Is Ballroom dancing expensive? (Article)

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#2
To give you a personal example, currently Kim and I are competing in the professional International dancesport competitions. Because dancing is so important to us, we are willing to travel 4 hours each way to New York in order to have lessons with our coaches. Some of them charge over $300 per 45 minutes lesson.

To us spending most of our money and time on dance lessons is not expensive.


Based on that, It's expensive compared to the dancing that I do.
 
#3
Have you read the entire article? I'm not comparing what you spend to what I spend... its just an extreme example from the article... The whole point is - do you consider what you spend expensive or not? And what do you base it on?
 

JudeMorrigan

Well-Known Member
#4
I think that whether dancing is expensive is an entirely different question than whether or not it's too expensive. By any rational metric, competitive dancesport, at least, is expensive. There are plenty of people out there who are not taking trips across Asia, buying Gucci bags or heading to Vegas any time soon. But that doesn't mean that dancesport is anything other than exactly as expensive as it needs to be in order to function.
 

Rhythmdancer

Well-Known Member
#5
Is it expensive? Well it depends, ballroom dancing can be free. All I need is to watch a few free youtube videos on expert village, the NDCA youtube channel or stuff by Andy Wong and I'll be set. I can go to free dance lessons once a week at a college or a city festival like Summer Dance in Chicago. Will I be good? Hell no. I probably honestly would learn much versus taking private/group lessons regularly. Ballroom is as expensive as your goals

Your article strongly infers that ballroom dancing is expensive answer the question itself— the article should be titled is ballroom dancing worth it?

Whether something is expensive or not has absolutely nothing to do with the worth of the product. A product can be extremely cheap and worth it or extremely expensive and worthless. I can learn Salsa, West Coast Swing or Argentine Tango exclusively from group lessons and reap the same exact benefits for less money. Unlike ballroom, I can goto a west coast place only knowing west coast and get by same with both salsa and argentine tango.
 

Loki

Well-Known Member
#6
I believe this has been discussed at length on this forum, but I'm too lazy to search for previous threads.
 
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latingal

Well-Known Member
#7
I am serious about competitive dancing, and I spend a lot of money to do it as a pro-am.

Is it important to me? Yes.

Is it important enough to me to endanger my or my family's ability to have a roof over our heads or put food on the table now and in the future? No.

Is it important enough for me to take on debt to do it? No.

Not because dancing isn't important to me, but because I have responsibilities to myself, my family and my community.

When a discretionary activity like dancing begins to enter the realm of irresponsibility based on each individual's situation, in my opinion it has become "too expensive".

I love to dance, it is my life's blood. It is a bitter pill to swallow to have to cut back on competing and taking lessons. I do everything I can to do as much as I can by myself and reduce expenditures while still progressing forward in my dancing.

Unfortunately the article's tone was one that seems to berate ALL of those individuals that call dancing too expensive. And yes, it's true - for some they make choices to use their resources elsewhere because that is where their priorities lay.

But in my opinion there is a point at which dancing does become "too expensive". And as one who has hit that limit, it was a bitter thing to be told that dancing was simply not "important enough" to me.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#10
and let me say that as someone who spent upward of 50 k for many years, while that was do-able for a long time, at a certain point, the ability to do that is just not there, even sacrificing home repairs and life's little frills....everyone has to make their own decision....but when my hu band is up every night burning an ulcer about whether or not he can sustain a certain income, because my income certainly isn't one that you can dance on, a person, even an addict like me, has to realize that they aren't the only member of their family....while I am terribly grateful that we as a couple were able to soak that sort of money into a hobby, there is a point beyond which, for me, it would be foolish....and in some ways I deeply regret the other very noble things I could have done with the money...while I would also never trade learning body flight for the world.....as with all things each case is individual....it is true that becoming skilled is an investment and you have to be willing to pay in a number of ways....but yes, it would be insane not to continue to monitor and evaluate the appropriateness of that decision over time
 

JudeMorrigan

Well-Known Member
#14
I never look back fondly on a laptop I paid for, I never look back fondly on a watch I used to wear, but I aways look back at the wonderful time I spend on the dance floor. Memories stay with you forever, gadgetry does not...
Again, that's a false dichotomy for an awful lot of people. I would like to be very clear that I am not criticizing anyone for spending the money they do on dance (I spend plenty of my own, after all!) or suggesting they should somehow feel bad about it. If a person's in a position where they can afford to spend on a hobby, that's great! Again, I make no apologies for doing so myself.

But I hate to see people acting like everyone is in a place where they have meaningful discretionary income. Seriously, there were large portions of my childhood where my family was a hairsbreadth away from winding up out on the streets. The memories we have are of all of us (children included) working our rears ends off the avoid that fate. That is the reality for large portions of the country.

To be clear, I am not intending to suggest that anyone is owed or deserves to participate in dancesport. (Obviously, while a person *can* spend a lot on social dancing, it's not required to do so and is generally far more obtainable to less privileged individuals.) The inherent costs are what they are, and I'm not complaining about them. I'm simply saying that it's not realistic to treat it as universally being the case that people simply have to choose between dance and frippery.
 
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#15
Interesting points everyone. I can totally see how if your family is struggling to put food on the table, you will have to cut on dancing.... I think for most people in that situation spending the money on food is probably more important than dancing then! Nothing wrong with that... I think my article made it clear that I am talking about the people who do have some income to spend - but still don't pick it up. At that point it is about priorities not the cost in my opinion.
 

Rhythmdancer

Well-Known Member
#16
Well to be fair, your article is asking is Ballroom expensive. Even if you're talking about people that are well off, ballroom can still be expensive. This is especially true when you compare it to other partner dances. Just because someone can afford to buy a Bentley or Rolls-Royce in cash without making a dent in their bank account doesn't make the cars any less expensive.
 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#17
Yes it does. Expensive is a relative term not an absolute . It's relative to the buyers income not relative to the cost of other say vehicles. That term is costly . Costly and expensive mean slightly different things
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#18
I don't know....there is also the aspect of the quantity of other things one foregoes when one spends that much....that I have it, doesn't negate the fact that an enormous amount of other things of great value could also happen with that money that, while it doesn't impinge on me, therefore isn't going to things like helping others... so the purchase is always happening at a great expense to someone...even if not to myself...for those of us with a social conscience, that is a huge expense regardless of how much we have
 

Rhythmdancer

Well-Known Member
#20
Yes it does. Expensive is a relative term not an absolute . It's relative to the buyers income not relative to the cost of other say vehicles. That term is costly . Costly and expensive mean slightly different things
At what percentage of income does an expenditure become expensive.

Also

ex·pen·sive
ikˈspensiv/
adjective
  1. costing a lot of money.
    "keeping a horse is expensive"
    synonyms: costly, high-priced, dear;
cost·ly
ˈkôs(t)lē/
adjective
  1. costing a lot; expensive.
    "major problems requiring costly repairs"
    synonyms: expensive, dear, high-priced, highly priced, overpriced;
 

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