General Dance Discussion > What justifies the high spending cost for learning to dance to you?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by VronskyWasSoVain, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    This right here is your answer. You understand you need help now. You foresee a future for yourself that no longer includes the hand-holding. Make that clear to your teacher(s), these goal. And every step of the way remind them this is where you are headed, self-reliant and a good leader. Every time you write a check to the studio ask yourself am I one step closer to my goal.
  2. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    There must be a serious regional variance. Where I have lived in Arizona and San Diego the vast majority of competitive dancers are good to excellent social dancers . I think all three expressions ... competitive,social,and showdance are additive and not exclusive of one another .

    Have I seen a competitive dancer do a huge arm New Yorker (crossover ) on a crowded social floor. Sure. But usually they are teacher trainees not competitive students!

    Have I seen social dancers brag about how many ladies they can lead who take heel leads on 3 in waltz coz they haven’t trained their body to execute the technique well? Sure but they are usually group class only types who haven’t
    invested in their dancing .

    So... the justification for the high cost of dancing is to become as capable in each of these three arenas as you see fit. Take group. Take privates. Go to workshops and dance camps. Get coaching Do it all. I personally choose to be a rockstar in all three... hence my huge cash outlay. Coz bottom line I love to dance and want to put my best foot forward every time. Be it a heel or a toe.
    FancyFeet and Larinda McRaven like this.
  3. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    My post is going to be a little all over the place, a few random remarks to give a nod to and re-iterate wise things already stated before answering the actual question:

    1. Track your expenses (preferably all of them, but also dance). Set a budget and stick to it. Anyone who tries to get you outside the budget, either consider personally whether you want it enough to spend more, or stand firm.
    2. No need to "wait until you are good" to go to social dances. Just go. You're not going to get any better or become part of the community as long as you're not going.
    3. We are all potential cash cows, it's not just you or your demographic.
    4. Go for it and enjoy it, but do exercise some restraint - the initial excitement and passion can come crashing down hard if you throw yourself too much into it all upfront.

    So the thread question: I love and enjoy ballroom dance, and make a good enough living right now, to consciously decide to afford the price it commands. I have been very fortunate to have had a series of excellent instructors and many opportunities for both great times and creative expression. I also appreciate that I am paying for individualized attention from professionals who have invested a lot of time and energy into their own skill set, one that an extremely small slice of the population truly possesses. Unexpectedly for me, this has also been an arena where I have expanded my horizons and pushed out of my comfort zone (I know that sounds corny and cliche, but I walked into the studio with a very specific, focused, narrow vision and I've been stubborn along the way).

    I know the conflicted feelings you are having - many, if not most of us go through this when it finally sinks in how much this fun hobby is going to cost us. As others have stated, at some point you have to figure out exactly what you want and who can provide it. If your current studio is not offering what you want, either have a frank chat about it, and/or look around to other studios to see what's available.
  4. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Dancing indeed can be expensive and it is an ongoing cost. However, consider the costs of other hobbies like golf ($85-$100 a round at some courses near me plus clubs, balls, beer after a round), boating (the dock fees alone could buy a boatload ;) of group classes), etc., etc.

    Even hobbies that have relatively low ongoing costs often have high start-up or upgrade costs. Consider woodworking. There are people who have $50K or more invested in power and hand tools.

    Cheapest hobby I can think of off the top of my head is running. Buy an outfit and a pair of shoes and you're done. Until you consider the cost of knee/joint replacements. :D

    You really have to do a cost-benefit analysis for yourself and yourself only. Would I pay $20,000+ a year to dance pro-am or limit myself to $10 socials once a month? No. But that doesn't mean either is a "bad thing" or "incorrect".
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  5. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    As I'm single, the only person I have to justify things to is me. I regularly weigh my goals against the time and level of effort it will take to achieve them, and I decide that it's worth it. If you're with a partner or have a family, your circle needs to be a little wider, but the random passers-by in your life are not owed an explanation.

    On the financial side, I have a dance budget - not just an amount per month or year, but a detailed list of what I need and want, and how much that will cost. Lessons, coaching, shoes, practice clothes, hair and makeup, competition, travel, practice and gym fees, etc... it's all there. Then I shuffle things around to fit under the annual cap - which was determined based on what I can afford to spend. Some things are not worth it to me and are not funded - like showcases - but some matter to me and are. Everyone's dance budget is different, but if you're dancing at all seriously, you should have one.

    My only firm guiding rule for my dance budget: Dancing must be cash funded - no going into debt to do it - and I must not shortchange my firm costs (like paying my mortgage). I can borrow money from another discretionary category (cable, entertainment, etc. - and I've used these to increase my dance budget in the past), or make more money to fund it (selling an old dress, competition 'winnings', odd jobs, etc.), but maxing out my credit card is not an option. Making this rule way back at the beginning helped me keep my head through that 'falling in love' phase where so many are tempted to overspend.
  6. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I agree. In order to continue dancing I had to come up with a firm budget. I pay all my bills including credit cards and put the max away for retirement. The dance budget comes out of discretionary funds and if I need more than I work more. Dance can be full of temptations....' I want a new costume', 'There's a great coach coming into town', 'That comp sounds like so much fun'.... But I accept that I can't do it all. I've also become a better consumer...if the dance product, whatever it might be, doesn't live up to the hype, I simply can't afford to do it.
    Caroline Skipper likes this.
  7. Akylas

    Akylas New Member

    I enjoy it, and it's cheaper than other hobbies. Heck, even modeling and wargames can get more expensive, and both are cheaper than shooting or skiing(well, maybe if I stuck to 9mm rather than 10mm). I do plan it as part of my budget. That it's one of the best things I've done for my marriage helps justify the expense.

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