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Author Topic: Is Dancesport in decline?  (Read 8012 times)
elisedance
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ee


« on: December 05, 2010, 05:32:31 AM »

This came up in the comp results of pdoodlers topic.  Both the Canadian and Australian contingent here have noted that there are less couples in their competitions.  Is this generally the case?  If so what does it mean for the future of our passion and what can be done about it?
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Rugby
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 10:19:10 PM »

I have worried about this too ee.  We used to have quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals in Standard and Semi-finals in Latin.  Now there is almost nobody around.  The past couple of years things have gotten bad and now you are lucky to get 6.  Before if you made the top 6 you know you were doing very well, as the top 6 were all very good so you felt that if you made the semi you did well indeed.  When you only have 3 or 4 then you don't have enough to judge your skill or where you really are.

In my opinion until the politics and greed is taken out of the picture we will never get back to full competitions with a good field of skilled competitors.  The Pros have no right, nor do the studios to interfere with an AMATEUR event and it will be up to the amateurs to put their foot down.  I have heard people complaining for the last few years and it seems a deaf ear is being turned on the complaints in hopes that it will just go away, or, that is how it goes so oh well.  Instead of the complaints going away the competitors have so now we shall see how it goes.

Overall, boycotts, trying to influence competitions and the like has no place at the competitions and the exact reasons why it should never, ever be allowed into the Olympics.  
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emeralddancer
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2010, 11:31:41 PM »

I think here in the states part is due to a really really bad economy as well.
For pro/am the fees are CRAZY. Am/am is much better but still difficult.
I know many competitive dancers have lost their jobs. (including myself).

It is not a choice of what I can cut out of my budget so I can keep dancing. It is a choice of what to cut out of my budget just to survive.

Many amateurs have cut back on lessons and socials as well. Many have even had to give up dance (for the time being). Just a luxury that is not easily affordable.

Especially when many teachers have high prices for lessons and comp (normally), and some here have even risen their prices.

=(
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elisedance
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2010, 01:05:28 AM »

I do hope things turn around for you soon EM. This has been going on for an awfully long time. 

 I think we're seeing an economy where there is a progressively bigger difference between the rich and the poor.  If you are a pro in an entertainment/hobby (which is what dancing is to non-pros) market it may be better to charge high prices to the rich than trying to satisfy the mass market.  So pro-am survives as it becomes a game for the wealthy - but there are less and less dancers to train. 


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dlgodud
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2010, 02:55:06 AM »

I don't also see the pro-am market will grow or stay as it is now.
I plan to finish my pro-am sooner or later after doing a few competitions next year.
I will probably take some lessons, but will not actively compete.
Now, I feel like I have to settle and save some money for the future, and I don't think it is wise spending almost all of my income and saving little.
And, also it seems the cost goes higher every year, and I will not catch up.
Recently, the studio I used to go raised the price of private lessons of a few teachers.
They decided to charge $120 for a lesson, and call those teachers as resident coaches.

Do I think it is a smart move? Not really.

I can tell why people will not take dance lessons. It's simply too expensive.
I recently started to take yoga classes, and I pay $139 for unlimited classes for a month in NYC. If I take dance unlimited classes in one of dance studios in NYC, I need to pay $250 -$300.
If I go to Equinox which is a very high end gym in NYC, I will need to pay approximately $130. Well, of course we cannot directly compare dancing to going to the gym or yoga classes.
For me, one of the reason I dance is exercise. I hate going to the gym, so I found dancing is much easier. But, the problem with dancing is the cost.
I found yoga classes are very satisfactory and not that much painful as gym, so I feel like even if I stop dancing, I will not be devastated as I was before.
 

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elisedance
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2010, 03:59:13 AM »

I think you are fairly typical of the issue DGD.  Dance is different from other excercises because of many factors including its social aspects, the possibilities for competition in a social environement, the glitz and celebratory aspects - lets face it its really fun!  The price of lessons escalates I think because there are quite a few dancesport afficionados (am and pro-am) who get so hooked that they will litterally do just about anything to advance.  This passion is a factor that sets the 'value' of dance lessons - and it affects not just the dancing elite but the entire tree. 

Whats also happened is that so many dancers have become teachers that there really are not enough clients to support them.  Note that these teachers have just as much passion for staying in dance as the students do - so many keep at it even if they can not build it as a career.  As I see it, that disperses the 'revenue' and again drives up the cost of an individual lesson. 

Seems to me that something has to give at the pro level to 'save' dancsport.  Perhaps the high prices will lead to the loss of all but the most dedicated dancers with respect to private lessons at least and many pros will simply have to find another occupation. 

We have seen one annual (and favorite) competition fold this month.  I have no idea what the forces were behind that - the attendance last year was not great either so it could have been in natural decline.  However, there may be a more seamy aspect where support for a competition is being set not by the dancers themselves but by their studios and the studios (who also host comps) are fighting each other for survival.  Whatever that might entail. 

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QPO
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2010, 05:53:11 AM »

It would be great to be able to get some good data to substaiate what we all have observed. I believe that there are lots more choices for young people to do especially to meet a potential mate, where as in the olden days it was the only place where you would go.

I do believe that the cost of it is becoming prohbitivie  and making it too expesnive for parents to put their chirldren though, as the better you get you start to need private lessons and not not group classes.

I believe that there needs to be a coming together of different groups and we all need to be signing from the same song sheet. I do believe dancesport can survive but only because passionate people will keep it going.

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dlgodud
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2010, 10:45:31 AM »


Seems to me that something has to give at the pro level to 'save' dancsport.  Perhaps the high prices will lead to the loss of all but the most dedicated dancers with respect to private lessons at least and many pros will simply have to find another occupation. 


That was exactly what I was thinking. For example, the prize money they offer in competition in Pro category should be a lot more than it is now. In Asian tour, if I am not wrong, the prize money is a lot compare to other competitions in the world. I believe that they offer almost $10,000 for the first place, and $8,000-9,000 in South Korea. Do I think it is a lot? Not really. But, comparing to other competitions that are held in the US, it is actually a lot.

Also, one of categories that I don't understand is top teacher category and it's prize. What does it exactly? Can anyone explain?
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ttd
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2010, 12:27:49 PM »

Whats also happened is that so many dancers have become teachers that there really are not enough clients to support them.  Note that these teachers have just as much passion for staying in dance as the students do - so many keep at it even if they can not build it as a career.  As I see it, that disperses the 'revenue' and again drives up the cost of an individual lesson. 

I am not sure I follow this logic. I thought if there is an oversupply of something (i.e. dance teachers), it should drive the prices down, not up.
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2010, 12:52:12 PM »

Whats also happened is that so many dancers have become teachers that there really are not enough clients to support them.  Note that these teachers have just as much passion for staying in dance as the students do - so many keep at it even if they can not build it as a career.  As I see it, that disperses the 'revenue' and again drives up the cost of an individual lesson.  

I am not sure I follow this logic. I thought if there is an oversupply of something (i.e. dance teachers), it should drive the prices down, not up.

Supply and demand can work at different levels.  For example There are a lot of reasonably priced cars - and yet there are also cars for $200,000 that are doing very well.  I think the same thing is happeneing in dancesport.  The issue is quality - you can find cheap lessons but in dancesport poor training is a waste of time - so everyone seems to gravitate to the same top coaches to try to get an edge.
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elisedance
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2010, 12:57:09 PM »

Also, one of categories that I don't understand is top teacher category and it's prize. What does it exactly? Can anyone explain?

Its a sham - as is the'top student'.  On paper its OK - the student who gets the highest placings gets the most points - and those points are accumulated by the pro too.  So far so good.  However, you get the same points for an uncontested heat as for a contested one (sometimes its less but it does not really matter).  The outcome is that the student and pro with the most entries gets the top student and top teacher prize.  This scoring system is not fixed because thats exactly what the comp wants to reward, not performance but entrance money.

So there are a lot of pros who advertise themselves as 'top teacher' award at a high profile competition - but it has nothing to do with their teaching ability but all to do with their ability to get students to compete and enter a lot of heats.
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pinkstuff
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2010, 01:43:51 PM »

Also, one of categories that I don't understand is top teacher category and it's prize. What does it exactly? Can anyone explain?

Its a sham - as is the'top student'.  On paper its OK - the student who gets the highest placings gets the most points - and those points are accumulated by the pro too.  So far so good.  However, you get the same points for an uncontested heat as for a contested one (sometimes its less but it does not really matter).  The outcome is that the student and pro with the most entries gets the top student and top teacher prize.  This scoring system is not fixed because thats exactly what the comp wants to reward, not performance but entrance money.

So there are a lot of pros who advertise themselves as 'top teacher' award at a high profile competition - but it has nothing to do with their teaching ability but all to do with their ability to get students to compete and enter a lot of heats.

Thanks for this - it is good to know.  I have been investigating some dance options in the US and was wondering what this was.
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dlgodud
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2010, 02:12:50 PM »

That was exactly what I understood. It is kind of funny. So, it is an award driven by sales, not performance. We should call it top selling teacher award instead of top teacher award then. (Sorry if I am being too sarcastic.)

So it seems that successes of competitions heavily depend on the attendance of pro-am couples. But, teachers want to charge more and more for competition fees, etc., and if you are not a rich person who does not know how much money you have in your bank account, well, it does not matter. Otherwise, folks like me who has no bank account like that will hit the limit and stop. Then, it will drop the attendance rate of competitions. What will organizers do if that is the case? Would they cancel or charge more? Maintaining the same rate by organizers don't look like an option. Well, then, it will be rich people's party, and dancesport will not be even an elite sport, at least in the US.
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ttd
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2010, 02:26:28 PM »

Whats also happened is that so many dancers have become teachers that there really are not enough clients to support them.  Note that these teachers have just as much passion for staying in dance as the students do - so many keep at it even if they can not build it as a career.  As I see it, that disperses the 'revenue' and again drives up the cost of an individual lesson.  

I am not sure I follow this logic. I thought if there is an oversupply of something (i.e. dance teachers), it should drive the prices down, not up.

Supply and demand can work at different levels.  For example There are a lot of reasonably priced cars - and yet there are also cars for $200,000 that are doing very well.  I think the same thing is happeneing in dancesport.  The issue is quality - you can find cheap lessons but in dancesport poor training is a waste of time - so everyone seems to gravitate to the same top coaches to try to get an edge.


Or maybe that is under-supply of the top-level coaches then, and that keeps their prices high. Unless you're saying that there is lack of mid-level option - like there aren't that many pros who take lessons from the top coaches and then go ahead and spread that information to their students...
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pinkstuff
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2010, 04:23:31 PM »

I wonder if the approach of studios could be changed and may be the Russian/European club system adopted?  From the one club that I was at, this seemed to ensure that lessons were cheaper over all, both group & private, and of a high quality as all in the groups had similar aims, & financial reasons became less of a limiting factor.  Clubs also provide practice time & space.  I also think that dancing is just more popular in some countries, and has a different position in society. eg in some countries, dancing is compulsory in school
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