Are Competition & Social Dance the Only Choices? Posted by Karen 8/9/1999 6:14:00 AM
Glad to see you have put up a discussion board. I will dive in and contribute.
I have been dancing for several years and have been teaching for about a year. As I have been checking out the various opportunities available to ballroom and specialty dancers, I have come to the following conclusions:
Dancers tend to divide themselves into two groups. Those who primarily compete and those who primarily social dance.
From what I can see, the competition dancers tend to work with primarily one partner and spend their time in practice rooms and at conventions and the competition, as well as in private lessons.
The social dancers tend to pick favorite dances and locations and nights to dance on, and go on a regular basis. They do not tend to dance with one person more than 2 dances a night and the general rule is that everyone dances with everyone.
I personally do not like the judging part of competitions. I love the idea of people coming together and performing for each other, of acquiring higher and higher skill levels, and of learning from each other. I just don't want to participate in the competition for a prize part. I am pretty much against the idea of putting one person up against another in something which I consider to be an art and form of personal expression. This puts me at a disadvantage because I really do prefer dancing with one or two people primarily. And it seems to me that besides social dancing, there are not alot of opportunities in the ballroom dance world that support dancers and give them performance opportunities unless they compete.
Now with social dancing, it is a lot of fun. But, I have also progressed to a skill level beyond most of those who attend, except of course the more experienced teachers. And I like dancing with people of all levels sometimes, but not all the time. I find that it is easier for me to progress when I work primarily with one or two partners.
I am interested to know of other people's experience with the various dance worlds and what you like and don't like about the opportunities available. I am also interested to know how choose to meet your own needs in dancing.