Ballroom Dance > Competition cost advice

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by JANATHOME, Oct 2, 2008.


    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    Here is the situation...
    We dance both independent and chain comps, chain of course being more expensive. (We are am's)

    The entry fee is the same for an AM couple as a pro-am, and I have accepted this if I want to do chain comps, which I do.

    This year now in addition to entry fee and ballroom entrance fee there is a $166 fee per session which I assume is for the instructor. Well, we dont dance with the instructor and in fact are often on the floor the same time our instructor is dancing pro-am. So now for two of us this is an additional $300 a session, while a single pro-am will pay half of our cost and dance with the instructor. Do you think it is reasonable for me to ask them to waive this fee, or at least charge it only once for husband and myself? This one added cost that would push me over the edge and could be the deal breaker for us to no longer do chain comps... I just feel it is unfair to us, and we are being penalized for being an AM when in fact we are so easy!!... They dont have to juggle how to fit us in with an instructors heats, they can put us just about anywhere in our categories.

    Welcome any thoughts on this. I dont want to be a jerk about this!
  2. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    I know many studios levy that per day/per session registration fee once per amateur couple, not on both people. So yes, its worth asking about that.
  3. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    I'd ask what exactly it is for. In fact, I'd go through all of your costs and do that, if they seem to be giving you the same sheet that they're giving pro-am competitors. You aren't "spending" your pro's time, so you shouldn't be charged for it. This particular fee may be fair, depending on what it's actually for, but there may be another fee you're paying that's not.
    Good luck getting it settled, I know you've said that you enjoy your chain comps, I hope you can work something out so you can keep enjoying them!
  4. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    While I do not have experience with chain schools or chain comps, I do have experience with going to an NDCA comp as an amateur couple when everyone else from the studio is going as part of a pro-am couple. My experience is that everything is negotiable.

    Several years ago, when I was living in another state, we were going to an NDCA comp, and so were some pro-am students from the studio where we were taking lessons. The pro-ammers were given a marked up rate as the cost of going to the comp. Since I get all NDCA comp materials too, I sent in our entries independently. The studio owner expressed disappointment, because they could have gotten points from our entries toward "Top Studio." I explained that we didn't want to pay the mark-up. We agreed that it was fair for us not to have to do so in the future.

    It never hurts to ask, especially since what you are asking for is so reasonable. Your participation at this comp is not taking away from your teacher's time at all, unless he/she is coaching you on the sidelines, etc.

    I hope things work out for you!

  5. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Sorry, but I think you are all being rather too nice about this. Charging for an instructors time when the instructor isn't even watching you is scalping.
  6. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    The studio has to come up with enough money to replace lost income while the teachers are away, pay the teachers for the work they do while they are at the comp, and purchase hotel/admissions/food for the teachers. It is not unheard of for this fee to be spread across all studio members going. $166 sounds rather inexpensive actually.

    Sometimes studios have a problem with people that are not on their packages or paying into their studio, showing up at the comp, and wanting to sit at the same table that the students on packages are sitting at, wanting to hang with everyone at the cocktail party, or join the studio events for the weekend. This is sometimes thought of as a disservice to the students who payed premium prices for the "studio atmosphere".

    If you feel it is unreasonable to have to pay for one or both of these, then by all means ask if it can be waived because you take less "hosting" than the other students.

    But it is not unheard of or dishonest by any means. The studio is there to make money, and anyone going on that studio trip is going to be expected to chip in, regardless of how many dances they do, what style, or what level, or even am or pro-am. It is just a flat group fee if you want to go with that group.
  7. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    ^^^That is very true. Why I said this fee may be fair, other fees may not be fair. (Or they may be fair too.) I think Jan has always appreciated that she's paying more for the franchise atmosphere, but it sounds like there's coming a point where she feels like she's paying more than it's worth for her. All the more reason to look into what fees are for what "services," so she can make an informed decision as to what she's willing to pay for. It's one thing to pay for atmosphere, it's another thing to subsidize services that she and her partner aren't getting. (And the same goes both ways, the pro-am students shouldn't be paying more than their share for services that she and her partner do get.)
  8. syncopationator

    syncopationator Active Member

    If you don't ask, you don't get...
  9. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    I know I pay extra for the franchise "experience." But Id' definitely ask. Not sure how it works here, as people I know who compete as am couples also always do pro am entries at the comps too, so reaonable to be charging them for their pro's time too.
  10. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Surely. She moves fluidly between the independant world and the franchise world. And so is astutely aware of the differences in pricing structures and services offered.

    A studio enviornment (franchise or not) offers more in terms of a group expereince than flying solo at a comp. And there is a price for that. If that is the expereince she is looking for then there is a price.

    Of course everything is negotiable and if you feel that it is putting you into a price range that is unacceptable, the by all means ask for a different structure. But I would not begrudge them the option of charging what they do, or structuring it however the feel best covers their expenses and gives them take home pay.
  11. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    And before anyone argues that the franchise price is already higher than normal... just remember that a Large percentage of what they charge is not even their money... but goes directly to the home office for their region. Just because you are paying them dosn't mean it is their money...
  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but if she's already paying whatever rate it is to sit at a table (any table), should she have to pay $166 extra (times two) to sit at her studio's table?

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    I can see the point as to spreading the entire extra costs across the studio. Frankly, I had not looked at it like that. At this studio, or I guess the chain, the comp costs are A LA Carte, and one can pick and choose what to purchase... such as meals, pro shows, ect. If you ask, which I do, they will give you a price list in advance so you can make educated decisions.

    This was a new or added charge this year which gave me reason to pause and reconsider the value of the chain comp experience that I have over the past 2 years come to enjoy. Sure , there is a price for everytihing, but the price just got higher! But in the end the studio easily agreed to charge us this fee as a "unit", paying the fee once not twice, I appreciated the concession, probably more on principle than dollars, and went ahead and registered for the comp.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I would say this is only true sometimes...personally, with or without a studio, I was never hosted and never felt hosted and never cared to be hosted
  15. Standarddancer

    Standarddancer Well-Known Member

    Certainly unfair to you. It's definitely reasonable to ask them to waive all fees since you are dancing am, not pro-am, why pay extra $166 per session? Try to talk to them to waive all fees, not just one session, better off you spend the $166 for your lessons. Explain the situation and they should give you this break. If not, then say "so long" to the chain studio. This is just extortion!!!
  16. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Good to hear you ended up with a situation that you can be happy with.:)
  17. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    You pay your money and make your choice - well, actrually usually its the other way round. And as Wooh says, if that is the right choice for you emjoy :)
  18. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    Bump ...

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