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. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I could agree with that. If there are things one might learn from the very experienced, things one might learn from the totally inexperienced, and things one might learn from peers -- surely one ought not to dismiss any of those learning opportunities out of hand.

    Incidentally, I think the converse of your statement also turns out to be true: partnerships are more effective when a teacher is involved.
  2. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Of course. The problem is with the difference between short term and long term if one faces a choice between the teacher and partner.
  3. Meagan

    Meagan Active Member

    I don't really see why this has all gotten so seems to me that half the time its been almost two different questions of what can be learned and what is the best way to improve your amateur status (for lack of a better word).

    To me these aren't the same things, as I can't imagine everyone on here has the same goals or for that matter learns the same way. And we already certainly know from many posts that not everyone has the same partnership opportunities available.

    I'd also imagine any real answer to that second question would change at least a little bit depending on whether those participating in pro-am were already a part of their own working am-am couple v. someone who did pro-am only and then made a switch to am-am...
  4. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    If you go back to the OP, though, I think the question isn't

    -does an individual advance further if she competes in JUST a pro-am partnership than she would if she competed in JUST an am-am partnership?

    but rather

    -does an individual who ALREADY competes am-am and plans to CONTINUE competing am-am benefit from adding pro-am?

    My personal experience suggests to me the answer is YES, but I recognize my experience is not universal.

    Btw, I would by no means suggest that dancing both is problem free. For example, when dancing with my teacher, he wants to lead every component of a figure. I do not get that same kind of highly articulate lead from my am partner, and would drive him crazy if I stood still and refused to move waiting for it. If we were pre-champ/champ ams, it might be different, but we're silver.

    I still think it's beneficial. And being able to adjust to different leads is part of being a follow.
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Labels that are absurd in light of the record of where top amateurs end up upon turning pro in their partnerships.
  6. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I would caution even more strongly where there's an existing partnership to risk stressing (especially if its a tolerably effective one built on top of a marriage), than when one is only running the risk of offering mismatched expectations vs. contributions to a theoretical partner yet to be identified.

    Wouldn't it be a better use of money to address this, and anything you might be doing to complicate it, rather than get you used to what he isn't ready to provide? (Practically adressing this: posture and foot support for both, leader knowing exactly what he's trying to get follower to do, follower drilling reflexes for all required actions, couple practicing a variety of confusingly similar figures off routine to gain awareness of the differences)

    Yes, but you don't have to invest in competing with them to do it. Arguably you would get more of that from dancing shallowly with a number of collegues and teachers than deeply with one teacher.
  7. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Not to pick on you, Samina, but could everyone investigate their examples a bit more carefully before using them?

    Luca was 4th with Amanda Owen. Lorraine was 2nd with Andrew Sinkinson. When they switched partners, Andrew and Amanda immediately slotted in at 2nd and Luca and Lorraine immediately slotted in 4th. It was only over the course of a number of years that Luca and Lorraine worked their way up to 1st.

    The situation with Arunas and Edita is similar. They were in the same league as the partners they switched to. None of these cases were substantially more asymmetrical than one commonly finds in typical partnerships. In the case of Arunas and Katusha, it's not even clear which one was the stronger partner going in, since their placement together was better than either had done with their respective former partners.

    Is it possible for a very good pro to drag a much weaker pro into the top ranks? Well, Andrew Sinkinson did do that with an American partner one year, barely making the final at Blackpool. However, it's unclear how much that partner's dancing benefited in the long run; certainly she never came close to that competitive accomplishment with any other partner.
  8. Meagan

    Meagan Active Member

    I think this may go back to not everyone having the same goals or learning the same way...

    Besides CCM has mentioned (and anyone who has met her knows) she likes to have fun and if that's its purpose it can be just as valid for her :)
  9. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    That's how I interpret the original post as well, with the additional caveat that the question only concerns adding pro-am competition over and above pro-am lessons.

    I definitely agree with you that people seem to be switching to the former question instead.

    I do think some of the confusion comes from several missing options for answering the poll.
  10. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    That's one reason why I'm hesitant about getting into a practice partnership with a guy doing bronze. I know I will not get same lead quality from him that I get from my teacher, in fact I probably won't get same lead quality from him as from some silver guys I know, and hence I am not sure what I can possibly get out of this kind of partnership.
  11. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    I see where you are coming from.

    On the other hand, if you were talking about an am competitive partnership, I would encourage you to go for it!

    USA Dance comps are FANTASTIC, and that's a whole second world that opens up if you have both kinds of partnerships. :)
  12. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    That depends if by practice partnership you mean something of limited future. If you are talking about now, I think the question would be if you can get exercise, enjoyment, and an opportunity to practice using important fundamentals under less than ideal circumstances. Yes, not the most captivating offering.

    (Also should add, much more important than it sounds: by taking part in a partnership you advertise yourself as partnerable)

    If it could have a future though, I think the question would be if he is someone you imagine you eventually could grow with, and if you both are going to be able to maintain an opening for that in your lives.

    The longer I have been dancing, the more I have come to believe that a good partnership is about the right combination of people, more than the right combination of experience.
  13. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    Advice noted. And I'm almost sure I made the same point about how I don't have to invest in competing in an earlier post. In case my earlier post wasn't clear on this point, I fully admit that I do not have to spend my money this way. I do it because I THINK IT IS FUN.
    My money, my decision, yes?
    I'm generally pretty level-headed and disciplined about money. I'm allowed to have a little fun. If it stops being fun, I'll stop doing it.


    As of yesterday (Bastille Day), I have 20 years experience being married. My dance partnership is what it is and I'm grateful to have a spouse who is willing to dance with me some of the time. :)
  14. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    While its not precisely your point, I would be the first to agree that sometimes a partnership needs a window of time in which concerns and dreams are usefully distracted from the pace of progress of the facts on the ground.
  15. Meagan

    Meagan Active Member

    Congrats (again) on 20 years CCM!! Sounds like a pretty solid dance partnership to me ;) Whatever you're doing seems to be working...including the fun haha
  16. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I can't think of any question that starts out this way that has one right answer for all people.
  17. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    My daughter did great in a pro am comp she did some months back, but in her am-am comp she did this weekend, she went down in flames. Her event was the first night and the rest of the weekend she hung out with the other dancers. She apparently discovered something about the young adult latin dance world. Win or lose, everyone is still fun to hang out with. LOL

    This experience seems to have had a great impact on her/us. She is acting differently and seems to be much more comfortable with her dance and is beginning to take ownership of it. I guess that a good dancer doesn't just have to be in control of their body, but of their mind as well.

    She is going to San Fran. for a comp in a few weeks just with her partner and friends.
    I wonder if I will be able to recognize her when she gets back?
  18. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    There is a lot to be said for having a peer group.
  19. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Congrats on your anniversary!

    I'm sure that USA Dance comps are fun to do, but they're all so far from our hometown. The ones I consider within driving distance are 7 hours away, everything else we'd have to fly to. Given that, I don't think an am competitive partnership is a viable option here.
  20. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    There is indeed a huge chicken and egg problem.

    It probably is more cost effective to train and transport the right amateur partnership...

    ...but identifying it without a nurturing local adult amateur community may be difficult.

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