Dancing Away The Dollars: The Cost Of Pro-Am Competition

katie.png

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

By: The Girl With The Tree Tattoo | Katie Flashner

I just completed my third pro-am (professional-amateur) ballroom dance competition of 2017! It was one of my best, if not THE best performance that I’ve given since I started competing in 2014. I was so proud of myself, as was my teacher. 

Part of what made it amazing was that I was able to enter at all. It takes a lot to get to a ballroom competition. I’m not talking about the necessary passion, perseverance, or skill. I have plenty of the first two and am steadily improving the third. What I’m lacking is the cold hard cash. 

Learning ballroom dance is expensive, and competing as a student takes the cost to a whole new level. Even dancing a minimum number of entries at a local competition (so no travel or hotel expenses) costs me around $1,500. 

Have you been thinking about competing? That’s great! Before you tell your teacher to send in those entry forms, let’s go over what you should expect as a student competitor, financially speaking. At a minimum, you will need to budget for the following:

  1. Entry fees -- There are a variety of events you can enter as a student, and every single one comes with a fee. 
  2. Session ticket -- Most competitions require that you buy a ticket to the session you are dancing in, along with your entry fees.
  3. Pro fee -- You have to pay your teacher for dancing with you at the competition.
  4. Pro expenses -- You are also responsible for covering your teacher’s session ticket, food, travel, and lodging. Luckily, this cost is split among all of the teacher’s competing students. 
  5. Costume -- It’s recommended that you have a separate pair of dance shoes specifically for competitions. You will also need to rent or buy a dress (for the women) or suit (for the men). Ladies, don’t forget the accessories!

If the competition is out of town, you’ll also need to account for your travel, food, and hotel expenses. If you are a woman and, like me, are not savvy at doing your own hair and makeup, you will also need to pay someone to do those for you. If you want to go the extra mile or just enjoy getting dolled up, add spray tan, manicure, and pedicure to the list.

Side note regarding dresses: I would not buy a dress right away. Renting is far less expensive (hundreds of dollars to rent versus thousands to buy!) and it gives you the chance to try different styles and also make sure you love competing before you make a huge investment.

By the way, guys, you are not exempt from the primping! You will also likely need some hair products, and you’re more than welcome to tan.

These costs can add up very quickly, and there is always more money to spend. A photographer and videographer will be at the competition, from whom you can order photos and/or video of your dancing. Other vendors will also be ready to sell you jewelry, shoes, costumes, practice wear, etc.

I don’t tell you all of this to discourage you. Far from it! I budget to the penny and save for months in order to compete, but for me, the experience is worth it. I think it’s important to be aware of the costs involved. It’s very easy to blink and realize you’ve dropped several thousand dollars on one day of glitz and glamour. If you’re prepared, you won’t be caught off guard, and you can focus on what’s really important -- the dancing!


About the Author

Katie is known as the Girl with the Tree Tattoo because of the tree of life tattoo that covers her entire back. Through ballroom dancing, Katie has discovered who she really is and what she is capable of, despite the demons of fear, self-doubt, and anxiety that live in her head. She shares her experiences on the Girl with the Tree Tattoo blog and in her book series, "Dance Diaries," with the hope that she will inspire and enable others to overcome their fears and become more confident and joyful ballroom dancers.

One Of Spain's National Treasures Is Under Duress Because Of COVID-19

flamenco

Ever since the coronavirus swept through most of the world in the first few months in 2020, all aspects of society have changed, from the way we grocery shop and interact on a daily basis to the way we experience art and entertainment. That has been especially true for dance and dance studios, which are adapting all across the country and, really, the world in order to confront these new challenges.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

The Dance Community Is Adapting To The Changes Brought On By COVID-19

remini

Dance is perhaps the most physically demanding and grueling art on the planet — and also maybe the most intimate. The necessary physical proximity to your partner or partners is key in many forms of dance, but especially in ballet, ballroom, and hip-hop. Even in elaborate group dances, physical engagement and connection drive a great performance. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

7 Dance Movies We Can't Stop Streaming

cuba-ballett.jpg

Netflix. Amazon Prime. Hulu. HBO. Disney Plus. Countless others.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

We Stand With You

Flo-Blackout-1920x1080.jpg

The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

The Oregon Doctor Whose Dances Went Viral In The Best Way Possible

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 12.39.47 PM.png

As we know very well here at FloDance, there is nothing in the world that brings as much hope, inspiration, love, and human connection as dancing. Even in the midst of COVID-19 and the difficulties that this global pandemic has caused, people are still dancing. And there's nobody who has demonstrated that better than Dr. Jason Campbell, who practices at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Why Dancing During a Pandemic Is Important, Even If It's Tough

USATSI_14221570.jpg

The coronavirus pandemic has stranded all of us in our homes, and for dancers, that's especially difficult! We like to move, sweat, rehearse, perfect our routines, and express our creativity with our bodies. This whole lockdown thing is almost making that impossible.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Keeping Up With Your Dance Training

55576598_2173888772657649_5772340482801664000_n.jpg

Being sick is the worst! Being sick when you’re a dancer is the ABSOLUTE worst. Not only do you feel horrible, but you also can’t do what you would normally do to brighten your mood—dance! Now, as many of us know, the same could be said for staying in quarantine.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

2020 UCWDC Country Dance World Championships Recap

Screen Shot 2020-01-07 at 3.25.08 PM.png

Wow, dancers! What a way to end the week! The 2020 UCWDC Country Dance World Championships started with some wonderful dancing by the ProAm divisions and this year, the competition included over 6,500 entries! It just kept getting better and better as we moved into the Couples and Line Dance events, finally culminating in mind-blowing performances by the Classic Masters group on Saturday evening. 

The Best Time of the Year: 2020 UCWDC World Championships Preview

DSC_8137.jpg

It’s time again for the UCWDC Country Dance World Championships, friends! Held at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, next week promises nonstop dancing in the form of workshops, daily competitive events, and nightly social dancing. Dancers, amateur and professional alike, from around the world have been preparing for this event all year. Some will be competing at Worlds for the first time, while others are returning to defend their titles or try for a second title at a new level.

Two-Steppin' Down Santa Claus Lane

Christmas in Dixie

The final competition of 2019 is officially complete, which means Worlds is just around the corner! Couples who qualified to dance in Nashville at the UCWDC Country Dance World Championships are surely making their final tweaks and adjustments and preparing to compete on the biggest stage in country western dance.