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Amateur vs. Pro
Posted by Anonymous
12/21/2005  3:08:00 PM
How do the top amateur latin dancers compare to the Pros?
Re: Amateur vs. Pro
Posted by Laura
12/21/2005  9:50:00 PM
Do you mean locally? (So then where is "local" for you, anyway?) In your country? In the world?
Re: Amateur vs. Pro
Posted by Anonymous
12/21/2005  9:59:00 PM
i mean in the world. How do couples like Eugene Kastsevman and Marina, stack up against the likes of top 20 pros in the world.
Re: Amateur vs. Pro
Posted by anon2
12/23/2005  8:35:00 AM
I'm very interested to hear other responses to this as well. I was recently at the Ohio Star Ball, and the top amatuers (latin and standard) blew me away. I never thought amateur dancing could look like that. Of course, the pros were good too, but it wasn't obvious to me that the pros were light-years ahead of the amatuers. Am I just watching with an untrained eye?
Re: Amateur vs. Pro
Posted by Anonymous
12/23/2005  9:54:00 AM
"I'm very interested to hear other responses to this as well. I was recently at the Ohio Star Ball, and the top amatuers (latin and standard) blew me away. I never thought amateur dancing could look like that. Of course, the pros were good too, but it wasn't obvious to me that the pros were light-years ahead of the amatuers. Am I just watching with an untrained eye?"

Simple answer: you probably didn't see any amatuers, you simply saw professionals who call themselves professionals, and professionals who for historic reasons are allowed to call themsevles amateurs.
Re: Amateur vs. Pro
Posted by Laura
12/23/2005  9:57:00 AM
One thing you need to understand is that the top "amateurs" are HARDLY amateurs. Dancing is their lives -- they train as much or more than the pros, and they also teach and coach and get paid for giving workshops and shows. "Amateurs" going to some of the top "amateur" competitions in Europe get PAID to be there -- their plane tickets, hotel, and entry fees are paid for by the organizers and sometimes they get a stipend or appearance fee for being there.

Really, the only difference between the elite level of amateurs and pros is which dance organization they are registered with. The "amateurs" dance in IDSF (International DanceSport Federation) events at the highest international level, and the pros dance in WD&DSC (World Dance and DanceSport Council) events. It's like with figure skating -- they got rid of the term "amateur" years ago, and even though it's not talked about on TV, those people you see in the top spots at the Grand Prix events win tens of thousands of dollars for placing that high.

Now, further down the line, when you start talking about people who dance purely as a hobby and don't spend all day every day working on their dance careers, then you will see a very large difference between them and the people at the top.
Re: Amateur vs. Pro
Posted by anon2
12/26/2005  7:07:00 PM
Thanks for the responses. It makes me feel a little better. I kind of thought that's what was going on. I've noticed some of those "amateurs" have sponsors too. To me, an amatuer dancer is someone who does not teach or get paid in any way to dance (whether it be salary or sponsors). They have regular jobs, and dance in their spare time. I guess at the big comps, though, that's not how it goes.
Re: Amateur vs. Pro
Posted by Laura
12/26/2005  9:11:00 PM
Really, the word "amateur" has little or no meaning in sports any more. This all started a long time ago, and I think it really came into its own when the "Dream Team" of US NBA professional players went to the Olympics in Barcelona.

I've been using the word "hobbyist" to refer to people who dance and compete for their own personal challenge and satisfaction, and who do not make a career out of competitive dancing. "Hobbyist" isn't necessarily a good word, though, because some people are very serious and work very hard on their dancing -- but they have other careers and don't take money for their dancing other than what their National Federation gives them to travel to the IDSF World Championships.
Re: Amateur vs. Pro
Posted by Onlooker
12/28/2005  3:04:00 AM
Like most sports. I doubt if any competing as Amateurs today would have qualified to be called an Amateur in the early 50's. In those days they really did go to work through the day and danced after work. There was no prize money to be won at that time. In the UK there was a professional Soccer player playing for Portmouth, who was a top class tennis player. He wasn't allowed to play at Wimbledon because he was a professional in another sport. You could not even work in a sports store and be a amateur. How things have changed. But I think for the better, don't you.
Re: Amateur vs. Pro
Posted by Laura
12/28/2005  1:07:00 PM
I think it has made elite-level dancing accessible to more people. And, in places where there are lots of competitive dancers at all levels, it's been a very good thing. However, in places where there are very few competitive dancers, it's made it very difficult for the people who are amateurs in the traditional sense of the word. If there were more of us around then we'd have the different "level" circuits like they have in the UK. Like, a top IDSF-eligible dancer like Chris Hawkins (before he turned pro) wouldn't be caught dead competing at a "Sunday Circuit" competition in England, it just wouldn't be challenging or prestigious enough for someone who could make it as a pro if they wanted. But, lots of local folks who do competitions as a hobby like to be in these events, and like that there is one within driving distance practically every week of the year. We don't have an equivalent to this in the US: there's the collegiate competitions, and then the big competitions that the pseudo-pros go to, and there's not much in between to keep a hobbyist dancer from getting frustrated. After all, there are still people doing this purely for fun.
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