Alright, going to try and post a response now, please let me know if I forget anything so I can make sure I address everything.
First off, thank you everyone for coming out to the BWBall this year. I know there were a lot of hit and misses at the BWBall but I think overall, it was a good evening. So here goes:
Masquerade vs. BWBall - With the weekend being so crammed full of events, we had to try to fit in the events the best we could. Some people were upset that Mas. and BWBall were at the same time this year but because of that, we extended BWBall by an hour just in case anyone who was not tired from Mas. could come over and enjoy the Ball for an hour or two. I think it Mas. got out around 10:30 or so... not sure.
The size of the ballroom - This year, we were not able to secure the Imperial Ballroom so we were given the Regency Ballroom. We did what we could to accommodate the number of people attending the BWBall. But due to the smaller room and capacity, we had to limit the amount of people in the room so this caused a long line to form. We are working on addressing this for next year. One observation I made though, is that even if we did have the Imperial Ballroom this year, the capacity of the room would still cause a line to form outside of the event.
The dance floor - Believe it or not, the dance floor this year was only shorter than last year's dancefloor by 3 feet, width wise. Other than that it was the same dimensions as last year. It may seem smaller due to the fact that we were in a smaller room but it was almost the same size as last year. The dance floor was from the same company as last year. They assured me that if they come back next year, they will bring tools to make sure that the dance floor does not separate. The main reason that the floor separated was because people were jumping on stomping on the dance floor. This is one of the reason why I try to break up groups of people who are "stomp" dancing in a circle
Music - There has been a lot of talk about this. So every year we post up a thread for requests for music if anyone wants a particular song played at BWBall. Due to needing to have the slides up and matching the title of music, we have to have the playslist done early. Many suggestions came in 1-2 weeks before the BWBall. This makes it extremely difficult to screen music, cut music, and fit it into our playlist. Also, on the threads, although there a lot of suggestions, many of the songs that were suggested were not danceable in a ballroom sense. Many of the waltz and tangos that were suggested were Vianeze Waltz and Argentine Tango. Although Argentine Tango was taught during the weekend it is a hard dance to pick up. We did't have lessons for V. Waltz so we did not put it in. But do keep in mind that we are always looking for good music to dance to, so please post on the forums if you have any suggestions.
Playlist - There was an issue of having pop music in our playlist. At FanimeCon we try to cater to everyone's choice in music. We are here to have fun and encourage a safe and entertaining environment where people can dance and enjoy themselves. So with that said, we tried to get a mix of different music in there. The playlist from this year and last year are posted on the forums and you can compare them. This year, there were less pop songs than last year. Also, if you go out to the ballrooms around this area such as Dance Boulevard or Star Lite Dance, they play a mix of classical dances as well as more recent popular music.
Rovers - Rovers and BWBall staff this year, worked together to ensure a safe and fun environment for everyone. There was a bit of communication breakdown between the two departments,but I felt that the Rovers did a good job. We will work on resolving the issue of having to go to the back of the line for bathroom breaks and photos for next year.
Demonstrations - So there was some confusion as to why we were having demos this year. Some people felt that we were showing off and that the demos did not have a place at the BWBall. There were a couple of reasons for this, the demos were there to entertain. Many of the instructors and assistants have been dancing for months to a few years so it was to show what you could do if you stuck with dance lessons and kept going. It was also put there so people can get a break and get water and use the restroom and things if needed. Also, it was used to clear the dance floor so we could get ready for a mixer. We had 3 sets of demos this year. 1st set was followed by the Foxtrot mixer, 2nd set was followed by a Swing mixer, and the last set was more of a break to allow anyone from Masquerade to come in and get situated.
Shoes - Shoes have become an increasing issue over the years. People wear shoes for show and after dancing in them for a while, their feet hurt and they try to dance on the dance floor without shoes. This is an accident waiting to happen so that is why we require shoes at all times. Sneakers and rubber soled shoes have been marking up the dance floor, they tend to leave marks on the dance floor and sneakers tend to grip the dance floor so more chances of accidents happening. Heels like stillettos leave marks on the dance floor and indentations in the wood. Also, the dancefloor is not one long piece of wood, there are gaps in between and if you have a small heel they can get stuck and cause an accident. Height of the heel is an issue too, if you cannot balance well on the heel or turn on the heel it can lead to accidents. The higher the heel, the more chances of a twisted ankle or foot injury. The shoe requirements will be more visible next year so please keep your eyes out for them
Line of Dance - This is an issue every year. People are reminded about it at the lessons every year but a majority of people do not attend the lessons to hear it. Announcements were made this year also but alas, not everyone was following it and it was hard to follow it due to overcrowding on the dance floor.
Venue - This year we had the dance lessons and the BWBall in the same place. In previous years we had it in the J Ballroom in the convention center. Every year, the convention grows and we have to make space for other events. This year there was an event going on in the J Ballroom during the daytime. Also, by having the dance lessons at the Fairmont that allowed us to have more dance lessons and private lessons later on in the day instead of cutting it off at 6pm at night on Friday and Saturday.
I think that is about it for now. I do have a few questions if anyone wants to answer them it will greatly help out for next year's event.
1) How do we get more music suggestions?
2) What would work better for you, smaller room with a ballroom feel (less people can fit in there so there will be a line) or a larger room or building where everyone can fit in but the acoustics for the music may be off and there is not quaint ballroom feel (no line though)
3) What dances do you want to see more of?