Ballroom Dance > USA Dance vs NDCA for Amateur Couple

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Yana, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. Yana

    Yana Member

    I've read through several posts about this, but I'm a little confused and I don't think my question has been addressed. If this is a duplicate post, please delete and refer me to one that already exists....

    My background is in Pro/Am dancing so Am/Am is a totally different world to me...

    My dance partner and I would like to compete in the fall. We are looking at a USA Dance event and a NDCA event, but I'm not sure which one would be better for us. This will be our first competition together (his first ever). We will be competing closed silver latin. Which comp would be more cost efficient (USA Dance or NDCA)? We would also like to dance AT just for the fun of it, so again, not sure which comp would be better. As an amateur couple, would we have to register as NDCA members? I know that we would have to register as USA Dance members. Also, if we do the NDCA event, would it be better to enter as Student/Student or as Am/Am?

    More specifically, the comps we are looking at are the Carolina Classic (USA Dance) and the Hotlanta Classic (NDCA).

    Any help, advice, tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!
  2. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    which comp is closer to you?
  3. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    Hi, Yana, and welcome to Am-Am! Good luck ... my partner and I both think am-am is way harder than pro-am, but it sure has made us better dancers. Wishing you success on this journey!

    My NDCA advice is based solely on there are NO NDCA all-am events in my region or my coast. So the NDCA comps we have danced at as am-am are pro-am comps that have taken our money to let us dance uncontested when pro-am scholarship is on the floor. So I can't advise on the all-am NDCA events, and my advice is therefore only on an amateur couple dancing at a NDCA pro-am event.

    You brought up the the Hotlanta Classic. It's an NDCA pro-am comp organized by Eddie Ares. The Carolina Fall Classic is a USA Dance all-amateur comp hosted by Wayne and Marie Crowder. These events are two different beasts. If you want the NDCA's all amateur event calendar, click here. You'll notice none are in your region. Here's the USA Dance competition calendar. LOTS in your region.

    All THAT being said, you absolutely can dance amateur at a pro-am comp. An organizer wants your money. It will cost significantly less than pro-am fees, but it will still be more expensive. Eddie Ares has Hotlanta at the W Atlanta Midtown - so rather than cha-cha, it's chaCHING!

    For us, we want to be contested. We're in the open category in an age division where, if we dance at a pro-am event, we're uncontested. You should check to see how many other Ams attended Hotlanta, if being contested in important to you. Here is the link to last year's Carolina results; you can see how contested your events were last year.

    Entry fees for USA Dance comps are anywhere from $130 per couple to $300 per couple. Dancing as an am-am couple at a pro-am comp cost us $600 for our package/entries. We don't do pro-am comps as an amateur couple anymore.

    If you want an all-amateur experience in Atlanta, you might consider Georgia DanceSport on September 16. Both are USA Dance events, and this one is also hosted by the Crowders.

    To your other question, do you have to register with the NDCA? No, YOU don't, as long as you are dancing at their pro-am events - we didn't at the few pro-am NDCA comps we danced at. You might if you chose their amateur events, I believe.

    Also, no, you don't have to choose which organization to dance for, either/or. I know there are USA Dancers who also danced at NDCA Nationals.

    Which is most-efficient? For me - USA Dance vs. dancing amateur at a pro-am comp? USA Dance, hands down.

    Good luck!
    Requiem, Miss Silly, Loki and 2 others like this.
  4. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Great info from s2k. One quibble: Georgia DanceSport isn't run by the Crowders. You may be thinking of the winter comp in Birmingham? Not on the USA Dance calendar yet, apparently, but scheduled for Feb 1-3: As syllabus-level am-am dancers ourselves, I agree with the recommendation of USA Dance. As far as choosing specific comps, you can also look at whether it's an NQE (national qualifying event): those are likely to have bigger turnout and more high-level spectating opportunities. The Carolina Fall Classic is a great comp, and an NQE. Georgia Dancesport is smaller; I could imagine choosing that one if you want to go lower-key for your first comp or if it's a better location for you.
    s2k likes this.
  5. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    If you want to compete against other couples in syllabus level, right now USA dance is pretty much the only game in town. For am/am, start there.

    If you are already attending an NDCA event, and you don't mind uncontested am/am or student/student heats mixed in with whatever other events they put on the floor with you at the same time, go for it. (It is theoretically possible to be a contested am/am in syllabus level at an NDCA comp, just very very very unlikely. If you know other couples in your age/style/level, and all agree to enter the same comp, in exactly the same age categories, sublevels, etc, then that would be a certain way to be contested as a syllabus am at NDCA.)
    Loki likes this.
  6. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    Aw crap, you're right!! SORRY and thanks for the correction! :D
    bia likes this.
  7. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    You may have to skip out on dancing Argentine tango at the USA dance event as it's typically not offered. But otherwise I agree with the above. For now USA dance for am am will give you more competition and a better overall price
    Borazine and raindance like this.
  8. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    It'll happen occasionally -- I've music directed an NQE here and there that included an Argentine. Often it's just a matter of asking the organizers if it's possible -- the worst they can say is no. And especially for a comp like CFC, which if I remember correctly is a flat fee to dance as many events and styles as you'd like.
    Loki and Mr 4 styles like this.
  9. Yana

    Yana Member

    I'm in Atlanta, so Hotlanta and Georgia Dancesport are the closest. The second closest upcoming comp is the Carolina one.
  10. Yana

    Yana Member

    Wow! Thank you so much for all this info. I think at this time we just want experience on the dance floor as a couple. Not really concerned if it will be contested or uncontested; we just want to see how we do together and what needs to improve for the next comp. Ha! Totally different mindset than when I was dancing pro/am!!! So basically it sounds like Hotlanta will be more expensive, but it will allow us to dance AT for the fun of it. I'm thinking maybe the Georgia Dancesport may be the best option since it's local...but then we won't get AT (or I may take your advice and ask politely) :)
    But just to be clear, if I'm dancing pro/am at a NDCA event and also am/am then I don't need to be a member? But if I'm only dancing am/am then I do need to be a member?
  11. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    In terms of 'fun' NDCA comps win hands down - venue decor thru judging and music, it is glitzy. Enjoy your time on the floor!
  12. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Yes yana for am am at Ndca you will need to be a member
  13. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    For the few that we did, we just registered... we didn't "join" NDCA. We never brought it up, and the organizers never did, either. These were one-day, sanctioned comps. Think someone dropped the ball somewhere?
  14. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    Personally, I don't equate "fun" with glitzy decorations, but to be fair, after five years attending pro-am comps my first USA Dance NQE was a bit of a letdown at first. But then I remembered I was PAYING for the three-foot tall cellophaned styrofoam glittered lollipops as table decorations and embroidered satin robes with the name of the comp on the back as my "gift" for attending. Then I didn't miss the "fun" nearly as much. ;)
    Sania, Requiem, Borazine and 3 others like this.
  15. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    DW and I used to dance NDCA comps in both pro-am and am-am. We never once had an organizer ask us or our pros for a registration number. However, if you're only dancing am-am, that may be different. If you're syllabus level, which I assume you are if it's your partner's first comp, you might be able to find some competition by dancing in the "open bronze" events, where they don't micro-divide the syllabus levels.

    Another thought, for your partner's first comp, is to find an independent one-day comp. I don't know about Atlanta, but I think there are two or three in Birmingham -- I know Mike Fowler does one, and I think Kim Richards is doing one too. (We used to have a yearly one here, but due to various circumstances, it's postponed indefinitely.) There still won't be much competition, but it might be less intimidating for a first comp, and it will certainly cost less than an NDCA event.
  16. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    The USAD site has a list of comps for the year, including non-NQEs. Not much competition, but if you just want to get out on the floor, they might be good for you.
  17. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    FWIW, we have never had to produce an NDCA number for syllabus am/am or student/student. (Usually around here syllabus is usually just student/student events at NDCA, but that may vary at different comps.)

    Another bit of advice for making the most of available floor time ... for USA Dance events you are generally allowed to register for two age groups, your own and one younger for older (senior level in their age categories) adults.

    (There is an exception at the "adult" level, as this level is not allowed to dance down to dance against the younger kids, nor allowed to dance up against older (senior age category) adults.)

    So if you are at least Senior 1, I would encourage you to enter both allowed age groups. You will get double the floor time, and you may get to dance against some different dancers. (Sometimes you it is just another round against the same folks who are also doing two age groups, just depends on who registers.)

    And I would say in general, don't be afraid of contested entries. It is fun being out on the floor with your peers. At USA dance at least, many times the other couples will be friendly, you can chat a bit in the on deck area, etc. And if you go into your first comp worrying about how you dance and not how you place, the placements don't matter anyway. The experience is the important thing.

    Good luck with whatever you choose. Let us know how it goes!
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  18. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I have had to provide a registration number for NDCA.
  19. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    For a syllabus event??
  20. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    I have to have a member number to enter am am at ndca with the Mrs.

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