Is Pro Am becoming a sport of only the wealthy?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by debmc, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Um, yes, comp fees, travel, coaching, and all that... those are ALL part of expecting to dance competitively with your pro.

    Yes, it's a lot. But you're asking a professional dancer to compete with you. I don't understand how anyone could find it shocking that this is expensive. The entire category "pro/am" is literally paying your partner money to compete with you. It is the most expensive way to ballroom dance.
  2. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I'm not finding it shocking per se, just wondering how all of this will change the future landscape of pro am, as all costs involved are going up.
  3. gracie

    gracie Active Member

    I know one Pro-Am competitor who moved a Pro couple to her area so she would have the Man to dance with and another who set up a studio for her Pro and his partner.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  4. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    I am way too frugal to literally spare no expense. I would always be thinking of all the things I could have done for the people that I love in my life. That would be a much better use of my funds to me. I feel selfish enough sometimes doing what I do right now with dancing (not enough to change it mind you...).

    But to each his/her own. I'm just not wired that way. If I was a zillionaire though, I could see me dedicating a significant amount of resources to promoting ballroom in my neck of the woods through various charitable events, etc., maybe organize a small comp (that could possibly yield return on investment :) at least). If my efforts drew in a few more pros to the area, it would not hurt my feelings lol

    Hey, if you're gonna dream, dream big right?
    Miss Silly, Mr 4 styles and billman like this.
  5. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    That's understanandable. When I was doing pro-am, I always tried to look at the benefits to this. For example, other people dancing in a zillion categories and styles with my pro meant that my pro could charge less for me to go to competitions and enter the two dances I was working on. To some extent, the people who spend lots of money do the heavy lifting with respect to employing dance instructors, paying the fixed costs for putting on competitions, and generally keeping the industry going for those of us with less money.

    Incidentally, changing dresses frequently may be more expensive, but it doesn't cost as much as it might seem. Dresses that have only been worn for one competition can often be sold for most of what was paid for them, which is less true of dresses one has worn for years.

    I think if you are really serious about competing, and are on a limited budget, your best bet is to find an amateur partner and compete in amateur categories. Practice time with your partner drops to maybe a tenth what it is with a pro am instructor.
    Gorme likes this.
  6. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member


    Financially, yes. Emotionally, time-wise, level of frustration...maybe not so much. I'd rather not have to take whatever comes down the pike as a partner or not dance at all, and then worry about him getting poached or losing interest or be too pushy and who is paying for what coaching, or worry about are the rhinestone buckles on my shoes going to get invigilated in syllabus, have to put up with someone else's learning curve....
    Warren J. Dew likes this.
  7. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    "Expensive" in terms of money, not in any theoretical sense. And yes, you are paying that much so you don't have to care about partnering issues.

    Honestly, it's not just the most expensive - it's the easiest, too.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member


    Really?, because I see a lot of those ladies with new dresses at every comp who go to nearly every comp and many don't place all that well....sure, they get some help from their friends (cough) so to speak...as business does swing some weight, as does having a well-known pro even if it hasn't yet translated into good dancing...BUT, many of them are not in contention for the finals of things...in fact, lots of the new gown every comp types who dance every heat they can don't seem to get much better from comp to comp...and there is nothing sillier, imv, than an overdressed not so hot dancer...not to be contrary, but I think throwing one's hands up and assuming there is no way to get a fair shake because of THAT is sort of a cop out...I have been beaten by people who take half the weekly lessons that I do...I know one multi time world and national pro am champ who takes fewer lessons and goes to fewer comps than I do...but she practices her butt off...while it may seem frustrating to look at the people who are able to financially do the things that you can't...it is wiser to look at the people who have the same resources or fewer and are still dancing better than your are and fix that part...because THAT is the only thing over which you truly have control....it is true that some things will happen at every comp that smell bad and don't seem to make sense, unless you know why, but I don't think gowns and floor time have much to do with it...some of the other stuff? yea...but not as much as you think...and I can point to a number of current pro am champs whose comp frequency and number of heats danced, is truly unremarkable
    Elece, novemberecho and LT like this.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    dancing with a pro who is currently competing, or recently, is helpful from my vantage point...I do see some...er..interesting things in that regard...that being said, again, I know of a few students who are champs who take @ 4 lessons a week and do @5 comps a year and have only been dancing @5 years...so, it all depends upon where one is focusing, imv
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and yes, the quality of pro-am dancing is going up
  11. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    But do you think they'd dance a lot more if it wasn't so obscenely expensive?
    I know I would have, back when I did Pro-Am.
  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Relatively low expectations?
  13. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    The market proves that Pro ams dance as much as they want, regardless of pricing. I would be very surprised if a comp offered cheaper per dance rates and students chose that comp simply for that.
  14. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    I nominate this for reply of the year!
  15. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Oh, if it were only that easy. I would LOVE to find an amateur partner. However, due to my age *ahem*, my less than dainty build, and the relatively remote area in which I live, I don't see that happening any time soon, if ever. I am looking, though. Hope springs eternal. :)
    danceronice and billman like this.
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    not sure...I can only speak for myself...there is, even with unlimited funds, a limit to what I would do...I currently do about 7 comps a year (it has ranged mostly btwn 5 and 9 depending upon what is going on with myself and pro that year)...but I can honestly say that I think 11 would be my outside limit regardless...because I have a job, a husband I love, a grandchild far away, a desire to be able to pay for my daughter's education, future wedding, home repairs, and yes, several charitable causes...so I think that not everyone(including the people I mentioned), given the opportunity would go hog wild...would each of us maybe do a little more? probably...would some of us do a bunch more? sure, some...are some of those women dancing their brains out right now regretting what they are doing? distinctly possible (I know I cut back a bit to maximize the quality of my dancing)...as to lessons; I do 8 over 4 styles...4 and 4 respectively over two days because I travel...ideally, if money and time were unlimited, I would still only do 9 (3, 3 days a week)...I don't think my body would tolerate more...and dresses? well, I have a moral issue with buying more than two new dresses a year and that is only if I sell two...I have learned that dresses really aren't as important as we wish they were...it is quality over quantity there...if money was unlimited I wouldn't see that changing for me ...
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    to be fair, I disagree..as I know several ladies who are, even as we speak, missing comps they would like to go to because it is over their budget and/or who specifically avoid the pricier comps...I agree that there are enough moneyed people who don't care that it is irrelevant to the industry ...but that is not the same as there not being a number of people who are therefore unable to dance as much as they would like...
    debmc, danceronice and canismajor41 like this.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    lolz
  19. canismajor41

    canismajor41 Active Member

    I would be at Manhattan if I could afford it. Next year I'll go but it will be at the expense of something else. Perhaps fewer lessons.
  20. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    It may prove that those who have unlimited funds may dance as much as they want. Speaking for myself, I look at ALL the costs of a particular comp, before I make my decision. Can I drive there, instead of flying? Is the hotel reasonable priced? Is there a reduction in heat pricing if you buy a package?

    Cost is not the only issue, but I would give a less costly competition a much closer look than some of the more expensive ones, and probably give it a try at least once on that basis alone.
    Gorme, danceronice and nikkitta like this.

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