You definitely don't get into modeling by paying for classes or modeling showcases. I worked for a top NY agency and we never signed anyone who said they went to a modeling school. And we used to sue various model competitions/showcases/expos who told participants that are agency sent scouts - we never did, nor did the other major agencies.
You get into modeling several ways:
* be lucky enough to be scouted by a scout/agent from an agency. This could happen anywhere - Kate Moss at JFK airport, Gisele at a food court in Sao Paulo, Natalia V at a flower market in Russia, Gemma Ward at a mall in Perth, Erin O'Connor at Clothes Show Live, etc
* send in your pictures to agencies like Ford, Elite, IMG, Women, DNA, Next, Major, Supreme, MC2, One, LA Models, Vision, NY Models, Q, Red, Click, Trump, Marilyn, Wilhelmina, etc. If they don't have info on their website, call and ask what sort of pictures you need to submit. This is the most common way of being discovered.
* attend open calls at agencies. Some like Ford have weekly open calls in their offices. You just show up at the scheduled time, meet an agent, and they tell you if you have potential or not
* enter a legitimate competition sponsored by an actual agency, magazine or clothing/makeup brand, which are free to enter - Ford Supermodel of the World, Elite Model Look, Seventeen Magazine, Roxy, Cover Girl, Delias are just some companies with their own annual model searches
None of the ways above will cost you a cent to enter.
worked for a top NY agency