Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Improving the Cutie Awards and a Bit More

Improving the Cutie Awards and a Bit More 130129

The 2012 Cutie Awards are now behind us. From the beginning of the process to the final dance closing the ceremony, I received input from Dance Queens members concerning the process. Thank you to all of you who cared enough to identify issues and suggest solutions. 

The Cutie Awards moved Dance Queens from an organization that provides information to support SL dancing to an expanded role of recognizing excellence. The process also caused some fracturing of the group. I think most people felt that the Cutie Awards raised the bar on dance performance, increased a sense of an SL dance community and created a whole lot of fun. Some, perhaps only a few, felt that the Cuties were divisive and a sham ... an exercise in self congratulation.

Wherever you fall in your view of the Cuties, I think all can agree that the idea of recognition, the Cuties, is out like the genie out of the bottle. We now have the choice of forgetting the idea of the Cuties or trying to improve the process.

One decision that I have made is that I won't be further involved in decision-making for the Cuties. This is a personal decision on my part. I am no longer having fun with DANCE QUEENS and even the pleasure I receive from dancing is much lower. Bernard Herzog said to me during the Awards ceremony, "Your success is your downfall." He was referring to the challenge of getting on the Audience sim, but he was spot-on for the broader context of the Awards for me.

By stepping aside this may make it easier to bring together those of you with different views of the 2012 Cutie Awards. It does create a significant leadership hole. Somehow you, the dance community, needs to define how to create a better Cutie Awards or let them die a natural death. I will leave that to you to decide how and will provide whatever help I can from the experience of running the 2012 Cuties.

I am also taking a few weeks off from DANCE QUEENS to let the dust settle and decide what to do about the other things we do such as the blog, the database, the annual Dance Festival, etc. I know many of you care deeply about DANCE QUEENS and how it supports your love of dancing. Perhaps, the solution you come up with for the Cuties will set a direction for how to manage the broader group.

Please, do not send me your expressions or feeling on this. I have many, many friends here and this is the not the end rather only the beginning of a change in how DANCE QUEENS works.

Please, do communicate using the blog. You can see the people who can post on the right side. You can communicate through them or, if you want to post directly, contact me at nottoo.wise@gmail.com and I will add you as an author.



  1. As with any organization there are growing pains. What we are seeing is just that. Dance Queens is like a fumbling adolescent, tripping over their own legs because they are going through change. How we deal with it as a community will define who we are.
    Group dynamics are in play here. Politics are never FUN but I think it is appropriate to consider the hierarchy of Dance Queens. I’m not suggesting revolution. Far from that! I am suggesting that we, with Nottoo’s blessing may want to have a very public discussion on the roles and members in those roles that give focus to Dancing Queens.
    “By stepping aside this may make it easier to bring together those of you with different views of the 2012 Cutie Awards. It does create a significant leadership hole. Somehow you, the dance community, needs to define how to create a better Cutie Awards or let them die a natural death. I will leave that to you to decide how and will provide whatever help I can from the experience of running the 2012 Cuties.”
    Nottoo has clearly said it. I think that what she is suggesting is deeper then she realizes. Her action in bringing more Bloggers into the picture also reveals more. Correct me if I’m wrong here but it appears she is handing the torch to others to continue to grow this organization. She is very smart! She understands the dynamics here and is developing it with the precision of a surgeon.
    We need to take the steps to create a hierarchy or council or whatever you want to call it. Vote in roles and members. Hand it to Nottoo and ask for her final blessing. (Nottoo will always be the Queen, she owns the group. No matter what she has the final call.) But I think we can take some of the burden off of her. Start leading our direction as a community.
    Additionally if Dance Queens does not make this method for achieving a council or hierarchy structure as public and inclusive as possible then we can assume that Dance Queens has no merit and should be completely dismissed. If there is currently a council, if it is not public and/or if this council refuses to relinquish its authority for the community to elect then they have damned Dance Queens and the community as a whole.

  2. I think the "council's" or "syndicates" dictum, is "our way or the highway", in that I don't see the council relinquishing control anytime soon. If DQ, as leader of "main events" like the "Festival" and the "Cuties", refuses to reinvent itself, then the council will find another "host" to steer from behind the scenes, maybe as punishment to DQ for abandoning them.

  3. I am utterly confused. Dance Queens has always been Ttoo's group. Some of us have been with her in her group from it's inception or damn close to it. Suddenly, its members seem to be the owners. I must have missed the day the ownership was relinquished. If the dance community is synonymous with someone's particular group then I stand corrected. As for the Cutie Awards and all the carry-on regarding it, it's Ttoo's idea and nobody outside of her and Riddle could have ever pulled it off, in my opinion. But now that it's been done, it seems everyone could have done it better. Hard for me to fathom that bit as there is tuly nobody else I know who always has everyone's best interests at heart and never plays favorites.
    Anonymous said, "then we can assume that Dance Queens has no merit and should be completely dismissed"
    Again, are you speaking of the dance community or of Ttoo's group, Dance Queens?..because Dance Queens has been nothing but meritous since the day it began.
    I am also unaware of a formal council or a syndicate unless that's what cliques are called now.
    Ttoo's so called "stepping aside" feels a bit different to me than it's being portrayed here. When she says "I am no longer having fun with DANCE QUEENS and even the pleasure I receive from dancing is much lower" do you really think she's ok or even enjoying all of this? (cuz I don't)
    All I know is that the dance is now so totally and utterly scrutinized, analyzed and dissected that it sometimes feels like a science project gone rogue when it used to feel like a love affair with the art of making the dance.
    Iliandra Allen

  4. I think that there is a lot of confusion going around. I don’t see Nottoo giving up Dance Queens. I don’t see a call to replace Nottoo. No one is going to take away her control of Dance Queens; no one is going to take the blog away from Nottoo. What I do see is Nottoo asking for support in keeping things like the Cutie Awards going. What I see is her request for the community to stand up and support it or let it die. I see a call for discussion of creating an elected group that can do this. People that can be there to support and make it happen.

    You can add your 2 cents of drama lama to the discussion but in the end the core issues remains the same.

    *Do you want to support Nottoo’s vision of the Cutie Awards? Yes / No

    *Do you want to elect a community group that helps make events like the Cutie Awards happen? Yes / No

    *Are you a ruling member of Dance Queens, if so would you support a community group that helped Nottoo with events?

  5. You and I have differing glances on what's being seen. The comments are addressing Dance Queens, which is a group that is owned by an individual. It's not a fumbling adolescent. It's been around for a long time. The awards ceremony was a whole 'nother thing. If Ttoo is asking me the above questions, I'll be happy to answer them. There is no drama here. As for anonymous asking, there is no impulse to answer.

    1. Correction, DQ is owned by 2 individuas (sorry, Ridds).

    2. "One decision that I have made is that I won't be further involved in decision-making for the Cuties. This is a personal decision on my part."

      "By stepping aside this may make it easier to bring together those of you with different views of the 2012 Cutie Awards. It does create a significant leadership hole. Somehow you, the dance community, needs to define how to create a better Cutie Awards or let them die a natural death."

      Who makes the decisions now ili? YOU?

      Ili are you telling us that no one has a voice in the Dance Queens or input on things like the Cutie Awards?

      Ili are you telling us that Nottoo's words about this is a community are nothing but bogus?

    3. Nope, it should be very clear by now that I back Nottoo 100%. You know that already so please do knock off the sophistry. Once again I'll reiterate, the Cutie Award part of this discussion is separate from the Dance Queen group part. I am 100% sure she doesn't want anything more to do with chairing the awards. And I don't really care about them one way or another other than being amazed at how she and Riddle were able to do all that so beautifully.
      I have nor want zero to do with decision making regarding these issues. Just not my thing. You already know that since you know me in SL. Which is why I wonder why you need to go anonymous here.
      But can you not see how confrontational your tone is and how very dismissive? Comments like these, "You can add your 2 cents of drama lama to the discussion" are meant to put down the other:my comments are merely worth 2 cents therefore I must be so much less than you or my opinions are worth so much less. And we all know that in SL's world, the word "drama" is anathema to a person having any integrity or character. It's why others are worried about speaking up in their voices. They fear embarrassment or the put down. They worry about not being universally accepted or liked. Obviously language you've never seen Notts use on anyone in public (and probably not in private, either). Obviously not the kind of phrasing meant in good fellowship nor true dialogue. If I felt that way and wanted to write here, I guess I'd go anonymous, too. Or like so very many, just remain silent.
      Lastly let me just reiterate Ttoo's words," I am no longer having fun with DANCE QUEENS and even the pleasure I receive from dancing is much lower."
      Ttoo loves her Dance Queen group, dancing and Riddle. If 2 out of 3 of those loves have been injured, something you're overlooking has been injured. That made me feel very sad to read.
      And as usual, I sign my name...

    4. Ok lets leave the Cutie Awards out of this. How can Dance Queen members get involved to help Nottoo enjoy the community & SL again?

  6. Stuff me this makes my piss boil.

    Fuck all the moaning wankers Nottoo. You and Ridds are DQ, and I haven't seen anything like your big dance shows or the awards show this week in SL before. Nobody rides a bike right first time, nobody drives a car perfect first time they get into it. I very much doubt the drama hard twats that have ranted about the awards show could get it too go as smooth as this one did on a tenth attempt let alone first time.

    For all those unhappy with the awards, I have been in DQ for years, and every year the big dance show has changed. Nottoo is one of the best people I know for listening, taking on board ideas, and changing the event too adapt each year. There is not a doubt in my mind the next award show would have been completely different too this years Cuties.

    & If you are one of those that think its a sham, pointless, and self congratulating, you go make an awards show thats better, or help make the next ones better. Bitching gets nobody nowhere.

    ~ Nai (as if it wasn't obvious)

  7. I liked the Cuties Award! And I hope it continues! To me the Cuties Award celebrated SL dance and recognized (by nomination or award) many good people who are creative and passionate about this art in SL. It’s hard for me to imagine the amount of planning, organization and execution that it took to put-on this event. Congratulations to Nottoo, Riddle and all the others who made this program come to life, and to all the other dancers out there (like me) who just like performing on stage. I loved the way the venue was set up like the Oscars, the routines that were performed, the thoughts of the presenters and the winners, and I even laughed at Naiki’s jokes. LOL.

    Perhaps there are things that can be changed to make the program even better next time (if there is a next time). If so, I would encourage you to get involved and give your ideas beforehand. Nottoo has always been a good listener. However please recognize that you may not get your way all the time. No one does. At the end of the day, someone has to decide the path that will be travelled for this particular program. If this violates some principle with you, don’t participate, don’t nominate, don’t vote, and/or leave Dance Queens. The choice is yours. Maybe you can put on your own event.

    I for one am staying with Dance Queens and will do what I can to support Nottoo and Riddle, and hopefully the 2014 Cutie Awards.
    Ric Lyle

  8. TToo dont do the same mistake you did with the club, sure you may have burnt out, take a break let the flames extinquish and come back when you want to but dont make a decision you cant change later. Anyways its just my 2 cents and I find it quite amusing to see ppl post comments as anon. Politics is ugly and so is power struggles, we saw all that before dont let it repeat unless you no longer value DQ atall.

  9. There could be a constructive debate about the issues raised on this and other posts on this blog with particular regard to the recent Cutie Awards but it seems tempers are still high and there also seems to be some confusion over the exact nature of the event, i'd just like to add my view and consolidate my replies to several posts here as i would only be repeating myself by replying to them all, apologies if this is the wrong place.

    i didn’t nominate or vote for any awards so perhaps my view is not as valid as those who did take an active part but the idea of an awards show is not unique to Dance Queens (google Avi Choice for one). Were the actual awards unfair or bias to a select few? Possibly they were, i can see why some people may think so. Did the winners in any particular category deserve to win? I believe they did, though not all would have been my personal choice, such is life, and i was unable to attend the actual event but i did watch it on the live stream, one suggestion i would make is that IF there is such a thing next year that the stream also has voice enabled, it was frustrating not to know what was going on at times, particularly when applause gestures spammed the winners names off the screen.

    From what i can gather, the awards were for Dance Queens members only, nominations from non DQ members were discarded, only valid DQ members could vote and for the actual event itself members were asked not to invite non DQ members along. This was a Dance Queens group event right from the start and despite being referred to several times during the actual event and numerous times on this blog it was not representative of the SL dance community (whatever that is). This does not devalue it or demean it in any way and no one is disputing the work involved in organizing such an event but perhaps it should be open to non group members too but of course that creates its own problems.

    Dance Queens is a fantastic resource for dancing in SL, especially for newcomers and maybe that's how it should stay, continuing to support and encourage those who enjoy virtual dancing or maybe it should reach out in an attempt to embrace the wider SL community, whatever way Nottoo decides to go is her decision and it must be respected. This is Nottoo's group, if she wants to have a public or even secret council/ hierarchy/ clique running things that's fine, if she wants to take a few days off so what? If she wants to close Dance Queens completely and remove this blog it's her decision. Even if the whole Cutie Awards was carefully planned and fully scripted with all participants playing their allotted role and saying their lines in some vast theatrical production that's her choice too. The emphasis has always been (at least to me) to encourage member participation and this must by definition also include less than positive remarks. No one likes negative comments about their creations but, believe it or not, it is ok not to like something and it should be ok to say so. As Yummy alluded to in her post, not all shows are great, some are just boring, it's a personal view not a wrong view. That being said, the vitriol expressed by some respondents to this and other posts surprises me and does not contribute in any way to improving anything and anyone new to Dance Queens would see little sense of community here at the moment.

    One thing is certain though, the Cutie Awards has brought more people, myself included, to take part, at least on the blog and after reading some of the replies here i can understand why some people choose to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions but hopefully people will take a more active role and help to support Nottoo to continue Dance Queens in whichever direction that may take us.

    Play nice.


  10. I began dancing many years ago and learned all l know due to Nottoo's patience and a guiding hand from both her and the DQ group. Whatever Ttoo does it is always with the best interests of dance and dancers at heart, l think it is truly a shame that Nottoo has reached a point where she is no longer enjoying her passion. We aught to be greatful that we have a platform that recognises the skill required in sl dance and whilst everyone may not be happy with the process perhaps it will make them work even harder and provide the constructive critiques necessary to make things better for next year.

    We need to add a little altruism and kindness into the virtual dance world and remove the egos and self interest - if only for the love of dance!

    Jai x

  11. I am one of those who believe the Cuties were a sham. It had all the properties of a high school prom where, nothing is based on merit, talent and skill, but rather on whoever has the most friends in the group. This should have been decided upon by an impartial committee who actually attended shows in order to make their educated decisions.

  12. Thankyou for your feedback 4 months too late Anonymous. The process was being spoken about months ago, and its been in black and white for ages. It certainly was not perfect, but as has been said already, Nottoo listens too every suggestion and revises the next event she puts on accordingly. Remember the Nottoo festivals of 3-4 years ago compared to last years? She changes things wildly each year.

    Instead of crying sham and whining like a tosser about impartial commitees, grow some balls, get your thoughts on paper in a non whining way, such as a bullet point list without the word sham, hand it too Nottoo, and see if she did things differently next year.

    Alternatively, put one on yourself. We all know thats not going too happen from cowardly little wankers that post anonymous crap on the internet though, because you have far better things too do we know. Like posting cowardly crap on the internet for example.


    ~ Nai

    1. Nai, you make me laugh so hard. But I do have to admit that the last anon has a valid point, being made after the fact. Yes, anon is correct about how people voted and prolly always will vote. I don't think anon meant the over all production was a sham. That was one of the 7 wonders of the sl world as far as organization, prep, build, etc., is concerned. You and I know lots of talented dancers who didn't vote nor nominate, including me! Point is, I guess, the intent was pure, the production was glorious but the method for winning doesn't necessarily follow. Then again, unless you have a panel of noobs who don't yet have any friends, you can force to sit in front of dancers competing in real time right there and now (tell them they're camping)a result is bound to be skewed in some fashion. Diogenes is still looking for an honest man.
      But somehow all of this seems like much ado about very little. For me, the event was rich and lavish; I didn't crash; I got invited to a party. That's my seperation of wheat from chaff.
      Cheers to everyone. Let's lighten up.

  13. Refraining from using any British slurs, heres an informative post with dates about why people calling it a sham is beyond frustrating.

    Posted - 2012/11/01 - An outline of the awards process. 2 Comments. Neither suggesting alternatives. http://sldancequeens.blogspot.fr/2012/11/dance-queens-dance-awards.html

    Posted - 2012/12/07 - Outlining voting. No comments. http://sldancequeens.blogspot.fr/2012/12/dance-queens-dance-awards-update.html

    Posted - 2012/12/17 - Nomination process about too begin. No comments. http://sldancequeens.blogspot.fr/2012/12/another-dance-queens-dance-awards-update.html

    Posted - 2012/12/23 - A good Q&A, no cries of sham, and IMHO, not whiny or sour grapes. Genuine concerns raised in a good manner. http://sldancequeens.blogspot.fr/2012/12/daqd-cutie-q.html

    Now that last one covers the issues raised over voting. Whoever the member was that had that conversation didn't cry or rant and shout sham. I am sure anyone can understand, this was raised right as DQ was gearing up too nominations. That is a really bad time for N2 too change things in an event that big for this year. We can also highlight the following comments :

    [10:50:22] DQ MEMBER: Perhaps in 2014 the system will allow for actual viewing of performances to DQ members for a more fair approach.
    [10:50:34] Nottoo Wise: yes that's a good idea

    And below :

    "Following the awards ceremony I will ask for volunteers to help design an improved version of awards for 2013"

    Concerns were raised too late too change this years show. However, Nottoo was at time of writing receptive too suggestions, and eager too hear design improvements for next years awards. Instead of being angry at this years awards, anyone who is pissed off could have channeled their energy into giving N2 the feedback she asked for.

    If anybody had left a comment, anon or or with name back on the first post, I would be less quick to fire back against anyone calling sham. But really, comments this year came too late. Instead of insulting this years event and ranting about it, sham callers / ranters could have helped make next years better.

    ~ Nai

    1. Good Lord, it wears me out just re-reading all that needed to be done to get an event of that magnitude off the ground and I did read it all as it was posted originally. But it did all get done! So are the unhappy people those that didn't get nominated or didn't win or what? Are they feeling the panel of of 6 were the issue. I can't tell.

  14. *shrugs* possibly both. but shouting about it afterwards and calling sham is about as helpful as fitting an ash tray too a motorbike. a detailed list of improvements without the whining would be far more constructive.

  15. I'm probably going to regret saying this, but I would like to add, as the person voted Director of The Year, who directs a team that won 8 awards, and a show that consistently plays - every single week - to 60 avatars, I am getting a little tired of hearing how "nothing is based on merit, talent and skill". We work our asses off to put on a good show, and it IS a good show. We were thrilled because we thought our peers had recognised our effort. We thought you must have come by, liked what we were doing, and thrown us a vote ... cus we sure didn't get invited to any "high school prom".
    That's all tainted now, and we are left baffled, and unable to talk about how proud we were to have been chosen. I don't know who you all are, and why you think us winning makes the awards a sham. Next time you're at our show, please do IM me with your complaints, we also work very hard on our customer feedback.
    Incidentally, comments were closed on this post last time I read it, or I would have mentioned how absolutely horrified I was to learn that Nottoo was under this much stress. Shame on all of us for trashing something that was an utter delight if you took part in it.

  16. Hey,

    I would like to write something here as well.
    First of all I will tell who I am;
    My name is Zhaza Zerbino, better known as ZZ and I am the founder of the dance group The Pink Lady Dancers.
    I have been a member of the Dance Queens for a very long time and I did met Nottoo when she did send me an invitation for the very first Festival.
    So I think I can say, at I know her for a while!

    I think at, thanks to Nottoo, at a lot of dance groups on SL, are what they are today. I can for sure speak for myself.
    Without her, we would never have done what we do today.

    To the people who give their negative input, about arranging of festival's and other big events (like recently the Cutie Awards) I would like to say.... If you can do it better... then why don't, or didn't you do it yet??
    To those, who don't even "say" who they are, I don't even have respect.
    If you will say something in public, then have the guts to say who you are, or else keep quiet.

    From experience I know at it isn't easy to arrange something bigger then "just" your own show. I did arrange since about 2 years a Variety Show, where different dance groups perform. It's only a little thing when I compare it with the Festivals Nottoo arrange, but anyway it is a lot of arrangement. It cost you a lot of time and work (and I guess we all have a normal RL life to take care of as well),It cost a lot of Lindens to realize it (you need enough prims and land cost!)
    These Variety shows have been great and it has been worth all the time, work and lindens. There are always a lot of good replies from people who liked it and I must say, that's the best payment you can get back. But there is also always a dark side, people who complain about lag (if I put it there!! lol) or even give up. People who have to cancel their show in the last minute. (we all know at RL always should be in the first place, so of course we understand, but it gives a lot of work to change and re-arrange), People who only moan in your IM while you have hardly time to breath and people who just think at you just can do it all just 2 minutes before their show start, even when you asked them in a good time before the show, if they please will send the info you need.
    All I write down here, are my own experiences, and when its only a Variety Show, I guess at Nottoo have to deal with this X 100.

    I can only have the biggest respect for someone who do as much as Nottoo (and i for sure don't forget Riddle ;o))
    She deserve her own Statue for what she do and have done for us dancers.
    For the time she spend for us. For always answer when you have a question and for always be friendly and kind.

    I have been at the Cutie Awards from the start till the end.
    And for a first try for this event... I have to say WELL DONE!!
    Everything went smooth and in time.
    I think the whole idea was super great! And if it not was as you expected and you are not happy about the nominees, well...then try harder next time!
    Every first time for whatever we do, has to be done first, before we can say, this and that we should have done different.
    And I'm sure at Nottoo is open for any suggestion people will come with.
    But first of all, she deserves nothing more then RESPECT!!

    Last but not least I would like to say;
    Thank you for all you have done in the last many years Nottoo. Always helpful and always patience! I am proud to say... Nottoo, I know her ;o)) She IS the Dance Queen! No one else deserve that tittle more then you!

    Knuzzer ZZ ;o))

    (Zhaza Zerbino)