What Is It Really Like To Be An Amateur Competitive Ballroom Dancer?

So one of my Facebook friends posted a link to a trailer for this dance show called “The Studio” that is online.  I don’t know much about the program, or if they will have any more episodes, but I found the content fascinating.  You see, the pilot was about amateur competitive ballroom dancers (like me) and their professional partners as they prepared and competed at Hotlanta Dance Challenge.  I was curious to see how they would be portrayed and hunted down episode 1, the links to which I’ve posted below so you can watch for yourself.  Each episode is about 20 minutes or so, so make sure you have time to watch!  Of course, you know me.  I’m going to have my opinions.  And, I’m really interested to hear about yours as well.  It all seems especially apropos (yes!  How many times do you get to use that word in your life?!) since I’m 10 days away from my big competition!  I’m right in the middle of the preparation and can relate to these dancers.  Anyways, click below, watch, and enjoy, and then meet back up with me for some further commentary.

Pretty interesting, huh?

What did you think?

Me, well, parts I was rooting for people!  Parts, I was rolling my eyes.   Mostly, I was feeling like there is so much missing from the story!!!


Well, every ballroom dancer I know, including me, practices for hours and hours and hours.  Also, they didn’t show the actual dancing…that you do 4 or 5 dances in a row, at a minimum.  Like in my situation, I’m not just going and doing the scholarship round, I’m dancing all day long.  I’m betting these students danced lots too, at least more than they showed.  Probably they couldn’t show it because there was a contracted videographer at the competition (there always is…remember, nothing about ballroom comes cheaply!!), but that would have added an extra dimension to the story.  Like, how did they look compared to the other dancers on the floor?  Also, the results were only revealed for a few dances.  How did they do overall?  On other heats?

This project focused a little tiny bit on the practice and preparation that actually goes into showing up for a competition.  That is mostly what we students do.  It’s not all rhinestones and glamour.  It just isn’t.  It’s sweat, and tears, and triumph, and breakthroughs, and pains, and aches, and pushing your body beyond what you think it can do.  It is hours of repetition.  It is lots of money (a subject not even broached), and lots of time.  Simply stated, and I guess there’s a reason they don’t show all the “real life” stuff, it’s not all that shiny most of the time.  Most of the time it’s sweating in plain clothes, with blisters, with frustrations, with bills to pay.

But then there are those amazing sparkly moments!  I can’t wait to have a few of my own in like, 6 days OMG!

So anyways, what do you think of these videos?  I’m personally hungry to see more.  How do you think they did showing what it’s “really” like to be an amateur competitive dancer?  How is it the same, or different, from your personal experience?