Is Pro Am becoming a sport of only the wealthy?

3wishes

Well-Known Member
#41
Is the sport becoming more for the wealthy? Interesting replies, views and posts DebMc.
I can say, knowing several in various dicsiplines not just ballroom "what the market will bear" seems to be in the mix.
I can also say, having close friends whose Dear Significant Other (if there is one) is typically in very high paying professions and the DSO has no idea his/her partner/husband/wife is dancing their feet off - only the SO is quite happy.
Having had a job where I was on jets/hotels/strange places/ I'm not one for the nuances of new dresses, comps every time I turn around, hotels, etc.
I am one to practice practice practice, and the quality of my lesson is ultimately my choice. There are other things in my life that will take priority in terms of time, focus, travel, money, that while Dance is a passion, I can still remember decades ago, my circle of dance buddies saying, "yeah, they look the part,,,but can't dance worth a lick of salt"...lol, wink!
It's all in what a person deems is important to them - regardless of hobbies, passions, outside interests.
My husband said, awhile ago, "geezzz if they thought that horseracing was the sport of kings,,,they need to take another look at the cost of Pro/Am Dancing/Ballroom Comps!" (he should know, we use to have racehorses).
It made me laugh,,,,but I'm content,,,,with a few lessons, 1 or 2 comps if that sometimes 3 or 4, and just working on improving my own dancing for myself when and if finances agree.
Is there anything that can make it easier/affordable for pro/am in the future? who knows....I'm pretty sure every sport, every enthusiast wishes that for their own avenues in life.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#42
for me it is a formula...I can reluctantly tolerate pricey if it is a big successful comp where there will be not only a lot of competition, but a lot of high quality competition... then, and only then, is 50 bucks a heat going to work for me....and if there are a few of those in a year, there won't be much else going on...that being said, I don't begrudge others with more income than myself their decision to do more...I also don't find their presence at a comp more imposing than anyone else's as I only see a minor correlation between that and success
 

danceronice

Well-Known Member
#44
It may prove that those who have unlimited funds may dance as much as they want. Speaking for myself, I look at ALL the costs of a particular comp, before I make my decision. Can I drive there, instead of flying? Is the hotel reasonable priced? Is there a reduction in heat pricing if you buy a package?

Cost is not the only issue, but I would give a less costly competition a much closer look than some of the more expensive ones, and probably give it a try at least once on that basis alone.

Yep. Add in that how much other students perceive expense matters--my pro's flat-out said regarding some competitions, he likes them or would like to try them, but he won't have enough students willing to travel to make it cost-effective for everyone (including him.) Not having to fly (or in my case take the train) is a major factor--I don't want to pay a lot for travel, and having to pay even more for the heats on top of that doesn't encourage me to go. The farther I have to go, the less I dance because the more I'm going to have to spend on hotels and meals and gas/plane/train tickets.
 

dancelvr

Well-Known Member
#45
Yep. Add in that how much other students perceive expense matters--my pro's flat-out said regarding some competitions, he likes them or would like to try them, but he won't have enough students willing to travel to make it cost-effective for everyone (including him.) Not having to fly (or in my case take the train) is a major factor--I don't want to pay a lot for travel, and having to pay even more for the heats on top of that doesn't encourage me to go. The farther I have to go, the less I dance because the more I'm going to have to spend on hotels and meals and gas/plane/train tickets.
Bingo. :)
 

Wannabee

Well-Known Member
#46
Really?, because I see a lot of those ladies with new dresses at every comp who go to nearly every comp and many don't place all that well....sure, they get some help from their friends (cough) so to speak...as business does swing some weight, as does having a well-known pro even if it hasn't yet translated into good dancing...BUT, many of them are not in contention for the finals of things...in fact, lots of the new gown every comp types who dance every heat they can don't seem to get much better from comp to comp...and there is nothing sillier, imv, than an overdressed not so hot dancer...not to be contrary, but I think throwing one's hands up and assuming there is no way to get a fair shake because of THAT is sort of a cop out...I have been beaten by people who take half the weekly lessons that I do...I know one multi time world and national pro am champ who takes fewer lessons and goes to fewer comps than I do...but she practices her butt off...while it may seem frustrating to look at the people who are able to financially do the things that you can't...it is wiser to look at the people who have the same resources or fewer and are still dancing better than your are and fix that part...because THAT is the only thing over which you truly have control....it is true that some things will happen at every comp that smell bad and don't seem to make sense, unless you know why, but I don't think gowns and floor time have much to do with it...some of the other stuff? yea...but not as much as you think...and I can point to a number of current pro am champs whose comp frequency and number of heats danced, is truly unremarkable
I agree with you on every point. By me saying that I can't "compete" with their money, I meant it more along the lines of teaching myself not to begrudge them their indulgence and dwell on how nice it would be to fly from one comp directly to another, having a dress in every color for every style, things like that, things mostly not even related to the actual dancing.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#48
I agree with you on every point. By me saying that I can't "compete" with their money, I meant it more along the lines of teaching myself not to begrudge them their indulgence and dwell on how nice it would be to fly from one comp directly to another, having a dress in every color for every style, things like that, things mostly not even related to the actual dancing.
thanks for clarifying
 

Warren J. Dew

Well-Known Member
#49
Oh, if it were only that easy. I would LOVE to find an amateur partner. However, due to my age *ahem*, my less than dainty build, and the relatively remote area in which I live, I don't see that happening any time soon, if ever. I am looking, though. Hope springs eternal. :)
It's certainly not easy. As danceronice points out, you pay in other ways: time, frustration, emotional distress. It's just that money provides much less of an advantage in those areas.
 
#50
Pro/am isn't the only way to dance. Paying a pro to train you and compete with you is going to be one of the most expensive ways to go about dancing. There are many other paths to success in dancing including building a career or other financial strategy to help fund your hobby like make dresses organize events or clubs, etc.
 

debmc

Well-Known Member
#51
Pro/am isn't the only way to dance. Paying a pro to train you and compete with you is going to be one of the most expensive ways to go about dancing. There are many other paths to success in dancing including building a career or other financial strategy to help fund your hobby like make dresses organize events or clubs, etc.
Sure, but I was specifically wondering about ProAm dancing evolving into a sport that only the top wage earners can afford.
 
#52
...while it may seem frustrating to look at the people who are able to financially do the things that you can't...it is wiser to look at the people who have the same resources or fewer and are still dancing better than your are and fix that part...because THAT is the only thing over which you truly have control....
This, yes. It is simply a waste of time to fret over things one has no control over. There are a multitude of things dancers of all levels of means can truly impact as a matter of choice and action. Better dancing will prevail over poorly presented glitz.

...of course, if the dancing is equal, glitz can tip the scales... :cool:
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#53
Mengu said:
I do not have unlimited funds, I do not have to starve myself to dance, I am not a top dancer in any category, and yet I am happy. What am I doing right?​
Relatively low expectations?

How about realizing that dance is rewarding in and of itself, and you don't need the approval of anyone but your partner(s)?
(and maybe you don't even need a partner)​
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#54
lots of things can tip the scales...fairly or unfairly...there is is much to be learned at comps about dancing, about competing, about life, and about oneself
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#55
Mengu said:
I do not have unlimited funds, I do not have to starve myself to dance, I am not a top dancer in any category, and yet I am happy. What am I doing right?​

How about realizing that dance is rewarding in and of itself, and you don't need the approval of anyone but your partner(s)?​
(and maybe you don't even need a partner)​
this is a fair point, even a good point, but also one which then begs a question about why one would choose a competitive venue for it, particularly as regards pro/am
 

waltzguy

Active Member
#56
From what I see, pro-am is mostly for the wealthy. It is also for those that prefer (or can reasonably find) a pro partner versus amateur. This entire sport is for the wealthy for the most part, or for those who are willing to make sacrifices as described in the previous postings about eating from gas stations.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#57
I would always be thinking of all the things I could have done for the people that I love in my life. That would be a much better use of my funds to me.
If I was a zillionaire though, I could see me dedicating a significant amount of resources to promoting ballroom in my neck of the woods through various charitable events, etc., maybe organize a small comp
I "Like" this enough to "repost it." Awesome.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#58
re:waltzguy

meh, I don't want this to turn into the pro am am/am thing...while I do see that pro am is not an ideal path for those with limited means, I think it is not necessarily true that those who have chosen it would not be happy to have an am partner, but that is ANOTHER thread...not this one....In general, I think that there is a good deal of diversity in the thinking, motivation, performance, dedication, etc of pro am dancers, just as there is in am/am dancers, social dancers, etc...
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#59
begs a question about why one would choose a competitive venue for it, particularly as regards pro/am
'cause not everyone would be satisfied dancing in a wanna be honky tonk in suburban Portland, or [fill in the blank]?

Seriously, it's maybe just my lack of knowledge, but it seems that there really aren't that many places to really dress to the nines and dance as defined in these competitions.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#60
personally, I like those honky tonk places.... :)

my only real point is that the thread is about the cost of pro am...so, if one is dancing pro/am and one is miserable about the cost, and one has no goal regarding placement, only about improving, there are jillions of ways to do that which are cheaper than competing...then again, for me, it isn't about the dress...
 

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