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. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    1) It's not easy in NY, because there's little organization beyond the young adult demographic. Sure, there is great coaching to escalate to, but there is no ground level factory for adult amateurs here either.

    2) I would hesitate to assume that you could not with determined effort make the first callback at Blackpool, even in standard ;-}. It is primarily about forming a workable partnership, finding a coach with the needed information, and being willing to do what they ask. None of those things are easy, but all are possible.
  3. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    You base this theory on how many of your finals at Blackpool?
  4. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I believe we were talking about the first recall, which is to be bluntly honest about it, largely about removing those with the more obvious unresolved issues. It was pretty easy to figure out from the balcony who was and wasn't going to survive that one.

    So, if you get a good working partnership, clean up the major issues, and go for it, you should be able to earn a recall.
  5. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I have a bit of a problem with the implication in your first paragraph that without a partnership, a person cannot practice. I do an average of 75-90 minutes of solo practice on days when I do not have lessons. It's definitely exercise and it's definitely useful for my dancing. Just because I'm doing it solo, it doesn't count?

    It would be nice to convert some of this time into practice with a person who can capably lead me through things, so that I can work on some things related to following, but can it happen under the circumstances I described?
  6. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Well, the risk of doing things alone (for either role) is that you don't get feedback when you do something uncomfortable or impractical for two bodies.
  7. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    And you base this theory on the experience of how many times you've been recalled at Blackpool?
  8. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I base it on having judged that round from the balcony, and finding that the judges on the floor were in agreement about which of the couples I was following to recall.

    On what do you base your opposition?
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    are we on topic?...innocent question (though I never liked the original one to begin with---at least not as it is titled on the thread...the poll question makes a bit more sense)...because it doesn't seem like we are...but I am tired and not very bright :)
  10. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Legitimate question. My point was basically that moderate success in an amateur partnership is more about ability to stay jointly focused on a task long enough to achieve the desired result, than anything else. And secondly that some things aren't nearly as farfetched as the lack of knowing people attempting them would suggest.
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    fair enough...though I don't see moderate success in pro/am to be much different
  12. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    I must say Chris,...I love they way you phrase it..."...which is to be bluntly honest about it, largely about removing those with the more obvious unresolved issues."

    I guess that a dancers potential can sometimes be deterimined by if they can "resolve" those unresolved issues. LOL

    P.S. I just learned about "recalls". I really like the way that works. It doesn't add insult to dancers that don't make recall.
  13. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member


    I had a good laugh when I read this statement, becuase I've had it happen in lessons, mostly with smooth and standard. The situation happens to correct whatever technique problem I've got going (could be any number of things). Pro says if I can't dance it by myself, then I can't dance it with him. After a fashion, meaning whenever I start to get a clue, we'll pick up again.

    No comment on the rest of the thread, other than it has been an interesting read, especially the view of the am/am leads that posted.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I find that a great deal of my lessons involve dancing alone...not alot of pro donating/lending his body to the cause around here :)....but this is probably because I am a brute and neither one of them (past or present) have been into injury
  15. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I consider having another tolerably capable body quite useful as a reference for the two-body-problem nature of the task, unless one is working to reprogram very clearly defined habits.

    A teacher's body can be useful to illustrate an idea beyond just words.

    Uniquely, a teacher's body can sometimes be used to help a student experience something they are still short of being physically able to do alone, for example to meter out a student's descent into a fuller and more aligned posture lowering than they can yet achieve alone, or to help sustain balance.
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    or it can prevent a student fro realizing what they aren't achieving on their own
  17. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    This tends to depend on how it is used, and if there are other comparably deep attempts to evaluate (partnership or solo, vs some random person at the social)

    There's also an interesting effect that can happen on occasion, where a strong reaction to the "being carried around" stereotype can lead to trying to do counterproductively more than one's job.
  18. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    You can always work around that issue. There is always something you can practice, even when you're not trying to reprogram prior habits. And the concept of "tolerable" varies for different people.

    You do have a point that while we pro-am dancers are improving our dancing on our own, someone else is not improving together with us, so the pool of skilled potential partners is not increasing. And I agree, it is a chicken-egg situation - if you don't have a large enough pool, you can't build up partnerships, and you can't have a pool of potential partners without having some people get to a certain capability point first. But that is only a big point if one's goal is to eventually compete am-am. Mine isn't.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    or the person assessing the dancing (since we are talking pro/am here) is a competant pro with a superb capacity to provide appropriate feedback and assess the situation quite well
  20. Rugby

    Rugby Member

    As an Am/Am competitor and competition organizer let me help you understand why there is the clothing rules. First, we think of the competitions as about the dancing, not the outfits. The outfit should be down on the list as to what is important.
    The main reason for clothing rules is to encourage people to try out competing without the big financial outlay of money that costumes entail. It is already hard enough to get people to compete but if they also have to face the expense of costumes too it is usually an immediate turn off, especially if they want to do both Latin and Standard (or Smooth / Rhythm). If they compete once or twice and find it is not for them they have put out money for costumes they will not need and now have to sell to recoup some of that money. If they are allowed to compete in clothes that are inexpensive and can be found at Walmart or already in their closet it takes away one big reason to not compete as it allows them to try it out with minimal cost. To ask people just starting out to buy costumes right away is unfair. If someone does want to wear costumes right away they are not forced to compete in the lower levels and are free to dance in the higher levels. I will not advocate for people in the lower levels to have to wear costumes to satisfy other people's vanity. I would like to hear good reasons why we need to have costumes in the lower levels and how that would benefit anyone.
    I am going to push for a bit of a relaxation in some of the rules but I cannot forget the prime reason for those rules.

Share This Page