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Business Note on Dance Sport
I wanted to touch a subject people usually do not about. The financial side in dance sport. There are many markets around the world connected to different business models. Each of them depends on the financial situation in the area as well as the cultural background. It is nice to see how ballroom dancing spread from its original source in Europe. Of course it was brought to Europe from other sources as Africa and South America. The biggest and most attractive markets today for the average dance teacher are probably Asia and North America. Taking Vancouver, Canada, as an example, we can see that all of the high earnings in the ballroom dancing field are created by the richer than local Hong Kong and Taiwanese communities, specifically, the ladies. It can partly be explained by immigration from Hong Kong to politically stable North America to escape hands of communist China that recently took over the region.
Since all of the business ties are in Hong Kong, many husbands decide to risk it, and stay more in Hong Kong while the wives and kids are in Vancouver to have a home and obtain Canadian citizenship. Since business in Hong Kong is going well and the communists are not extreme, the kids grow up obtaining a North American education while some ladies go back. One can hardly see a Caucasian lady in Vancouver taking a private ballroom dance class on her own or competing in a pro-am category.
The middle range teacher in Vancouver costs about 60$ an hour. The most popular lesson clients is single ladies and rarely couples. The most expensive in the city is 120$ for 45min. There are hardly any lady teachers in Vancouver, and if there are any, they charge less than the males of the same level. Some feel that the Hong Kong style entertainment for women, evening dance and tea dance is not profiting the profession and taking away from dancing competitions which is an income source for the organizers and teachers. For a pro-am competition the range is 10 to 300$ per dance to the teacher plus about 200$ to the organizer for the entry. To my estimate, a teacher would dance an average of eight dances per comp.
Hong Kong is a booming market today for dancers longing to make some quick cash. Every top dancer that I know of goes there at least once a year. The earning on the average can easily be higher than those listed above. There are quite a few European dancers who have Hong Kong as a primary residence today. Taiwan and Singapore have a similar ballroom dance scene, just a bit lower paid. Another interesting one is Japan. They love to dance as well and pay generously to the high level people. There is a great number of professional couples there, and unlike in Hong Kong, Taiwan and North America, the teacher’s income is mostly based on couples. The Japanese follow the British rules and do not allow amateurs to teach, unlike the other Asians that do it the way they like it themselves. What I can say is that people should do more postings about their local situation in dance finance. We in the dance community need to be more open in this sense. I will continue this seriesin the next article with some more analysis.
Vadim Garbuzov. 7 August 2007