Ballroom Dance > Is Pro Am becoming a sport of only the wealthy?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by debmc, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Yes. We have a few here where the am has gotten so good they've turned pro. Personally, I am dancing pro-am right now, but looking to move over to am at the pre-champ (or maybe champ) level this year. And ask @fascination about her first pro.

    Edited to add: Totally NOT saying that I am as good as Pro. But I am better than some pros, so there's that.
    Sania and vit like this.
  2. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Depends on where one is. And even then, some of them *do* prefer dancing with pros - which is completely understandable. Different strokes and all that.
    FancyFeet, vit and fascination like this.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    in my view, there are a variety of motivations in the pro/am world....there are some who simply want to win at something, regardless of whether it means anything or not, there are some who want to be the best at what they do, and there are some who want primarily to have fun....and many who want some combination...but most of those who are serious (and I think the number who are quite serious has gone up), in my view, would welcome a dedicated amateur partner....for a variety of reasons
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    we'll save this for another thread if Vit starts one....but yes, I have had a scenario where I outgrew a pro and where other pros asked who was the amateur and who was the pro...more than once...that is not the case now
    Purr likes this.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sure...I am just talking relatively...there are simply more of us
  6. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Definite no arguments there. Goodness knows I've groused often enough about how useless my freestyle heats are when dancing pro-am due to the (numerical) lack of competition when I'm not dancing against the ladies.
    FancyFeet likes this.
  7. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    And I have certainly seen various pro/am couples where I looked at the competition program and was very surprised when I realized who the "pro" was in the couple, as the other half of the couple was out-dancing them by more than a little. Sometimes the pro was the man, other times the pro was the lady. It happens, for a variety of reasons that are probably outside the scope of this thread.
    danceronice and fascination like this.
  8. vit

    vit Active Member

    Yeah, as I said, number of pro-am couples is very low here, it's definitively not an representative sample so I didn't even think about that option (certainly won't happen here). Anyway, in that situation, someone with more money will pay a better pro (that won't be "outgrown") right from the beginning :) so my simplified theory still covers the situation you mentioned.

    Sorry for disruption, wasn't my intention to argue, just I had to write something after reading one of the last posts and I won't be starting a new thread either :)
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member worries
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    on the cost issue dovetailing with the idea of some students looking evenly matched to their pro without the pro dancing down....that too can be a matter of money...rather than a lack of talent....I am quite certain that I have now had more private lessons and more access to top level coaches than my first is to his credit that he "taught me everything he knew" as one other pro remarked to me...we even had a discussion about it recently because, thank goodness, we are once again on friendly terms(1st pro and I)...he made the observation about all of the reasons why losing a good student, particularly one with money, can be so debilitating...certainly there is the obvious loss of income, which unless one is a top pro, is not always easily replaced, but there is then also the ripple effect...if there is not enough collective money among the remaining students to book coaches and bring them in and not enough money to cover the expenses of travelling to non-local comps among the remaining students, the pro also loses an opportunity for continuing education and continued visibility in the dance, the effect of the cost of pro-am really cuts across levels and can impact everyone...I actually feel badly about that...I feel badly that my leaving harmed the opportunities of others...not much I could have done about it without limiting myself but it is another aspect of the situation that I think is worth noting...and it can cause a bunch of stress within the pro am relationship as well... depending upon the 2 people involved...I think it also hurts the vendors because, as my funds become more scarce, it won't be lessons that I am cutting
    debmc, Purr, SwayWithMe and 6 others like this.
  11. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    This is why leaving a pro can be so difficult and emotional for some- most people don't want to hurt another, and cause loss of income, popularity etc...sorry I'm just realizing this is probably off-topic too
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    actually, I think talking about the impact of wealth on not just for the am half of pro/am but also on some pros is probably right in line
  13. Sania

    Sania Well-Known Member

    Now there's a visual! :D
    stash likes this.
  14. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I'm calling to mind Conan the Barbarian on the Tree of Woe.
    Sania likes this.
  15. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I thought that was an especially good point you brought up about how sometimes one or two students can provide the funding to bring in big coaches that then benefit the whole studio. I was the beneficiary of this situation in Atlanta for a few years.

    But I wish that in the future we will see some larger schools that have lots of students they can leverage to bring in good coaches, rather than having to lean on a couple of people who could be gone tomorrow.
    IndyLady likes this.
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    right...I don't think it is ever good for a studio to be that dependent upon any one student....not for the student...not for the pro...or for the studio....but there are certainly some perks as well as drawbacks
    SwayWithMe and Mr 4 styles like this.
  17. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    I've spent a lot of time mulling over when you get to the point you've learned all you can from a pro, or even if you can get to the point where continued lessons would be detrimental.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    it can also simply be a matter, even if you haven't learned everything the pro has to teach you, that you need something else that he/she hasn't been interested/able to provide either case, whether you have come to the edge of what someone has to share or whether you simply need someone different to make sure that an increase in progress continues to be as steep as you would like, I think most of us know it far sooner than we do something about it...because most of us do in fact get attached to our pros, even the ones we are ambivalent about....I think most of us who find ourselves in that situation stay too long...unfortunately that can really cause burnout, not to mention less of a return for our investment.
    debmc, DanceMentor, 3wishes and 2 others like this.
  19. jiwinco

    jiwinco Active Member

    I soo agree with this. Often we need a change of pro, not because we outgrew their skill set, but because we need something else that another pro can offer. I just had this conversation with my current pro. The change I made had nothing to do with teacher skills, just personality needs. This had a lot to do with the burnout I had, just working on recovering from that problem.
  20. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    I get to have the personality needs conversation with my somewhat new pro tomorrow, to figure out if i want to continue with him. amazing skills, great teacher, but we may have personality conflicts that can't be overcome, and that may have contributed to my burnout-y feelings as well. and now this is probably wandering off topic

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