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re: Are Competition & Social Dance the Only Choices?
Posted by JHamilton
8/9/1999  6:15:00 AM
Hi, Karen:

I'm not sure I have any definitive answers but wanted to reply because your feelings echo some of mine. I have been dancing for about 2 1/2 years and despite being quite serious about it, have hesitated to jump into the world of competition because of the expense. (I've overcome this hesitation to the extent that I am finally entering my first competition next month). I agree that it seems our choices are either competition or social dancing, although my local ballroom club does have showcase or exhibition nights 2 or 3 times a year for folks who want to "perform" for their peers. I think this is a wonderful avenue for people who take lessons and are serious about progressing in their dancing but don't want to participate in competitions.

My main problem is slightly different than what you are descibing--I very much want an amateur partner to work with, and maybe compete with, but it seems difficult to find someone in my community with the same dance goals, in terms of amount of practice time, how often & who to get coaching or lessons from, whether to concentrate primarily on one style or diversify, etc. To increase my opportunities to find a regular partner, I actively participate in ballroom, country western and swing clubs in my community, but am not sure this is a good idea because I seem to be spreading myself too thin and am probably not making the progress I would make if I stuck to one category. Obviously it's not working because I have lots of dance friends but haven't yet met a suitable practice or competition partner.

Since you are obviously interested in progressing in your dancing, maybe you could decide to compete occasionally (once a year?)in order to get inspiration & give yourself a goal to work toward but continue your social dancing with a partner who is diligent as you and has similar goals in his dancing. And if this gentleman has a brother who dances, please pass along his name & address!

I, too, would be interested in hearing what others have to say about these issues.

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