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Re: Men as followers
3/14/2011  1:37:00 PM
Funny, I was just having a conversation this morning with my partner about the wildly unfair attitude towards pro-am students.

Quickly, dancesportdave, Im not sure if there is a rule regarding men competing as followers. I would suggest contacting the organizers of the competition and asking them directly.

The question was asked, If the men could lead properly, why would they want/need to pay a pro partner to dance with them? Well, for starters, the rate of learning can be much faster in a pro-am situation than in an amateur partnership. In the former, the entire lesson is spent on the leader and he gets to try out his understanding and ability to execute his actions on a presumably more responsive follow. He then gets immediate feedback about what he could be better to move more efficiently with the lady, as the lady, in this case, would have a much clearer understanding of where she should be and how she should arrive there. In an amateur situation, especially at the beginning stages, its a case of the blind leading the blind. Yes, they take lessons together, but when left to their own devices, they will probably struggle to apply what they learned.

There are dozens of other advantages to dancing pro-am which I started to write about but decided to delete as this post is already getting very long

Are there many valuable lessons that can be learned in an amateur partnership? Absolutely, but that should not cause one to dismiss the advantages of learning in a pro-am situation. As with all things, there are pros and cons.

There are MANY pro-am students that take their dancing very seriously and work just as hard as everyone else to improve. Most cant actually afford to have all of their practice time be accompanied by their teacher, so they have to practice on their own quite a bit. Its not fair to lump them in with the other pro-ams that dont really take the dancing very seriously.

In regards to those pro-ams that are just competing to get to dress up and have a good time Need I remind anyone that it is those pro-ams that fuel the entire ballroom industry? Without those pro-ams who are happy to spend huge amounts of money to get to dance around with a professional for the sake of having a nice time, we would not have any of the competitions that all of the professional and amateurs attend. They are also the ones that pay the salaries of many professionals and get them to all of their competitions. Eliminate that entire body of people that we love to demean, and suddenly we have far fewer competitions and the professionals would have far less money to spend on receiving training and traveling from one competition to another. Competitions would become a rather sad affair and spectators would end up watching much smaller events with whatever professionals happen to be local. The entire industry as we know it would wildly altered. Everyone that participates in dancesport in the US is to some degree begin carried by pro-ams, so please, regardless of how one feels about their dancing as a group, lets be a little less insulting, shall we?
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