NDCA Mixed Proficiency

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I believe I just read about an NDCA comp offering mixed proficiency, which means that only one of the person's in the couple is being judged similar to pro/am. This would open the door to more amateurs dancing with multiple partners at different levels.

    Can anyone confirm NDCA is allowing this now in Am-Am categories?
     
  2. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    And I'll add this... I see a benefit and a problem.
    Problem: Pro-am teachers probably won't like this because you'll see amateurs that are "pseudo-teachers" but not the "real thing" taking "pseudo-students" to competition.
    Benefit: Since the cost of taking lessons or otherwise dancing with another amateur is less, and typically the cost of entering a competition is less, you might see more people overall competing that would otherwise be limited due to cost.
     
  3. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Why do you assume that a declared amateur teacher will cost less?
     
  4. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    Yes this is a real thing. I've done it at two competitions so far and will be doing a third in December.

    Yes the problems you speak of exist. NDCA deliberately created a loophole for amateurs to do what is essentially pro-am without surrendering our amateur status. I am told that this happened because groups like the franchises were having trouble getting experienced dancers to join their staff because they knew they'd be forced to compete pro-am with their students and didn't want to give up their status. Yes, dancers like me (amateur competitors, full time teachers) are aware that we're doing something that runs counter to the sportsmanship of our sport but the economics of ballroom being what they are it's a compromise that we can live with.

    Mixed amateur should be for amateur dancers who for whatever reason want to dance together but aren't eligible (for example, a married couple that dances at different levels). Instead it's a way for teachers to stretch out their amateur competitive careers so that we can reap the benefits of pro-am students without the burden of competing as pros. There are a number of reasons why I don't want to compete as a pro and a number of reasons why I want to continue competing as an amateur, but the long and short of it is that so long as I'm playing by the rules I see it as NDCA's burden.
     
  5. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    I've seen this done at NDCA comps. The Mixed-proficiency dances alongside other pro/am couples, but they're in a category of their own, kind of like student/student.
     
  6. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    Is there a link to this information/article online? (There does need to be a ballroom news app somewhere, somehow)
     
  7. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily. One comp they had mixed-proficiency as it's own category, competing against itself. Another they had us against am-am couples. A third they had us against pro-am couples. The NDCA guidelines allow organizers to combine events.
     
  8. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Then there really is no "semi-pro" or "b" pro division, so as you said, keeping your amateur status can be important. I often see couples from smaller cities who try to compete as pros, and probably feel a little out of place. I did a little research over on Dancesport Info and in the professional division, there are just 50 active couples in standard for all the United States.

    I'm sure there are other people like you where this additional category gives them more places to compete. As it has been for a long time, it is difficult to compete with multiple partners without declaring oneself a professional.

    In the case of one partner being a spouse who may be similar level of dancer, if the couple doesn't turn pro, then one of them has to be an amateur to be in pro-am competition, thus allowing the other to compete in pro-am with students.
     
  9. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    I've seen a lot of "real pros" who don't dance as well as some of your "rank amateurs", on the other hand. I think this will be interesting to sit back and watch.
     
  10. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Yep, a certificate or declaration of one's Pro status doesn't always mean diddly squat in terms of talent and ability.
     
  11. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Sure, and one's ability to win a competition does not provide a full picture of one's ability to teach. There are many roles teachers fill from helping with a high school or college program, introducing people to dancing that have never taken formal lessons before, helping people stay fit, or helping people dance socially who don't seek to compete yet.
     
    suburbaknght likes this.
  12. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I like the idea. I will probably never have what it takes to compete as a pro, but it would be nice to take pro-am students and be able to compete as an amateur.
     
    Hedwaite likes this.
  13. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    agree - dancing and teaching dance are separate beasts. Teaching is a gift that not every has, or wants to do.
     
    novemberecho likes this.
  14. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering why they're so determined to muddy the waters of competition divisions now, though, unless maybe comps are taking a financial hit and are trying to broaden availability to people who normally wouldn't throw their number onto the floor?
     
  15. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    Compete "yet" or compete, period.
     
  16. Mengu

    Mengu Active Member

    To keep things confusing, while an amateur teacher can compete with their student in mixed proficiency, as well as with their amateur partner in amateur divisions, they are not allowed to dance as the amateur in a pro/am division. So they are kind of keeping their amateur status, and kind of not. Any pro/am students who wish to dabble in a mixed proficiency event as the advanced partner may be jeopardizing their status as a pro/am student, depending on rules technicalities and interpretations.
     
  17. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    There are comos that are strictly mixed proficiency, although they are sancotioned by usadance but its the same basic idea, amateur teachers dance with their students.
    The issue I have with this is that sometimes the teachers will have students who will dance adult open and then they get mixed in with legitimate open amateur couples, which happened at nydance festival this year when I went. I was dancing open smooth with my partner and there was a mixed proficiency couple against us and it just felt weird.
     
  18. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    Any pro/am am should not be teaching regardless. You could get yourself and your pro into big trouble with the ndca and get banned from competition.
     
    danceronice and debmc like this.
  19. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Yes, it already is confusing, and that is why I see some value in letting people just enter at a particular level. There might be still a points system to help place couples, but the level at which you compete is related to your achievement as competitor, not whether or not you teach. Competitors that are able to thrive at the higher levels will naturally be able to make more money with shows, teaching or prize money, just as you see in other arts/sports.

    I think there might be more participation at the lower levels if everything wasn't designed strictly around a pro/am experience. If the pro is really good, they will naturally get their student a better placement or reach a higher level faster. But if someone starts out doing it just for fun and wants to go compete with several people at varying levels and maybe not even pay a high price tag to do it, there might be more entries at competitions.

    If you look at some of the collegiate comps, there is ample evidence that participation can be huge at the lower levels, and from what I have observed, the mixed proficiency is getting more popular.
     
    Sania likes this.
  20. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator


    I understand this is a current rule, but it sounds kind of strange. You spend thousands of dollars learning and competing but you aren't allowed to share your knowledge. Yet there are amateur dancers that spent less and are allowed to share their knowledge and get paid for it. That said, rules are rules until they are changed.
     

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