And, again, assuming that is WHAT YOU WANT. I personally don't see the point of wasting time and money on competitions where I have to reach a certain level before I can wear what I want, having to take whatever I can get as far as partners are concerned, tolerate with someone else's learning curve (I already ride a green horse, I have no desire to put up with a green dance partner) and try and find a competition somewhere vaguely in the vicinty. If you are in NY, I'm sure that's easy. If you're in the central Midwest, not so much. And if you are never going to reach a particularly high level, never mind turn pro, why spend the time, effort, money and stress trying to find a partner who'll only add time and problems to your own progress and you to theirs? As I'm the one paying, I don't want to waste time on someone else's issues. If the absolutely perfect partner in terms of height, build, age, temperament and experience came along, I might think about it. I am not going to putz around with someone who isn't any of those in the meantime when I could be entirely focused on my progress with a pro whom I'm paying to focus on me. Why add to the frustration? Now, if I were the age of barrefly's daughter, dancing since I could tie my shoes, etc and had a reasonable expectation of doing this full-time, that would be another story. I'm not. I have a better chance of making the Open Hunter finals at Devon than I do of ever making it out of a single round in Blackpool (read: slightly better than zero, but not much.) So why take the most efficient route to enjoying myself?