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Re: Arthur Murray Showcase
Posted by pgruener
8/3/2010  7:39:00 PM

I agree, see you at the next showcase.
Re: Arthur Murray Showcase
Posted by silver
8/4/2010  6:40:00 AM
Oh, the showcase mill isn't just a problem at AM studios! It's found in many studios, and it can be a disasterous affair for dancing in general. I have seen numerous people with some level of raw talent eventually leave ballroom because an instructor saw them as a temporary fix to their bank account instead of a long term, mutually rewarding relationship. At our studio, it is usually a woman who comes to learn to dance because she wants to LEARN to dance. She has natural talent, and the men enjoy the infusion of fresh talent and enthusiasm. Then comes the instructor who praises her for her talent, and he talks her into s showcase. And yes, she spends a lot of money, but before long, she can only do her choreography. It won't then be much longer before she realizes she can't follow simple figures, and she finds dancing difficult. She realizes she hasn't LEARNED anything. This leads to disappointment and a loss of her initial joy she felt learning to dance. Most eventually leave the studio not to return. It happens to men, too. And all due to greedy, unethical, self-centered, teachers who have a Problem with Immediate Gratification. The PIGs ruin more aspiring learner's dreams than I can stomach. Yah, it makes me angry. Yes, I do showcases with my teacher, but I'm the customer, and I approach her. We work together on the project. I don't allow her to sell me anything I can't afford or I don't want. For this year's Christmas show, we're doing a slow waltz to Away in a Manger as sung by Faith Hill. I already have her working with me on it, by my choice, and we will have something nice to present. I expect the inclusion of most of the figures from 2 silver syllabi, so I can showcase what I have LEARNED, and she fills in the gaps with advanced, open choreography to challenge me in areas where I need improvement. This is my conception of how it should be.
Re: Arthur Murray Showcase
Posted by pakarinen
9/4/2010  7:46:00 AM
I think you are spot on there, Silver.

I've danced showcases at several different (indy) studios and I enjoyed all but the first immensely as well as the prep work. However, they were / are expensive.

My partner got slammed once though - her instructor kept changing the choreography and then the studio rescheduled the showcase to a day when she had to be out of town. And she had spent a fair amount of money on a dress just for that showcase. She now refuses to dance any showcases there.
Re: Arthur Murray Showcase
Posted by jofjonesboro
9/5/2010  3:09:00 AM
Silver, that is an excellent summation of some of the serious weaknesses in pro/am development as well as some good recommendations for maintaining the proper relationship with one's pro.

Your best point is that the student is paying for all of this stuff. Everything - including what the instructor wears for the showcase ( ) - should be the student's choice.

Pro/am is perfectly suitable for those folks who have money to burn and who just are not sufficiently mature in their dancing to make a partnership work.

Very good post. Good luck.

Re: Arthur Murray Showcase
Posted by terence2
9/5/2010  9:41:00 AM
JJ.. do you REALLY believe that ALL Pro/Am is about the lack of maturity ?

There are countless ladies who dance in that division ( and some guys ) who are quite content to dance with a Pro. for many reasons other than their L.O.M. .. Prime reason ? lack of male partners.. would you have them sit on the sidelines in the eternal "waiting room" ?..

If there were NO Pro /Am comps.. the majority of comps would cease to exist.. they fund the way for the aspiring Pros and Amat.

The solid fact is.. that a Major world body, has been encouraging the pro/Am status, and the last event they sponsored in Argentina , was attended by over 40 countries.. Dancing, believe it or not it IS a business ..

Lastly.. the " value " in Pro/Am is reflected in the Prize money for Pro comps ( many rely upon this for income ).. it also may affect the quality of Judging ..( promoters could not afford the current diversity )
Re: Arthur Murray Showcase
Posted by Some Help
9/5/2010  6:01:00 PM
yes, Terrence 2 - I think that is EXACTLY what jj believes. He must have been VERY badly burned in the past.
Re: expectations that I have of coaches, pro teachers and amateur partners, and knowing that some amateur partners have written contracts detailing the specifics of their dance partnership, if I were jj's partner I would certainly expect him to sign a contract about every detail of a partnership with him.
Amateur contracts.
Posted by jofjonesboro
9/6/2010  8:49:00 AM
The only purpose that a contract between amateurs would serve is to detail the proper sharing of the financial obligations. Because I have always paid the bulk of expenses for the partnerships that I've had, prospective partners have no reason to seek such a contract and I'd laugh in their faces if they did.

I haven't been "burned" (whatever that means) nearly so badly as a lot of other students. I just believe that you're not very smart if you can't learn from the mistakes of those around you.

Re: Amateur contracts.
Posted by Some Help
9/7/2010  8:04:00 AM
Hmm - this post says a lot about you! Methinks that you like to use money as power. You quite possibly are one of those men who is threatened by women who are independent and have no need of your money. Your - erm, "charms" - don't appeal to those independent women, and if they don't want to dance with you they have other choices. So, you come across as very bitter towards those women who choose options other than "your" way.

That leaves you, jj, with having to, essentially, "buy" a partner by paying for lessons, and if she can't afford anything else and is desperate to dance, she will take what she can get. And, if she voices an independent opinion from yours, she will likely be "laughed at in her face" by you. How appealing. Ladies, what say you?

Back to contracts - I know of several amateur partnerships that work on contracts. The contracts spell out more than just money. They detail how many hours per week they will practice; how many lessons per month and what instructors they will use; how many outside coaching lessons they will get; how many competitions per year, etc. etc. Some of partnerships that use contracts are very high level couples, others are in the youth and young adult categories.

Posted by jofjonesboro
9/5/2010  9:22:00 PM
JJ.. do you REALLY believe that ALL Pro/Am is about the lack of maturity ?


. . . would you have them sit on the sidelines in the eternal "waiting room"

In truth, they're always "sitting on the sidelines" (Are we talking about dancing or football?) when their pro is dancing with someone else.

These folks are content (interesting choice of words, suggesting that they'd be happier with something more genuine) simply because they don't know any better.

. . . that a Major world body, has been encouraging the pro/Am status . . . .

Strange that you're not willing to name that "major world body."

Yes, I am well aware that many dance organizations are pushing pro/am for one simple reason: money.

And the fact that dancing is a business does not excuse the ruthless exploitation of the amateur dancing public for every penny that can be wrung out of them.

. . . the " value " in Pro/Am is reflected in the Prize money for Pro comps . . . .

No, the Prize money for pro comps reflects the gullibility of amateurs who are misled, lied to, and conned into spending far more money than they should be just to learn how to dance. Sadly, as Silver's post explains, these people don't really learn how to dance.

From where do you think that prize money comes? What is the source of ALL of the money that maintains the dance profession? The answer is simple: amateur dancers.

Your response is more than a little disingenuous, terence. Yes, pro/am is being pushed as it is promoted at the expense of amateur dancing. USA Dance allows pros to complete against amateurs. The NDCA seems determined to eliminate amateur competition by forcing everyone into pro/am.

It's all for money.

Dance teachers used to succeed by spending the time and energy to build a solid base of students and maintaining their schools through the quality of their teaching and student loyalty. I know several dance teachers who do no pro/am and still make good livings.

You need to practice full disclosure, terence, and note in your responses that you earn your living by teaching dancing. You are not an impartial observer on this issue.

Remember, no one ever pointed a gun at your head and forced you to teach dancing.

Finally, if the majoirty of dance competitions would cease to exist without pro/am then they shouldn't exist in the first place. Just go on to NDCA's website and look at the competition calendar. No one - except the genuine amateur - is suffering from a lack of competition events.


Re: Yes.
Posted by terence2
9/5/2010  10:34:00 PM
The "body " in question is the WDC..

And,yes, I speak from the other side of the fence.. but.. I WAS a student for multi yrs ( not under the Amer.system ) and do appreciate the financial aspect of being an Amat.( and partnerless )

And why am I dis ingenuous ?.. I gave a factual and honest appraisal of the current status.. you are the one who sems to have an "axe " to grind it would seem from your bitter response ..

and by the same token.. NO one puts a gun to the head of those that wish to participate in Pro/Am.. its a free market place and choice should always be an option ..

And I vehemently disagree with your appraisal about Amat comps ,sustaining Comps in general on a local and national basis .

And, i have personally run Comps over many yrs, in different cities, from NY to Fla.( I started the first major one in Atlanta back in 1978 ) and they would NOT have survived for those many yrs without Pro/Am participation..

They( comps ) are also a " gateway " of experience for the young Prof to get comp. experience.

In matter of fact, 2 pros that became U.S. champs, that I started on their careers, came by me thru one of my Pro/Am comps..

I also would like to point out, that I,m not defending price gouging by studios ,and or some Profs ( independant ones do that as well ) ..

Bottom line is.. how people spend THEIR money , is their choice,,and as you said,, no one put a gun to their head...

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