Ballroom Dance > Competitive Dancing: Has "Presentation" been sacrificed for power and speed?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Dr Dance, May 4, 2017.

  1. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    There are by far more competitive events than artistical or social. What is the reason? The last (non-competitive) ballroom festival in my hometown said good bye in 2011. Interest in proms, balls, workshops, matinees, master classes, performances and so on simply had declined. Who is to blame, social dancers, cometitive dancers, teachers, organizers, coaches? Ballroom once had 2-3 pillars, why did the artistical and social did wither away? Seems Vienna is a last rampart of the lost pillars.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  2. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    A significant part is economics. Ballroom events simply cost too much, primarily for the venue (hotel) and staff. Competitive dancers are the last bastion who still deem the cost verses reward worthwhile, but even that is whittling away (just look at the MAC). Decades ago, many events had to be sponsored by some wealthy benefactors, who donated tens of thousands to make up for the shortages, but it's not clear that's happening much any more (partially because organizers are probably more greedy nowadays).

    Since the spiraling down of the economy is unlikely to change any time soon, don't expect dance events to trend oppositely on the average.
  3. Mengu

    Mengu Well-Known Member

    What is this observation based on? Locally, almost every studio (12'ish I know of) has one or two showcase events a year, which I would consider both artistic and social events with participating amateurs and professionals. There is typically no competition at these events. And if there is any judging it is merely in the form of constructive feedback to help amateur dancers improve. And there are always breaks for social dancing. Every studio has at least one weekly social dance night, some have up to three. There are monthly social black tie events organized by at least two different clubs. There are a number of swing clubs with regular weekly and monthly events, but I'm not too familiar with the WCS/salsa/AT scenes. There are cotillions (as I know instructors teaching groups of teenagers for cotillions), though I'm not sure how many. And when I look at how many local competitions we have, there are about 6 local ballroom comps a year (that I know of), which is a minuscule number compared to the hundreds of non-competitive events.
    Requiem, raindance, opendoor and 2 others like this.
  4. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Kind of strange, though, considering that of the three, competitive dancing is by far the most expensive. Is it just that people are not aware that the other two kinds exist? Or are they not regarded as enough of a challenge?
  5. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    For many people, it's the sticker shock of private lesson cost, before you even get to what it would cost to compete. Especially once you get past the introductory offer.

    Yes, there are ways to do it for less (group classes, etc) as has been brought up numerous times on this board, but I've always been at the type of studio where you pretty much have to be taking private lessons to be a student - they don't generally permit a la carte groups or parties. So I've had a lot of these "omg it's so expensive" discussions from people, many of whom don't last because it's just not in the budget.
  6. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    If we're still on the topic of competitive dancing, group classes alone will not make you a competitive dancer. Actually, that won't make you a good social dancer either.

    In my experience, the technique needed to dance properly is not presented in a group class. There's an inherent difficulty in teaching technique to large groups, but I think the actual reasons are:
    (1) Most people off the street think dance skill is defined by how many patterns you can stumble through, quantity Vs quality
    (2) Have to leave material for the private lessons.
    I was dancing with this lady, at the end she complained that in trying to maintain her frame, her arms hurt. I told her to use her lats instead of her arm muscles. Oh, that was wonderful, so much easier. Wonder why the teacher who mentioned that in the group class didn't explain the use of lats when she complained about her arms later. I replied that this was part of the secret sauce that you don't get unless you take private lessons.
    Bailamosdance and IndyLady like this.
  7. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    I completely agree that privates are necessary to be a good dancer, either socially or competitively. I was merely pre-empting the "but group classes" (etc) arguments that the training itself is not that pricey. IME, and the perception of many I talk to, it is.
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    UK "class " work, by and large, are "book " technique, which is medal test level . The social style , compared to the States,is quite lacking in variety and low emphasis on techn.
    If I taught the medal test level to my students , the majority would have quit long ago .Major cities/large towns, cater more to the medal test, with social being virtually ignored in many schools .Many schools teach childrens classes, with competitions thruout the year , and from that source, they build a client base .
  9. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    Wondering if there's a way to introduce a bit more technique to the unwashed masses who show up at social group classes without driving them off. But maybe some are happy and prefer stumbling through patterns indefinitely.
    IndyLady likes this.

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