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.
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.
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...
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 ..
Not literally, perhaps, but I know of numerous cases in which beginnning couples have been convinced that splitting up and doing pro/am is the best way to develop, advice that is categorically untrue but which works to the financial benefit of the studio.
Choice depends on having information and, in the case of beginning amateurs, that information is all in the hands of the pros. The students are trusting the professionals to act in the students' best interest. Many pros do but sadly many do not.
And I vehemently disagree with your appraisal about Amat comps ,sustaining Comps in general on a local and national basis
Strange; the Southeast Regional Championship in Atlanta was one of the biggest and most successful competitions in the US until USA Dance shut it down for reasons that have never been adequately explained.
Perhaps you meant to say that amateur comps alone won't sustain the ambitions of all of the pros looking for students.
They( comps ) are also a " gateway " of experience for the young Prof to get comp. experience.
Yes, terence, we all understand that pro/am competing is very beneficial to the pro. However, that benefit comes at the expense of the students.
Why can't young pros just compete against other young pros?
They do.. but..even in the UK one could not put 2 rounds together .. and you keep ignoring the cost factor of Judges ( not to even mention all the other costs ).
The States is even worse ( travel costs are prohibitive on a regular basis )..
The Amat. deal was about politics ( as usual ) even so.. if you ran only Amat. ther entry fees would not cover one days expenses ( As I said, have rant too many, and know the cost of putting these things together ).. Also,, the most succ. comp for Amat. has always been the U.S .championships.. the one that matters most in world rankings...
And Im curious, what benefit would it be to you if there were only Amat. comps ?...
The " market place " of dance, is driven by demand.. if it was a fruitless exercise, then it would have disappeared yrs ago..
. . . if you ran only Amat. ther entry fees would not cover one days expenses . . .
I see that you ignored my point that ALL financing for ballroom dancing events ultimately comes from amateur students paying for lessons, classes, and events. Where do you think the pros get their money?
The reality is that pro/am competitions are financed by amateurs as much a amateur competitions are.
. . . what benefit would it be to you if there were only Amat. comps ?...
First, I've never proposed that professional and pro/am comps be eliminated. I just want amateur dancers to be better informed.
Second, I suppose that having no pro/am competitions would increase the number of available amateur partners but I can only dance with one at a time.
Also, most people who do only pro/am would not stay with competing for long if they were forced to face the fact that they can't really dance.
I would love to participate in a pro-am or amateur comp if we had more people in our area interested in that aspect of ballroom. (And if teachers didn't expect a free vacation out the deal.) I don't mind paying for what I want, but there has to be a limit in what the teacher expects as compensation. On another note: My showcase is coming along nicely. But I have had to be assertive. I was once a part of a group showcase that was was choreographed by an excellent coach. (He has 5 US titles in his past.) Our teacher for the showcase then set out to change things around over time. She dumbed it down for 3 of the 8 people in the group. And guess what? The 5 of us won't participate in her schemes any more. The challenging, syllibus based choreography the coach gave us was perfectly designed to teach new skills, but was a bit much for the few, so the majority suffered. The teacher didn't want anybody's feelings hurt 'cause that might reflect adversely upon her. I get so sick of some of the ego-centric crap that permeates the dance teaching industry sometimes! OK, I'll get off my box and go to bed.
Hi, Being an Arthur Murray student myself, and having been going to their showcases, I think you should attend. When I went to the showcase, I didn't bother with purchasing extra classes, but the fact that your instructor focuses on the dance or dances that you are going to perform really improves your dancing. Also, I don't think that it's all about sales, because I know that renting the ballroom that they have their showcase in for 1 day costs them a lot of money (around 35K). Overall, I think it's a really good experience.
Actually, the AM events have categories for everyone, including newcomers. The best way to improve your dancing is through events like these. No one can say for sure what the motivation behind your instructor is, but if you trust him (which is a question you should have asked before committing to his instruction), then you should go.
I am currently taking lessons at an AM studio and have a problem with the constant up selling. Whenever a showcase event comes along not only do they want me to participate but do all the dances sometimes twice, once at one level then at another, at $20 per dance this would run $400, just for the dances alone, add in the $185 for the dinner/dance ticket and it going to be over $600. Where does all this money go? It doesn't seem worth it. Is having my dancing assessed by yet another person really worth that extra cost? Shouldn't the studio already be doing that? Whenever these events come along it makes me wonder whether it is what is best for my dancing or the studio is just trying to make money. It also makes me question whether my instructor has my best interests or the studio's at heart which leaves a bad taste for the dance experience at AM?
If you are really that skeptical and conspiracy theory minded then get out of the studiio. There are several of these that come up year after year each year and if this raises such suspicions in your mind then it is going to continue to get worse the longer you stay there, which will poison your veiw of your instructors, will ruin your experience of being there, and will take the joy out of your instructor trying to teach you. Now if this is just your initial reaction to not having the money to do it, thats fine but instead of getting an attitude about it just let them know you can't do it. Or if you just don't like the idea of competeing then let them know you just would rather not participate. But if you do have the money and don't mind competeing then it would be a good idea to get involved. Its a chance to go out and do something different and have some fun doing it (and unfortunately its going to cost a few bucks to do it).