Ballroom Dance > Current trends in amateur competition pricing

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

  1. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    They oughtta "disaffiliate" their comp from UCB to spite the admin...
  2. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Perhaps, but there are at least two couples registered for MIT that, according to the MIT points rules, should not be registered for Prechamp. You, of course, are not (half of) one of them, since you already properly unregistered yourself from Prechamp.
  3. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    There are three factors in determining the overal "cost" of a competition, and whether or not it's personally worthwhile:

    1) Actual fees to dance (entries, ballroom tickets, etc.)
    2) Travel-related costs (accommodations, airline tickets, gas, tolls, etc.)
    3) Time-related costs (how far is the comp, how much time will you have to spend at the venue).

    Some of them can be traded off (you can fly to a comp in 2 hours for more money or drive and spend 4 hours in the car and save a few bucks).

    Non-cost factors include:

    1) Size of likely field (most people like to compete against larger fields)
    2) Ability to visit friends and/or family during the trip
    3) Comp amenities (nice venue, show, intangibles)
    4) Hassle factors (e.g. TSA hassles--packing for a flight vs. packing for a car trip)

    The cost-related factors have to be weighed with the non-cost factors.

    Obviously, with so many different factors, and since everyone will have a different weighting on each factor, it's impossible to create a formula that works for everyone.
  4. yanka

    yanka New Member

    Interesting discussion thus far...

    As was mentioned earlier, in the past when MIT was getting some funding from the school and enjoyed free space rental for the comp, the goal was to "break even" and not to make as much money as possible. Since then, we've lost a fair bit of the funding we used to get (not that we really had that much to begin with), and, at the same time, have had to deal with higher costs, so the goal has been to net a small, positive amount of money.

    The past few years, we've been able to accomplish this by keeping the reg fees pretty stable (ETA - we did not increase our fees this year), but increasing the show fees slightly. In that sense, our price system is more a la cart than fixed, since we do allow a whole slew of packages, and people can choose to purchase additional blocks/tickets.

    Therefore, overall, our goal hasn't really changed - we strive to provide a service to the ballroom community, where dancers of all levels have a chance to dance a lot, see a lot, and get a lot of services for free (photos, videos, etc), without paying more than for your average collegiate comp. So our focus is primarily on the dancers and making them as happy as possible.

    In the future, though, I'm not sure whether we'll be able to continue the practice, since we're a bit overextended, it seems, but changing any aspect of our comp would be a loss to competitors (whether it's raising fees to lower the number of people, offer fewer events, have more multi-dance events, disallow double registration or additional blocks, etc). Given this year's 950 competitors, I'm not sure how next year is going to work...
  5. yanka

    yanka New Member

    oh, and [continued hijack #2] sucks about chicago. We were planning to go to that one bc we can't go to NJ.

    No wonder I couldn't find the fee amounts anywhere on the website - why would they want us to know it costs $125pp ;)

    Sounds like San Jose's a better deal, esp if it counts for 2 yrs!
  6. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    It does stink, I registered, but will cancel too, refuse to pay so much for a comp.. We will probably do another regional, maybe in California. San Jose is during a bad time, but the NW regional sounds good, and at least it's usually contested.
  7. star_gazer

    star_gazer Active Member

    NW Regional looks good. Cheap flights to Seattle from NYC. Good warm-up for Manhattan Dancesport.
  8. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    That's what I'm thinking.. Plus, who doesn't want to go to California :) even for few days :)
  9. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    Here are all the prices for regional qualifiers that I could track down:

    Northeast Regional, New Jersey, April 21: $60/person
    South Central, Baton Rouge, June 1: $115/person early, $140/person
    Southwest Regional, San Jose, Calif., June 9: $25/person
    Northwest Regional, Seattle, Wash., June 30: $45/person + $10/event
    North Central Regional, Chicago: $100/person early; $125/person

    San Jose is looking really good especially since it counts for 2007 and 2008 (will Seattle's count for both as well?). On the other hand, I believe in supporting the local dance community and it would be a shame if the Chicago competition didn't get enough support to continue.
  10. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Thank you for posting this, you missed SRC in ATL 150pp..

    It seems the cheper ones are actually more contested and worth attending
  11. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    I just don't understand what is the purpose of such an expensive competition though.

    regionals serve a purpose of qualifying athletes for dancesport nationals.
    and "elegant evening of dnacing and dinner" is serving a competely different purpose and demographic (referring to Atlanta one that Kat previously mentioned).

    An elegant evening of dancing and dinner could be its own event, not mixed together with a competition. An athlete on a tight budget living in those regions with expensive regional qualifying competitions is either forced to spend over 200 per couple to compete (almost uncontested, since few people will want to travel to compete given the comp prices) or are forced to travel to a different region to compete (which is not the idea of regionals).
  12. Alskling

    Alskling Member

    Maybe I missed this somewhere, but why does San Jose count for both 2007 and 2008?
  13. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    I agree Kitty. I think it would be great if the national office could step in try to even out the prices across the regions. Whether it is with financial assistance or just with setting guidelines for pricing. I don't have anything against dinners, shows, workshops or fancy venues, but I'm not sure these should be offered at regionals if they drive up the price. It really doesn't seem quite fair that we are all required to attend regionals to qualify for nationals, but at very different prices depending on where we happen to live.
  14. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    so, any USA Dance officials here, willing to step in and take a note fo the issue?
  15. yanka

    yanka New Member


    Warning - rant ahead
    It's unclear why there even need to be qualifying events (ie, regionals) to be able to compete at nationals. Seems to just be a way to make more money (require people to attend more comps), which does not seem to coincide with USAD's goal of making ballroom affordable (the whole costume rules discussion). This topic has definitely been beaten to death, so let's just assume that regionals are in fact a neccessary evil [for whatever reason]; given this, it would at least make sense to have them priced more evenly. If the whole point of the comp is that a competitor HAS to go to qualify for Nat'ls, shouldn't the fact that it's a requirement count for something and demand lower prices?

    In other words, say a comp requires heel covers. A dancer cannot dance without them. Then the comp should provide heel covers for free (or at most charge a price equal to the cost of production) to compensate dancers in dealing with a situation that's controlled by the comp. Sure, the comp can use the opportunity to make money and charge $50 per heel cover, since dancers who are already there but don't have heel covers will pay just about anything to be able to dance, but then you can't argue that you're trying to make dancing affordable, since you're obviously opportuning the "requirement" situation to make a profit.

    Same with the regionals issue. If going to regionals is a requirement of the organization, competitors shouldn't be penalized for it since it's out of their control. The regionals should be run for as little cost as possible to offset the dancers' negative externality of being required to go in the first place. Instead, some chapters seem to be using the requirement as an excuse to make as much money as possible, which doesn't seem to correspond to the organization's stated goal of making the whole thing "affordable".

    Apology for long rant.
  16. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    Maybe that's why they are so expensive, because they hardly get any participants - the comp has to cover their expenses somehow and they know they'll always get at least a few competitors from the home region who don't want to travel far... Seems stupid though since their registration numbers directly correlate (seemingly from the prices quoted for each regional) to their pricing - noone wants to pay more for an uncontested regional than they would pay for, say, Manhattan Dancesport where they pay to watch the pro competition as well.
  17. star_gazer

    star_gazer Active Member

    The variation is pretty crazy. I'm so anxious about the $$$ for Nationals
  18. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    This worries me a little bit -- I also know that Columbia is planning on hosting their first "independent" comp (ie as sole organizers not as assistants/co-hosts/etc of teh MAC). However the date they mentioned to me conflicts with another very local (NYC local) established competition.... Similarly SBU's event conflicting with Bing... I'm all in favor of more college competitions to spread out the beginners (though it might cause problems with the open levels), but I think the NY area needs to watch out for canabilizing its own competitions.... (being double booked at against a Boston area competition is not so bad)

    If Columba or NYU double books against a a local event its likely to hurt both and drive costs up....
  19. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    The 2007 Nationals website lists the following per person registration fees:

    Adult: $130 + $10/event
    Collegiate: $100 + $10/event
    Youth: $65 + $10/event

    lousabda. org/2007Nationals
  20. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Per person? that's pretty expensive too...

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