestion. Let the hotel know. The hotel. They care. They want to protect the families and professionals that stay there. They want to protect their upscale and promising environment. They want to know.
As someone who has traveled extensively and has also worked closely with some of our largest conventions - trust me. It's your best shot at being heard. The hotel interacts closely with the event all weekend long... all year long in some cases. You want your suggestions taken seriously?
It's all about the hotel. Get to it.
Tips: If the front desk can't help you log your suggestion and/or complaint, ask for either the manager in charge or the hotel's event correspondent and/or coordinator. The day after the event, the hotel's staff heads meet with the event directors to review how the event went. These are powerful meetings. The hotel holds a million times more sway than any customer, it seems, in the WCS world. So work it.

Katherine Krok Eastvold

Katherine Eastvold
PO Box 292
Camarillo, CA 93011

Katherine Krok Eastvold | PO Box 61555 | Santa Barbara | CA | 93160