My wife and I have been dancing for 3 years under the same teacher. We entered our first comp locally last year and paid our teacher's expenses to attend. This year we are considering an out of town comp and the subject of including our teacher has naturally come up. Since it's out of town, the expenses are considerably more. On one hand, I view our dancing as a team effort with our teacher's extensive involvement in lessons, costume & routines advice. Of course were capable of doing the comp by ourselves, we're just not sure if this is a standard practice in the industry. Our teacher states it is but has only had one other couple before us pursue competitions.
I was hoping others might share their thoughts or experience in this?
"Of course were capable of doing the comp by ourselves, were not sure if this is a standard practice in the industry. Our teacher states it is but has only had one other couple before us pursue competitions."
It may be standard practice in your teacher's experience or studio, but most amateur couples do not pay for their coach to travel to out of town competitions with them.
It's not uncommon that a professionally active coach would happen to be at a major competition anyway, either to compete, judge, dance with a pro/am student or just remain involved in their community. And in a few cases, someone who has a role as an institutional coach for an organized "team" of dancers (particularly children) might have their travel funded.
But no, it's not the usual case. It sounds more like someone who primarily does pro/am, and as you said has only had one other competitive amateur couple before you. As each opportunity for dancing has some unique characteristics, that may have other implications for the effectiveness of the coach for your purposes as well, unless they are a professional who has experience competing in amateur divisions in their own background.
If you spring for the expense of a video, or it's a competition which permits private cameras, bringing back a video to show to your coach during the next lesson can be useful in helping them determine areas which need more attention to maximize your real-world performance. It can also be worth spending paid lesson time to have the coach watch you do an all-out runthrough of your dances, if you can do so at a time when the floor is either empty or shared with others also desiring a runthrough.
I completely understand how you feel. I have been competing Pro/Am and AM/AM for over 5 years now. When I did Pro/Am naturally I paid all of my teacher's expenses. Later I began to compete with my amateur partner and at a very high level immediately. We were fortunate enough to have a coach who also competes at Open Pro level so he was already at this comp, however, we paid any extra expenses (such as tickets to watch us etc).
I later competed and USA Dance comps (which are ONLY amateur) and therefore our coach was not scheduled to be there. We have done two things: 1. Had him prepare us completely and not had him be there, and 2. (at nationals) pay his expenses because we really wanted and needed him there.
It comes down to what you both NEED. If you need your coach there, then pay for him to be there. I f you don't necessarily feel the need for them to carry you through or prep you (which honestly is ok) then don't.
I will say this. If it is ONLY your second competition you might not be ready to e out on your own. It might be best to pay for this one - and make it clear that you are taking your instructor this time so he can guide you through and prepare you the night and hours before the comp as well. He is providing you a service and you will feel confident, relaxed, and ready to go!
Not unusual for you to have coach at first comp. However, pay for a DVD of your best rounds (e.g., pre-bronze, int-bronze, full bronze with full bronze probably your best as you've warmed up with the previous rounds). Show the DVD to your teacher/coach. It is a great tool for learning, adjusting, and teaching. Once, we got underway with our first comp, we did not pay for our teacher/coach to attend with us - anymore. We love traveling but as you've already noted - it can get expensive and since you've gotten your first comp out of the way - the other things will work themselves out. Enjoy!