I was wondering the same thing two months ago, that is, until my dance instructor told me how much it would cost.
I go to Fred Astaire studios, which I really like. The problem is, their competitions are at like 5 star hotels with all these luxuries and stuff. So you have the travel/food/hotel fee. Then you have the fee for every entry (I believe that was about $60/entry) and one would do an average of 20 entries per competition. In total it ends up costing about $3000, not including the price of gowns.
Yep, I'm not going to one of those until the day I win the lottery!!
Ellen. Is that $3000 for one competition. We ,at one of the very best venues`. Could enter as many events as you are eligable to compete it for the same price as an ordinary spectator. We have a big one at Easter at one of our Casinos and we will pay abou $40 . from 9 am to midnight. In a not so flash venue we would expect to pay about $25. Children and pensioners $12 whether you compete or not.Take about $2.50 off to bring it to USA money. We have very few Pro/ Am events but do have what is called Individuals at all ages. In these the person being judges wears the number which in many cases is the female. If both are being judged, both wear a number which would be a different number for each. As with all the events there is pre- entry but no money changes hands except at the door on the day. That is for everybody from the highest to the lowest. At the Casino it would be better to buy the ticket before the day. Have a good cry.
The way to cut down on competition costs is compete near your home base and have the pro dance with many other dancers to help share your expenses.
Studio packages and going to a competition solo with your instructor is for the folks with money to burn. Independent honest teachers are your best bet with a stable of other dancers sharing your costs. If you compete in Miami or the Ohio Star Ball it's going to be expensive. Even amateur dancing at a high level can be very expensive since you will need more high quality expensive lessons to compete--unless you are just doing it for fun. The entry fees are cheap for amateurs, but travel and costumes can get expensive quickly. It is best to just set an annual budget for your dancing, do the best you can and don't even think about taking out a 2nd mortgage on you house or using credit cards for dance lesson money.
There is a wealth of information in the forum section about this topic.
Well i dance in dance competitions all the time although i am only 11 and so my parents pay for the costs. But we yearly go to the Blackpool Juniour dance festival at which we stay for two nights. Last year i was dancing in the tower from around 8am - 11.30pm and so we bought a day pass which allowed us not only to go into the ballroom but into the tower atteactions aswell. We stayed in a hotel near the tower so we would not have to hire a car and there are regular trams going to the pleasure beach. I normally costs aroung £100 pounds which is not including dresses and shoes. At my Dance school we hold fund raising dance competitions to raise money for dresses so we do not pay and we normally pay half the money for shoes and the shoes are £30. So dance competitions really arn't that expensive but it depends on where you are going.
They cost of a youth competitior and an adult is completely different, the two are just are not comparable.
We compete both independent competitions and chain comps,(for us FADS) as AM/AM.
To a large extent the cost of a competition is within your control. Even at a chain studio, the instructor can only dictate the amount of entries that you will do if you allow it. For example next month we will compete FADS with 12 entries(one being a five dance open champ)We always tell our instructor what we will do, not visa versa. For us the attraction is the comp, not the extras. We do not buy any of the meals, shows, ect... Just entry/entrance fees and a one night hotel... Thus, you can control the cost. You should/must ask the studio to give you a break down of the costs so you can make an educated decision. DO NOT go into this blind or yes it will easily cost you $3,000.
On the other hand, if you have never been to a comp before I would absolutely suggest you purchase the shows just to experience what it is like to go to a pro show..., expereince the entire atmosphere. You can also do just a few entires to see if it is for you. The experience will be the same, just less entries.
In the end we all make our own decisions as to how we want to spend our dance dollars. For us, we compete often without a lot of entries, the idea for us is quality over quanity. A good deal of our $$'s are spent on priviate lessons to prepare for comps and less on the frills of a comp.
High level Amateur competition can be more expensive than Pro Am. A good competition teacher will cost $100 a hour or more. You will have to have more lessons for both of you to be competitive. This is the main expense of Amateur dancing if you are trying to get good. You could easily take 3 to 5 or more lessons a week. You need someone for choreograpy, technique, general couple coaching, and maybe a psychology couple dance coach. Plus you get lots of frustation with who's right-wrong or not progressing accordingly.
I have to keep the position that youth is much less expensive. For example I just registered for a comp. A pro-am single dance entry is 30.00, AM 20.00 youth 10.00. The youth entry to the ballroom will be less than the adult. The youth will compete for 1/3 less than the pro/am and 1/2 less than the AM.. Adds up over a series of entries.
Now of course I am referring to a NDCA comp where AM/AM is not much cheaper than pro-am. Sure the AM is not spending money on pro fees, but the AM looses the benefit of traveling with the pro...they never get to see you in action, a pretty vauable piece of the overall picture. If we are speaking about USA Dance entry prices, then yes they are comparable. But to compete USA dance often you are going to get on a plane to chase these comps and there goes any savings. Our cost to dance USADance with travel is about the same as a NDCA that we can drive to.
I am not sure that an AM will spend more money in lessons than a pro/am will. We take 3 priviate lessons a week, and many of the pro/ams are doing the same. The AM/AM progress in most instances however will take longer.
Usually the only time even national-champion amateurs would take 3 or more lessons a week is they have temporary access to better coach than their usual one.
You have to keep in mind that there is ZERO difference between the lives and training of these "amateurs" and the professional competitors, which they usually become while changing nothing of their habits or teaching activity (other than be able to take their students to pro/am events)
And when it comes to a competition, you simply can't compare the $100-200 they spend (divided by two) with the price tags of pro/am competition. Even if they fly somewhere that's just adding a small piece of the pro/am price. And half the time their coaches will be present anyway. Sometimes, their greatest actual expense is losing a weekend worth of teaching income.
I do Pro Am and Amateur. I usually do 2 or 3 lessons a week. My competitions are usually regional or local. My last Pro Am comp. cost $200 for all dances (about 20 or so dances for l minute each dance) with the Pro and the comp. cost about $300 for entry fees and etc. Misc. was about another $150. This is as inexpensive as it gets. The event is on Sunday, so the Pro doesn't miss any lessons.
I know of some lady Pro Ams that take 3 to 4 lessons a day. They use the pro as a teacher and practice partner. They compete nationally and dance many dances. Very expensive.
Interesting about Amateurs not taking over 3 lessons a week. I know some that take 5 from various pros--especially if they do 10 dance. The problem for most Amateurs is quality practice time and using it effectively. My partners and I had problems on what had been taught us and ending up creating bad habits that needed to be unlearned--even if we taped the lessons.
The thing to remember is that the more advanced the couple is - the closer they are to being professionals themselves - the more they take care of routine things themselves. In all but a few locations in the world, your actual pro competitors will take a ton of a lessons in a few days, and then none for weeks, because they have no one to study with. Most of the top amateurs do have local coaches, but they can get a lot done in between lessons too.
I think we are using the word Amatuar widely... Absolutley there is a world of difference between your top Amatuar championship dancers and the AM/AM dancing novice and maybe pre-champ. The top Amatuars are as close to pro as one gets, without earning money by teaching. While your novice dancers go to work everyday, and yes have both the means and the time to take 3 lessons a week.
As a previous poster said, one of the biggest issues for the novice AM is retaining what is taught. With our three lessons a week, the night immediatley after a lesson we are in the studio reinforcing technique or whatever we learned in the lesson, less we loose it. Simply it takes more lessons and repeat of the same principiles for someone at our level than a near pro.
Our costs in comps alone will run us about 2K a comp or 12-15K a year which includes entry fees, travel, hotels. Then usually another 10-12K in lesson costs... Every other year another 5K in costumes. Not a cheap hobby, no matter how you look at it. And yes it is true, this is less, probably much less expensive then the Pro-AM. Still it fustrates me to always read how cheap it is for the AM.... It is not!
"Our costs in comps alone will run us about 2K a comp or 12-15K a year which includes entry fees, travel, hotels. Then usually another 10-12K in lesson costs... Every other year another 5K in costumes. Not a cheap hobby, no matter how you look at it. And yes it is true, this is less, probably much less expensive then the Pro-AM. Still it fustrates me to always read how cheap it is for the AM.... It is not!"
You can obviously buy into all the same things the pro/am students do and end up paying nearly as much as they do, but there is just no need to spend that kind of money to compete am/am. You could fly over and compete at Blackpool for the kind of money you are talking about! And for anything domestic, you should not be spending more than $700 for the two of you, unless you go all the way across the country (2x airfare at $200, hotel $100 incidentals $100 entry fees $100) - and even then, you are still talking about the price for two competitors working out well below the, vs. the price for only one.
There have been times in my life when competitions have actually saved me money because they were cheaper than the pair of lessons we would take on a non-competition weekend.
Perhaps we live in different parts of the US, and not being close to major airports... There is not once that I was able to secure airfare for 200.00. Our average airfare is about 325 per person, transportation to the hotel, airport parking...., ect
Double the entry fees you have quoted. Most USADance is $125.00 per person. Double the hotel. Flying in requires 2 nights, ect.ect.
I envy you if you can do a comp cheaper than a pair of lessons.