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Author Topic: Pro-Am Good or Bad for the Dance Community in Australia? Overall?  (Read 491 times)
phoenix13
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« on: June 15, 2013, 02:13:34 AM »

Today,I saw some interesting comments on the ACDA Facebook page regarding pro/am dance competition possibly being recategorised in Australia.   Apparently, all along,it's been a "novelty" dance category, but now there is a move afoot to give pro-am the same recognition as Am/am and professional dance categories.

One of the supporting arguments given for this move is that pro-am promotes dancesport by providing a good living for dance professionals.  I don't want to plagiarize,so you can always check out the ACDA FB page if you want to see more of the post or the responses.

But this raises questions for me, as an American from a dance culture in which pro-am has been a given as long as I've known.  To me,the culture (that may be just my delusion) in which am/am competition is encouraged and low-cost instruction is more widely available is a good thing.

Why the move to pro-am?  And do you think it's a good thing? If it's to be accepted,what do you think needs to happen?  (Strictly opinion questions. Please play nice. )
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 07:43:02 AM by phoenix13 » Logged

Dona nobis pacem.
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2013, 03:27:34 AM »

It is a hot topic at the moment and a lot of professionals here are struggling. so much so that they are closing their studios and just hiring halls, as Amateurs here are able to teach and get money (with restrictions of course) but suffice to say it has caused friction and in a way there is no incentive to turn pro.

There are more Pro/AM categories coming up in comps around Australia and New Zealand. Of course there are pros and cons and not being a teacher I may see it wrong as well. Richard Morrissey a professional in Western Australia is very vocal about this on ACDA. I am sure there will be more discussion happening but they need to learn of the things that have not worked well in the US and hopefully not make the same mistakes.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 07:00:08 AM »

Yes. Richard Morrissey is the one who started that thread on FB.  Cool

I'm not a teacher either,so I probably am missing a big part of the picture.  I think Morrissey is right.  Pro/am can provide a good living for dance teachers, but it doesn't always.  And, IMV,there are a lot of abuses. etc.  We can certainly talk about those if you want.  (Or at least my opinions)

But, to me, the fundamental question is whether pro/am is really good for dancesport overall. The "good living" Morrissey is talking about has to come from somewhere.  That somewhere is from students' pockets.  In the US, pro/am can be a very, very expensive hobby.  I see that benefiting dance teachers, yes. But what about students?  Will there still be affordable options for getting dance instruction?
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phoenix13
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2013, 07:34:44 AM »

Oh yeah and there are a lot of independent teachers here who don't own their own studios.  They rent floor space from a studio owner and avoid the overhead of studio upkeep.  I don't necessarily see that as a failure.  I see it as a win/win, in the best cases. Studio owners are like landlords, sort of, and the floor fees help them defray their costs.  Teachers pay floor fees and don't have to worry about the complexity of running a studio.  And,often, everybody makes more money overall.
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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2013, 02:57:01 PM »

Hang on - pro-am can vary from a very expensive, very high-invovlement hobby to a quite low key one.

You have to pay to dance at all and when you have a lesson you pay for it alone so its generally more expensive than having a partner - but not htat much more and the quality of the dancing is way higher.

Where the expense rises is in competitions but even that can be manageable if you only compete at local events.  Beyond that the expense is optional - how much you pay for your gown etc, but thats the same as AM competitoin.

I don't thing the 'mistakes in the US' catagoraizaiton is right or fair.  The success in the US has been to allow people do do it as they like - and not have it regulated by an organization which mighth (almost certainly) also demand membership and set rules - making it less, not more accessible.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2013, 03:00:55 PM »

What mistakes in the US categorization?   I agree with Q, i think the system has its pluses and minuses. 

When I read Morrissey's post,all I heard were the plusses.
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2013, 02:20:47 PM »

I've read a POV somewhere that pro-am maintains gender disbalance for adult competitors. Because in absence of this opportunity women who want to dance would make more effort to recruit men, and encourage them to improve and compete, so the pool of advanced dancers would in theory grow and the gender ratio would be less lopsided. But honestly, even though I can see that person's point, as a pro-am competitor myself, I'm happy that it exists.

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phoenix13
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2013, 02:55:34 PM »

I hear you on both counts.  That POV is borne out by (what I think is) the smaller imbalance in places like the UK and Australia,where there is very little or no pro-am.  But that's pretty weak logic, IMO, if you're the person in the UK, Canada or  Australia who's unable to find an amateur partner.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 05:43:34 PM by phoenix13 » Logged

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elisedance
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2013, 04:54:17 PM »

But that could go both ways; without pro-am there may be exactly the same number of men dancing, just fewer women!  We need stats on how many male dancers there are per population.

One could also argue that by training women to dance through pro-am they actually encourage men to join in. 

Obviously an area that could do with some more careful research...
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