Dance stereotyping...

After the thread about Ballroom dance and elitism, I've really been thinking about some of the factors that lead people to stereotype competitve dancing.

My question for the competitors is, are the top levels of competition reserved only for people of higher financial means? Please bear in mind that what little I do know of competitive dancing is what I have gleaned from people on this board, and its been mentioned that the amount of money required for outfits and lessons can get very pricey.

So along those same lines, have there been dancing champions who have come from very humble means and made it to the top? For instance, are there things such as scholarships or types of grants for young dancers that show promise in this field of dancing?

I ask this as I wonder if some of the stereotyping that is done revolves around this factor. But I would imagine that with determination, a very sincere person would overcome any obstacle to achieve their dreams of becoming a competitive dancer, or anything else in life for that matter.

However, if we play the devil's advocate, would such a person encounter a wall instead?

I also was intrigued to hear comments on the other thread that people who compete also reach the same "nirvana" and sense of freedom that people in the nightclubs do. Obviously, from seeing the many pictures in the DF albums, these folks do look like they enjoy what they are doing. :)

With that being said, perhaps this is some of the reason for street dancers thinking that the ballroom world is comprised of 'elitists'? Do only the truly great competitors reach this level of enjoyment in their dancing (not to say they all do), or is this completely irrelevant?

Please understand that I am making no judgements either way, rather I am very interested in learning what people with experience have to say.


>>For instance, are there things such as scholarships or types of grants for young dancers that show promise in this field of dancing?<<

YES INDEEDY. USABDA has grants/scholarships available.
That's where sponsorships come in; or part-time jobs, besides the full-time teaching jobs, to cover the cost of competing. It IS mighty expensive. There is a thread on Sponsorship in here somewhere.


Well-Known Member
The promoters of the comp I was in last year give out lots of youth scholarships -- meaning, completely free entries into competitions, and, incidentally, free tuition to their summer dance camp. The goal is to increase ballroom participation at a young age. Pretty cool of them, I think.

Hmm. There's a thought. I'll have to share that information with one of my teachers -- a bunch of middle school and high school people work at her studio. I wonder if they know about those scholarships?
At the dance studio i go to, we have a group that does fundraisers and exhibition dancing so that we can help all the people who want to dance but can afford it to buy costumes and get lessons and entry fee's for comps and stuff. Also we have been requesting sponsorship from the Australian Institute of Sport and local business.

And many of the people who dance arnt people with money, a few of my friends there sometimes help teach lower classes to pay for their lessons and such.

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