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Author Topic: balancing money, teaching/learning, dance partnership, practise, friendship..  (Read 3530 times)
elisedance
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ee


« on: April 14, 2009, 10:06:00 PM »

I think the title says it all.  Pro/am is unlike any other dance form - its such an unweildy mixture or differnet relationships.

First there is a teacher-student one.  This is easy, pro teaches, student learns.  Well, its easy until the student starts to approach the abilities of the pro and then this can grow cracks...

Then there is the business aspect: pro does this as a, whatcha know, profession!  so he/she gets paid - which is great but it sets up a dynamic where the student is both beholden to the pro and also hiring him/her (the client).  A fascinating dynamic that I have not really figured out.

Ah, and we then come to the partnership.  When they compete they have to look like partners - a partnership is in its essence a give and take one (the higher the level the more this is the case).  It can be difficult for the am to comment on the dancing of the  pro - lets face it some things are not going to be perfect and eventually the am will hit on one!  The best pro'am couples look like they love to dance with each other - somehow they manage to put the paid aspect to one side...

And there are relationship issues - you become friends of sorts - but this is countered by the paid time - its hard to be a friend when there is a one way cash exchange!  And the knowledge that if the cash stops so does the relationship and the dancing.

Finally we have the practise relationship.  Am partnerships practise as much as they like.  Pro/amers generally only practise during the lesson itself.  The high quality of teaching (dancing with a pro) is then undermined by the lack of practise time.

I think these are some of the main reasons why the pro/am relationship is so complex - and sometimes it works and sometimes not. 
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 10:44:29 PM »

This was the most agonizing relationship I have ever been in, complicated by the fact that I was working at the studio where I danced for lessons from my pro.

I am not surprised it finally blew up; too many hats and too similar personalities.
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elisedance
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2009, 10:45:36 PM »

It really is an art getting one to work - thats why you have to choose very wisely...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
cornutt
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2009, 10:49:12 PM »

Hmm... great topic, and it deserves a better-thought-out reply than I have time to give it at the moment.  I'll just add this: I think it makes a difference whether you are just one of several students that that pro teaches, or if you are the pro's only student.  In the latter case, the student becomes a sort of patron.  And to me that sounds like a very difficult type of relationship.  Haven't experienced that myself, so I don't really know.
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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2009, 10:51:45 PM »

I was old-pros first and then only serious student for 4 years (bit of a gap when I met DP).  Loved the relationship and the dancing - but he was pretty special.  It did become a bit of an issue though as I improved - I was never in his league but I think I started to top out of the range that he was comfortable teaching... 
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
dream a little dream
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2009, 10:53:51 PM »

I wasn't the only student, however, I was treated differently than most other students.  Not always in a favored, "she's so wonderful" sort of way, either.  
I wish I could have gone back, stopped spending so much time and energy on the studio, and just been a "regular" student.
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elisedance
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2009, 11:10:54 PM »

ah well, you've learned a bit for the next one - besides I don't think you found the 'right' teacher for you.  there's much more to matching than skills or experience - I'm learning so much about teaching method.... how you learn best has to match with how the teacher teaches best..
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
dream a little dream
Silver
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2009, 11:21:39 PM »

Perhaps not.
I do think, however, that it is unwise to be student, friend, confidant, employee all at the same time.  Next time around, I will be student and friend, but not close, close friend.
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Don't forget to listen to the nightengale.
waltzelf
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 200


« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2009, 11:37:01 PM »

Does anyone choose a pro-am partnership over a pro-pro or am-am partnership?

I can't for the life of me think of any reason to choose pro-am if there's an alternative option.
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elisedance
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 12:06:45 AM »

then you have never danced pro-am with a top pro

Imagine you were dancing with the world champion follow - what then is the limit on your dance achievement?  Only you. 

I do both - and I love both they require similar but also different skills.  Its definitley more of a partnership with DP - we have to solve everything together and most of our work is by ourselves with the occasional lesson.  Competitions are common (they are cheap an there are a lot of local ones) and we compete against a nice group of people that we see almost every time.  I would love to get to the point where we could compete in championhsip - but that will be at lest a year off.  Am: collegiate, teamwork, satisfying.

Pro-am.  I go out with my pro and may compete against a north american 10 dance champion (done that twice now) an ex blackpool finalist or any number of national champions - the pros with the other women.  And sometimes we beat them!  Competition is rarer but the dancing is at a much higher level because I'm dancing up to my pro.  Its more glitzy and at the schollarship (open) level and you usually dance in the evening, in between the top ranked heats - so in front of a large audience.  Pro-am: glamarous, competetive, reaching limits...




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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
waltzelf
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 200


« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 12:11:09 AM »

Fair enough - you have to remember that in Australia Pro-Am is nothing. Rarely do the top pros bother with it, and it's completely insignificant in terms of numbers and prestige.

So it really is for people who have no other option here.
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 12:22:45 AM »

well that was the case here too until it dawned on the pros that a) they could make a lot of money; b) they could have a lot of fun c) they could win competitions (again after retiring) and now d) that winning pro-am actually has some prestige - its not a lot yet and it depends on the competition but it is happening.

How long have you had pro/am in Australia?  Perhaps you are just at the beginning of the above realizations...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
waltzelf
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 200


« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2009, 12:31:56 AM »

Pros here tend to be more interested in getting money out of being a paid social dancer ;-)

Very lucrative and no effort whatsoever!
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 12:37:00 AM »

I hadn't heard that before - and do they charge the same as for a lesson?  Its basically an old dance-hall tradition.

ee
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
waltzelf
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 200


« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2009, 12:41:05 AM »

3 easy steps to being a paid social dance.


1) Get good at dancing

2) Find a middle aged Chinese lady. They like to be seen with handsome, well groomed, good dancers - it's a big part of the social dance community and status is key.

3) Reap the benefits.


Seriously, if you're good to your social partner, she will pay a fortune to look after you and dance with you. You will make a lot more money that way than teaching - a typical social runs for around 4 hours, and a halfway decent dancer will make much more than $280 for the night ($70/ hour lesson rate)
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