Ballroom Dance > Small Competitions - What is the Value?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. fire_dancer

    fire_dancer New Member

    Having only done one smaller competition and getting ready for Twin Cities Open, a much larger one, I can tell you that the smaller competitions often act as great 'springboard' events. Sometimes the smaller ones are better for getting you acclimated to what this whole competition circuit is all about, and allows couples to get used to working together in a competition setting without the pressure of thousands of people watching. Also, if you're learning a new style (American? International?) or a specific dance, smaller comps often act as a great place to try them out in front of people and learn where you're at. The same goes for new routines with partners.... sometimes the smaller ones can get you used to performing the new routine in front of an audience, figure out the floorcraft, etc. without the hassle of worrying "I paid $100 to dance in this round, I can't screw up!"

    Just my two cents :)
  2. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    We basically have 2 local competitions (2.5 hour drive to each) here - both are not too big, but not too small either (and I was told that they've gotten bigger in the last few years). I've been doing them so far for the last 3 years. This year I am doing my first out of state competition, I am going to Chicago Crystal Ball, that's a 7 hour drive for me. I would do small competitions if they were local. I don't know if I will ever do a bigger one where I will have to add the expense of plane tickets on the top of everything.
  3. bailarín

    bailarín New Member

    Great topic.
    We view each competition as practice for the next event, so each competition then gives us a chance for our most realistic practice rounds that week.
    We regard the various levels of conditions, equipment, organization, competitors, judging, etc., that we encounter as useful - ignoring these helps train our focus on our dancing and not externals (or should I say, despite externals).
    Pitching in to help small comps is also useful in understanding the issues involved from an ownership vs. an entitlement point of view.
    Miss a small comp and miss an opportunity to improve again.
  4. LaLoona

    LaLoona Member

    At a competition besides competing I learn from watching other couples, especially from couples that are much better than we are. The more of them the better. Small comps often times are not having lots/any excellent couples that really worth looking at...
  5. Agunde

    Agunde New Member

    Smaller Competitions Rock

    I have been an avid follower of Ballroom (OK I am the mother of four ballroom dancers) and I love the smaller competitions! They assist in exposure (getting the bugs worked out of the routines AND getting the nerves calmed down) and the judges are much more accessible and eager to give critquing to let the dancers know exactly what they are looking for and what they saw that they liked, etc..,

    I also really enjoy the large competitions--you can't beat the energy! I do know that my experience has shown me that doing the smaller ones first really helped my kids have and better chance to place higher than when they just went to the larger ones.

    Angela Gunderson
  6. Nik

    Nik Member

    Small local comps are the best for 2 reasons.

    1. You don't have any pressure of competing with anyone because you are going there knowing you will win.

    2. If you know most of the audience, it is way more fun to dance, cause its more like a show. You enjoy yourself a lot more and start dancing for the audience instead of the judges.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    fun ...but ya know, here's the thing...if you're on a budget it isn't fun to pay thousands to go and beat people you know you're gonna beat....dancing is fun but I can have fun dancing for FREE...I like small comps if I am able to save money by not spending the night and being choosey about what I dance...and as prep for bigger ones...otherwise...I gotta save my nickels for the big stuff
  8. Laura

    Laura New Member

    But if you are dancing as an amateur like Nik then it's not going to cost thousands, so it's definitely worth it to go to the local comps. They are a great opportunity to just get more floor time, because the more you dance your routines under competitive circumstances (even small local ones), the better you will be able to cope with the stresses (both good and bad) of the larger comps.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    definately ...and thats true of pro/am as well if you can swing it...and in can it ever be a bad thing besides cost?...personally, the last little one I went to was also an excellent boost to my ego and a chance for pro and I to ...GASP...have fun
  10. Laura

    Laura New Member

    NO! NO FUN ALLOWED! You must be in it to win it, and I don't mean just win some local syllabus or novice comp. No no no, if you aren't GOING FOR THE GOLD then you are just DEAD WEIGHT taking up valuable studio space or lining the pockets of unscrupulous dance teachers.

    As if! :) :) :) :)
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    hey, have you been having those pina coladas without me?????...and actually, I think if you don't have some fun, you also aren't likely to win very much either...
  12. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Small comps

    Most important--- floor craft--- and experience -- always test the water before you jump in to the pool -- develop your craft and skills and limit your expense before committing to grander stages
  13. Lai Lai

    Lai Lai Member

    I personally don't see a value in small competitions. Entry fees are approximately the same, no matter competition size. Pro's charge the same price... I don't understand where do you see cost savings? How do you get more time on a dance floor? It is still only 1 minute per dance you pay for. And how is having very few contestants a good thing? Does uncontested heat makes you feel so good about "winning"? If I go to COMPETITION, I want people to COMPETE with. The more, the better.
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  14. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Small comps are a good intro to see if it's for you.
    Purr likes this.
  15. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    A 14 year old thread revived !.. advice given by some is still pertinent
  16. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    What he said. It's a low(er) stress introduction to competitions.
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  17. jiwinco

    jiwinco Active Member

    I love smaller comps. I am a middle aged follower, Smooth, Rhythm, dancing mostly silver. (+a little open) I have competition everywhere I have been and have never danced uncontested. I may have a chance to win at smaller comps, because the ladies that spend tens of thousands a year don't bother to attend them. I can only afford 1 or 2 comps a year, and I don't want to be at a comp that is so big you pick up your award off the floor. I used to attend those events, but they aren't as fun for me. Split floors, massive crowds, tight schedules.... these are stresses for me. I love to dance, so the less crowd on the floor the more fun. I don't care if there are only 7 or 8 on the floor as opposed to 28 in spit rounds.

    Look, different strokes for different folks. If I was dancing uncontested that might be different, but at my age and level it will never happen.
  18. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I also hate split floors and massive crowds... but I hate dancing uncontested even more. Pro-am doesn't get any cheaper if you're dancing alone, and I can dance a show for a significant amount less... so I don't go to small comps. Even at the big ones, I haven't danced in a full field of 6 couples since I left bronze - and even then I believe it happened once. I've never had to dance multiple rounds, so fields so big that they require split heats are like my fantasy.

    If I was half of an amateur couple, and it cost me like $100 to go to something fairly local (instead of well over $1000)... bring it on. I'd be at them all, because they look like fun and I like to dance.
    Lai Lai, Purr, Sania and 2 others like this.
  19. singndance

    singndance Well-Known Member

    At this point in my life, and in my dancing, I am very happy with smaller comps. I love to dance, and I love to perform, and smaller comps allow a lot of both. I have achieved more than I ever dreamed when I first started dancing, and I am not so much into competing against big fields. Now, it is a pleasure to work hard with my pro to improve my dancing. Preparing for a small comp still allows me to do that. I don't care for dancing on a split floor, the waits between rounds, the pressure I used to put on myself. I am just having fun, and I realize I am blessed because I can afford to take this approach.
    Purr, Dance Redeemer and cornutt like this.
  20. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    Stupid question from someone who has obviously never been to a big comp - what is a "split floor"?

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