I am surprized at the rather modest interest in this issue - while there has been over 90 views (who knows how many people that reflects), only 5 or so have actually responded. Perhaps the issue is a bit stale having been broached in several other threads.
I think this one is a bit different since we are actually talking about real steps towards the creation of a group. It is not essential that this entity have official standing at this stage - that can (and almost certainly would be) be established down the road. However, if we are to get anywhere with this it is essential that we demonstrate an enthusiastic participation - and that is not, as yet, obvious.
You raised some excellent points and please realize that I am not the messiah type! I have no intetion to push my point of view on any one else. The object of my rather stark proposal was to create a starting point where some of hte main issues are deliniated to trigger discussion and, hopefully, set the stage for an eventual consensus. Basically, there are three main principles": we need a 'meeting area' that is exclusive for pro/AMs so that we can indulge in an open and frank discussion of what we want to establish. We need to idenify the issues that are most important to the pro/AM community AND we must recognize areas where we should NOT interfere.
the best way to do this would be to have an inaugural meeting at an agreed upon venue - this is very difficult since we obviously do not attend the same competitions. However, it is not impossible sinc we could decide to try to attend one particular competition next year - a big one such as Ohio. Miami Embassy - you name it. But, this would again require a level of passion for the goal.
'Dancescape' suggested transferring this thread to teh General Dance Lounge. I was reluctant thinking that we really should iron out some of the basic issues first. However, I think I will try that - if only to steer the pro/AMs to the thread here.
Note I have not responded to your specific issues yet. I will give my opinions in due course - but this would be much more fruitful if we could get some more input (hey, where are you Sambakid??) on the provocative charter that I proposed. Just one thing, however, I do not think we can avoid entirely the issue of billing. This is an area that is unique to pro/AMs and one that virtually every one has some questions and would like some input. However, as I stressed in my post our comments in this area should be purely to discuss 'reasonable' fee items and absolutely NOT to interfere with specific partnership relationships. The discussions on this question have to be generic and any mention, direct or indirect of specific pros would have to be edited out. If nothing else, such references would be vulnerable to legal challenges - something we absolutely definitely need to avoid.
Sorry if this is a bit long - but your post provided a terrific oportunity to stress these points (which, I hasten to add, you are obviously aware of).
Lastly, a very merry holiday to all our readers - and i nparticular all our potential members. I do beg you, however, to reply to this - a single line post of 'I am interested' wouild serve to empower the effort to get pro/AM up there on a par with the other dance sport variants. Surely you are all a bit tired of being treated as third class citizens - in particular when our funds are a major factor in the success of competitive ballroom danceing.
By the way, if you are reluctant to respond on the thread for fear that pros/judges/agents provocateur
are listening please feel free to mail me directly. I promise that I will only refer to 'an interested poster' and treat any post with complete confidence.
PS I am off to LA in a few hours - I could meet with anyone there.