Is Pro Am becoming a sport of only the wealthy?

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

  1. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Love this post!
  2. Spookisgirl

    Spookisgirl Active Member

    Wow! There is a lot of good info here and opinions!

    Going back to the issue of transparency, I also would like to see more comp package prices available online--I live in a city where even the closest comp involves flying somewhere, so cost is always an issue and in order to compete I need to start budgeting and saving months in advance. Being relatively new to competing, I have discovered that I am fairly ignorant, and have even been misinformed as to what to expect for package prices (I have been told that $3000 for a package is cheap, and that it is mandatory to be on one and stay in the hotel hosting the comp). Concerned about costs (my first two comps both had 5-figure costs), I have done some research to try and make pro/am comps a little more affordable.

    I am wondering if anyone might be able to give me an idea of an average package price (understanding they can vary greatly!). Perhaps for OSB for example (even last year's prices would be helpful)? I completely understand that my studio will mark them up (I know their mark-up amount), but any sort of ballpark figure would be helpful in planning how much I need to save to compete, and giving me an idea if it would be even possible for me to afford to compete again.

    Sorry if this is an indelicate question.

    Thanks to any and all!!
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I have competed a lot...often on full package for the entire time...and, to the best of my knowlege I have never paid 3k for the package...just for starters....

    NDCA comps in my experience usually run btwn 25 -50 bucks per heat.....50-100 for scholarships and championships
    tickets to each session 25-100 bucks per session

    and I have never been to a comp where staying on site was required....
  4. Spookisgirl

    Spookisgirl Active Member

    Thanks fascination--are you able to say what you tend to find an average package price to be? My studio has a flat rate/per heat regardless of the actual comp price, so it is easy to figure out how much I would pay for dances. I am wondering more about accommodations and session entries.

    Glad to know it is not usually required to stay on site. My guess is that is more the norm with franchised comps, but could be wrong.
  5. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I have never been required to stay on site for a franchise comp-- actually, I was specifically told to that I was NOT required to.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    package price vary depending upon thenumberof days...usually the comp offer a 1-2-3-4 day package...sometimes with or without meals, singleor double room...if your pro won't show you the list, reconsider doing it
  7. Spookisgirl

    Spookisgirl Active Member

    the problem is that my studio has done hardly any non-franchise comps--so they don't even know what an average package price is (hence the thinking that $3000 is cheap). I am trying to plan and budget, but can't seem to find a general idea of a non-franchised comp package cost.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    they don't have to guess..thhey have to mail theorganizer for the package...which is how pro's get their pricing....and organizers are MORE than happy to send a pro those prices
  9. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Also, all of the prices are posted for a fair number of the competitions. Try going to the NDCA website calendar to find the links to the competitions and poke around some.
  10. Spookisgirl

    Spookisgirl Active Member

    Thanks--I have done this, but perhaps it is the time of year that most of the comps I have looked at still have the previous year info, but the amounts are no longer there (I can see where they were). My guess is that is to avoid confusion before the new year's prices are posted, or they were taken down when registration closed.

    The NDCA calendar is incredibly useful :)

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    Oh, just caught this... No it is not true, it is not mandatory at all that you must be on a package to compete... I never go on a package, it is never to my financial advantage to do so and I like the option to pick my own places to eat. You can book your own hotel, choose to stay on site or not, do your own meals.

    Since you already have the flat fee for entries, it should be easy to budget the rest.
    Myself, once I decide I have an interest in a comp (my studio posts the comps the studio will attend for the year)
    I just go on line look up flight costs, hotel costs. I then assume I will be the only student attending so I X2 that for the pro cost, so I have a worst case situation. It gives me a ballpark figure and close enough to budget it out.

    Also I can say that myself dancing both at a franchise studio and independent I understand you desire to stay with the franchise while still having the opportunity to dance outside of the franchise... Both have advantages and disadvantages, and my wish for you is that you find joy in both. It is possible, just not easy as I am sure you have already concluded.
  12. anntennis

    anntennis Active Member

    Even though Ballroom Dance is indeed for people who have a decent disposable income, it is great to have choices in prices and not to loose one’s head and be a victim of extreme loyalty.

    If your instructor of many years suddenly raises prices by 35% (Happy New Year!!), and decides that he can charge more than a national champion, it is time to do a comparison shopping as for any product you buy, and find “quality deal” for private lessons, competition or showcase staging for significantly lower price.

    I am fortunate to live in Tri-State Area, where new studios grow like mushrooms after the rain recently with very good instructors retiring from their own professional competition and opening new studios with a very close commutable distance - consumers have a lot of choices for privates, showcases participation, spacious studio floor size and a variety of social nights.
  13. dncergrl

    dncergrl Active Member

    "Wealthy" is a relative term. When I think of the cash I spend to do Pro-am, I think I am out of my mind. It would be better spent donating to the food bank or saving for retirement, giving to the kids or a million other better "causes". (And I only do 2-3 comps per year.) But I do it because I love it and I see it as a time limited experience. The body won't last forever. And after a lifetime of giving to others, I want a couple of years for me. But I feel incredibly guilty for the time and money I spend. I feel like I am in a fantasy and one day, it will be over and it will all seem like it was a dream.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well said
  15. Kelly Long

    Kelly Long New Member

    Is there any complaint process in existence for studios trying to take a "cut" by price gouging in addition to regular entry fees? I was quoted more than double competition prices just the other day. I want to report the studio owner, but I am not sure how? My instructor is caught in the middle of this, but it's not right. I should pay his fees and travel, etc. along with my entry fees, right? Someone please give me some advice, myself and other students are being raked across the coals...
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    here's the thing....some studios do charge a fee in addition to the cost of the comp heat fee and the pro, if they aren't being honest and transparent in the way that fee is being assessed you can complain to them.....but they have the right to charge you however they want and if your pro is not independent he won't be able to do a thing about it....that being said, youdon'thave to dance out of that studio...and yes, you should always pay your pro's trvel and his other business expenses...we have many threads on how various pros charge if you care to do a search
    danceronice likes this.
  17. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    OMG! Someone resurrected this thread!
    Hedwaite and debmc like this.
  18. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    I feel like I can safely say that pro/am dancing is enough of a luxury that there is no such thing as "price gouging" in this context. In the US, price gouging (in legal terms) involves overcharging for high-demand goods during an emergency.

    Read about it on Wikipedia: Price gouging.

    Basically, they can charge you whatever they want. It's not an emergency, and you don't need a dance competition entry to survive. The only repercussions for the studio is lost business due to unreasonable prices.
    Kelly Long likes this.
  19. s2k

    s2k Active Member

    I've learned a few phrases that have helped me on my "dance journey;" one of which is, "it's a business."

    I don't like the studio markup, either. Why pay the studio $100 every day I'm at a comp? (probably because my instructor isn't at the studio and the studio isn't making a cut from his lessons). Why add $50 to the price of a visiting coach's coaching fee? (probably because that money helps put the visiting coach up in a hotel, give him/her a per diem, or help pay the light bill for the day the visiting coach is in the studio). But the real answer is: "it's a business."

    They have a skill. We want to learn the skill. We're willing to pay to learn the skill - and everyone has a line in the sand as to how much they're willing to pay. I have a male friend who doesn't care to see a competition breakdown; he's happy to hear "You're dancing 6 heats and it will cost you $7000." Me, I want mafia-level accounting in print and before my special eyes five weeks in advance. Also, I've taken on two part-time jobs to be able to do this. LOL - my male friend, he was retired, but he's gone back to work part time!

    I wish you luck, but know that the only thing cheaper than this hobby of ours is cocaine in 1977. ;)
    scullystwin42 and Loki like this.
  20. s2k

    s2k Active Member

    Sorry - that should be 76 heats... although "6 heats = $7000" certainly feels true. :D
    Larinda McRaven likes this.

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