Ballroom Dance > what is pro-am dancing ?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by jerseydancer, Jul 12, 2010.


would you do pro/am dancing if you could have am partner who would be willing to comp

Poll closed Jul 22, 2010.
  1. Yes. Pro/Am dancing helps me to improve my dancing skills

    15 vote(s)
  2. No. I do dance pro/am because I have no other options

    8 vote(s)
  3. Not sure

    2 vote(s)
  1. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Would it be clearer if I had said "fully enable" ?
  2. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I vote we let this go. I think I've been successful in communicating at least the gist of my meaning.
  3. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    I vote the same OR that this "debate" spin off into its own thread.

    Further reflection: I don't think there is necessarily anything technical that I get out of pro-am competing that I couldn't get out of pro-am/solo lessons where I get to dance with the teacher. I do, however, think that working on our pro-am routines A) bring up a lot of problem issues that I would want to work on anyway, and B) gives us a goal to work toward.

    So I think the pro-am lessons have been very beneficial to my am-am dancing. The pro-am competing is a FUN ADDITION to my dance life.
  4. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    We can take the tangent up here:

    I personally feel that taking lessons by myself and competing allowed me to improve further and more efficiently than I could have done in am-am partnership with a person who was roughly at the same skill level I was 6 years ago in the same amount of time. If I just took lessons, but didn't compete, I'm not sure if I would have had taken my dancing as far as I did, because, like I said elsewhere, I can survive our dance socials without any difficulties and if that was my goal, I achieved it a while ago.
  5. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    No... what you could learn from dancing with a professional competitor and levels higher than your current partner is different that what you would learn dancing with your current am partner....

    We are not talking about improving the art of dancing (alone in a room contemplating the releasing your toe a thousand times over) but improving the art of competing .... which has elements that can only be improved ... in a competition. My students improve and have epiphanies during a weekend of competing far more valuable and extensive that they will ever get in a studio debating the theory of which turn might be better suited to which possible interruption at perhaps a certain point in the choreography at various locations along a wall.

    So understanding that principle, which I think no one here can really debate... it can be said:
    You learn different things in the studio than you do on the comp floor.

    And it is a very easy statement to agree to that :
    You will learn different things from a partner that is at a higher level than yourself than from a partner that is equal to your skill level.
  6. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I will not split this thread. It actually is right on target. "What is Pro-Am Dancing"

    but I might rename it to "What is it to Dance With Someone Better Than Yourself"
  7. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am going to take a VERY EXTREME case here and lay it out. And I mean absolutely NO OFFENSE to any of the individuals named as I skew the labels a tiny bit.

    Arunas used to Dance With Edita. They were a damn fine amateur couple.

    Arunas is now dancing "pro-am" with Katusha and became a wdc world champion. Edita is now dancing "pro-am" with Mirko and has became a wdc world finalist and ipdsc world champion.

    If you were to put them back together as an amateur couple... would their results (removing any thought or debate of politics) be better than they were a few years back?

    Would their learning curve have risen by dancing with Professional World Champions (pro-am)... even though in their own right they were Champions (amateur)?

    Will their dancing benefit by doing "pro-am"?
  8. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    arunas danced pro-am events with katusha, and edita danced pro-am events with mirko?
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    oh lord.... no.

    that was just my way of saying he danced with a pro who was bestter than his amateur partner.

    I knew that post was going to get me in trouble. :)
  10. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Yes, it is different, because its a different mix of job requirements. If one is simply looking for an experience in its own right, it makes sense.

    But if one is looking to build skills for future work in an equitable partnership, it really doesn't, because the skills tend not to get built in balanced proportions, and the pace of capability not keep up with the requirements it places on a partner.

    Using pro/am to get ahead in the am/am scene sounds like a good idea, but tends to work only in rarely exceptional cases. Even if pro/am were perfectly transferable education, there would still be the reality that the pool of potential partners to pick and grow together with gets smaller at increasing level, not larger. For someone with the eventual goal of an equitable partnership, that money is usually better spent buying a greater amount of training and experience within one, if its at all possible to arrange.

    Its easy to make a sales pitch for pro/am as a way to get ahead, but ultimately the biographies of the overwhelming majority of amateur and professional competitors make it clear that there is no skill required in an equitable partnership which cannot be effectively grown within the limitations of one. Especially when one remembers what the most critical enabling skill of a partnership dance competitor really is.
  11. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    So, uh, I take it this is a touchy subject with a lot of people...
  12. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Wake me up when your spaceship is within a few light years of earth

    If they had stayed together and the partnership were healthy, they would probably be in the top three of the pro.
  13. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Chris when you teach... do you not TOUCH your students? Do you not give them your body to feel, to transfer knowledge, as if by osmosis? That is pro-am. A teacher lending their body for the benefit of a student. Otherwise when you have your classes you would just sit in a chair in the corner and bark commands.
  14. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I stated at the beginning of that post that I was skewing the respective labels of the situation. labels I assigned.

    I have not taken the opportunity to take personal jabs at you although they are a plenty. I am requesting nicely that you do not towards me. I don't think it is wise to do so personally or for the fact that you are addressing a mod.
  15. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I can say that I learned something by dancing with a highly accomplished/experienced dancer without arguing that pro/am is a way to get ahead (whatever that means).
  16. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Yes, I do. And as a result I've seen a degree of the potential problem from the perspective of being its cause, too.

    I had a student who was doing really well building the kinds of core technique that makes a partnership physically practical. And for a while it seemed she was managing to set up a tryout a week, with a series of guys any of whom I would have enjoyed coaching her in partnership with. But she had basically filled her ballroom time/budget with solo work and was unwilling to make any of the compromises needed to create a partnership and gain a more complete experience.

    Do I believe theres a role for some work with a teacher? Yes, I do. But I think its more effective in the big picture when done close to the context of a partnership application.
  17. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    ah, gotcha. okay, that's like luca being in the vicinity of 96th in the world starting to dance with lorraine who was 3rd. i can think of a number of other examples like this, where established pros started dancing with promising ams and quickly found their way into the finals together.

    dancing with someone better than you is a powerful thing, if you have checked your ego at the door and are in maximal-learning-mode and are in a state of readiness for rapid improvement.
  18. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    While not a pro-am dancer, I have danced with DP and with teacher, and there is a marked difference.

    With DP, we are more used to the way we move, and thus can dance more 'together'. We are very tuned in to each other's movements. However, if I had spent a couple of years taking lessons with a pro, it is likely that the same will happen.

    With DT, it's easier to dance steps correctly. He already knows the leads, knows the best way to lead a step to make the follower respond in the way she is meant to. DP is still developing that. As such, when dancing with DT, it's easier to dance the step correctly. With DP, I'm sort of fudging bits to make up for what he's not quite doing (I don't at all mean to imply that I do nothing wrong...I do almost everything wrong)

    So, right now, I could dance with DT and DP, and the dancing would be easier and better to watch with DT. If DP and I continue to work together and continue to improve our technique and connection, then our dancing will also be easy and nice to watch.
  19. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to the lions den :)
  20. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    Oh, and do excuse my earlier's 1.30am here and I'm not thinking too coherently.

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