Ballroom and the economy

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by pygmalion, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Sometimes it is the little things that add up going to a competition. My budget will be fine with airfare, hotel and comp costs... but then I have to add on parking at the airport I'm flying out of, shuttle service to hotel I'm arriving at, meals at the hotel that are always overpriced, tipping here and there for various services, and usually buying something... shoes, jewelry, dvd, photos . I think there are lots of good ideas in this thread for cutting costs while competing, and for me, the main one is selecting comps that are going to give me the most enjoyment for their value, which for me usually means ones with lots of rounds and a great show. I wonder why photography and videography are exclusive at competitions? They do a great job, but there is usually only one company to pick from, while there are several vendors of dresses, hair, makeup, shoes, and jewelry, if you want a DVD or photos, there is only one company to choose from.
  2. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    Oh, yeah, as well as Fascination says above,
    1) I don't need to tan, really, I'm naturally "there"..lol.
    2) I do my own hair and make up (eyelashes are a hoot - what an effort!)
    3) DH and I bring our own food (he use to be embarassed until he got the meal
    billing at City Lights Ball two years ago...now he's on board with groceries.
    4) I buy a video only when I've move up a level and after coaching.
    5) If I want a "new dress" I modify the one I have or rent from a friend.
    6) I go to competitive group classes and socials to practice allowing the person to "lead"
    and forcing myself to "just follow" this has really helped me.
    7) I take two weeks to one month off after a competition and do something
    completely different from dancing.
    8) We meet life long friends for dinner and a movie instead of the shows.
    Or go for long walks with friends and catch up with each other strolling
    So we are not "locked" into the hotel the entire time.
    9) I go to 3-4 day dance camps like peoplewhodance.net, challenging
    myself with 14 hour day/nights in a completely different dance style
    for about $125 the entire event. More bang for the buck than I ever
    imagined.
    10) Still trying to find an am/am partnership for ballroom. Fingers permanently crossed.
  3. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    One interstate competition per year, if that. There are enough small local comps and big local comps to keep DP and I happy.

    Cheap dresses from ebay...if I get a sudden windfall, I can restone them. If not, they still look pretty.

    I wear my shoes until they fall apart.

    Stay in youth hostels or really cheap hotels when I travel. Even a private room at a youth hostel is cheaper than a hotel room. Cooking for myself is definitely a thing.

    Tan with DHA powder...much cheaper than the pre-made stuff, from what I can tell.

    Always do my own hair, nails, and makeup. There's actually not a lot of options around to get them done professionally, by a ballroom person.

    Comp entries are pretty cheap...the most expensive being around $40. I think hard about whether I really really want to go to the expensive comps.
  4. jiwinco

    jiwinco Active Member

    Yes! This!! I don't attend comps because the cost is so high. Everyone at my studio wonders why they get a better deal from me and I always say, if I had to pay for several hundred dollars in hotel, transport and 500-800 in vendor fees plus 10% of sales, I guarantee that my prices would go up at least 50% to cover those costs. I wonder how some of the vendors make a profit.
  5. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    speaking of saving some money....this thread has inspired me to finally get off my duff and try my hand at making my own bangle bracelets! I found a site that has a methodology that looks pretty good (and easy!), let's see how it goes!
  6. artofdance

    artofdance New Member

    Hello ladies,

    I agree with most of you. For me, less lessons especially from coaches, maybe fewer competition especially where traveling is involved and have been selling my collection of dresses that I have :( to use the money towards lessons, etc...
  7. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I consider coaching options more carefully. I used to be willing to sign up with any coach that was in town, but truly I discovered that in 45 minutes at $150 per session, they really weren't going to be able to give me that value in recommendations... which were usually the same things my pro would tell me. Now I work only with two coaches that know me and my dancing well, charge less, and can help me progress. I think a coach that has never worked with me before is just not going to be able to give me $150 in teaching.
    jerseydancer likes this.
  8. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Also coaching starts to become conflicting... one coach recommends one thing, another recommends something entirely different... I think it is good to find a coach or two that you trust and work with that person/s exclusively.
    jerseydancer likes this.
  9. Standarddancer

    Standarddancer Well-Known Member

    Most recent observation is that famous English coachs came to town, was not fully booked by Manhattan studio, the US Coach who initiated invitation had to fill up the schedules with ex-partner/spouse although they were both retired, because even though no couples taking lessons, whoever invited coaches still must pay the expenses, and is not polite to have visiting coaches to sit in studio. The lesson is $250 for 45 minutes, is a very high price. I remember a few years ago, before economy crisis, even with such high lesson cost, you don't normally see retired US coaches filling up oversea visiting coaches' schedule by themselves so often, it used to be competing pros and ams and serious pro-am couples had no problems to fill up the schedules in Manhattan. Now even some very wealthy pro-am ladies comment "no, I can't afford, I don't need this lesson, too much." Before was much easier to ask them to take coach lessons, they would take any coach their pro recommended; Now everybody is more calculating and budget conscious.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I actually feel relieved that not many coaches come to my studio...so I don't have that added cost that often...I will periodically take a coaching alone closer to home, if I have accumulated a list of things that I don't seem to be able to grasp in the 12 ways to sunday that my pro has shared it...but I try to wait until I have a fairly decent list so maybe I will do 2 coachings back to back around 4 times a year if someone I really respect is available locally to me
  11. Jananananana

    Jananananana Active Member

    Here are a few things I've done: 1. Learned to make my own costumes 2. Cut down on hotel spending by doing more local comps and less travelling 3. Used practice shoes in lieu of comp shoes more often (to save my comp shoes for comps) 4. Take more lessons and do fewer competitions if it's not comp season (to save on travel costs)
    3wishes and XL_PT like this.
  12. jerseydancer

    jerseydancer Active Member

    Where do you compete for $40 entry fee, is that for college comps?
  13. Standarddancer

    Standarddancer Well-Known Member

    Also now whoever invited oversea visiting coaches are more willing to work with payment plan versus before economy crisis, it is required that all coaching lessons must be paid in full on the same day lessons were taken, otherwise you will be removed from booking list next time. Now it happened more frequent that couples were allowed to take the lesson when the coaches are in town, then pay later monthly or slowly or whenever possible. Coaching lessons are expensive, it is just too much financial burden for people to come up with the money upfront, guess without payment plan, the # of couples can afford lessons would be even less:(
  14. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Before I recall that most overseas coaches insisted on cash only... Seems like our good fortune in the US was almost "abused" by overseas coaches who walked out with fistfuls of untaxed money. I know lots of them are having a harder time to get booked at such a high rate with a cash only mentality. Guess that is coming to an end... good!
    jerseydancer and TinyDancer109 like this.
  15. jump'n'jive

    jump'n'jive Active Member

    until they start accepting square up or intuit :/
  16. Jananananana

    Jananananana Active Member

    NJ DanceSport Classic events are pretty inexpensive. Students are $40, Adults are $55 and under 19 are $30. College comps are in the $35-$50 range for entry fees. I think for me MAC will be the most expensive, but it's so worth it.
    Generally USA Dance events aren't that expensive and if you're a student you get that additional student discount.
  17. TinyDancer109

    TinyDancer109 Well-Known Member

    i find that once you become a "serious" open pro/am student, it gets a lot more difficult to cut spending because there are certain expectations WRT your look, frequency of competitions, which competitions, etc...
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  18. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    To be honest, I find that very little has changed in our dancing because of the economy. The primary reason for that, though, is that DW is incredibly frugal, regardless of the financial circumstances we find ourselves in. The question is never "can we afford it" but is "is it worth it".
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I have definitely been more careful....but...I do think I will have to break down and buy dresses this year for precisely the reasons that tiny mentions as well as making sure I am more intentional in alot of my decisions....
  20. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    a good benchmark for all of us

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