Student Challenges Prevalent in the Pro-am Structure

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by latingal, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Yes problem is when you go to these socials etc you are expected to do stuff like dancing with everyone who ask. Sometimes I just want to meet up and chat with friends while watching and enjoying the venue. Sometimes I want to just dance with DP, sometimes I don't want to dance at all, sometimes I want to dance with a couple of friends beginners or not.

    But then you are branded that snobbish antisocial comp dancer who doesnt want to dance with beginners. So I stop going.

    I am doing am-am atm but increasingly curious of doing pro-am. My friend do pro-am and it seems like there can be intense rivalries between students sometimes. Who gets the better choreography, who gets more time, etc.
  2. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    This might be a great subject for another thread. I don't think that it is just a situation that occurs in pro-am, it could be asked of pros, ams and pro-ams as to what they actually feel on the floor while competing?
  3. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Pshh, don't let them stop you. Several of my dance friends (might?) be seen this way at local dances, aside from a few regulars we're friendly with. Do we care? Not really. We're there to dance. If someone I don't want to dance with thinks I'm a snob, that's their problem.
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    as to rivalries between other students...hmm....I have not seen much of that...but I suspect it is because it is rarely dealt with directly between students ...I suspect that in some places there is some grousing on the side to a third party or to the pro.... I have seen students not so much feel rivalrous but compare the treatment they get from their pro to the treatment other students get from their pro...and unless it is really overt to the point of wanting to leave, I think it is not worth it and hurts that student themself the most...sometimes we all have insecurities and can then let those cloud how we percieve a certain set of circumstances and imagine a deliberate discrepency that really isn't there...and, even if there is a real discrepency lots of times--no offense here--we are talking about male pros...men....why on earth these men should be any more adept at complexities regarding women's perceptions than anywhere else in real life I cannot fathom....


    but I think people pretty much fall into three categories regarding this;

    pout, whine and feel like a victim
    scream, shout and threaten
    feel like doing all three but have an adult conversation instead

    having said all of that, problems with fellow students has never been a large part of my experience
  5. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Some folks describe their practices, lessons and coaching in terms, that I have to wonder what they are getting out of it. The descriptions almost make it sound like dancing has become the job, and if you're a student, one you're paying dearly for.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    while I can't speak to what you are referring to directly, I will say this;

    as a student who has the good fortune of being able to devote a good deal of time and money to dancesport...who has a top notch pro and significant goals...yes, sometimes....lots of the time....what I am doing looks and sounds like work to others and feels like massive work to my mind, body and soul....but it is a choice I have made that feeds my mind, body and soul as much as it demands....and it is but one way to do pro/am..... and, I imagine, not even the most common way...it is true that it is hard work that I am paying for...but, I think when anyone pays for top notch instruction and has lofty goals, one would have to be a fool not to give it one's all and work their heinie off...if one doesn't want that or isn't able to do that for whatever reason; great, that is another equally valid path
  7. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    This, exactly. To put it another way - Olympic athletes pay dearly for their training, work their butts off, often get frustrated and discouraged and injured and go through phases where it feels like a job...and they do it because they love it. Dance is the same for me. I wouldn't have it any other way. Very little worth having is easy...when it is, we don't often appreciate it like we appreciate those things that take hard work and effort. Because pro/am is so much more self-focused, I think, than other ways of dancing and competing, I think you get even more of this molding-into-an-athlete student/coach dynamic. Doesn't mean for a second that there is any less love or joy involved.

    Or, to put it yet another way...I hear people complain about their spouses all the time...doesn't mean they don't love them any less. In fact, it usually is just the opposite.
  8. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I imagine that'll vary from student to student and instructor to instructor. In my own case, my fellow students and I are all proud members of Team [Instructor] and are more of a mutual support structure than we are rivals. For me, it's actually an *advantage* of the pro-am structure.

    Of course, the way things have worked out, we haven't had any cases yet where more than one student was wanting to do a particular event (ie, scholarships) at a given competition. I actually expect that to change somewhat next year, and while I expect us to manage just fine, I can definitely see how to could be a challenge to deal with in the long run.
  9. novemberecho

    novemberecho Member

    hahaha - awesome comparison!

    I get this. Ballroom is the most challenging, enlightening, frustrating, and rewarding thing I've ever done. It is a lot of hard work and though I enjoy it, I rarely feel I can call it "fun". Some days it literally makes me crazy, but it also makes me happier than I've ever been. I wouldn't trade it or change it for anything.
  10. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    I'm curious - how does this work out? I may switch over to an independent instructor in 2014 (yes, I'm planning way ahead...), and he's most likely to have people in my (coming) age group, level, and style. What happens if both students are planning to attend the same comp and we both want to do the multidance scholarship for our level? I mean, i have on my to do list to get info on that when I call the studio, but what's the norm? First come, first serve?

    (I think this counts as a challenge for Pro-Am, right, so I'm on thread?)
  11. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    One of you could dance down an age group, or dance up a level. I've been in this situation a several years ago, when we were at a comp which had only one age group for all scholarships and he had two bronze students (myself and another lady). I danced silver and she danced bronze. If there's no more room for movement (i.e. you all do open) then you just take turns I suppose.
  12. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Sure. Or, the student who does more comps and has more experience gets all of the coveted events. Not the student who can't travel all over the country every few weeks and dance 30+ entries per comp. The one who stays local and wants to dance one level plus scholarship is outta luck, even if that person's dance ability is worthy of the opportunity. Not that I would know anything about such practices...:rolleyes:
  13. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I think there's a whole lot of variation out there. I've known students to take turns. I've known students to stay at a lower proficiency level longer in a given style longer than they strictly have to, waiting for a spot to open up with their instructor. I've known students who routinely volunteer to drop down an age bracket since they're a stronger dancer than the other student their teacher has at that level. I don't doubt that there are plenty of cases like nikkitta describes. I imagine student seniority can factor in. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules-of-thumb.
  14. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Most pro am comps gladly create another heat for teachers with multiple students in a category.
  15. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    Ok. Good knowledge, thank you all! This is really a good thread.
  16. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    That's fine for single-dance events (although really, there're already enough different levels of those that I'm skeptical it's necessary very often), but I don't think it would really be an option for the scholarship events.
  17. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I think sometimes comps eventually do that for scholarship events if they have enough feedback asking them to. When I first started doing scholarships at St. Louis Starball and Heart of America, both of these comps had 2 age groups for closed scholarships, and I think (not 100% sure) just one age group for open ones. Now both of these expanded to 3 age groups for closed scholarships and 2 age groups for open ones, and there is enough local teachers who have students in all age groups for a given level.
  18. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I have seen the larger competitions having "A", "B", "C" and "Sr" age groups and also coming up with different types of scholarships, like closed rising star scholarships in addition to regular closed scholarships, and of course championship rounds that can also be split up into 3 dance and 5 dance championships.
  19. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    That's a tough one Nikkitta, because the other side of the coin are students who feel that they are willing to put forth alot of time, money and effort to travel to different competitions and don't want this to mean that they are automatically shut out from the local comps, particularly as these are the comps that their friends and family can watch, or perhaps has a certain element that they want to be part of. Not saying I don't get what you are saying.. but there is a different way of looking at this. Pros have a hard job having to say who gets to do what comp, that's for sure!
  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    in my case, the decision about who gets to do what, has always been in the hands of the pro..I have helped prevent my own disappointment by sharing what comps and events I am interested in and which ones are of highest priority...I am currently not in a situation where I have any conflicts b/c even though my pro has two A2s, both are currently dancing bronze and I am doing silver/gold/open and neither compete that often...but, when I was new there pro had a student at the same age and level, albeit she was stronger at that time because she had been with him longer, so I did get bumped down on both age and skill level in most things...and I understood that that would be my reality for as long as that student remained ..and I respected that...I probably would have looked for ways to get opportunities had the situation remained but that student moved on so I was spared that..in my previous circumstance seniority also seemed to be the primary factor

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