Hmm, I'm not sure what you mean by number of dances, but the definition of being a pro has nothing to do with times you've danced/competed... it can be a simple as calling yourself a Pro. Examples of calling yourself a Pro could be having a website where you say that you're "professional" on it, you compete in a professional competition, you dance as the Pro in a pro-am partnership, or in the case of the TV show, you accept a job with a TV show that's based on pairing professional dancers with celebrities. Maybe the numbers thing you're refering to is the competition point system? The point system only exists to prevent people from dancing down in lower levels that they don't belong. At any time, couples can just decide when they want to dance up at a higher level (whether that be pro or amateur), but if they place well in that higher level, the point system can prevent them from dancing down again in the future (depending on the size of the event, because there have to be enough couples there). Maybe that example of number of dances you saw was at a non-NDCA/non-USAdance event (i.e. collegiate)? Oh, and one that that WILL keep you from dancing up is if you're registered in a lower division at a comp, because they usually only let you dance one (or two) levels higher than the lowest level you're in (for example, if you registered for Novice, you can do PreChamp, too, but you can't do Championship all at the same event).