The high cost of dance training!
The high cost of dance training associated with ballroom dancing is real. A professional world champion in any style of ballroom dancing can spend as much as $500,000 during their lifetime. That’s even more expensive than a medical doctor because most doctors spend less than $250,000 on their education.
How much does it cost to become a professional ballroom dancer?
The simple answer: it depends on the level of professionalism.
The definition of a professional ballroom dancer is anyone that perform dance services for a fee (teaching others, dance performances are two examples). Basically, as long as you charge for your services, then you are considered a pro.
Nowadays, the definition of a professional ballroom dancer is that “you are a pro only if you say so”. It only refers to dance competitions where amateurs can teach others for a fee and still compete as amateurs as long as they don’t call themselves pro as “teacher/student” category instead of Pro-Am . This rule apply only to dancesport competitions.
Here are a few facts about world class professional ballroom dancers:
-Most of them start at a young age (5,6,7 years old)
-They take coaching lessons on a regular basic (2-8 hours per week)
-Travel all over the world to compete (10-30 competitions per year)
-Compete for a very long time (10-30 years)
Let’s do some basic math:
If you were to take 2 private lessons per week, which is the very minimum training you need to compete along with at least 10 hours of practice, then, you would have spent $10,400 per year at $100 per lesson. Over the course of a decade, that amounts to over $100,000.
And if you add the travel expenses, and costuming, you can see that this amount will increase tremendously.
However, this is on the very low side of the cost to become a professional ballroom dancer. With only two lessons a week, you can only learn that much. Even the most talented dancer still needs a lot of training to place well at dance competitions.
Considering that most champions start their dance journey around 5-10 years old with a lot of training. I would say between 4 to 10 hours of coaching a week. And if you do the math after 10 years, you would have spent between $200,000-$400,000 just on dance lessons alone. By then, you are almost ready to become a professional ballroom dancer.
The reality is that the high cost of dance training continues even as they get higher in ranks because the training is more intense especially if they start getting to the semi and finals at major DanceSport events. More training/coaching are required to improve their dance along the way. If they keep this training/coaching for another 10 years, they can easily reach the million dollars mark after just 20 years of dance career. By the way, some dancers still compete in their 30’s and even 40’s, and of course they still need training/coaching. I will let you do the math this time.
Now, that you have an idea of the high cost of dance training associated with ballroom dancers, how much should they get paid for their dance lessons/performances? Comparing to a medical doctor, ballroom dance professionals are being paid pennies, which is a shame considering the amount of money they spent on their lifetime education.
Professional ballroom dancers make a living with dance lessons, dance performances, judging events…etc. Please never ask a professional ballroom dancer to come and dance at your event for free in exchange for exposure. Really, Exposure? The next time you ask a professional dancer to perform at your event, please remember how much money they spent on their training to be able to look that good on the dance floor.
Please understand that there are many different types of dance professionals and not all of them had extensive training like world class professionals do, as a result the high cost of dance training doesn’t apply to them. Please read my previous article about different types of ballroom dance professionals so that you can hire the ones that fit your need.