Ballroom Dance > Amateur teachers

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by billman, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. Spookisgirl

    Spookisgirl Active Member

    *sigh* That just frustrates me. Why are pro organizations representing PASDs, and not the PASDs ourselves? This response reminds me of the reason why most competition organizers won't deal directly with PASDs or openly post comp fees online. If PASDs were registered and regulated, I could see where some organizations might be concerned this would result in a loss of income for them. In comparison to the amount most PASDs pay, an annual registration fee that allows them to be tracked and regulated really isn't much going to break the budget. Personally, despite being a PASD, I belong to my local amateur organization and support it, even though I am more likely to find a unicorn in my backyard than a partner for Am/Am competition where I live.

    Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the professional organizations, but just see it as a bit of a conflict of interest. That said, I am sure if PASDs were truly interested in getting involved and being regulated it would have already happened. I imagine or am guessing that most just want to dance and as long as nothing really interferes with that, then why should we get involved?
  2. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Never mind that registration need not necessarily be associated with a fee. :rolleyes:
    Mr 4 styles and Bailamosdance like this.
  3. joedance

    joedance Member

    Pro/Am dancing is all about draining students of money in as many ways as possible without the student being aware of it. If things were open, it becomes much harder. I do pro/am and am/am and I am well aware of the costs associated with pro/am and will refuse to pay an unreasonable amount of money. I use pro/am to enhance my am/am dancing. I refuse to be carried by a pro . . . either we do it individually or we don't do it all . . . or we work on it until it is clean.

    PSD's can't teach because if other PSD's see them teaching they freak out. Those freaking out are typically the ones paying the most money (hence the rule) and therefore the industry needs to protect them even though PSD's teaching is no different then Am/Am's teaching . . . for the hobbyist, teaching is more a net negative competitively since it takes away from training and practice. (Which is why I don't want to really teach, but will help others out . . . I don't teach, I just share what I learned in a lesson.)

    Also, well trained PSD's are probably much more knowledgeable then your average six week wonder. Again, the FAD's and AM's need to protect their business. They certainly can't have some PSD's showing someone how do technique/patterns that their "professional" teachers can't do and charging half the price for it. Again . . . all about protecting their money flow without regard to the student or the free market.

    Likewise, comp organizers can't publish rates, since some (many?) pro's want to be able to hide their fees.

    A free market is based on free access to information. The pro/am circuit tries to hide as much information as possible to provide a financial advantage. Registration, publishing fees, amateur's teaching, etc. have onerous rules purposefully to hide that information and game the free market in their favor.
    suburbaknght likes this.
  4. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    We here who moderate on DF have seen many threads that deal with the topic of pro-am (teaching, teachers, rules, money, etc.).

    We have found the subject has a tendency to become heated, opinionated and stereotypical; so a general moderation note - please be careful not to cross that line.

    Thank you.
    suburbaknght likes this.
  5. joedance

    joedance Member

    Sorry if I offended. I just had a pain the butt client leave my office so I'm a bit wound up! In the same way teachers (or especially Pro/Am pros) need to deal with the difficult client who generates significant income . . . accountants/financial planners do so similarly. I'm sure the pros on this forum can tell many horror stories and had to take it because the money was good.
    Loki likes this.
  6. Spookisgirl

    Spookisgirl Active Member

    Money issues aside (no desire to get into that), I feel that the lack of consistency across pro/am because it is not regulated really contributes to the perception that it is not 'real dancing' and lacks credibility as a whole. I also refused to be carried by a pro and work hard to make sure I can hold up my side of the partnership, but I have seen instances where partners are clearly being dragged around by their pros on the floor trying to do steps that are clearly well above their level.

    With the current issues WRT lack of available partners, pro/am seems to be becoming, especially in some areas, the only way many people can participate and compete in dance. I am not sure if there is any solution though that will add more credibility to it and give it and PASDs equal footing with the am/am world.
  7. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    <takes deep breath> I wanted to revive this thread. BUT - I have no interest in the pro-am conversation, just the am-am.

    My am partner and I have non-dance-related day jobs. We meet a few times a week for a few hours and practice on our own. We get coaching several times a month. If we get 5-6 hours of practice a week, that's a good week for us.

    Now, how would my partner and I stack up competitively against another amateur couple in our age division who teach at a FADS or AMS or _insert name of independent studio here_? They're the floor 6-8 hours a day, perhaps. Perhaps they're getting daily instruction or feedback from the studio owner. Perhaps they work alongside judges and coaches in their region.

    Suddenly I feel as though there's an obvious advantage there, and it isn't ours.

    I understand and I do appreicate the "amateur is about level, not quality" argument that has been made by previous posters. It makes sense. But I feel like that's what Rising Star events are for.

    And I'd like to end this post by waving my fist in the air and screaming, "Get off my lawn." ;)
  8. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    One thing to keep in mind, "time on the floor" is not all equal. If they are in a studio 8 hours a day, they may spend a good chunk of that teaching lower level students (the bulk of students at most studios are lower level), coming up with choreography for low level students, etc. And then they may only have the time/energy to actually practice as much as (or less than) you do. Or their situations may be different - perhaps they have some of those advantages. But don't assume lots of hours on the floor/in the studio is all the same.

    Bottom line, as you already know - work on your own dancing, dance the best you can, and be proud of what you've done. Everyone has various advantages and disadvantages working for and against them (time/money/health/partnership issues, you name it). Make the best of what you have, and go for it. If someone on the floor is better than you, use it as an inspiration/challenge to improve further over time. :)
    Requiem, Sania, dlliba10 and 3 others like this.
  9. Mengu

    Mengu Well-Known Member

    Yup, somebody will always have an advantage. Some through circumstance, some through choice. You could always choose to quit your jobs and start teaching at a local studio. You could choose to live in a cheaper apartment and drive an old car to afford more dance lessons. You could choose to move to another city that provides more dance opportunities. There are of course things outside your control... you can't really choose to inherit a million dollars, make your carpal tunnel disappear, or turn back time to start dancing at the age of 3. Best to focus on what you can do, and what you are willing to do, rather than worry about what others are doing.
  10. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    Nah, I'm not worried about anything other than refugee crisis... That's an issue to worry over. I just wondered if a discussion could take place. There are categories according to age, for example, to level a playing field in that regard. And in experience: bronze vs championship. I guess I'm also curious as to why a PASD is barred from teaching but a legitimate professional dance teacher can compete alongside what are technically student dancers. These are legitimate questions that my curiosity was piqued by, so I asked.
  11. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    But every competitor's a student, or at least every active competitor who aspires to succeed. So technically even pros are students, and not all of them teach dance necessarily (or have a full enough teaching plate to subsist solely on their teaching income). It's always a question of who's willing to sacrifice how much for their sport, and in some ways I'd worry that barring amateur competitors from teaching closes the pipeline to a professional ballroom career to a large number of dancers from more modest backgrounds and also would stunt the growth of the sport worldwide. For example, Jude's hometown has an amateur competitive couple as the main coaches available (based on what he's posted before) and his partner also needed to teach the odd wedding couple to be able to afford lessons and comps with him. Like others mentioned, being a full-time dance teacher doesn't necessarily give you more practice or lesson time than other jobs and may even provide less (and you might not even have that much free time when the studio's open to practice or take a lesson!). I'd also honestly say that drawing a line anywhere within the teaching realm would feel arbitrary (how many hours is too many? how advanced a student is too advanced?) and could bring up enforcement or rule wording issues (how do you allow someone to volunteer at a local senior center but stop someone from being paid under the table at a studio? how do you prove someone was paid *for instructing ballroom* without the help of a court subpoena?). As a result, the answer for pro/am is perhaps too draconian but errs on the side of protecting the space from anyone aiming for a career in dance (though it can certainly let folks through the cracks) while the answer for am/am errs on the side of being too lax but promoting the growth of the sport in the process (even if the result can be some seriously disappointed people when they find out the top adult amateur couples are almost all planning on ballroom being a career).

    Dang that was a ramble to type on a phone.
    RiseNFall and raindance like this.
  12. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    So I guess I should look at this like baseball - dancing amateur is like moving up through through the levels until ready for pro ball...? Or not - perhaps the joy is just playing centerfield at any level you can? (yes, I alluded to the song. :D)
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  13. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    Download the rulebook from the USA Dance website. Try to find anything in the USA Dance rules that refers to competitors as amateurs. Hint: use the PDF search function. Anything under section 7.3 doesn't count as that section doesn't set rules for competitors.
  14. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Many of today's pros were groomed from a young age and with ample financing or support to reach where they are now. But there are many other people who teach and dance, not only for achieving the highest level of competition but for fun! It seems so often people are so caught up in the rules and being better than other people, that they have lost the fun!
  15. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    Lots of people compete for many different reasons; all are valid. Nothing is fun all of the time. In fact, "fun" can be defined in many different ways. What one finds "fun" isn't "fun" to another.

    PERSONALLY: If someone asks me why I dance, it has never occurred to me to answer, "for fun." That's not a slight against anyone who does, though - it's all valid. Me, I have to dance. I have something to express and I can't get that out any other way. What do I do for fun? Sit on the couch and watch Netflix. :) Personally, I don't find dance "fun." This is semantics. I love the work. I love the doing. I love the crying over one move one week and then the pride I feel in having not fallen down in the doing it the next week - the progress. I love rereading my dance journal and see how I struggled two years ago over a move in bolero that is, today, my favorite. I love the process. Knocking the heck out of myself AGAIN in cha cha (the bruises this week are green!) isn't fun for me. But by God one day my body action and my feet will come together, and I'll be able to execute. Working toward that is what I love. If we want to infer that yes, I love dancing, and yes, because I do, I do find it "fun," then we can do that. Because we all know there are many other ways to spend this much money and time!

    But if the idea is that a dancer isn't "having fun," and somehow that's a slight, like a dancer is "doing it wrong," I disagree with that.

    But more power to us all, because we dance. :)
    mnldoc, SDsalsaguy, Loki and 3 others like this.
  16. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Hundred percent agree with your sentiment. I hate when "they've lost the fun" is a slight used by third parties to critique others doing a leisure activity/hobby differently than they would. I personally like to think I seek out a different type of fun than others do, which is what drives me to put in the hours in the practice studio, at the gym, etc.

    It's aimed at outdoorsy activities, but a friend posted this gem to facebook recently (not her article) and I think it captures my sentiment (and maybe s2k's, though I won't pretend to know another's motives) perfectly:
  17. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I'm talking about those people that have lost this love you describe. They may not be dancing in another year. I'm not talking about you and I obviously you are one who shows how much they love dancing with everything you do and that is wonderful. I think I am similar to you.

    But there are also people who are taught that if they simply work hard they can reach the highest level. It is great to dream but at the same time some of this is a pitch. And there is a certain truth to the idea that one does need ample financing and / or training from a young age. I can't think of many people who became frustrated and felt alienated by the system. Part of their dream that was created early and they're dancing became something else as they matured.

    You touched on the idea that people dance for many reasons and that is super important because sometimes the reasons have to change. But people need to realize that it comes back to the love or fun or whatever it is that you want to use to describe the enjoyment and sense of fulfillment from dancing.

    There are lots of different places people can be in dancing and be a part of it in a very positive way. When it comes to competitions, I'm not so sure that Dancsport has matured beyond the idea that it is mostly geared toward wealthy people, at least in the United States. It can be $100 just to go watch the show and the vendors mostly sell $1,000 + products.

    Now this thread was talking about amateur teachers and also their relationship with competitions. I think there is plenty of growth possible in this area.
  18. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    as of today...

    s2k likes this.
  19. hereKittyKitty

    hereKittyKitty Administrator Staff Member

    How Is this different from before? And who is it likely to have the most impact on?
  20. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    the underlined text was added...

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