Ballroom Dance > Current trends in amateur competition pricing

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by NielsenE, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Laura

    Laura New Member

    What we're intending to say is "hey, you spend $60 (or whatever) per person per year to join USA Dance in the first place, why should we soak you again for entry fees to compete?"

    Also, we do trade volunteer time for ballroom admission tickets, so it's actually possible to get one's cash outlay down to -zero- for this competition.
  2. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Competitors add more value to the competition than spectators do.
  3. yanka

    yanka New Member

    but they are inherently more costly (being the cause of the comp in the first place)
  4. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Given that your local chapter is doing pretty much all of the work, wouldn't that argument make more sense in the other order?
  5. yanka

    yanka New Member

    And I think it's awesome - I'm not complaining about this in any way; just discussing the cost structure ;)
  6. Gumby

    Gumby New Member

    Tell that to a competitor dancing to an empty ballroom.
  7. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Well, for us it's the principle of it all. Supposedly back in the mists of time it was common custom and practice for competitors to not be charged entry fees to dance in USABDA events. We've managed to keep that going forward into the days of USA Dance, even though it never became an official organization-wide rule or policy.

    The big point here is that it is not impossible to put on a low-cost event! That's why I cringe when I hear of $130 entry feels at some of the other Regionals. Okay, so we don't have a dinner dance, or a professional show, or workshops, or anything fancy, but we've found that our Chapter's members don't care for any of that anyway. We create a time and place for people to compete and get their Regional Participation Requirement satisfied and pass our savings on to everyone, as it were :)

    One thing I should point out is that our chapter is sort of an aberration within USA Dance. Something like 90% of our members are competitors, whereas the average nationally is something more like 30%. The East Coast hotbeds of competition would be another exception to that, but really that's it.
  8. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Hey, for $25 for an all-day ticket, why don't you come down and spectate! It's cheaper than you'd pay at any NDCA comp.
  9. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Personally I think there's something a bit sad about going to a comp just to spectate. Sure, it happens from time to time when one is frictionally unable, or at competitions of a level where it really isn't practical or permitted, but the promotion of ballroom as a primarily-spectator activity really seems to send the wrong message - "you can't do this" instead of the more healthy "you can do this... if you want to"
  10. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Vs a competitor with a moderate audience in an empty heat?

    No thanks.

    If I want to do a show, I'll plan it that way.
  11. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    so how are you handling registration deadlines?
    if spectator tickets and competitor registration cost the same, then do you not charge any late fees? how do you encourage people to register early to allow you to schedule events?
  12. Laura

    Laura New Member

    When people register for events they are also required to purchase their admission tickets. If we get a registration without a ticket order, we simply will not put the couple in the computer until we have a ticket order and payment. People who register and pay by the deadline are guaranteed to get the events they sign up for. (There's an exception for events that have fewer than three couples by the deadline.)

    People who do not register and buy tickets by the May 15th deadline must pay a $25 per couple late fee, in addition to purchasing their tickets. Also, their entries will only be added if they do not force another heat, round, or group.

    People who attempt to register for the competition on the day of the event on a walk-in basis must pay a $50 per couple late fee, in addition to purchasing their ticket. And of course, their entries will only be added if they do not force another heat, round, or group.

    We've found that we don't get that many late registrations, mainly because we've been completely hardcore about it over the past four or five years. People have learned -- mainly through bitter disappointment about not getting into the events they wanted because they tried to register a week or two after the deadline -- that we mean business. I think we had just one late registration for the last "deadined" comp we threw back in November.
  13. star_gazer

    star_gazer Active Member


    Even when I can/could dance...even when I don't know the competitiors...I like to go to competitions to watch. Why is that so weird? I go to the ballet to watch and the symphony to listen. Maybe it's because I'm in the art camp (of the art vs sport debate). I love to watch good dancers.

    Also I don't recall that competitors were charged a registration fee at Celtic Classic or Snowball Classic.
  14. Another Elizabeth

    Another Elizabeth Active Member

    This was true for Nationals for many years in the 1990's - I'm not sure when it changed.
  15. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Is it sad when I go to a baseball game? Or to a orchestra concert? I think there's something a bit sad in not being able to appreciate the joy that can come from spectating.
  16. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I don't think it's "sad" to just spectate, but I do sort of get what Chris is saying. Like if there are people out there who watch ballroom dancing but never get the idea that they too can actually do it, then that's yet another activity that has been consigned to the "the elite do it so you don't have to" category. And by elite I mean it in the sporting sense -- high level, high intensity. I'd rather see more people participating than more people watching. After all, the number of people registered with USA Dance as a competitor is miniscule compared to the number of people in the entire USA. I'm all for getting more people actually dancing and competing before I start worrying too much about the spectators.
  17. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    I find this perspective interesting. Here's an alternative viewpoint:

    My LW and I just attended the USA Dance competition in Indianapolis (as spectators) for the second year in a row. A few weeks ago, we traveled to Ann Arbor to see the collegiate competition that Ranierng's team hosted. We enjoyed it, as well.

    I wouldn't refer to oursevles as "frictionally unable," or people who feel they "can't do this." On the contrary, we are relatively active social dancers (see my post in the "How often do you take lessons" thread). This past weekend, we took to the floor several times when the MC announced "general dancing."

    We don't happen to be interested in competing, but we enjoy watching those who are. I agree that it would be detrimental to send the message that ballroom is primarily a spectator sport, but I fail to see how accommodating people like us, or even encouraging our attendance, does so.

  18. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    That's interesting. Of course, I go to totally different competitions, but I don't think our entries were ever on time.
  19. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I have mixed feelings about this. I like it when people watch us dance, and enjoy it (hopefully), but on other hand I prefer to have a little bit more competition than I usually have at mid-sized comps like St. Louis Starball or Heart of America. Part of the problem, of course, is that there are not as many people my age competing in those comps, period. I am not asking for a full final (that would be too much to hope for), just another couple of people.
  20. RIdancer82

    RIdancer82 New Member

    what's sad about going to support and watch friends who are competing? or to support the group organizing the comp? or just to sit back, relax and enjoy it from the other side? I think it's more sad when people cannot handle doing this...

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