Decisions, Decisions

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For those of you who aren’t part of the Famous Franchise world, the next step beyond a Showcase is a Dance-o-Rama.  The FF world is divided into regions and each region in the country hosts one of these so I think they do 6 or so a year.  They are outrageously expensive but are the FF version of a true competition so you have open and closed heats and people are divided by levels and then there are the multi-dance events and so on.  I did my first one last year and, in fact, the reason I started this blog was to document my experiences leading up to that event.

Over time, whatever good happened there has faded and I’m left with a lot of bad memories.  So much so that I had told myself that I would never do another one of those events.  To keep my instructor happy, I made up some fiction about wanting to wait until next year when I’d be more comfortable with my routines and more ready to go.  I figured that would buy me some time until I could think up another excuse for not subjecting myself to that emotional mixmaster.

Now, I am probably still in the post showcase high when I feel like I actually have some talent (helped by the feedback I got from the judges) but, as the song says, “never say never”.  I’ve opened that door in my head just enough to peek through and entertain the idea of doing another one of those events.  There is actually a very good argument to be made for attending and the logic is undeniable.  Taking my routines from the studio to showcase was a big step up and going from showcase to dance-o-rama would be another level up.  No matter how many times I did the routines at showcase, it is still going to be a much different experience doing them on a larger stage when it really counts for something.  So waiting doesn’t help.  Experience is what counts so why not get as much experience as I can.  After all, there were no fatal errors doing the routines at showcase and I clearly didn’t have them down 100%.

The down side is the emotional argument.  At showcase, there were about 105 individual heats and I danced in 55 of them so I was either on the floor or lining up to get on the floor for most of the event leaving very little down time.  And, when there was down time, I had my posse from the studio to talk with so it was a very welcoming and supportive environment.  At a dance-o-rama, we would only have a small contingent and the prohibitive cost reduces the number of heats that I can do, so there would be a great deal of down time and sitting in a large room at an almost empty table just makes me feel like the poor kid at a birthday party that nobody really wanted to invite but some parent made them invite him.  I’m sure some of you more extroverted types are screaming “Its a dance event and everyone there is a dancer, how much more common ground do you need to start up a conversation”.  And, there is some logic in that statement but put an introvert in a large crowd and logic goes right out the window.

I will have some time to think about it and I’m still a bit on the fence but I’ve moved a long was from “never”.   I told one of the other instructors last night that I was considering it and she told my instructor so tonight she was doing her happy dance.  I have no illusions of winning but I don’t think you can really gain confidence unless you test yourself and prove you belong there.  Lots to think about.

My postings may be a little light for the next week.  My instructor is taking a well-deserved vacation next week.  (No, she isn’t doing it to get away from me!)  That means no dancing and no dancing means not much to talk about.  But I do have problems staying quiet forever so, who knows, I might find something to talk about.


  1. Wall – I’ve avoided the Danceramas successfully thus far, because I’ve thought it pure madness to blow 8K or so (depending on location) on one event. Would be interested to know how much big, 3-4 day comps in the rest of the Ballroom world cost, plane fare not included. Anybody wanna share?

    1. I spent $4500 at my most recent comp. It was 3 days — this included everything. However, it was in driving distance. (I’ve quit competing at franchise events as they tend to be more expensive and there usually isn’t anyone in my age bracket to compete against.)
      Add another $2k for flights and more hotel time for long distance comps. However, I’ve met students at these comps who drop $35,000 at one comp. This is not uncommon. Amazingly, they often go to 2 comps a month. These same students also sponsor some of the big comps and hang out with the judges and tend to have higher profile teachers. It’s just the way the pro-am world works. 🙂 It can be discouraging for students who are unable to compete with that and honestly, it does put them at a disadvantage — if the judges know you or recognize you or your teacher, it does play into the final scoring. However, it still is an amazing experience and you learn so much that it’s worth 20 lessons. You are forced to dance harder and better and stronger than you thought you could. You meet lots of fascinating people. You get to see some really amazing dancing and you can learn a lot just watching! 🙂 my teacher always says my dancing takes a big leap forward after every comp I’m able to do!
      Just my 2 cents …

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