Current trends in amateur competition pricing

samina

Well-Known Member
Well, for us it's the principle of it all. Supposedly back in the mists of time it was common custom and practice for competitors to not be charged entry fees to dance in USABDA events. We've managed to keep that going forward into the days of USA Dance, even though it never became an official organization-wide rule or policy.

The big point here is that it is not impossible to put on a low-cost event! That's why I cringe when I hear of $130 entry feels at some of the other Regionals. Okay, so we don't have a dinner dance, or a professional show, or workshops, or anything fancy, but we've found that our Chapter's members don't care for any of that anyway. We create a time and place for people to compete and get their Regional Participation Requirement satisfied and pass our savings on to everyone, as it were :)

One thing I should point out is that our chapter is sort of an aberration within USA Dance. Something like 90% of our members are competitors, whereas the average nationally is something more like 30%. The East Coast hotbeds of competition would be another exception to that, but really that's it.
laura, i think what you are doing here is just AWESOME. absolutely wonderful. that's what i'd love to encounter all over the place. i don't care about the shows & the dinner dances... let them be separate optional events... keeping the cost of comps for the competitors as low as possible, perhaps that would even ultimately have the outcome of increasing comp attendance, increasing quality overall, and thus increasing spectator attendance, which is where the money could ultimately come from down the pike...

anyway, way to go...
 
Generally, I'd much rather play in the orchestra than sit in the audience and watch it. After doing that I might be quite interested in listening to someone else perform it - discovering things I wouldn't if caught up in the act of playing, but hearing things I would have missed without the experience of having been inside it myself. Simply and only sitting on the sidelines leaves too much of the potential experience out.

I've gone to competitions only to watch, and I've enjoyed myself. But something was definitely missing. Just as something is missing - almost painfully so - when I put on a CD in the car of some Brahms symphony, with its haunting horn passages I haven't been investing the many hours a week it would take to maintain the ability to play.

The incomplete version has value - but I'd always like to see the emphasis on the complete, participation-included version, with the other as an alternative when that kind of personal investment isn't possible or practical. "Look don't touch" never really did much for me...

By no means would I suggest that ballroom competitions be setup as spectator unfriendly. But at the same time, unless it's an exhibition type event, it's important to remember that the real "customers" are the dancers, not the spectators.
 
I really don't like the competition part of ballroom. Despite the fact its become a way of life. I think it should be about the dancing. Whether as a spectator or dancer..I like good clean technique and expressive movement. I hate the way it all gets reduced to 1st, 2nd, 3rd .....
 

Ithink

Active Member
Too bad that the plane tickets to San Jose from the east coast in early June are so pricey right now (Even Southwest is way over $400!!; I would have loved to support such am-friendly regionals!
 
I really don't like the competition part of ballroom. Despite the fact its become a way of life. I think it should be about the dancing. Whether as a spectator or dancer..I like good clean technique and expressive movement. I hate the way it all gets reduced to 1st, 2nd, 3rd .....
I don't feel at all that it is reduced to 1st 2nd 3rd at competitions...

but then I don't stress about placements as much as some other people do.

one problem in the US - not enough couples in the field... when there are so few couples it is easy to start ranking and thinking "am I better than this person."
situation is different. for example, in Russia, where a lot of the time couples spend not making the next round... dancing at comps with 200+ couples... with 200 couples no one can keep track of other couples anyway, so everyone I think just keeps to themselves, working on improving their own dancing, working on collecting points to move up to the next class, without worrying about other couples.
 
Too bad that the plane tickets to San Jose from the east coast in early June are so pricey right now (Even Southwest is way over $400!!; I would have loved to support such am-friendly regionals!
Where were you looking? I just checked Travelocity right now and got $244 on Delta from BWI to SJC, and $357 on United, departing on Friday and returning on Sunday.
 

Ithink

Active Member
Yes but that flight (Delta) leaves at 6am (I'd have to miss work Friday) and is not a direct flight...:( 8-9 hours is a lot of traveling (not counting the 3:30am wake-up) when you can get to Cali in 5-6 and get some sleep too if there are cheaper flights leaving at a decent time:(

Besides, we are already doing the NE Regionals in April. So that's about $100 (gas, tolls, registration) I've already spent to qualify for 2007 Nationals...

Maybe another time:)
 
Ah well! It would have been really fun for you to come out again. Keep your eyes peeled for a fare sale!

The hotel is $99 per night plus tax, in case anyone is wondering. We'll be at the Sainte Claire, which is across the street from the Marriott we used at Nationals. We would have used the Marriott again, but they wouldn't give us a good rate! It was $89 plus tax for Nationals, and the best they could do for us for Regionals was $112! So, we took our business elsewhere.
 
Not really...

one problem in the US - not enough couples in the field... when there are so few couples it is easy to start ranking and thinking "am I better than this person."
situation is different. for example, in Russia, where a lot of the time couples spend not making the next round... dancing at comps with 200+ couples... with 200 couples no one can keep track of other couples anyway, so everyone I think just keeps to themselves, working on improving their own dancing, working on collecting points to move up to the next class, without worrying about other couples.
It's really no different in Russian competitive circuit - even though, say, up to 300-500 couples may enter Adult events in Russian Open, people are very keen on comparing their placements (or number of cuts made) with those of people they regularly compete against locally...Some people just pay more attention to the competitive side, some less.
 
This worries me a little bit -- I also know that Columbia is planning on hosting their first "independent" comp (ie as sole organizers not as assistants/co-hosts/etc of teh MAC). However the date they mentioned to me conflicts with another very local (NYC local) established competition.... Similarly SBU's event conflicting with Bing... I'm all in favor of more college competitions to spread out the beginners (though it might cause problems with the open levels), but I think the NY area needs to watch out for canabilizing its own competitions.... (being double booked at against a Boston area competition is not so bad)

If Columba or NYU double books against a a local event its likely to hurt both and drive costs up....
Yes and with the increased # of comps in central NY (it's only upstate to long iglanders) We are fast approaching a point where we might be our own undoing. Especially for CNY it's really nice to have binghamton and cornell close. The costs of constantly driving out to boston is expensive for the small teams.

Hell I have a full time engineering job and 6 comps (3 dance 3 gymnastics) last spring killed me. I got done in april and was like woah I spent how much in gas!

Typically at this point, knowing people on 6 or so of the smaller teams. The average is 1-2 small comps and 1 big comp a semester. Typically that means Mac, Harvard or MIT. It may not seam like much but, a 15$ increase over 10 team members can be the difference between a small team going or not. Given for example cuse only has a budget of a few hundred. :headwall:

I'm a big fan of KISS (keep it simple stupid) base + extras and keep it reasonable, whatever you need to break even plus a little profit. Just don't get greedy. I know big comps are usually around 25-30K to put on. And that goes up the bigger the comp gets.

As for things me personally
things I would give up:
- video and photographer.

things that I would not give up:
- the show, the show draws me to one comp over another. It gives you a chance to see the real pro's and is a nice wind-down(sp?) after a long day. (side rant) I know it can't be helped but do you know how depressing it is to go back to competing when show is in the middle of the day? :sad:

- practice space, for the love of god! nuff said

-water please, IV stations would be cool hehe.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
Yes but that flight (Delta) leaves at 6am (I'd have to miss work Friday) and is not a direct flight...:( 8-9 hours is a lot of traveling (not counting the 3:30am wake-up) when you can get to Cali in 5-6 and get some sleep too if there are cheaper flights leaving at a decent time:(

Besides, we are already doing the NE Regionals in April. So that's about $100 (gas, tolls, registration) I've already spent to qualify for 2007 Nationals...

Maybe another time:)
If you don't mind flying into SF Midwest has a 0645-1355 flight on Saturday and 1220-1900 flight on Sunday for $372.
 
As a parent of a pre-teen dancer, we are very fortunate and very grateful to Laura and others who work so hard at every Norcal USADance competition. These competition really make it affordable and no pressure for the kids to just show their developing ballroom dance skills.

The San Jose Civic Auditorium has a big floor, decent changing area, and there is plenty of space for spectators to spread out and equally get a good viewing area of the dancers.

The first time I went to a ballroom competition at the San Jose site, I thought it was expensive to pay $25 per person to just watch. But now that my son competes, I see that the USADance Norcal prices are very reasonable compared to some of the local NDCA events. We generally pay at least 50% more at a NDCA event vs. the USADance events.
 

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