Ballroom Dance > How much will you help your partner financially ?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dancingirldancing, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. In a long term partnership, how far will you go to help your partner financially if he/she is on an income not able to support the dancing to a level that you want ?

    Will you pay for some lessons, help out with travel, help pay for dress/tails etc ?

    Have you done this before ?

    The partner is talented, ethical and contribute as much as he possibly can.
    chomsky likes this.
  2. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    I haven't done it, since I dance with my husband, so it's all one pot of money. But hypothetically, I wouldn't have any trouble helping with such expenses. I would have to be confident that we were in a committed partnership, that the expenses were beneficial for our progress as a partnership, and that, as you said, he was paying what he could. Assuming that these criteria were met, it would just depend on my own finances. If my own finances were tight, I'd probably only go as far as strictly necessary expenses; if I could afford it, I'd have a lower bar for how beneficial I would expect them to be.
    chomsky likes this.
  3. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    I think it really depends on how much you want to continue to dance with that partner.
    I also think it depends on how much that partner wants to continue to dance with you.

    If it happens that one partner cannot afford certain expenses that are necessary to reach mutual goals but still very much desires to dance and achieve those goals, I think it's a very generous and loving thing to do for that person.

    If it happens that the one partner is trying to bribe the other to continue to dance by offering to pay for certain expenses, then clearly there is a difference in commitment levels and that may not be the healthiest partnership.
    ballroomconvert and chomsky like this.
  4. UMASSshoesandcostumes

    UMASSshoesandcostumes Active Member

    I do support our partnership a great deal-- it's one of those things where I have a job that pays me relatively well for a part time job and I don't really spend that much, so I tend to have savings he doesn't have. This means when we invest in lessons or new ballroom music or whatever else we might put money into often I end up paying for it. This coming semester I may even end up paying some competition fees for both of us because he's just moved off campus and is worried about having the money to eat much less pay entrance fees.

    The thing is that we have a very committed partnership, and by investing in us I'm just bringing us closer to mutual goals and I'm not letting us be limited by his financial situation. Initially my partner was very hesitant to let me do that, but once I pointed out that if he had the money and I didn't he'd want to do the same thing to keep us dancing-- which is true-- then he was willing to live with it. Additionally I owe him a bit (although he insists that that's not true). Last semester I was moving up to Silver without a partner and he took me on as a project despite the fact he'd been competing Silver for a full year and was asked by more experienced Silver followers to partner with them. He put so much time and energy into moving my dancing up to a Silver level and now we're on a vaguely level playing field. Had he not partnered with me then I would not have been able to find a partner on my team, because everyone else at both Bronze and Silver was either already partnered up or they were not interested in competing seriously. I feel like supporting us is sort of my way of giving back for all the hours and hours of work that he put into me.
    ajiboyet and chomsky like this.
  5. famfam

    famfam Member

    I'm willing to lend money to my partner (meaning pay for packages, and get paid back later), but I believe in an equal partnership that both sides should contribute equally. Also, it is not within my means to pay more than my share, so I am not really able to do it either.

    If I had a ton of extra money, I COULD see a situation where it would be possible, however in general for me that's not really what I would like to do.
  6. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    It's so nice that you raise this question and I find the topic inspiring; it goes to say how far a dancer would go for his partner. I find it very well suited for the spirit of DF. And let me add I've had the experience of being on the receiving end of this and the help I got is something I will never forget. Many thanks for reminding me how nice the world can be.
    ajiboyet likes this.
  7. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I'll echo what others have said in that I think it depends on how committed the partnership is. Speaking from personal experience (Akita can back me up on this one), it's all too easy to get burned when one parter is more committed than the other. But now, that I'm in a parternship that's lasted a while and where we find ourselves casually making referring to doing stuff a year from now? I make offers to help on some things as I'm mid-career and she's a college student. She generally declines, which to be honest, I take as a positive sign.

    As far as specifics go, I offer to help her out getting her hair and makeup done at competitions. It doesn't strike me as particularly fair that that's something she has to at least consider spending money on whereas I don't. I've offered to help her out with dresses. I think the only case where she's actually let me help is my paying for coaching sessions. And that pretty much required me putting my foot down and saying, "look. You need new shoes. I would far rather pay for this coaching session myself and have you put the money you would have spent on it towards new shoes. I'm dead serious here."
    ajiboyet likes this.
  8. Dancebug

    Dancebug Well-Known Member

    Interesting question. But where do you draw the line? What is helping a partner financially? Where does it become a pro-am kind relationship? I know a lady who brought a partner from overseas and pays him to dance with her because he cannot get a real job due to his language barrier and lack of skill in any other field. Is she helping him financially or is it pseudo-pro-am, the only difference being that he is not allowed to dance with anyone else?
  9. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    My partner and I are both Uni students, so budget is limited for both of us.

    Usually the only financial assistance we give each other is occasionally lending money to cover a lesson or comp entry. DP is lucky in that his parents support his dancing so he has a bit extra to play with...I schedule visiting coach lessons around major bills.

    DP is resistant to buy proper dancewear, though, because of flunctuating weight...I've considered getting him a latin shirt for his birthday though. I wouldn't spend more than $100 outright, though, even though we've been a partnership for over 6 years. Lending would be a different matter, and so would a gift. It's all related to the extent of my nonexistent spare funds...
    chomsky likes this.
  10. Dots

    Dots Active Member

    It is an interesting question. I think my personal tipping point would depend on one crucial detail: is dancing a hobby or a career?

    I could imagine myself being far more financially invested if dancing was a career because there is a return somewhere down the line for both parties. In the case of a hobby, however… I’m more practical on that front. I simply find it healthier to aim for hobby goals that are financially within reach.

    (Maybe my mindset would change if I became obscenely rich, but that’s not the case right now.)
    ajiboyet likes this.
  11. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    In skating we call that "rent-a-Russian." There's so few males available for pairs or ice dance parents (usually the kids are still being supported by the families, not to mention skating rarely leaves time or a day job) will help a potential partner immigrate and support them over here so their daughters can have a partner.
  12. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    wow, it's even encoded lingustically. "rent-a-russian"it would have sounded Greek to me had you not explained it...and Greek is my mother tongue!thanks for teaching me a new expression!
  13. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    In my previous partnership, he lived in Michigan and would commute down to Chicago for practice/lessons once or twice a month. He stayed with me and I gave him (most) meals while he was with me. When we took lessons, I paid for them, and when we entered comps, I also paid his fees. However, he paid for all his gas/wear and tear on his car, so we were probably about equal.
    In my current partnership, I am the one commuting to Chicago (I've since moved). My partner pays for my floor fees and lessons as a pair to help with expenses, as I have to pay for bus fare.
  14. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    That's a really nice way to handle a long-distance partnership! I'll have to keep that in mind if I don't succeed finding a partner locally.

    I'd feel uneasy about helping a partner financially, but I'd probably be willing to do it for an established partner who had been hit by hard times if I felt she was really contributing everything she could financially.
    chomsky likes this.

  15. The situation is like this.

    In general both partners split lessons and comp fees equally.

    However both partners really want to go for a big interstate comp or take lesson from an international coach. One partner can’t afford it even tho he/she really want to do it if he/she can. The other partner can.

    What would you do as the financially better off partner ?

    - Skip the comp/coaching lesson altogether and feel the resentment building on why one can’t do it when everyone else can including rival couples
    - Pay 2/3 of the cost since the other partner can only contribute 1/3
    - Pressure the less well to do partner to take loan to pay ½ of the comp/lesson risking his ability to pay rent or even continue to dance altogether

    See the dilemma ?

    Mind you this is a long and trusting partnership that have survived many many years together. It is unlikely that the less financially well to do partner will ever have increased earning capacity due to education/age. And as the partnership progressed and advanced the brunt of the financial disparity really start to affect the ability of the partnership to grown and advance.
  16. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    If it's an once-in-a-while coaching lesson, then I'd go for the 2/3 - 1/3 split.

    There are many ways to save money on far away comps namely, sharing room with multiple people.
    danceronice and chomsky like this.
  17. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    I vote for 2/3 or even skip.
  18. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    I'd say the 2/3 option. Both partners are contributing what they can, and it's not something that happens on a super regular basis. However, if it does happen on a regular basis, then the partners need to discuss what they are comfortable providing and accepting, and make sure they agree.

    Personally, I will lend my partner money to cover things, but, as we are both students, will not pay for him beyond spotting a few bucks.
  19. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    My, how things change! The way I now approach it is that I budget $X from my monthly income towards dance, and that money is mine and my partner's to use as a team, deciding as a team how many lessons to take from which teachers/coaches, which competitions to attend, how much we can spend on costumes, etc. I expect my partner to contribute whatever she can afford, but we don't worry as a team about getting to parity, just using our financial resources wisely.

    It took a lot of discussion with my coach/mentor to arrive at my perspective. I don't know which book he got the idea from (maybe dancing to your maximum?), but he made a point of reminding me that while each partnership needs several ingredients (including money) to achieve competitive success, the ingredients need not come in equal measure from each partner. It helps that he has experience doing an uneven split of expenses with multiple partnerships now, so it really normalized the idea for me.
    s2k likes this.
  20. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    50-50. If I want to pay for a partner, I'll dance pro-am.

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