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Oh, my!
Posted by jofjonesboro
3/15/2011  10:24:00 AM
Get some rest before you respond in anger, Jonathan.

First, do you really expect me to believe that no student of yours has ever struggled when trying to dance with someone else?

To understand the problem with your argument, realize that one could make the *exact* same argument about am-am couples.

Your friend already made such a statement. I was responding to it.

Your automotive analogy is misapplied. The differences between learning as a pro-am student as a member of an amateur couple actually resembles the differences between driving an automatic (the pro-am student) and driving a straight-shift.

argument goes: By dancing exclusively with only one other person, you make it impossible to dance with anyone else.

You have possibly misunderstood and certainly misrepresented my argument. Students learning with other amateurs learn their mechanics better because they must do so. Teachers function most effectively when they can observe their students without having also to serve as partners.

There is only one advantage to pro-am over am-am competing. With pro-am, newbies can get "into the dress" much faster. They do so because they're competing based on the amount of money that they have to spend and not on their progress as developing dancers.

Yes, Jonathan, I'm well aware that the mechanics of dancing - in theory, at least - are the same for all dancers as individuals.

There may be some point to your "discussion" of the comparative demographics of pro-am versus other dancing paths but I can't tell what it is. Sadly, your entire point is based on the false assumption that all students who choose to do pro-am do so freely with a full understanding of the ballroom world.

When we meet folks who tell us, for example, that they've only been dancing - dancing, not competing - for a year and have already been to competitions, it's obvious that newcomers are being pushed into pro-am.

You just finished telling a former pro-am U.S. champion that she doesn't take her dancing seriously.

And your point would be . . . ?

Even if what you *meant* to say was, "Not in my experience", that would still only apply to the infinitesimal fraction of the entire body of people you have observed closely enough to actually be able to accurately gauge their true level of commitment.

Do you understand why this sentence makes absolutely no sense?

But as it happens, I do run the websites of 7 competitions, . . .

Care to name them?

The industry being fueled is the Pro-am Dance Industry, not the ballroom-dance industry in general.

What do you suppose would happen to the U.S. dance competition industry if 93% of all entries suddenly disappeared?

Obviously, a considerable number of pros, studios, and competition organizers would have to find another way to earn a living, bringing us to the crux of this disagreement.

No discussion of pro-am can be honest without including the real issue at hand: money. Those in the pro-am industry pursue that career path simply because it is far more lucrative than just teaching and coaching amateur couples or competing as members of professional couples.

Also, you seem to be trying to make the point that none of these people would dance (not compete, dance) at all if there were no pro-am. Because I regularly meet and dance with former pro-am competitors, I feel pretty safe in saying that a significant number - if not most - of them would.

It is clear from your last message that you have quite a lack of respect for the U.S. pro-am industry, but that doesn't mean it is not deserving of respect from the rest of us. It has produced some excellent dancers and teachers through the years, one of whom is me. And without it, you'd likely be dancing your next competition in a high school gym.

You know, I dont really care where Im dancing as long as there's decent music, a workable floor, and friends with whom to dance. This point is a blatant appeal to snobbery.

What I do not respect are the tactics used to keep the flow of new students moving into pro-am. You yourself stated that some children are pushed into pro-am ("9 to 99"), an absolutely disgusting situation.

But you know what would really happen if the ballroom-dance competition industry in the US collapsed? 99.99% of the people in the US wouldn't notice at all.


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