Student Challenges Prevalent in the Pro-am Structure

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

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    like at least 80% of his peers :)...and I get that....you get one lady who is on the fence and well...there ya go....and that is but one scenario
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    this all goes back to something I have said elsewhere about students as well...I think, in order to help pros with this, students should have a sense of where they want to go, how much money they have, what their goals are, what the want to dance, etc...Around the beginning of each year, I let my pro know roughly how many comps a year I can do...how much I can dance at them....what is a priority and where I am flexible, and what my goals and preferences are....I think doing that gives him some sense of a road map for how to blend that with his own plans and his other ladies...IF, they have taken the time to think about it as well......and then it works so much more smoothly..
  3. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    And I appreciate it. My expectations of pro are similar to what fascination described. Probably most pro/am student who've been around awhile would be about the same.

    But what I was looking for is other students have other expectations. Are there situations where winning and/or placing in the top 3 in every event isn't enough for a student at a comp? When can a student have unrealistic expectations regarding their pro? How much does a pro have to cater to a student's every whim during a comp, including down time, even at the expense of other students?
  4. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    By down time, that might include things like sightseeing and exploring the city where the comp is held, or eating at restaurants away from the comp hotel. That may or may not include friends and family members of the student.
  5. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    This is all I need from pro on competition day... and happy to say this is what I currently have.
  6. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    And that would be the key...you can give your pro (or any partner, really) all those things and have everything planned out on your end and it still doesn't happen. But that is off topic.

    Back on topic - I agree with Fasc and Debmc as far as what I want from my pro at a comp. Show up on time, dance to the best of your ability and mine, and generally just be professional. I don't need all the off-the-floor fluff, have long since learned not to look for it, and have come to realize how completely unfair it is for a student to expect a teacher to be their personal escort for a weekend. I realize there are some teachers/pros who charge enough that filling that roll is pretty much the only way to justify the cost, but...well, for me, I'm there to compete - not for the social experience.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    gotcha..interesting question...it has never occurred to me to expect my pro to get me a placement...I expect him to teach me well enough that I have what I need to be as capable of placing well as possible and I expect him to dance to the top of my capacity...and, as to time outside the ballroom; I enjoy my pro's company...on the occasion that he voices an interest in the group doing something together, I always enjoy that....but I would never invite him as I always want him to be clear that I do not have that expectation
  8. Wannabee

    Wannabee Active Member

    I'm pretty in-line with everyone else sounds like. As long as pro is on time, dances to the best of my ability, and doesn't stress me out with being disorganized, etc., I'm pretty content.

    As to down time, our studio is pretty small and friendly so even at home, it's not unusual for us to do things outside the studio with pro and his wife, my husband, other students, their sig. others. So doing it at a comp is not that strange I guess. But I certainly don't EXPECT those things. My best guideline is to take my cue from my pro. He's pretty good at finding us if he wants to grab dinner or a drink. Otherwise, we're pretty good at entertaining ourselves ;)
  9. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    I think, in order to help pros with this, students should have a sense of where they want to go, how much money they have, what their goals are, what the want to dance, etc...Around the beginning of each year, I let my pro know roughly how many comps a year I can do...how much I can dance at them....what is a priority and where I am flexible, and what my goals and preferences are....


    i do exactly the same! they really appreciate having a rough workload estimate ( or income estimate LOL) but i also do all my own entries that way they are on time and error free :)
  10. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    As far as the "apres competition scene", if pro wants to gather students together for a meal, that can be fun, if not, that is fine too. There are so many people to visit with at a comp and so much browsing to do of all the vendor products, plus the evening shows, that it is not a necessity for me to have pro around, though I certainly enjoy their time if they feel like sharing a meal.
  11. gingerbread

    gingerbread Member

    Very true, great advice, thank you
  12. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I agree with internal motivation being a crucial part of our dance development. Upon watching the Olympics though... and I may be making a huge leap here... I noticed that there was an incredible support system between team members on the team and also encouragement and support from the coaches of these athletes. On many occasion when an athlete did not do as well as expected they got a "pep talk" from their coach, or consolation when they felt bad. Is it too much to expect that part of the duties of our pro is to provide that level of support? Just curious.. haven't made up my mind yet, but it was interesting to see what a varied role the Olympic coaches played with their athletes. It certainly seemed to pay off in producing great results.
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think a bit of that sort of thing can really keep one from spiraling downward...even the strongest person needs to know that they aren't in it alone from time to time...I have found that it has made a big difference for me in terms of how quickly I am able to shake off a mistake or a disappointment because I am really hard on myself...

    I'm pretty tough...I have a well constructed pair of big girl pants...I have navigated plenty of difficult lessons about competing without seeking help from anyone else...it takes alot to rattle me now...BUT, the slightlest bit of kindness from someone else (a compliment from a fellow competitor, a hug from my pro or even a smile at a moment when there could have been a frown) can go a very long way in helping me to bounce back when I am on fumes regarding my own internal resources
  14. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Having had experience as a competitive gymnast early in my life, I have experienced both sides of the coin. The biggest difference is that you are "paying to play" in pro-am. And, you are paying someone who is probably quite a bit better than you are skill wise to "play" with you.

    In team gymnastics, all the athletes on the team are there because they have chosen to be there and you're all working toward a team goal. You are not paying them to perform their skill to help the team win. It is a different dynamic than the usual pro-am "teaming" or partnership; it encourages team mates to support each other to reach a common goal.

    As for the coaches in the olympics, they are not part of the performance itself. Yes, their egos/reputations can be on the line as it sometimes is perceived to be in pro-am, but it is done in a less public way...they are not on the floor performing with their athletes. I would say that a pro, to bring world class coaching to the floor, needs to have the self discipline and a developed awareness to separate his/her performance (and reputation) from that of their student's.

    That said, do I think that the techniques used in world class coaching are transferable to benefit the students in pro-am - absolutely! It's just the pro has to realize it and make an effort to bring those techniques to his/her business. There are some coaches and pros that do bring this type of work to their students, and I believe it to be quite beneficial (and I have been the fortunate recipient of this type of work in dancesport also).

    If the techniques produce better dancers/students, I would think that the best coaches and pros would adopt the best practices because they wish to excel in their professions also!
  15. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I have as well, and found it to be helpful. I find that I benefit when coach ( and I am using the term interchangeably with pro here), shares in a victory or is able to quickly reframe and redirect a round that did not go as well.
  16. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    Eh, airline travel is the worst. I don't think I'd expect anyone to have to look nice at all. but that's my own opinion. It's so uncomfortable on the places, I don't begrudge anyone who wears whatever keeps them comfy. The other things, I agree with!
  17. Wannabee

    Wannabee Active Member

    I agree. I couldn't care less what my pro wears on the plane/in the car. In fact, on our way home from the last comp, pretty sure he didn't even have time to comb his hair (I barely did) as we were on the plane at dark-thirty. But he is impeccably groomed on the dance floor and at all the dance related venues and functions, etc. That's good enough for me. I wouldn't want him to tell me he expected me to dress or look a certain way for travel home. I would likely tell him to get lost.
  18. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    That is what I like about both variations on the payment thing I've experienced--I'm paying for his time in X number of heats plus recalls. I expect him to be on the floor for our events and paying attention to my rounds. If I HAPPEN to be on the same flight (I very rarely fly to comps--expense aside, I am deeply phobic about flying and will at this point literally use any other transportation means available if they exist) it is just a case of our happening to be on the same flight. I have not paid for his time there, it's none of my business how he's dressed or whether he pays attention to me. My pros who have been on flights with me have, lucky for them, been seated away from me, which is a good thing because no one wants to sit next to me on planes. Shaking nervous wrecks who talk to themselves are not anyone's idea of a good time.
  19. Aura

    Aura Active Member

    I've been blessed with a sensitive, compassionate pro that knows when to encourage, and when to push, especially when it comes to technique.

    @danceronice

    I'm scared of flying, too, especially when the air gets turbulent. Whenever I fly with my family, I have a nasty habit of clinging to whichever family's arm is near mine. If I ever traveled with my pro, he'd have to seated away from me, too. You probably already knew, but I just wanted to say you certainly aren't alone when it comes to flying.
  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    hmmm....I dunno...my costs are plenty, but it would never occur to me that my pro's attire anywhere outside of ballroom events would be within my perview...nor would it occur to me to negotiate for his time outside the ballroom...however, I have never been part of a franchise and have therefore never considered that to be a resonable expectation...as to organization, I don't much care how he appears as long as he IS organized, though admittedly, the two usually do go togther...my pro is impeccable in his grooming and always well organized...however, though I rarely travel with him, he prefers to be comfortable when he travels and I don't find warm up pants and adidas flip flops to be the least bit disrespectful...

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