Is Pro Am becoming a sport of only the wealthy?

JANATHOME

Well-Known Member
Bringing this thread up again, since my frustration is along these lines...
First off, I dance with a pro that prices comps quite reasonable, and often he will stay at a hotel offsite to save expenses even though I did not expect him to do so. So my gripe may not be valid, but here it is!!

So we decide months ago on a comp requiring air travel. As soon as we decide on this I start a flight search because I know this flight is going to be expensive and I want to control costs best I can... I book my flight at a good price and pro waits. So now the flights are about $300 more. Since I will pay pros travel in the back of my mind I was thinking..why did you wait until about 10 days before a comp to book a flight?

I think all of the AMs of a pro/am partnership understand that the pros travel expenses are part of our cost to compete, and willingly accept it. Yet now I question is it not reasonable to expect that the pro makes effort that his travel expense at my cost is the best value?... I mean I did it for myself, found the best price, should not I expect the same??

Rant over!!
 

3wishes

Well-Known Member
I don't believe it is a rant at all. I have booked tickets as well, in advance, but also with travel insurance in case something or someone causes the obligation not to happen. Fortunately my pro is all over getting the best flight/travel deal as well and compares with his students what they have found too. Definitely not 10 days before take off.
 

singndance

Well-Known Member
I have also booked my pro's flights at the same time I book mine. We agree on the dates and approximate times of travel before I book. If flights have to be changed to suit his plans that don't include me, he pays me the difference. This works well for us. He doesn't have to do the clerical work associated with booking the flights, and I get to research the best prices and schedules.
 
I can only speak for myself, but the people I compete against are very, very well off. Lawyers, doctors, dancers who have wealthy parents/spouses, dancers whose parents own/operate dance studios, wealthy grandparents, etc. It is very daunting to find yourself the only one who is struggling just to find the extra money for gas to get you there. Nevertheless, I have beaten the best, so it goes to show that even the poorest dancer out there can overcome what seems to be insurmountable odds.

As to your question, "will this sport eventually be just for the wealthy?" I think, for the majority of dancers, it is a sport for the wealthy already. All you have to do is look at the price of dresses, lessons, tickets, fees for coaches and realize that an average comp can set you back 3 to 5 thousand dollars, to know the answer.

"Is there anything we can do to make if affordable for all?" I think the answer is no. How do you convince a pro to lower his/her fees, when there are so many willing to pay what he/she wants? How do you convince the dress designers to lower their prices, when someone will come up and, without batting an eye, buy three dresses at once? How do you convince the photographer/videography to slash their prices? The answer is, that you can't. It's free enterprise and the dancer is basically at the whim of ballroom pricing.

I have had a very difficult time paying for my ballroom dancing. I work and every single penny goes into my dancing, which I hope will someday be my career. I have sacrificed a lot for it. Am I bitter that I have struggled so hard, while watching wealthy dancers get carte blanche? Of course. I'll be honest..it stings. But this is my life, my situation, and I have faith in God and myself to get me where I want to go. I like to think that I am in a refiner's fire right now. I hope that my hardships will shape me into a better person; one who, if blessed with a dancing career, will be able to remember what it was like to struggle and be able to help the less financially blessed dancer.
Great post, and I have danced "in your shoes" quite a bit. You don't have to be like the people you are competing against. Your courage and determination may very well set you apart in a very positive way, maybe not always in terms of competition results, but in what you get from the dancing itself, and in turn what you can provide to others. Good luck!
 

vit

Active Member
I actually didn't follow this lengthy thread, but maybe the question is also why people want to compete pro-am. I very well understand how nice is to dance with a pro and I understand that people are willing to pay for it, but if it's the goal, you don't have to spend additional money to competitions, dresses etc
 

vit

Active Member
Well, amateur women don't either :) Anyway, this pro-am game will never be very fair, because it consists of people who are reasonably good dancers and get paid, and people that are not that good but are willing to pay for that. So in the end, those who pay more generally win (by paying a better pro that can make them better any buying more beautiful dresses) so it turns into the sport of wealthy. Can't be different

Actually, am-am isn't much different, just it is, at least in my area where WDSF is dominant organization, mostly a sport of kids with rich and overambitious parents, which is very obvious from the comments they leave after each competition on local dance site, and of course, stories that some of their trainers told me ...
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
[..] because it consists of people who are reasonably good dancers and get paid, and people that are not that good but are willing to pay for that.
I disagree with this part of the statement... but do agree with the sentiment that having ready access to boatloads of cash makes a competitive dance career much easier.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
Well, amateur women don't either :) Anyway, this pro-am game will never be very fair, because it consists of people who are reasonably good dancers and get paid, and people that are not that good but are willing to pay for that. So in the end, those who pay more generally win (by paying a better pro that can make them better any buying more beautiful dresses) so it turns into the sport of wealthy. Can't be different

Actually, am-am isn't much different, just it is, at least in my area where WDSF is dominant organization, mostly a sport of kids with rich and overambitious parents, which is very obvious from the comments they leave after each competition on local dance site, and of course, stories that some of their trainers told me ...
um ...actually amateur women do....that is why there is such a disparity.....not because they prefer frilly dresses and dancing with pros
 

vit

Active Member
um ...actually amateur women do....that is why there is such a disparity.....not because they prefer frilly dresses and dancing with pros
Agree, there are more women that want to dance
So they are just competitive, it's not that much about dancing with pros ? (I was never very competitive, even in my competitive days, but not all people are equal)
 

Dance Ads