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Author Topic: An organization for pro/AM competitors? If so, what would it do?  (Read 4873 times)
elisedance
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« on: April 09, 2010, 09:14:27 AM »

I actually raised this a long time ago on DF and the reaction was very negative but now I wonder if the mood has changed.

Should we have a pro/AM organization to represent the needs of the AMs?

It would be very helpful if you indicated if your opinion was from a) a pro-AM competitor; b) a pro; c) another interested party (e.g  competition organizer, dance body representative etc).
« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 09:17:17 AM by elisedance » Logged

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Becca
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2010, 09:43:41 AM »

I'm the AM in the partnership Smiley and i really think we should have an organization.

There are a lot of really reasonable pro's out there working hard to make a living doing what they love, and that is wonderful, My pro's like that... but there are some out there who really take advantage of their AM students.

Example:  I spoke with a lady once who was doing pro/am, and when she did her first competition her old pro charged her $50,000 USD for a 4 day comp Shocked Huh (i don't know which one) and he told her it was normal, that all pro/AM's pay that much.... and she paid it because she began to love dancing, she had the money, and if everyone does it, she might as well too.... that's crazy... the organization should protect people like that lady Sad

... I can't imagine paying that much money for a dance competition... a brand new Mercedes maybe... but not a dance competition.... Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
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MrsMoose
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2010, 09:53:29 AM »

I'm the Am in the Pro/Am

I agree with Becca. I had something similar although not anywhere near the $$ amount happen to me.

I think we should have an organization or some kind of check and balance.

I now have a great Pro and an honest studio.  While it's a business and I know it, at least it's honest and my Pro is fantastic but it was a hard very costly road getting here.

First teacher not worth talking about, she was cheap and served her purpose and not involved in any kind of Pro/Am stuff, just a social dance teacher on a low level. Not totally fair, she cancelled last min and I do mean last min with no compensation but if you cancelled after 24 hours she charged you for the class, wrong but as I said, she was cheap $$$

Second one, he did to me similar to that lady, I looked up the price of the comp it was posted, and he said well it's double, it's per person not per couple. I said and your fee and he said I do it for free. That's the gist of it. He also charged me more than any other pro in the area that way. By $10 a dance and he forced me to do more dances than I wanted. He made me do all the closed dances for american style smooth and rythem wheather I was capable or not, both phyically (health) or skill. (I wasn't)
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MrsMoose
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2010, 10:01:19 AM »

con't as I seem to have run out of space.

He also backed out of comp last min and while not causing me a loss of money he caused me a hardship over that as we had arranged a business meeting for my DH in the area and in the end cost me more money and more work and more effort as things got all out of wack becuase of him backing out. I've heard stories after the fact. I couldn't continue and lost about $1,000 in lesson fees that I paid for (my fault) for taking the discount package. I felt I coldn't go back to a lier and left and of course no refund.

Next Pro, made me get up sick to pay a monthly fee as I refused to give CC over the phone and while he owed me lessons he said well the contract says the 15th, it's the 15th and you have to pay. This to a reliable paying student. He was awful, and basically I lost $1800 in lessons as I wont' go back to him. I'm trying to recoup at the studio another way by taking social class with DH with another teacher.

I'm happy now but I feel that some kind of organization could have avoided at least the first Pro (not the female). I would have a place to go and ask which I woudl have done regarding fees and costs.

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ttd
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2010, 11:33:58 AM »

OK, I am going to be a voice of dissent here. I don't like the idea of an organization (especially if I have to pay $$ dues to be a member). It sounds somewhat like a professional union and I strongly dislike them and feel that I can look out for myself better than any organization will do for me (organizing ppl in my profession is like herding cats). And that one also sounds a bit like an organization aimed at protecting people from themselves making poor choices (another thing I dislike). Basically people need to do their homework before they commit financially to things like lesson packages, competitions etc. And in the horror stories provided here and elsewhere it does not sound like the victims did so.
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dlgodud
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2010, 11:58:46 AM »

I think it is a good idea of having an organization for pro/AM competitors.

Whether you do your home work or not, still someone can be burned by pro or studio who is either maliciously try to take advantage from his/her student or innocently does it. Still, it is more likely an AM who gets burned, not pro. Surely, we have to trust our pro's judgment and decision, but that's up to a certain point.

If unpleasant cases happen, and someone who is unhappy and needs protection, the organization should be able to offer help. In that case, the person has to pay fees obviously. But, someone does think it is unnecessary for him/her, we should not force those people to join the organization.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 02:41:27 PM by dlgodud » Logged
ttd
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2010, 12:03:57 PM »

Don't we already have thing like BBB and small claims court for sorting out unpleasant issues with businesses?
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elisedance
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2010, 12:29:21 PM »

Don't we already have thing like BBB and small claims court for sorting out unpleasant issues with businesses?
Sure - but thats not the need nor the point.  What I think is needed is an organization that sets up recommended business practises - this would give the pro-ams somewhere to compare their situation and, in effect, favor the good pros. 
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Becca
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2010, 12:30:48 PM »

You're right ttd, the lady I talked to definitely didn't do her homework... :-/

I wasn't saying we should intervene for those people... but if all of the information about competitions, lessons and things was easily available, those bad cases would be much less likely... IMHO
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ttd
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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2010, 12:58:24 PM »

I feel that it is kinda available already. What's preventing said lady from searching online for dance-related info, registering someplace like DF or here and posting a question - "Hey I am new to competing, my teacher wants to charge me X amount of $$, is that normal?" If she has that much money to spend, I guarantee you she is not hurting for internet access.
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MrsMoose
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2010, 05:00:52 PM »

Hi, I'm going to jump in and say, that I see both sides.

I did do my homework, I looked on line at the price of the comp. Not all comps post prices. I tried to find the price of Crystal leaf as an example for Pro/Am comps and someone gave the price that they got but they were honest and said they can't swear to it.

Also let's face it, if there is a studio with a less than great reputation, how will the person know??? They can come here and ask but maybe no one here knows of that studio, maybe others had a good experience.

I'm all for doing my homework and I do it, but no matter how much research you do you may not necessarily get an answer from a chat group and then again do we post names in a chat group?

So an organization, to go to, to get info, get fair prices etc. I'm not saying that this organization should sue the studio or intervene but a place where ther Ams can get some relieable info.

Wouldn't it be nice to know that price of a comp Huh I can't find the price of Pro/|Am entries anywhere for Crystal Leaf, now I know my studio is charging me the fair price but what if they werent??? It's not posted so what then??
And no one should be forced to join, it should be voluntary or on an as need basis.
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MrsMoose
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2010, 05:09:38 PM »

I want to add that a place where a student can report a studio and the organization could investigate if nothing more than to allow others to have the inside as to how a studio operates.

I for one did my homework, but how was I to know that the one Pro cancels 8 out of 10 times and is runreliable. That wasn't posted anywhere on the internet.  The second, how was I supposed to know that he was accused of slapping a student in the past and his other problems. I did my homework, I even took a couple of referances. That didn't mean it was a good place.  The referances were obviously from people who had a good positive experience, which doesn't mean everyone has.  From the outward appearance all is well. So there is really only so much homework one can do.

You can ask me how much is XXX comp and I can tell you but which answer should I give you, the first one who charged me 123, the second who charged me 234 and the third who is 321?? Three different studios, same city, 3 different prices.  So how should someone decide which is the right fair price?Huh
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Rugby
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2010, 01:24:02 AM »

Back when I was doing Pro/Am I was trying to get people to see a need to have a Pro/Am organization.  Nobody seemed to care until they felt like they got burnt then they agreed.  Unfortunately too few wanted to do enough about it to set up an organization that would proviide some rules.
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elisedance
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2010, 02:44:59 AM »

thats the real problem.  As in everything in life it seems no one wants to protect the group until they personally need it.  I think it will take a massive issue to get this off the ground - something like the pros deciding that all pro-ams have to pay a fee to the professional org...
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ttd
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2010, 02:36:04 PM »

You can ask me how much is XXX comp and I can tell you but which answer should I give you, the first one who charged me 123, the second who charged me 234 and the third who is 321?? Three different studios, same city, 3 different prices.  So how should someone decide which is the right fair price?Huh

If you were quoted 3 different prices, just like with all other price quotes in life - you need to figure out what is it you're getting for extra money. Is it greater expertise, better service or the studio owner is just trying to pocket extra $$ and offers nothing in return? Why is it people want to have an organization to do it for them is totally beyond me.

And besides, you do not necessarily have to dance pro/am to get financially burned. The closest I came to losing a sizeable amount of money in form of prepaid lessons happened when I was still dancing with my husband. I was lucky to get a refund based on the grounds that the studio was unable to provide adequate instruction, but only because I asked for it before they were able to find someone with experience to replace teachers who left. Did I need some kind of dance organization protecting my interests in this case, or BBB and small claims court would have sufficed, if it came to that? I think that those two entities would have been enough.
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