I inadvertently hopped on to the website for a big event that was taking place this last weekend.
|Do Not Pass Go: |
The Game of the Ten
"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.
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?
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?
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.