I would like to start Ballroom, and I would like to compete ultimately. I am interested in waltz and fox trot mainly, but my question is do I have to learn the international style in order to compete? the places where I am thinking about taking lessons don't have a lot of international style classes, mainly american style, is it still ok to good even if i wanna compete?
There are competitions in American style. Generally though someone who really knows what they are doing will be able to teach both - there are many pros who choose to compete in american style themselves, but pretty much all of the good ones have international style students, often even students they do pro/am competitions with in international style. Latin and rhythm have some real technical differences, but smooth and standard are just two applications of the same set of base skills.
thanks for the help, I am in New York, New York, it is such a big city, and I was able to find only a handful of places that look good, i look ed on this website and on the yellow pages, but there seems to be always something wrong about one place. one is too big (intimidating) one is too small ( not too much choice for classes) one too expensive (most of them expensive) its a jungle here. other question: are most competitions held on saturday? if i cant do anything on saturday, is it a serious handicap?
You are in NYC? You are so lucky -- that's a hotbed of high-level dancing in the US. Try Ballroom on Fifth, or Dance Times Square, those two have some great teachers at them. There's others too, but I live in California so I don't know all the names of the best places. Maybe someone else here can help.
Competitions run between one and five days. Smaller amateur-only competitions run for as little as one day, usually on Saturdays, but larger competitions, inlcuding Pro/Am competitions (where a student dances with his or her teacher) run for several days and the American Smooth events are not always scheduled for Saturday. You can view a sampling of competitions and their schedules by going to www.accessdance.com or www.ndca.org
I want to agree with what anonymous said. You really have to decide why you want to dance. Only then you could decide as to whether American or International style would make sense.
I have also found that independent instructors are the better way to go, at least it is for me. I have tried franchises, independent studios and finally settled with independent instructor for several reasons.