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Professionals and amatures
Posted by Don
11/7/2005  7:07:00 PM
We seem to be one step nearer to a completely Open Grand Slam Series in Ballroom Dancing. Before anybody jumps in boots and all, just think about Tennis and Golf and the joining of the two and what it has done for both sports. Athletics, I can remember when an amateur couldn't even work in a Sports Store, the same in tennis. Just to clarify one point and that is a Professional Competitor does not have to be a teacher or hold any teaching accreditation, unless they wish to teach. My thoughts are that it will keep people in the sport longer if it was completely open. I just think back to so many really good dancers who have just disappeared off the scene. I guess it's the same where you are. They think they have gone as far as they can go and there is nothing left in front of them .Does anybody have any thoughts on this, even though it is inevitable.
Re: Professionals and amatures
Posted by Anonymous
11/7/2005  7:51:00 PM
what we have are two professional divisions and no amateur divisin any more. But don't expect them to join, becuase the power brokers would have to give up their power for that to happen, and there isn't enough advertising money to buy them out
Re: Professionals and amatures
Posted by Laura
11/7/2005  8:32:00 PM
What you see depends on where you are. In some countries there is basically no difference between what it takes to be eligible for amateur or pro events. In the US there is an extremely minor difference, so minor at the top levels that I don't even consider anyone who makes a US "Amateur" final to actually be an amateur.

A few years ago USA Dance (the governing body for IDSF-sanctioned or "amateur" competition in the US) tried to eliminate the term "amateur" and collapse professional and otherwise eligibility. That would have meant that job or earning status didn't matter, that everything depended on merit and proficiency. However, the membership didn't like that proposal and enough people voted against it that things were left as they are today. My personal opinion is that as painful as it would have been to change it, the levels would have worked themselves out over a short period (about two years, I guessed) and then we'd have a much simpler and clearer and more universally applicable system.

Anyway, to comply with International Olympic Committee rules that representatives to competitions like Worlds and the Olympics (even though dancesport isn't in the Olympics, it's an Olympic-recognized sport which means it has to play by Olympic rules if it wants a cance of getting in). This means that the US can no longer discriminate between amateurs and pros in the usual sense of the word. They have to let professionals compete in the selection events for the World Championships.

So, we're kind of at a halfway point in the US between what most people think of as "amateur" and what Don talks about as being a truly open system.
Re: Professionals and amatures
Posted by Don
11/8/2005  4:34:00 AM
Anonymous and Laura. The proposal is for the Grand Slam Series IDSF which we forunately see her on TV cable, joining together with the Professionals. The ground is already clearly laid, there has been a joining of the two in Canada. I have it on tape somewhere in my collection. For those who might not know the IDSF have a series which competes annualy around the world. This is Standard, Latin and Ten Dance. This at the moment is strictly Amateur. If greater audiences plus TV coverage world wide can be anticipated there is only one way to go.
Re: Professionals and amatures
Posted by Anonymous
11/8/2005  7:04:00 AM
No, it's not strictly amateur. IDSF does not prohibit professionals from taking part even now, as long as their country will endorse them.

The obstacle to a unified championship is political - the pros won't go, because they look down on the IDSF couples (often with good reason)

Re: Professionals and amatures
Posted by Laura
11/8/2005  9:52:00 AM
Anonymous is right -- the IDSF is not strictly amateur, in the way that most people think of the word. In fact, because of the IOC rules that I mentioned in my previous post, starting in 2006 the USA has to allow professionals (in the way we usually think of them) to participate in the formerly so-called "amateur" selection events to go to the IDSF championships.

In other words, someone who is currently registered in the US with the NDCA and who competes in events designated for "pros" will be allowed to compete for a spot at the various IDSF World Championships. This has already started: the first qualifying event for people who wanted to try for a spot at Worlds was held last month. And no NDCA/WD&DSC pros went. (No USA Dance/IDSF registered people went either, but that's another story that has to do with when, where, and how expensive the competition was.)
Re: Professionals and amatures
Posted by Anonymous
11/8/2005  11:20:00 AM
actually I do believe some USA dance couples showed up but I don't know if it was enough to run the event
Re: Professionals and amatures
Posted by Laura
11/8/2005  11:29:00 AM
Three USA Dance couples showed up but no NDCA couples did. The event was run, but no one automatically earned World Class qualifying status from it because there were too few couples. The couples involved were all given forms to fill out to petition for World Class status.
Re: Professionals and amatures
Posted by Juice23
11/8/2005  1:17:00 PM
I see amateur and pro more as age levels- and of course there are style differences. Pros are much more secure and concrete in their style with I think a more artistic approach while amateurs are still experimenting and try to fit lots of different things into their choreography, often aiming more at quantity, speed, and athleticism.
Re: Professionals and amatures
Posted by Don
11/8/2005  7:45:00 PM
Laura. At first I would expect the current Professionals to swamp the field, but only at first. With big prize money offered after a while there will only be professionals. This wont affect a low grade say E Grade or an over fifties, or a teacher in a studio. only the higher class competitions. I suppose this is thinking big. Could anyone see that in the future it could be like Tennis, Golf Athletics and to many others sports, too many to mention. About four years ago in the UK they engaged a guy named Mitchell, ( he is the one who put Tennis and Golf where it is today as a media spectacular), with hope that he can do what he has done with many other sports. Take as example Tennis. Only someone with the right conections could have got tennis into every home in the world that has a TV. It did not just happen, So think big and leave it in the hands of people who know how to promote. Just in closing. People are craving to be entertained O K Tennis this week Athletics next week Lets hope Ballroom Dancing can be there also

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