Sorry if i mislead anyone, but no, paying spectators off the street - it rarely happens. Most specatators are family/friends/people interested in dance that know the comp is on. (Competitions are rarely advertised outside of Dance News &/or flyers at competitions).
I have seen more and more ads in the UK dance magazines and newspapers from Arthur Murray - they keep advertising (or at least in the last 2 years) about opportunities. So beware, it may be coming real soon to the UK and in higher numbers! Hopefully, people planning to sign up can at least read posts here and become educated consumers, as one person put it.
IMHO, the pro/am events are the bread and butter for the organizers. The income from these entries pay ALL the overhead costs(judges fees, hotel costs, top teacher awards, etc.) However, the pro events are a drawing card for many students who compete in pro/am...so, certain comps are known for getting a lot of high-level pros and those are the comps some studios focus on attending. At a recent comp where 6 students competed in pro/am events and were not on a package, we skipped the evening session after scanning the entries. According to reports, the ballroom was less than half full. This particular organizer had charged one price for the "show" from 8:30 - 9:00 and an additional fee for the evening session - total would have been $70, so it was obvious that many people skipped both events. If I were an organizer, I would try to increase attendance at the evening sessions by sending flyers to all local (within 50 miles) dance studios. I would contact the local newspaper and send them a photo of the pros who are doing the show, along with a brief article.
As I've said before, many professionals in the dance world (whether teacher, studio owner, coach, organizer or judge) are not good business-people. Guess it's that old right side/left side of the brain thing...
quote:Originally posted by TRENT: Peanut - What happens to those amateurs who don't have amateur partners if UK don't have pro/am events? Can you compete with your pro instructor and what category do they belong if they do?
There is no Pro/Am in the UK, in fact Pro/Am is pretty much an American exclusive not found anywhere else.
If you don't have an Amateur partner in the UK you take lessons on your own, practice on your own and wait to find one. If you live in one of the big dance cities, it isn't usually too hard to find someone (depending on your requirements).
Having said that, about 2 (?) times a year the IDTA (whoever) organise a 'medallist festival' for competitions where teachers dance with their students. The comps are based on the medal tests offered by the society and you dance in the grade at your most recent medal award. It might sound like Pro/Am but typically there is no training for the event outside a normal lesson. The couples do the syllabus routines they danced for their exam.
quote:Originally posted by tendancer2000: If you don't have an Amateur partner in the UK you take lessons on your own, practice on your own and wait to find one. If you live in one of the big dance cities, it isn't usually too hard to find someone (depending on your requirements).
Sometimes I wonder if people would be more inclined to form amateur partnerships in the US if Pro/Am didn't exist. At the first studio I took lessons at (and competed in Pro/Am) I didn't even realize that amateur couples existed! I was in three competitions -- closed to our chain -- and only saw Pro/Am and Pro couples. It was only later that it dawned on me that I could dance with another amateur!
Pro/Am is great for people who want to compete while they hunt for a partner or for people who just aren't interested in what it takes to create and maintain an amateur partnership. I find that people in the first group do exactly what you say above, adding that they go to a number of competitions a year with their teacher.
"As I've said before, many professionals in the dance world (whether teacher, studio owner, coach, organizer or judge) are not good business-people. Guess it's that old right side/left side of the brain thing..."
QueenVee, I very much enjoy reading your posts, but I have to say that I take offense at the above quote. While I will agree that there are some unscrupulous (sp?) business people within the dance industry, I think the above quote was a bit overgeneralized.
There is a general "anti-professional" feeling on this board to begin with. And to make such a statement that "many professionals are not good business-people" just keeps that feeling alive. Who are these bad teachers, studio owners, coaches, organizers and judges?
Would you consider Sam Sodano (Ohio Star Ball), Colin and Joy Hilary (Heritage), American Ballroom Company (USDSC etc), Wayne and Donna Eng (Emerald), and the organizers of other comps like Texas Challenge, Virginia States, Capital Dancesport, Manhatten Dancesport (not sure of the name, but Gary and Diana McDonald are co-organizers), First Coast Classic, etc. as bad business people? These are competitions that have withstood the test of time and are major events that people attend.
Coaches as bad business people? I don't understand that one. What about dance teachers? Sure maybe some charge too much, some too little. What about the pros? I guess putting the majority of one's income back into their sport could qualify them as bad business people. Putting money into coaching, costuming, hair, make-up, travel, shoes etc. But then the top couples can also charge from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars Plus travel expenses, room, food etc just to do a 15 minute show too. Does that qualify them as bad business people?
If it weren't for these so called bad business people, then where would the bulk of you learn to dance, get coaching and go to compete?
In the UK, there are 2 main types of competition, as Teendancer was saying. There are: A) Medallist: you dance with your teacher, but are marked soley on your own dancing. From my experience these happen about 10 times a year (there are regional & national competitions), and you have to go with your dance school and represent them. There is also a category in these competitions for Am/Am couples to dance their medal routines as well. And sometimes there was a Pro/Am event, but the figures were restricted. Generally the choice of student was made (in my experience) by 'who is the best/highest level'.
B) Open: Purely for Am/Am and Pro/Pro competitors. These are held every sunday. Normally what happens is couples start with medallist competitions & if they get the 'dance bug' they move onto the open circuit.
And finding a partner: generally your school will have somebody/ know of somebody for you to dance with for medallist comps. But if you are on the open circuit there are always people advertising.
Peanut, I don't disbute the two main different types of comps that you've stated, but lets not forget, in the UK, as with the US (I believe), there are also the University Competitions which allow a way in for people to start competing who have never done so before.
Realistically though, these are not really considered to be particulary big, however having attended them for several years now, they are not considered as silly by the Pros as they are by many people on the 'Open Circuit' simply because dancers in general come to the university dance circuit fresh having never danced Ballroom and Latin before and therefore have to learn what they can during their time at university, whilst also doing the necessary study for their degree.
These Varsity comps allow a simple way for people to learn sufficient to get out on to the 'Open Circuit' and compete at, albeit a low level, the National and sometimes International competitions.
(This isn't aimed at anyone in particular, it's just a view from a girlie who is both on the University and Open Circuit!)
Hi Chris UK! Just thought I'd mention that I'm in my forties and just signed up for my first comp, a University one. It's close, relatively cheap, and less intimidating, even if I am gonna feel rather ancient compared to the bulk of the crowd!