Ballroom Dance > Is Pro Am becoming a sport of only the wealthy?

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well said
  11. Kelly Long

    Kelly Long 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...
  12. 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.
  13. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    OMG! Someone resurrected this thread!
    Hedwaite and debmc like this.
  14. 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.
  15. s2k

    s2k Well-Known 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.
  16. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

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

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Pro/am dancing is an expensive hobby, no matter how you look at it. Here's a breakdown of expenses from last month and this month, in preparation for an upcoming event:

    - 1 lesson with "name" coach - $150
    - 4 lessons with other coach - $340
    - Dance America royal blue lace dress - $290
    - Tailoring for the above-mentioned dress - $62
    - Shoe repair, 3 pairs - $44
    - Various makeup, hosiery, and other sundries - around $60
    - Event fees - $950

    All of the above is in addition to regular lessons. Generally, I buy a block of lessons in advance, and I'm not sure what the per lesson breakdown comes to. I've taken more lessons than usual, too.

    The event is a local multi-studio event, so it's less expensive than an NDCA competition, which can run into the thousands to attend. Plus there's no travel or hotel fees.

    I'm getting by with a smooth dress that I've invested $350; it's a bright color, that stands out on the floor; the style is flattering, and it fits me. The dress will do for a local event; I'm unconvinced that investing ten times as much in a dress would help me place any better. I'm recycling another dress for the event as well.

    So, even for a modest event, it still costs a lot.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    the bottom line for me is my budget and their willingness to tell me how the charges break, if I wanted to go to a comp with a studio that worked like that I would figure out what I wanted to dance and what a reasonable estimate of the organizers costs would be as well as the cost of the hotel rooms, food, tickets into the ballroom and transport to and from the ballroom for my pro and I, and I would figure out, based on that, how many heats I think I could afford based on what I want my budget to be for that comp....I would them let my pro know what I hope to dance, and ask him to provide me with his itemized pricing for it ....if he didn't itemize, I would be concerned but I would also look at the number he came up with... if he itemized but came up with a number that either didn't make sense to me or was significantly more than I expected, I would say that....and I would say that I was expecting to pay about "X" (my number) and that I definately can't pay over "Y" ...and then see if we can figure out together, what, if anything, can be done with my number....can we go one day instead of three?, can I dance two sets less each day?, do we need to wait until he has a few other students who are able to go?....or whatever....if the only solution was "no, there's really no way to do it for less"...then I either figure out how important competing is to me and decide I am okay with competing less, provided that I would still be treated well if I wasn't competing, and/or I find a guy with pricing that I can live with
    danceronice, Dancing Irishman and s2k like this.
  19. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    For any event that I attend, I know the breakdown: 1) the package fee, if I'm on package, or session tickets, if I'm not; 2) single dance and multi-dance fees; 3) pro's per dance fee; and 4) pro's per day to show up. Other travel and related expenses may apply.

    For the upcoming local event, I could have gotten the price down a little, both doing fewer dances and haggling a little with pro. But for various reasons, I didn't see the point.
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  20. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    Yo, can I steal this line? because it is BRILLIANT.
    nikkitta and s2k like this.

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