The Business Side of Ballroom

As students of ballroom dance, we are faced with countless challenges: the dance itself, the goals for progressing the dance, the funding of the dance, the personal growth triggered by the dance, the emotional bonds formed with dance teachers, etc., etc. After reading the blogs of some other ballroom students, I realized there is another challenge that should be addressed: the fact that our dancing dreams don’t always align with our teacher’s career path.
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Ghosts of Ballroom Past and Ballroom Future

A year ago, on this Thursday (although it was December 11 in 2014), I was in Las Vegas dancing in my second-ever ballroom competition, the Holiday Dance Classic. I didn’t sleep the night before, made my morning tea with hot water from the bathroom sink because I had no money left after getting myself TO the competition, and had an amazing time dancing.

It’s weird that it was a full year ago! It is cool, however, to look back at the four competitions I’ve danced in and see how far I’ve come.

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Holiday also marks what would have been my first repeat comp. What would that have been like?

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Ask the Girl Episode 4 – Finding the Right Partner

It’s Tuesday again and I’ve got another Ask the Girl post for you!

I don’t know about you, but I had a rough Monday. If there is such a thing as a case of the Mondays, I had it bad! But I survived to write again.

Today’s question came from one of my Instagram followers! She just started dancing and competing in pro-am ballroom with a pro who also happens to be a good friend. Their connection outside of dance makes their connection and performance on the dance floor really strong, but she has also found that it sometimes causes extra heartache and disappointment. She wanted to know how I found my dance partner and how I knew he was the one to stick with.

Is there any pro-am dancer out there who hasn’t experienced the odd mix of joy and pain that is ballroom dancing? I doubt it.

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Dear DWTS Contestants: Welcome to Ballroom! (Write31Days Day 2)

After some exciting progress with my writing, from publishing my first eBook to getting another article published on Dance Advantage, I took a break on Monday night to watch Week 3 of Dancing with the Stars.  It seemed like it was a challenging week for the various celebrities as they started to realize that the show was actually a competition and they actually needed to learn and dance ballroom if they were going to stay.  And ballroom dancing is hard!

All of the demons started coming out, and I heard so many things that sounded so familiar!  “I’ve been abandoned before, I’m scared, I’m not sexy, I can’t do this, why can’t I get this right?!”  People were having trouble connecting with their pro partners and feeling uncomfortable with the close physical contact. Someone even brought up the blurry line that is the pro-am relationship (teacher or friend?).  I couldn’t help myself; I had to write about it.

First, to all of the remaining Dancing with the Stars contestants, I would like to say welcome!

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The Evolution of a Dancer

Every once in awhile, I like to reflect on where I am versus where I was. I have changed and grown so much in the past few years, and I think it is important to pause and acknowledge that growth. It’s a good thing to practice, especially when you feel like you’re stuck in your current situation. Think of this as a more in-depth follow-up to When Taking Ballroom, Side Effects May Include…

So how has the Girl evolved?

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The Pro-Am Relationship

The relationship between a ballroom dance teacher and a student (when you are the student) has to be one of the most unique you’ll ever encounter.  On the surface, the arrangement is a professional one.  As the student, you pay the teacher to teach you ballroom dancing and dance with you at competitions.  The teacher teaches you because they are paid to teach you.  It’s a business.  But there are aspects of this arrangement that mirror a very personal and intimate relationship.  They are impossible to ignore and difficult to escape, which is why, I assume, so many professional dance partners are also life partners.  And why you hear so many stories/rumors about students and teachers entering romantic relationships or going through bad “break-ups.”  For a new student, it can be very confusing and often leads to that student getting hurt emotionally. But why?  You know coming into it that you are receiving a service that you are paying for, nothing more.  What is it about this sport/art that turns a business arrangement into an emotional rollercoaster?

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