Pro-Am and You

In the past I have defined what Pro-Am is, how it may affect you and what your options are? I told you I would be asking you some questions about Pro-Am one day too. Yes, I am asking questions but as always, I’m also here to help you sort out priorities and put things in perspective. I hope by now you have noticed our Spotlight monthly blogs. The Fordney Foundation can tell you when and where our represented competitions are being held.

When one is involved with ballroom dancing and takes it to the next level, it is called dancesport, and combined with Pro-AM, it can end up being an amazing and fulfilling experience. The good news and almost ironic news, is that no prior dance training is required! That’s right, almost anyone can do it at any age. So now, instead of telling you what to do, here are some suggestions for those of you who already have the following questions answered: One, you love to ballroom dance. Two, you think it would be fun to take it further and see where it goes even if it scares you to death. Lastly, you may be wondering exactly what to do, to compete in a competition. And, that’s where I come in.

Here are some things to consider on your way to Pro-Am fame. If you already have the dance

bug and know your heart is centered on not only competing but possibly winning, then you already may possess the positive energy needed to do so! Good for you, and keep up the good attitude! Working on overcoming being overly self-conscious, scared or shy will do wonders for both you and your partner.

In my opinion, the most important factor in achieving Pro-Am success is the dance teachers, instructors, coaches and dance studios you surround yourself with. In fact, most dancers have two coaches, one for American Rhythm and one for American Smooth. These people are on your side and give valuable advice, etc. They want to see you succeed at your goals. So learn to listen, watch and practice, practice, practice!

I’d like to add that energy levels tend to deplete quickly if you are not eating properly, hydrating with enough water and lack of sleep. I encourage each and every one of you to take this seriously; peak performance can only be achieved through balance. But make sure to pat yourself on the back for exercising.   Dance is a wonderful full body type of exercise. Vitality is essential, keep up your strength throughout your Pro-Am competition and beyond. Remember, you will be judged on your overall appearance as well as your dance skills!

It doesn’t hurt to have extra inspiration to pursue our dreams. Read about what you love as well as watch television shows like, “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing With the Stars.” There are fun things you can pick up just by watching on what to do and vice versa. Also practice visualization. See yourself as the winner of one of these shows. Throw in some breathing techniques too. If you practice holding your breath at least three times a day to the count of five seconds and releasing, you will be surprised at the burst of energy you get and instant clarity. It can also help with stage fright and anxiety when it is time to perform.

I encourage you to save your money, allowance, etc. You definitely want to look your best at these competitions and it takes money to do that!  Think about your dress, and guys, a good looking shirt and pair of pants, coordinating with your partner’s outfit, of course, your jewelry, your nails, even your hand and arm gestures, hair, makeup and don’t forget about your shoes. Think like a professional dancer! What would they wear?

These are the bare essentials of Pro-Am. Naturally, there are million things that will come up

while you are trying to achieve your goals and also trying to live your life. But that’s the fun of it. Just remember when you are out there dancing, just focus on you and your partner. Don’t worry about what’s going on around you. Have fun! One other thing I like to mention when it comes to competitions, take on the dances that have fewer contestants. Some of the easier dances have more people dancing in them. Think about it, the odds are better of winning in lesser populated dances.

With some basic knowledge, using your skills and good judgment, you are now ready to dance and take on the Pro-Am world!

Good luck and happy dancing,

Thought Of The Week:

Dance…as if no one is watching



Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website