There is an ongoing debate within the soul line dancing community: is it a business or is it recreational. I have had some leaders insist that the entire line dancing community SHOULD BE recreational, or that theirs is not for profit. Everyone has their own opinion, but I believe that if you accept money for goods or services, you have a business. The flip side of the coin is the customers and the costs associated with soul line dancing. Although 410 Line Dancers is a business, we are customers as well at times. Therefore, I would like to address the issue of the cost of dance and its ROI (return on investment).
The truth of the matter is that the cost of dance, especially soul line dance, is quite high. Class fees, merchandise, conference entry fees, travel costs to conferences, boarding pets, time off of work, LEARNING THE DANCES (!!!) etc. All of these costs add up. The further one advances as a dancer, the higher these costs become. Since it is very unlikely that any of these costs will ever be recouped financially, this becomes a cost/benefit analysis of the explicit and opportunity costs of dance. When deciding on which line dance conferences to travel to, we quantify our goals with 10 basic questions:
1. Will we have fun?
2. Will the venue be safe?
3. Will the hosts be friendly?
4. How far are we traveling?
5. Do we have anything else going on that would preclude us
from traveling (e.g. performances, private events, etc.)?
6. Does the group that we are traveling to support our group?
7. Do we have a good relationship or can we build a good
relationship with that group?
8. Will we see that group or have we seen that group at our
9. Have they done our dances?
10. Will the DJ play our dances?
Over the last 4 years, we have attended the U.C. Star Awards. For us to go to the 2022 U.C. Star Awards, our costs were the following:
Travel Cost Items
2 plane tickets
$377 (we got a great deal)
2 registration tickets
$330 (early bird)
5 days hotel
2 Baggage fees (to and from)
5 days National Car Rental
5 days boarding 2 dogs
5 days parking at hotel
5 days eating (2 people)
2 PJ’s (pajama jam theme)
(I won’t put an amount here)
4 days off of work
Grand total: $2,670 plus 4 days off work for 2 people.
The question becomes what would be a good ROI (return on investment) for us?
(1) First, I NEVER request my own dances, however, I think it’s a clear statement when the DJ’s refuse to play our dances.
(2) Second, when people aren’t asking us to teach, it doesn’t enable us to market our dances.
(3) Third, we have purchased tickets to events and let the leaders know in advance we are unable to attend if we have a prior engagement. We have yet to see anyone reciprocate the gesture. Ultimately, we only want to see as much ROI for our travel and we have to demand it.