Current trends in amateur competition pricing

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

  1. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member


    While I can understand some of the "exposure" arguments in favor of a certain frequency of competition for (pre)championship level dancers, I'm not sure if the normal judges are such that the collegiate events "count" at all, for this argument.....
  2. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Agreed, they are generally low pressure rehersals
  3. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    I would argue that any serious competitor at any level from beginner to champ needs frequency of floor time. It just so happens that a bigger percentage of the champ competitors are serious than the beginner ones.

    Floor time at any competition is an invaluable rehearsal for the big ones. Even if you get all dressed up in costume and dance rounds in the studio, it's not anywhere near a substitute for actual competition experience.
  4. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    And you actually do see a good number of judges from amateur comps judging at the bigger college comps, so recognition and "being seen" is certainly still a factor.
  5. tunape

    tunape New Member

    higher level dancers are probably more "loyal" customers to comps since they want to get more "rehersal" time, or floor time. Beginners, however, are less loyal since they are still deciding what to do, etc...

    the question seems to be which to charge more. higher level dancers may be more price sensitive and quality sensitive(but definitely know that they want to dance). beginners may also be price sensitive since they are still figuring out if they like dancing all that much.
  6. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Kind of depends on who you are dancing rounds "against"
  7. GJB

    GJB Well-Known Member

    How much do the judges get paid? Is there much of cost differential between well known and lesser known judges at college comps?
  8. Kitty

    Kitty New Member


    good guess about not being stuck on an island :)
    however, since my partner didn't mind driving anywhere that wasn't a factor really... what was a facto ris that I had a lot less money as a student (imagine that!) so i often chose to take a lesson instead.

    but
    I do take a lot more lessons now, and practice a lot more, so i guess the ratio of practicing to competing hasn't really changed...


    right now it is all about competition experience for me.
    things you never worry about as a beginner:
    dealing with fancy costumes, performing on the floor and not just doing steps, performing for the audience, presentation, more complicated floorcraft (a lot more choices of choreography, the choreography - yours and everybody elses's - is moving faster, so you have to think on your feet a lot faster, judges are not so forgiving for stopping, having moments of inconfidence)

    as far as I know, mid-level (past beginner, but not absolute top or pro yet) couples in Russia and Europe are competing every weekend the entire "season" (september - may). Until they get to the PRO level - then they calm down a bit and take more time between comps...
    I think that is pretty standard...
  9. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    That helps get you closer to the real deal but it's still not the same. You don't have judges or audience eyes on you. That changes everything.
  10. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Definitely more pickey, there usually has to be a reason to go. Those can very, MIT has big enough field to be attractive, some small comps offer other enticements, but, the more experience, the more picky couple can get about attending competitions..
  11. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    being seen is certainly a factor, agree with skwiggy,

    most of college comps nowadays have ok to very good panels... Even the smaller competitions often have some very good world-class judges...
  12. tunape

    tunape New Member

    "strategic" being just anything not cost-pricing in relation to other comps. ie, a beginner comp which is cheap to run may have high margins to get high profits. Or a higher level comp with below-cost pricing to attract top competitors and increase its size.

    strategic can also be any price discrimination based on level, # of events, affiliation, geographic location, or even at the competitor-level(ie. YCN points). some of this already happens behind the scenes with special arrangements... why not systemize it?
  13. Kitty

    Kitty New Member


    behind the scenes?
    I certainly wasn't aware of all this stuff...


    I thought that the price is being set "strategically" at the moment.
    Stony Brook definitely lost money on running their first comp, including the charges for judges, MC, DJ, and a professional show and considering the small number of competitors, while some other teams make money.


    Question is "how much can we reasonably charge to attract competitors and loose as little/make as much as possible"

    the original idea was not to make money though, but propagate dancesport in collegiate circuit... does raising the price serve this purpose? or did I get it all wrong?
  14. tunape

    tunape New Member

    that's why it's behind the scene. :)

    this is probably more cost-pricing("loose as little/make as much as possible?"). If the question was "what price can we charge to attract as many competitors as possible regardless of loss?", that would be more strategic pricing. Of course, there are both effects in any decision.

    I think there's three(or more) players:
    1) the comp organizers
    2) the competitors(teams?)
    3) some "social welfare" planner(ie. USABDA) which promotes collegiate dancing

    "strategic" pricing is in perspective of #1 - the comp organizers to promote the success of their comp(which may have a side benefit,"externality", to #2 and #3). it may also not help #3, or #2.

    (edit) sometimes the objectives of the players are not compatible with each other. #3 may wish for #1 to terminate a competition, or #1 may not want some competitors(Harvard Beg. doesn't want higher level dancers, for good reasons too).
  15. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    When I ran the MIT comp, I definitely took the view that the idea was to promote collegiate dancesport, to give something back. And always ran the event to basically break even and the team governing body supported me in that. However team funding has has changed over time and now the team needs to rely on the event for a portion of its funding, etc.

    I think most smaller/mid-size teams would like to be able to "give something back" but most competitions lose money their first 1-4 years and often there is a need to limit that and/or recoup some savings once it grows.... And its ALWAYS hard to lower a registration fee once its beend raised....
  16. tunape

    tunape New Member

    I think you can certainly dance around some pricing schemes, ie. instead of 4-block pricing for $X, have 2-block pricing for ($X/2 + $Y), where $Y<<$X.

    this may be more efficient for smaller teams to pay exact what their members dance, and organizers can limit the size of the comp more since there may be some pscyhological effect of paying for 2 packages, rather than 1.
  17. Kitty

    Kitty New Member



    (and where was that highly-mathematical formula for determining entry fee for an event based on registration and number of rounds?
    do couples get a refund if they got cut in the first round?:))



    as to strategic pricing, Harvard has effectively charged specifically the higher level competitors more by charging extra for dancing 2 levels.
  18. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    wheras MIT has simply booted them out of prechamp...
  19. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    Isn't that effectively charging couples who are not eligible to dance 2 levels (champ dancers) less? And isn't using the 4 block system effectively charging specialized champ dancers more?
  20. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    Yes I do think that MIT and Harvard could benefit from a more a-la-carte pricing system

    something like Base + f(#dances entered)

    For instance:
    $20 base registration fee, $1 per dance for the first 10, then $1.5 per dance for the next ten, then $2 per dance for the next 10 and capped there.

    (I'm very against a 5-dance champ event costing more or less than 5 1-dance beginner events, thus the per dance not per event pricing)

Share This Page