Test Chair Help! How long for dances?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by Jozet, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    I have a huge mixed test session in February with a lot of dances. How much time should I allow for the different level dances?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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  3. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    THanks!

    So, would I be able to do a 5 minute warm-up group with two gold dances and two pre-gold? One minute no music, then one minute each of each type of dance? Giving 6 minutes per dance, total group would be 24 minutes.

    Also, this is tricky because in my lower dance groups, I have one coach taking about twelve skaters through their tests. If I can figure out the gold dances, though, I think I'll be okay.

    This is why kids need math in school. ;)
     
  4. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    If it's 6 min per dance, plus a 5-minute warm-up, that would be 29 minutes. ;) From what the guide says, it sounds like the warm-up structure is fine, but if the same coach is taking all the skaters through, you might need to allot an extra minute in there to allow the coach to move between students.

    For Prelim and Pre-Bronze dances, you can put two out at a time, starting from opposite ends, since those dances only require 1 judge. But if they all need the same coach, that won't work, obviously.
     
  5. backspin

    backspin Active Member

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    In my area, they give enough time on the warmup for the partner to run through with everyone w/ the music. When it's the same partner for everyone, that often takes more time. On the other hand, Almost always, it will not take as long for the actual tests as it says in the book. Just so you know, if you allow that much time you'll probably end up running early.

    Also if there's any way to give the guy who's doing multiple partners a break here & there, he'll greatly appreciate it!!
     
  6. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Competition rules (ISU) for Pattern Dances are 1 minutes without music, 3 minutes with music. That is how we run our dance tests here.
     
  7. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    I have 13 dance tests so far, and 10 of them are with the same coach/partner, 2 are with another coach. I talked to the test chair at our sister club, and she said this is fairly typical, and that he's a workhorse and smiles through the entire session. Maybe I'll put together a preliminary schedule, and then run it by that coach as well to see where it may need adjusting. I'm allowed to do that, yes?
     
  8. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    Showing the coach the specific schedule is a little tricky. You might just want to run the basics by him w/o giving him the details of the actual sched.

    In the test sessions I have attended/assisted with, usually each dance coach has multiple students testing. If a dance coach/partner knows he's going to be at a particular session, will try to get other students there. The more students come to the same test session, the fewer test sessions he'll need to show up to. So dance coaches are used to being busy at test sessions. In fact, they usually like their tests to be concentrated in a certain time window rather than spread out, so they don't have to be there all day.
     
  9. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    Okay! That makes sense. Thank you!
     
  10. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    Okay, here's the dance tests I have so far. All but TWO are the same coach. IOW, one coach taking 20 kids through dances. If anyone has any guidance on how to groups these and warm up times, I will send you a bottle of good (cyber) vodka. This is my fourth test session, but I've never had this many dances.

    Viennese Waltz
    Westminster Waltz
    Viennese Waltz
    Quick Step
    Quick Step
    Starlight Waltz
    Blues
    Paso Doble
    Paso Doble
    Kilian
    Silver Tango
    Rocker Foxtrot
    Fourteenstep
    Ten-Fox
    Ten-Fox
    Ten-Fox
    Willow Waltz
    Willow Waltz
    Cha Cha
    Swing Dance
    Canasta Tango
    Rhythm Blues
     
  11. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    So by "20 kids", do you mean that each kid is only taking 1 dance? No skater is testing more than 1? If so, I would just group them by level - depending on when your ice cut is, you could start at the lowest level and go up, or start at the top and work your way down (if ice cut is right before the dances start). It looks like you have 11 dances Pre-Silver and lower and 11 dances Silver and up. I would divide into 2 groups for each - 5-6 skaters per warm-up.
     
  12. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    Well, actually several kids are taking several dances. For example, I have one skater testing three pre-gold dances (all with the same coach.)

    Can I put 5 gold tests on the same warm up? For gold tests it *is* all different skaters,

    Then, for pre-gold, there are five tests taken by two different skaters (same coach). Should I just put both girls on same warm up, or bring one of the gold tests onto that warm-up....

    IOW 4 gold skaters in first warm up and 4 tests. 3 skaters on second warm-up (gold and pre-gold), but 6 tests.

    omg, this is like a Rubik's cube. My head is going to explode. Thank you for talking me through this.

    What is the limit for number of skaters on a dance test session? How many tests could one skater be reasonably expected to warm up in one session?

    I feel like I have a grasp on moves and freeskate now, but dances have me flummoxed.
     
  13. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Gee I don't envy you at all. Here I am usually the one everyone consults because I know the most about how dance is run.

    Not sure how it is done in your part of the world but if I was doing it these are my thoughts on how I would handle it.

    Senior dances first as they are most difficult. The coach would be able to cope better with the easier dances later (less tiring).
    Each individual dance needs it's own warm up as the music has to be played for that dance (that is what we do here).
    For an individual dance (eg Vienesse Waltz), if there were two or three coaches doing the same dance, then you could warm those up together as they need the music played. However if it was the same coach doing more than two different students on the same dance, then each student would need their own warm up.

    I have probably confused you all the more but I hope some of what I have said makes sense.
     
  14. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    No, no! That helps! All of this helps. I don't think anyone else in our immediate area has fielded bigger test sessions, and like I said, to fir everyone in, I now have two sessions running on two different rinks. I'm okay with that, as once I get them set up, they usually run themselves. But these dances are new for me.

    So, for example, can I put four gold tests on the ice? That is, there would be a one minute warm-up during which all four skaters would warm-up. Then, I would play a minute of Viennese Waltz, and coach would do warm-up with first skater.

    Would other skaters stay on the ice and continue warming up? Or do they get off while music is playing if it isn't their test music? And, okay, now I get is that if another coach and skater also doing Viennese Waltz, they practice at the same time.

    I think I'm almost having an ah-ha moment. Thank you again for everyone holding my hand through this.
     
  15. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you can put all the Gold tests in the same warm-up. 5 skaters, right? That is not too many, but just be sure that each skater gets a chance to warm up with the coach. So each dance should be played once for each skater. If the same coach is taking all 5 skaters through, then you'll need to play each dance being tested for each separate skater testing it. Yes, all skaters stay on the ice for the entire warm-up time (unless they choose to get off early). After the first min of warm-up, the coach will start to move among the skaters to warm-up each individual dance and the other skaters will continue warming up on their own while staying out of the way of the coach-student 'team'. So if you are going to play each separate dance for 1 min, plus the 1 min of general warm-up at the beginning, that would be a 6-minute warm-up for the Gold group.

    Maybe you could combine the Pre-Gold with the Silvers, or are they all with the same coach? If there are only 2 skaters testing Pre-Golds, then you can fit other skaters on, but if it's the same coach for all, then you would need to expand the warm-up time accordingly.
     
  16. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    Debbie S, THANK YOU!

    Okay, so I put all 5 gold tests on together. Done!

    The pre-gold is 5 tests, but only 2 skaters, same coach for both (both will do Paso Doble). The silver and pre-silver is three tests, but one of the pre-gold skaters will also be skating a silver.

    Uh oh! Is this like MIF/FS? Will she have to pass the silver before she can take the pre-gold? If so, she'll have to do that test first, yes?
     
  17. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    Yes, she will need to pass the Silver test first before testing the Pre-Gold. This is actually fairly common in dance - skaters will usually test multiple dances, esp at the lower levels, and it is not uncommon for the dances to be from different levels. That's why it's usually better to put the lower-level dances first, but at the same time, the higher-level dancers would probably appreciate clean ice - can you do an ice cut before the dance tests start? At least then there won't be holes in the ice from the FS tests.
     
  18. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    Okay, what about this:

    Start with gold dances (fresh ice, first thing in the morning). None of those are contingent.

    Then, I can start from bronze up, since I have two skaters with contingent tests. Pre-bronze can wait until after ice cut. After ice cut, I have one Senior, one Junior, and one Novice moves test. I'll put the few pre-bronze dances after that, then I have three mid-level free skates.

    Does this sound like a plan? This is better than sudoku. ;)
     
  19. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that sounds like a good plan for allocating the ice time and partner availability and allowing for continency tests.

    Then you just have to make sure you have the right judges available at the right time.
     
  20. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought - if the contingent tests don't pass (I hope that doesn't happen) your test session will be running ahead of time. You can adjust the schedule or allow a longer warmup for the next level (probably best).
     
  21. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    ^this. Don't know how many dance judges you have in your area, but we have next to none with qualifications for anything higher than pre-bronze dance. It can be *really* tough to get the right judges at the right times!
     
  22. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Member

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    Bronze dance judges can judge dances through the pre-silver level. Silver level judges can judge through pre-gold. You need gold dance judges for the gold and international dances. Additionally, for the international dances, the gold level judge has to be specially certified to judge international dances. Across the country, there are actually more gold and international dance judges out there, as they are older, and new people are not going into judging to replace them. As older dance judges retire and pass away, there could be a problem with lack of dance judges.
     
  23. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Member

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    The rules were changed last year, and bronze dances can now be operated with one silver level judge, as well. This was done because of judge shortages, I think. I'm not sure if anyone mentioned it yet, but don't forget that silver and above level dances require the candidate to test the dance with a partner and then solo. Plan to give those silver and above level dances more time in the schedule tp accommodate the solo.
     
  24. backspin

    backspin Active Member

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    As mentioned before, i'd say please please go high to low, so the exhausted partner doesn't have to pull off a test worthy pre-gold dance(s) after already dragging multiple kids thorough a bunch of low stuff!!! If there are contingency tests, just group those together (do the silver then pre-gold consecutively). You din't have to go stictly in order, as in, all high to low or low to high.

    Mixing in a moves test or two sounds like a good idea to give the partner a break too.
     
  25. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    Thank you again!

    I have both tests set up on different rinks with all the dance tests at one rink. I was, however, able to put some moves test between dance groups to give the dance coach a break.

    But holy smokes, this put all my higher-order logic skills to work to make sure that coaches, skaters, and judges were where they needed to be at the right time. I only have two skaters who need to test at both rinks, but was able to give hours between and cleared it with them that they were okay with the switch.

    Seriously...if you are ever in a position to hire someone and see "Figure Skating Test Chair" on their resume, you know they have some good organizing chops. :)
     
    jenlyon60 and (deleted member) like this.
  26. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    We were looking at our test calendar last night and wondering how many dance tests we could accommodate (the most would ever be 10) and I mentioned your situation.
     
  27. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    I'm either going to be an unsung hero, or I'll have to wear a disguise for the next few weeks at the rink. ;)
     
  28. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    There are certainly many judges across the country, but not many willing to travel to judge just 1 or 2 bronze, pre-silver, or silver-level tests (no matter how well we take care of our judges, and we do our very best to treat them very well!!). We are a very small club and only one coach teaches dance, so there aren't a whole lot of people testing dances at any one time.

    Hope it goes well, Jozet!
     
  29. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    But most of the dance judges are also certified to judge moves in the field, so you could use them to judge other tests as well if you need to go to the expense of bringing them in.

    How close are you to a major airport? If you can find a willing judge who is also near an airport with direct flights to where you are, that might be cheaper than having someone drive.
     
  30. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    We also were lucky this time that there is a big synchro competition the weekend before the test. It was cheaper to have judges stay over an extra night than to have people drive specifically for the test session. Of course, this won't work every time, but could be a consideration.