Tuesday 28 April 2009

Strictly Ballroom: NZ Edition

As you'll recall, Strictly Ballroom was a wonderful movie about public choice: how a cartel will work to protect itself against new entrants by setting up rules that lower their own costs and prevent product innovation by newcomers. If that isn't what you got from watching the movie, read some Tullock then watch it again.

Strictly Ballroom was set in Australia. We now have a real-life Kiwi equivalent.
Dancing with the Stars' Samantha Hitchcock has been banned from competitions after she helped teach young dancers at a Christchurch studio.

The 25-year-old has been deregistered by The New Zealand Dance and Dancesport Council because she helped out at the Colleen Murray Dance Centre, which she also attends, when she does not have a teaching qualification.

Hitchcock, who with TV weatherman Tamati Coffey, won the hugely popular Dancing with the Stars TV show on Tuesday night, cannot enter amateur dance competitions for six months.

Hitchcock said the ruling was ridiculous.

NZDDC president Grant Mcown said he was unable to comment yesterday.
It is the first time the rule has been enforced in this way. Hitchcock said it was outdated.

"I've got all this knowledge but I'm not allowed to pass it on," she said.

Moves to ban Hitchcock started when members of another Christchurch dance studio lodged complaints to the dance council after a Colleen Murray duo Timur and Yulia Mullayanov won the New Zealand Ballroom and Latin Dance Championships in August last year.

The deregistration followed after teachers at Colleen Murray Dance Centre were asked to confirm that Hitchcock and other experienced dancers had helped teach, unpaid, under Murray's supervision - something they say happens everywhere.

Hitchcock's ban ends next month. Colleen Murray has now started a 'no confidence' petition against the council.
It'll be interesting to see whether the no confidence motion passes or not: the members are profiting by the existence of the rule, by and large. I do wish them luck though!

HT: Seamus Hogan

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