Were you with me a couple of weeks ago when I discussed the upcoming dance-related election that is happening in November? I saw an update about it earlier this week, and I wanted to mention it to you, because… well, the plot, as they say, thickens.
So I was shown a copy of the current list of candidates that had been ‘approved’ to be on the ballot. It was sent out as a blast email to a group of people, and though I was not myself a member of that group I do have a friend who is on the list and they showed (i.e. forwarded) it to me. Since I was in the middle of something at the time I got it, I glanced through it quickly and while it was fairly interesting to see some of the names of the people who were running for various positions because I had met those people once or twice, nothing struck me as out of place at that moment. Granted, like I said, I was doing something else at that time, so I was a bit distracted while I read the list.
It wasn’t until later in the day that I actually looked through the list again more thoroughly. Sparkledancer had also gotten a copy of the list, and since she wasn’t distracted when she read through it on the first pass, she caught on to one major point that I had missed. She sent me a text to discuss it, because it was blowing her mind that the organization would do something so ballsy, and she wanted to have someone else to talk with about how stupid the organization was being.
What I had missed picking up on was: there were two names listed for the top elected position of the organization. OK, that doesn’t sound so bad, right? It’s kind of like the upcoming federal election, where there are only two candidates that anyone’s talking about right now who are running for the top spot. That’s why it didn’t flag for me at first when I saw the list.
However, one of those two names was a person who, much like I discussed in my last post about this election, had initially been rejected as a candidate by the committee that determines if a candidate is qualified to be on the ballot. This person had let a bunch of people know that they had been rejected without being given a reason, and that they were going to appeal the committee’s initial decision to try and get their name added to the final ballot. Obviously, since I saw the name on the list, the appeal had worked. Hooray?
But… if you step back and look at that list of candidates for the top position a second time knowing this information… the fact that that person had to appeal their rejection to have their name added as one of the two candidates to choose from means that THE COMMITTEE HAD ONLY “APPROVED” ONE CANDIDATE!!!!!!!!!! Talk about democracy in action, right?
Without knowing the reasoning behind why the committee had rejected all the other candidates for this position, the way it looks to an outsider like me who sees that they had done this is that the committee had basically just chosen the person they wanted to win the election. Had there not been one widely publicized discussion about all the candidates for various positions that had been rejected without being given reason, the current leaders of the organization would have never come back and said “Wait a minute! We can allow anyone rejected to appeal and try again!” Without at least this one person appealing, the only candidate that the shadow election committee had approved of would have run in an uncontested election to win the position. This screams ‘shady backroom deal’ to me. Does it feel that way to you?
The worst part is that, since the released list of the approved candidates has come out, there have been other people who have stepped forward to disclose other notes of interest. Like, for that top spot where they had only approved two candidates, there are now three other people who have come forward to say that they also filled out all the paperwork to be considered for that same position and were also rejected. On top of those three who stepped forward, someone else said that there were two more people they had heard about who had done the same, but those individuals have so far stayed quiet about the matter.
That’s a total of seven possible candidates for the top spot in the organization, and this committee had whittled that list DOWN. TO. ONE. It only looks like the committee decided to allow the second candidate to be added to the ballot after a number of people who tried to run made their no-reason rejections public, and a large number of the organization’s members made a big stink about how the process was working. That finally made the current leaders of the organization relent and change the process so that the rejected candidates had an opportunity to appeal.
Outside of that top position in the organization, there was another pretty important position that had this same sort of circumstances around it. The released list I saw had two names written down that would be on the ballot, but one of those people had posted online in a thread I saw before I wrote the first post about this election about being rejected as a candidate as well. They must have gone through the process to appeal as well. So that position, much like the top position, basically had the winner chosen by this mysterious election committee to run uncontested before they had to cave to pressure and allow appeals.
It’s just… so shady. Right? Do you see that too?
On a not-so-shady note, one fun thing I did see on the list of names that would be on the ballot (when I finally looked at it more closely the second time through) is that there is someone I know who is running for one of the delegation positions. This person is a competitor who is from the same area as I live, who also happens to be another student of my instructor Lord Dormamu! We’ve gone to a lot of the same competitions over the last few years, though this guy dances at a different proficiency level than I do. It’s cool to see that he has thrown his hat into the ring like this, and since I happen to know he’s a really nice guy (and funny too, which always gets bonus points in my book), he definitely has my vote.
But after the election is over… since there has been so much weird stuff with this whole election process, I have been thinking about just not renewing my membership for this organization when it expires at the end of the year. That gives me a chance to vote in the upcoming election for sure, but if the election results that come back seem as shady as the way the initial ballot was shaped, I don’t see a reason that I should give the organization any more of my money to hang on to my membership.
With the pandemic continuing to cancel dance competitions and dance parties hosted by this organization left and right, some even going into early 2021 now, there’s really no reason for me to keep my membership anyway for the immediate future. I won’t be able to use it to get access to anything. I could keep that money and buy something nice for my cat instead. If things do change, I can always renew my membership later in the year with no penalties, giving me a valid account to get into events. I would feel better about doing that than giving my support to an organization that seems to be handling their business in a not-exactly ethical manner.
So… what do you think? Is the world of dance politics giving you a headache now too? Does this make you want to hold on to your membership in this dance organization, or any dance organization for that matter? I mean, if everything is still shut down, does it make sense to renew your membership in any dance club at this time? I’m betting a lot of people won’t, and that’s going to make things hard in the world of ballroom dancing for a while. If those dance clubs/organizations don’t have funds tucked away to help them survive a significant drop in membership, who knows what will become of them…
The future is going to be full of all kinds of changes, I suspect.