By now you have probably heard that neither Jordan and Tatiana nor Kyle and Sarah danced at Boogie by the Bay in October. Really spoiled things for Boogie last year.
The reason for this sad turn was that the judging panel included one member who made it clear beforehand that s/he was unable to be impartial or objective with regard to these four dancers and their dance styles. We have recourse for situations like this, when a judge is a spouse, or ex-boyfriend, or mortal enemy, or family member. In our close-knit community stuff like that happens. So we have a nice solution: we allow contestants to petition to have an impartial judge removed from the panel.
And this solution works because we’re reasonable and the goal is always to try – even in our community which now includes five generations of impossibly intertwined relationships and family members (we’re like the West Virginia of the dance world, all related to each other) – to try always to be, first, on the side of the dancer, to put the dancer first.
We try to be fair in our judging, as much as possible that is the goal always.
Unfortunately something went terribly wrong at Boogie and for whatever reasons the deciding parties chose to refuse the petition. So Jordan and Tatiana, and Kyle and Sarah, were left with no other option but to not compete.
You may also be aware of the huge hubbub which ensued on Facebook following Boogie in which a series of pointed statements and rhetorical questions were posed publicly in an effort to air grievances about style and where the dance is going, and specifically problems with Jordan and Tatiana and Kyle and Sarah in particular. It all felt very mean-spirited.
So here we are in the new year, three months later. And today I learn, from a bunch of disappointed juniors, that we’re back where we were three months ago. Here is the same judge, again on the panel, scheduled to judge Classic tonight. And Jordan and Tatiana and Kyle and Sarah – who have known since Boogie that they’d be here this weekend and that this judge would also be here – of course requested, three months ago, that this judge be removed for their competition.
But this judge, once again, has not been removed.
Why again? How has it come to this? People having come in from all over the country and the world, all kinds of kids who look up to them as role models, all here to see Jordan and Tatiana and Kyle and Sarah dance! To see their stunning new routines, live! How has such a poor decision been made a second time? It’s not as if the decision is a difficult one – this is one of the easy decisions. We have guidelines. We have an overall philosophy: we don’t make decisions on behalf of judges we make them always for the benefit of dancers. The circuit exists, the entire community exists, for the dancers. Another judge could have replaced this one. So why is this difficult? What is getting in the way of doing the right thing?
Here we are at Capital and neither Jordan and Tatiana, nor Kyle and Sarah, will be dancing tonight, which is the only mature, respectable option they have under the circumstances.
What a disappointment! So many people had so been looking forward to this moment!