Many people ask about Ballroom Professional Amateur Competitions (Pro/AMs) so this entry is dedicated to those who are interested in finding out more about it. Similar to what you see on television, Dancing with the Stars there are Pro/AMs ballroom dance competitions all over United States. The professional (the teacher) would pair up with an amateur (the student) and enter into a competition that’s the same age/level of the student. The student is judged by professional dance judges and placement is announced at the end of the competition (exactly like a professional ballroom dance competition however minus the critical comments you see on Dancing with the Stars).
Pro/AMs are a great way for a student to improve their dancing and showcase their hard work to their family and friends:
1. They compete with those who are their age and level, hence creating a structured goal for the student to move through the levels
2. They are put into a real competition environment (from the music, costume, makeup and live audiences)
3. The competition is open to the public so family and friends can come cheer you on
4. Professional photography and video is available (not required) however it is not only a great way to document the competition as a memory but also it provides the student to review how s/he did and how to improve for the next round
5. Build a social network who share the same interest as you (perhaps find your dance partner!)
Pro/AMs can be pricey however you as the student are in control of how much you chose to invest. Whether you want to invest more in lessons, costumes or hair and makeup etc. it is a delicate balance. The key is to showcase your dancing and most importantly to enjoy the process!
In the next entry, I will share some Pro/AM experiences at the California Open Competition.