I am an amateur competitor who just lost a great amateur partner. So I'm back to the drawing board looking for a partner.
It was suggested to me by a couple of different people that some ladies dance pro/ams as a way to advertise themselves for amateur partners. It was suggested that either the female pros (for their students) or the male amateurs watch the female pro/ams, and might then see an available amateur lady and then approach her.
It seems logical enough in theory. But I'm curious, has this ever actually worked for anyone? I'd love to hear if anyone else has tried this, and if there are any stories to tell, successful or otherwise.
If you're dancing in syllabus Pro/Am events that are during the day when few other amateurs -- or anyone else for that matter -- is in the ballroom, then there isn't a lot of merit in it. However, some comps run their syllabus scholarships and DanceSport Super Bowl qualifiers in the evening sessions. So, if you pick your events and your competitions carefully, it could be beneficial. If you're dancing in Open-level Pro/Am events, make sure they are also run in the evening session so you can get maximum exposure. Another thing is to check what other events are scheduled for your session. If you dance Novice Standard, for example, and Novice Standard happens to be scheduled Saturday afternoon right after the Gold-level Pro/Am events, then it might be a good idea to try to dance then when the other amateurs are around. Since you're doing this as advertising, it's all about getting you out there dancing at times when it is likely that amateur men will see you dance.
I've never been approached for a partnership as a result of dancing in a Pro/Am event. However, I have approached guys who I've danced against in scholarships for try outs. That seems to work pretty well as an ice breaker.
You would think that would work quite logically. I found that it worked against me. The more I became successful at pro-am the less I was considered by the amateur men as a suitable partner. It scared half of them away and the other half just couldn't seem to find anyone good enough for them (if left to their own devices) or they thought that I didn't think anyone was good enough for me. The best way to find an amateur partner (and stay with him/her) is to hook up with a coach or teacher who has a track record of putting couples together, and then stays with them to oversee their growth. I've been dancing with my current amateur partner for almost a year now, and I have to say, if not for the continued presence, encouragement and downright refusal of our two coaches to give up or give in, I don't think we'd still be dancing together. We're both fairly good dancers, but we sure as heck are not on the same wavelength (or in my opinion even on the same planet) in any shape or form EXCEPT when we dance. Now that said, I sometimes really miss my pro-am days and the teachers I worked with then. Only one was a big name, but the funny thing is I won more times with a lesser known teacher than with the big name, although all of them worked really hard on my behalf and really really wanted me to win. If you do pro-am, do it because you love to dance and can't do without it. But as for using it to find an amateur partner....you're better off haunting your local competitive studio or scoping out teachers with a large amateur roster.
quote:However, some comps run their syllabus scholarships and DanceSport Super Bowl qualifiers in the evening sessions.
Pardon my ignorance, but what are DanceSport Super Bowl qualifiers?
quote: It was, IMHO, a result of a random process, like so many other things in life.
What was a result of a random process? Did you have an experience finding a partner this way? Can you elaborate?
quote:I found that it worked against me. The more I became successful at pro-am the less I was considered by the amateur men as a suitable partner.
That's a real shame.
Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. For now I'm going to learn my instructor's pro/am routines, because I need a project to keep my dancing progressing anyway. If the time comes where I feel ready to present them and am getting the itch to get out on the floor, I may end up trying pro/ams regardless of the likelihood that it will help me snag an amateur partner.
quote:If you do pro-am, do it because you love to dance and can't do without it.
That may just be the case.
I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.
all the usual places come to mind with 2 dance discussion boards, a website for multiple ballroom dancers as well as your local USABDA chapter. I once saw a woman display at a competition a poster board with her qualifications and pictures. I wonder if it worked?