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"Ballrom" is stupid
Posted by timjowers
9/11/2003  3:03:00 PM
I agree. I tried to get the dance program at the U. here to change to "DanceSport" but the school of dance didn't want that. When they have the club they have very few but if they have a "Swing night" the place is packed with 100's. Go figure. I'm embarrased to say I am involved in "Ballroom" dance because that reminds me of some surreal scene in a movie where someone remmebers back to the first half of the 1900's. Heck, there are not even any "ballrooms" in my city, other than those at hotels that are typically never even used for dancing! There are some dance venues.

The USABDA now charges about $60/yr for competitors and this is on par with NDCA. This is way too much.

More importantly, USABDA/ballroom dancing should include Salsa. It is the leading dance form in most cities. Swing is probably next.

Maybe USABDA should have an open, local "Dance Fever" type competition?

I agree with you. It is hard to dance when there are really no competitors in your area. Someone does need to generate interest but telling kids to join "USABDA" or somewhere else that they slave away learning some basic steps will not work. Take a look at other sports. You can get on a team even if you suck. Dancing should be the same way. The more you do it the better you will become.

My $.20,TimJowers
re: Promoting Ballroom Dancing - any ideas?
Posted by ChampDancesportKC
9/11/2003  8:07:00 PM
Here in Kansas City our USABDA chapter which had been active for years, recently seperated from USABDA all together. They complained that they got nothing at all in return for their annual dues. Now they are the Kansas City Social Dance Club.

Do any of you belong to a USABDA group that actually makes a difference in dancing in your area?
re: Promoting Ballroom Dancing - any ideas?
Posted by ChampionDancesportKC
9/5/2003  12:10:00 AM

Dancesport is slowly, but surely, growing in the US as a youth activity. Commercial ballroom franchises in the US are the reason why we have no youth dancers. How could they ever afford the prices???

With the ever growing International style trend in the US I think you will steadily see an increase in young dancers. Exposure is important of course, but it is just as important that the exposure be positive. Plenty of young dancers are turned off by out-of-date teachers playing out-of-date music and teaching completely out dated patterns and techniques. It takes experienced qualified instructors to teach any large group class...a bad teacher will only cause people to turn away from dancing for good.

We are working diligently to expand collegiate dancing. Eventually this will be profitable, but the start up years for a team are difficult, so most good instructors don't bother. We teach children ages 3+ as well, but they are not our focus right now.

What the US desperately needs is better training opportunities and help for new independent instructors. Until we are able to train enough reputable instructors to service the entire US, then dancesport will be hard pressed to grow successfully here. Meanwhile, we all have to work to grow the dance community in general. After all when there is a market, someone will invariable find a way to fill it

re: Promoting Ballroom Dancing - any ideas?
Posted by Dancingatlast
9/8/2003  9:47:00 AM
One other thought I'd like to add as to how to promote ballroom dancing and get more young people involved. Many people in our area of the US (younger and older alike) are under the impression that you have to have a partner in order to enjoy ballroom dancing. If you dance in a forum where you do, indeed, need a partner in order to attend a dance, then you will probably limit the scope of people you will attract. My husband and I dance and take lessons where the instructors DO NOT insist that you come with a partner, and they encourage people of all ages, couples and singles alike, to attend. So perhaps you could emphasize (if it's possible) that you do not need a partner to come dancing. Obviously you will need a partner IN ORDER to dance, but you can meet one once you get to the dance.

Another way you can get exposure is to approach the people who organize dances where you dance now and ask them if they would be open to putting on an exhibition of some sort. If you live where there is a municipal hall with a good floor, or a school or college that will allow you to use the gym, then you could circulate fliers and post ads in the local paper of this exhibition and invite anyone and everyone who is interested to come and find out how much fun ballroom dancing is. There must be people where you are dancing now who absolutely love to dance and would be happy to have another opportunity to dance (at the exhibition), especially if it will help promote ballroom dancing. Don't limit yourself to just where you are currently dancing; you could make it a crusade of sorts by approaching other dance instructors in your area and having their dancers also participate. Be sure to invite a reporter from your local newspaper to come and cover the function. You may not attract as large a crowd as you'd like this first time out, but if your local paper writes a story about what you're doing, you'll get that much more exposure for another possible exhibition. Be sure, also, that if you have more than one dance "club" participating in this exhibition, all the teachers should be encouraged to bring fliers or posters advertising their own dance forums. Then interested people watching the exhibition can contact the instructors they enjoyed the most --- or their dancers. Like if someone particularly enjoyed watching you dance, seeing your enthusiasm, etc., they can approach you, see where you go dancing, who you take lessons from, etc. ....Just a couple of thoughts (I know, I said it would be only one --- oh well...)
re: Promoting Ballroom Dancing - any ideas?
Posted by Jeff
9/6/2003  9:15:00 AM
Addict, I am in the same situation. Wish there were more young women, and younger people in general, in ballroom. I'm 29, and the average age does seem to be closer to 50ish, in the Pensacola, FL area. I think there are a number of obstacles: Sky high studio prices, too little exposure/information, not enough actual dance venues, the perception of ballroom as an old people's pastime, the fact that much contemporary music is not danceable, etc...

I would also love to hear form someone with short-term ideas for getting a younger crowd of people in my area involved in ballroom. What works?
Re: re: Promoting Ballroom Dancing - any ideas?
Posted by John Gulack
8/12/2010  2:30:00 PM

Do you remember the name of the drummer for the Diaboliques?

I was a teen in the mid 60's and loved coming to the civic. I was in a band that played there for a while called "Small World"

John Gulack
San Dimas, CA
Drummer for Diaboliques
Posted by Steve Sadd
10/4/2011  8:47:00 PM
I remember a drummer George Jehl (Not sure of last name) was with them when I played with that band on occasions in 1965 or so. He played with lots of energy.
Re: Drummer for Diaboliques
Posted by Steve Sadd
10/4/2011  8:54:00 PM
IF I remember correctly (it's been a long time)their regular Tenor Sax player who I subbed for was named Clifford Sweet, and their guitar player was Mike Halaby (not sure of spelling) I don't recall other members by name at this time. This was a fantastic R&B band, one of the best of the era. Steve Sadd - stevesaddmusic@aol.com
Re: re: Promoting Ballroom Dancing - any ideas?
Posted by Teresa
8/15/2010  11:38:00 AM
Where does a couple go in Indianapolis, Indiana, to dance, say, the swing....a couple in their 50's? We don't want a club for young people. Any suggestions?
Re: Promoting Ballroom Dancing - any ideas?
Posted by SteveUrbana
10/12/2011  7:46:00 AM
"Club dancing" mainly Salsa, WC Swing, Hustle, etc. seems to be inhabited by a much younger crowd where singles are quite prevalent, and hence a lot of switching partners.

Also, if you get serious about competing in ballroom (which I highly recommend, since it's hard to learn to dance well in social dance instructional venues), you'll need a fixed partner and once you get one you'll be dancing mostly with them.

You might also check any local colleges/universities for their dance clubs, which are often open to outsiders. Don't worry about them being too small -- I've seen tiny colleges with great ballroom programs!

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