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le_momo

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Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« on: April 02, 2014, 10:08:07 PM »

The 2014 Black & White Ball Information Page and FAQ

This FAQ is subject to change. Until the convention weekend, any updates to this page will be posted promptly and any resulting questions will be answered accordingly. The most recent information during the convention will come from a staff member of the Black & White Ball at the events handled by the Ball, such as classes, the Ball, or Stage Zero demos.

While this FAQ may address information that has been posted formally, it is intended to be a clarification rather than a substitute. If you have any feedback or would like additional information, please reply to this thread or email us at bwball@fanime.com.




What is the Black & White Ball?
The FanimeCon Black & White Ball is a formal dance offered by the Extravaganzas Division of FanimeCon that takes place on Sunday night for all registered attendees from 6:00pm until midnight.

This year, the Ball and its associated dance lessons will be held in Parkside Hall, next to the Tech Museum. Please refer to your program guide or ask an Info Desk staffer for information on how to get there if you are unable to find it.

What do I need to know about partner dancing?
We prefer that you follow normal dance etiquette:
  • Feel free to ask a partner. Feel free to turn down a partner; but if you decline, please do not ask for or accept a dance for a duration of the song that is playing.
  • Look at where you are going and be aware of your surroundings. The dance floor can be hectic and it is easy to bump into others or step on other people. Apologize if you do.
  • Follow the line of dance if a travelling dance, such as waltz or foxtrot, is played.  Stand in the middle of the floor, point your finger at the edge of the floor, and turn your body to the left. Line of dance is the path your finger traces along the edge of the floor.  More experienced dancers should dance closer to the edge of the floor while those new to dancing should remain closer to the center.
  • If you are doing a dance that does not travel (i.e. swing) to a song marked as a travel dance (i.e. foxtrot), please dance closer to the center of the floor so as to allow travelling dancers to move around the outside of the floor.
  • If you are not dancing, please leave the dance floor.  Being stationary on the floor will only increase your chances of getting stepped on!

Is there an age restriction?
Nope! The Black & White Ball is an event for all ages. In order to keep this appropriate for all ages, certain steps have been made. For example, our staff checks the lyrics for every song (no matter the language of the song) to ensure that it is clean and child-friendly.

Do I need to purchase a pass to enter? Is there any type of registration process to attend the Ball?
No. The Black & White Ball has no registration, tickets, or anything of the sort! This is an event for absolutely everyone who attends FanimeCon. In order to be allowed entry, you simply need to have your FanimeCon badge and formal attire that adheres to the dress code.

Formal?
A dress code is enforced as a condition of entry to the Ball. The dress code can be found here.

Why is a dress code necessary?
Among other things, the Ball was envisioned to be a structured dance that is family-friendly, with cleaner music (i.e. no profanity), members of the Ball roaming during the Ball available for dance, and less individual dancing.  This is, of course, in addition to normal Con etiquette such as civility to fellow con-goers, good personal hygiene and being aware of your surroundings.

The dress code is also there to promote safety. We restrict shoes to dressy types and with certain types of heels. Stiletto and narrow heels are prohibited due to the high probability of feet getting stepped on while partner dancing.  In the partner-dancing world, ankles and feet can be severely scratched and muscles (as well as ligaments) can be torn due to being stepped on by stiletto heels. Thick heels are preferred because of this, as they give dancers the least chance of injury. Of course, accidents do happen, but the thicker heels will not hurt as badly as a stiletto. Imagine, if you will, all your body weight concentrated on a pin. That's what it would feel like on your foot as a stiletto mashes down on it. Now imagine your body weight spread out over a nickel's width. Which would you prefer?

I heard about the issues from last year’s dress code check. What has been done to fix this?
Believe me when I tell you this: We know exactly what happened last year and how to fix it. At the door, our department had a couple staffers and volunteers who were inexperienced with how the dress code check should be run (ie. a fair check for everyone) and decided to permit entry to those who were clearly not up to par with the dress code. Due to this discrepancy, many attendees were upset and felt like they were being treated unfairly. These individuals were relieved of their responsibilities and are no longer affiliated with our department due to their lack of professionalism and refusal to take ownership of their actions.

Many of those in our department met each other on Monday morning of con last year and discussed in length what would be the best course of action for the Ball for 2014. These talks have continued at almost every department meeting since then. Our dress code check this year will be handled by select, trained staffers from both the Black & White Ball as well as Idris’s Closet (the formal-wear thrift shop that will be selling clothing throughout the weekend at a discounted price – all proceeds go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation). Their guidelines are set as to what to check for and they will be properly trained as to how to handle everything related to the dress code.

If you are having your dress code checked at the door and feel like you are being unfairly treated, please calmly request to speak to a department head or second and one will be sent to the door to speak with you. This does not mean you can call them just to create a scene and make other attendees uncomfortable in the process. This is an opportunity to discuss at length just what you are concerned about so it can be addressed immediately. No one likes to be the bad guy in this situation by turning you away. We all want you to attend and enjoy the Ball!

Why are individual dances broken up?
The Black & White Ball was envisioned to promote partner dancing, so we strive to provide as many opportunities as possible to learn about partner dancing and an experience comparable to what you would find at conventions devoted to it. We offer around 24 hours of instruction during the convention for that purpose in a wide variety of styles, such as Ballroom, Latin, and Nightclub. We also offer semi-private lessons throughout the weekend (focused mainly in the evenings) for those people who don’t have time during the day to take lessons, or prefer a little more concentrated instruction.

We have gone to the expense of providing a real dance floor that is used at ballroom and swing dance competitions. While we regret discouraging your full creative expression on the dance floor, please bear in mind that your actions on the floor may interfere with those people who are willing to put in the time and effort to learn and dance. There are many other dances at FanimeCon that can accommodate your preferences.

Who are the members of the Ball?
We are a group of people who teach a variety of styles of partner dancing. Some of us are students learning or fully involved in dance, some are hobbyists, some who teach dance for a living, and some who compete at dance competitions. Since we are diverse in appearance and expression, we have taken to wearing teal armbands while participating at the Ball to identify ourselves.

While we will be roaming the Ball to ensure the event is running smoothly, we are also there to have fun. Count on a friendly tap on the shoulder and someone in and armband saying to you “Please don’t do that.” Or “Would you like to dance?” depending on the situation.

Are you unsure of whom you would like to ask to dance? Feel free to ask one of us!

Can I request specific music at the Ball? If not, where can I make my request?
Let’s break this up into a couple of parts:
  • Requests can be posted here. We have the final say in what goes into the playlist and we listen to every song requested.
  • Requests cannot be taken at FanimeCon itself. The reason why is because we finalize the playlist before the weekend itself. If you take a look at our previous playlists (listed in our music request thread), you will notice a wide range of genres from Asian Pop to 8-bit game music themes. What we look for in every song is a readily distinguishable beat, melody characteristics for the styles of dance we have in mind, and a speed suitable to dancing by novice dancers; with a couple of advanced-dance-suitable songs for those of us who want to try it. Something like dubstep at the current time may not be suitable while certain house songs may be tailor-made for some dances, such as hustle. In addition to this, we also try to incorporate music that relates to our yearly theme as well as songs from our MusicFest Guests of Honor.

What if I don’t like the music that was played at the Ball?
When it comes to the playlist, we try our best to achieve diversity and danceability. The playlist is reviewed by all of the Black & White Ball staff for repetition and possible boredom. Please bear in mind that the playlist has to cover 13 different styles of dance, some of which are mutually exclusive in regards to what type of music can be played. It is also entirely possible that you may have caught a portion of the playlist that covered a subsection of dance that you may not have liked.

Our event is also six hours long. If we stuck with only a few types of music, everyone would leave by the end of the second hour.

If you do have feedback about the playlist, please either post here in the forums or email us. Please be as specific as you can in regards to music so that we can fix it for next year.

If I have a comment or concern, how do I get in touch with someone in charge?
The Head of the Black & White Ball will draw attention to herself during Stage Zero, the classes, and at the Ball itself. If she is not in one of these locations, her Seconds will be around Parkside Hall throughout the weekend. Feel free to come up and chat, but please be respectful.

If something happened, please calmly describe what happened and why you didn’t like it. If you couldn’t put your finger on it until after the Ball, feel free to post in the appropriate feedback threads or email us at bwball@fanime.com. If you feel like a little more discretion is required when talking in person, please let us know and we will accommodate you.

What if I have another question that hasn’t been asked yet?
That’s what this thread is also for! If you have any additional questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to post a reply in this thread. All we ask is that you please keep your posts relevant to the topic and one of our staff will reply as soon as possible.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 08:56:18 PM by le_momo »
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princesskitty18

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 08:35:08 AM »

yayyyy FAQ is posted :)
now time to answer questions!

<3
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tanpopoyamazaki

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 11:35:45 AM »

Can a baby attend?
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princesskitty18

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2014, 11:37:01 AM »

Can a baby attend?
ooo..
that is a very good question
and unfortunately i have absolutely no idea
i know that children below a certain age have free admission to the con itself. but i don't know about the ball
can't see why not, but i will let rebecca give the official answer cuz i actually am not 100% sure about that
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le_momo

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 11:41:35 AM »

Can a baby attend?

 Yes, since our event is all ages, babies can attend. Because it is a ball, the music may be loud, as will all the socializing that occurs off the dance floor. As a suggestion, the lobby may be a good place to go momentarily if the noise bothers the baby too much. :)

- Rebecca
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tanpopoyamazaki

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 11:49:54 AM »

 :D yay thank you
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Hikari Renge

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2014, 07:01:46 PM »

Hi there! I know that the ball starts at 6pm and ends at midnight, but my question is regarding the lessons- what time and place will those be at? I can't seem to locate them on the forum. ^^u Silly me!

Thank you!
-Hikari
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le_momo

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2014, 07:03:40 PM »

Hi there! I know that the ball starts at 6pm and ends at midnight, but my question is regarding the lessons- what time and place will those be at? I can't seem to locate them on the forum. ^^u Silly me!

Thank you!
-Hikari

The lesson schedule hasn't been completely finalized yet, but they will all be located in Parkside Hall. Once our schedule is set (which should be within the next week or so), we'll be sending it to our webteam to put it on the website and posting another thread here! :)

- Rebecca
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Hikari Renge

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2014, 07:06:16 PM »

Hi there! I know that the ball starts at 6pm and ends at midnight, but my question is regarding the lessons- what time and place will those be at? I can't seem to locate them on the forum. ^^u Silly me!

Thank you!
-Hikari

The lesson schedule hasn't been completely finalized yet, but they will all be located in Parkside Hall. Once our schedule is set (which should be within the next week or so), we'll be sending it to our webteam to put it on the website and posting another thread here! :)

- Rebecca

Got it! Thanks! And it's on Sunday, correct? I'm sorry for asking so much, I just want to get my ducks in a row because I'm very excited for this event! ^^
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le_momo

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2014, 07:09:52 PM »

Hi there! I know that the ball starts at 6pm and ends at midnight, but my question is regarding the lessons- what time and place will those be at? I can't seem to locate them on the forum. ^^u Silly me!

Thank you!
-Hikari

The lesson schedule hasn't been completely finalized yet, but they will all be located in Parkside Hall. Once our schedule is set (which should be within the next week or so), we'll be sending it to our webteam to put it on the website and posting another thread here! :)

- Rebecca

Got it! Thanks! And it's on Sunday, correct? I'm sorry for asking so much, I just want to get my ducks in a row because I'm very excited for this event! ^^

I'm so glad that you're excited about it! :)

Yes, the Black & White Ball will be on Sunday evening. The lessons themselves will be taught throughout the day/evening Friday-Sunday.

- Rebecca
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monikitty

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2014, 08:58:52 PM »

I was wondering if you knew about when we should line up to get into the ball at 6? I would like go get in as soon as possible!  :)
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Wabbit98

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2014, 11:00:15 PM »

I was wondering if you knew about when we should line up to get into the ball at 6? I would like go get in as soon as possible!  :)

The line generally does not get to long, compared to some other lines, and it generally moves fairly quickly.  We do get a fair number of people who start to line up around 5:30pm or so.
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kaemis

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2014, 10:12:35 PM »

Really excited for the Black and White Ball! The classes you offer each year are great as well. I remember one year (maybe 2 years ago?) there were beginner and intermediate classes offered. Will that happen this year? Since I already know the basics for several of the styles offered, I would really love to learn some more advanced moves/techniques. Perhaps private lessons would be a good option? Hopefully you will still offer those this year because I'd be really interested in taking them :)
Thanks for always putting on a great event!
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princesskitty18

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2014, 08:19:58 AM »

Really excited for the Black and White Ball! The classes you offer each year are great as well. I remember one year (maybe 2 years ago?) there were beginner and intermediate classes offered. Will that happen this year? Since I already know the basics for several of the styles offered, I would really love to learn some more advanced moves/techniques. Perhaps private lessons would be a good option? Hopefully you will still offer those this year because I'd be really interested in taking them :)
Thanks for always putting on a great event!

there will be private lessons again, i believe in the mornings for saturday and sunday as well as at night on friday and saturday, maybe around the same time as other lessons. i dont THINK we're doin any intermediate classes persay, but i think that could be remedied through private lessons.
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le_momo

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Re: Black and White Ball 2014 Information Page and FAQ
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2014, 01:19:20 PM »

Really excited for the Black and White Ball! The classes you offer each year are great as well. I remember one year (maybe 2 years ago?) there were beginner and intermediate classes offered. Will that happen this year? Since I already know the basics for several of the styles offered, I would really love to learn some more advanced moves/techniques. Perhaps private lessons would be a good option? Hopefully you will still offer those this year because I'd be really interested in taking them :)
Thanks for always putting on a great event!

I'm glad to hear that you're excited! The entire Black & White Ball department has been waiting in anticipation to get everything set up in Parkside Hall for another amazing year.

We haven't offered intermediate lessons since FanimeCon 2012. Many of the intermediate lessons ended up switching to beginner lessons (after we realized that most who attended them hadn't yet learned the basic steps) or were the size of a large private lesson, so we decided to keep all of our main lessons after that at the beginner level.

Private lessons are great opportunities to learn new steps to whatever dances you would like to learn more of! We will have private lessons on Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday night, so there are plenty of opportunities to get an extra lesson or two in. :)

- Rebecca
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