Ballroom Dance > Arthur Murray Teacher Training

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by VegasMade, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    I have only been a student at indy studios, so take this with a grain of salt. Perhaps it would be worth your time to investigate other dance teacher training programs. I *think* there is one advertised on the DVIDA site. No idea about its merits.

    As a side note, most of the big income tax franchises charge for classes for new tax preparers with the carrot that they'll be hiring some portion of the successful graduates. I'm told the number hired varies widely though, based on local conditions, so out of a class of 20 qualified grads e.g., sometimes only 2 get hired. YMMV.
  2. mop6686

    mop6686 Member

    You have to check out the status of non-compete clauses in your state before you know if you can even pursue a job after leaving. When I left I applied to every studio in the area (15-20). Only one studio got back to me and when I started there I realized that none of their 6 teachers had any students. It sucked! However, being AM certified helped and ensured a higher wage when I left.

    I have seen teachers fall at the way side. One male teacher came straight out of school and into AM. One year later he was teaching less than 15 lessons a week, so they fired him. I saw him 1 month later and he was overweight, depressed and unemployable. He didn't know that non-compete clauses are not enforceable in California, so he didn't even look for another teaching job. And with nothing more than a high school diploma he had no hope of getting a job.

    You generally never hear what happens to other teachers, because they don't want students following them.
  3. GoldStar

    GoldStar Member

    Do teachers in AM get profits if you take more lessons in the studio?

    I mean, not with them (private lessons) but group classes, training evenings, showcases.. etc.
  4. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

  5. artofdance

    artofdance New Member

    You can never advance teaching at AM, plus you have to work crazy long hours without compensation (say you're there 1-10 PM, but you only teach 4 lessons) -you only get paid for the lessons taught.
  6. GoldStar

    GoldStar Member

    Ok, I don't think I will want to work in AM. It sounds like something which is smart to do only if you are a dancer who never danced ballroom dancing before and want to wok in it. It doesn't sound like a job for good ballroom dancers in origin as I want to be in the future.

    But I ask it not in a target to be a teacher in the future.. but for my future as a student, to get the important knowledge..

    does teachers in AM gain profits if their students attending more group classes, practice nights, showcase, etc..?

    It is very important to me to know this one.
    I just always hear that I should take more lessons and I should come to the practice nights.. now I know it will help me in some way but I must know if the other possiblity exist. The possibilty that the teacher gets profits because I take more group lessons and dance in practice nights.

    Please, this one is very important to me. If you don't want to write it here, I will appreciate it if you will send me a private message instead.

    Thank you in advance.
  7. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    I think it's a common practice for studios to give the teachers some kind of commission when a student buys lessons. If you're buying packages of lessons, your teacher may get a commission or bonus when you pay for them.

    Do your packages include private lessons, group classes, and practices for one price? In that case, there's probably no further profit for your teacher if you attend them all.

    If you are paying for group lessons or practice nights one at a time, then attendance at group lessons might benefit the teacher teaching the class. Some studios pay teachers different rates for groups, depending on how many students are in the class. And of course, it benefits the studio, as they have to pay the teacher anyway.

    Practice is always a good thing, and if it doesn't cost much, is very likely well worth it.
  8. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    Here's another thought VegasMade - let's say you dip your toe into the "dance instructor training world" be AM or anywhere else in your locale. And you've left your "good job" which probably there are numerous people willing to jump into your position just to bring home a paycheck they can count on (being cynical here) - will your current employer give you a one year leave of absence. Then if it does not work out you can return? I have a sister who was an AM instructor for many years, and other immediate relatives and in-laws involved in the dance world - including showstages in Vegas. It is not an easy life in terms of having your own life. All the posts are credible and deserve thoughtful process as well as discussion with future spouse. Also, the boiler plate non-compete contract that you will have to sign upon AM employment/training, etc - states that if you leave, are fired, etc etc - you cannot teach within 25 miles of the current AM studio you left, as well not for two years either. California does not recognize non-compete contracts of any sort. However, you better check with Nevada State law before signing anything if you continue to follow your passion.
  9. GoldStar

    GoldStar Member

    Thank you.

    I have the same private teacher from the day I began of course.
    Now, I know that taking a private lesson with her make her a profit but.. my question was if she gets a profit if I take a group class taught by another teacher? It's just that everybody says that AM tries always to make you take more and more lessons sometimes without carrying about their students at all.. I know it's now true in my studio but still I always think about it and confirm to myself that it doesn't. Now, My teacher said to me that she belive I need to attend group classes that works on techniques, that it would help me a lot. I belive she has some point even though she isn't aware to my financial issues and my plan to collect money to learn in London.
    What I wanted to know is if she gets profits because of me taking group lessons or attending practice nights, I do like her as a teacher and as a human but all of us working in a marketing job tries sometimes to market well.

    In my studio there is a possibilty to take what is called Unit. Unit cost Unbelievable price.. you can join all of the group classes that you are suitable for and the practice nights. She told me of course it would be a wise idea.
    Or you can take each one separately.. what she was talking at first. It's your desicion to make.

    I just always think what will I do next all the time.. and now when I don't know what is wrong and what is right, I just can't.

    Thank you very much :)
  10. GoldStar

    GoldStar Member

    In this sentence: "I know it's now true in my studio "

    I had a mistake. I meant NOT true. They do care about me as a student.
  11. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    You can use the edit button in the lower right corner after you make a post to make changes instead of quoting the entire thing again, for future reference.
  12. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    My oldest son, who is an attorney in California BTW, told me that non-competes are difficult to enforce anywhere. The court is unlikely to take away your sole source of livelihood and he doubts most companies would waste the money on a court fight to begin with.

    THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, just a comment. Check with your own attorney.
  13. GoldStar

    GoldStar Member

    You are right. But I guess this is true only if I saw it after a short time..
    I saw this mistake only after 3 hours. And in that while the edit button wasn't
    there when I wanted to edit.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    just wanting to add that yes it is absolutely possible for AM teachers to move on successfully...I know many who have gone on to be independent studio owners and/or teach elswhere...I think we do need to be careful not to paint the entire system with a broad brush
  15. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member


    Current pro is former AM and he is an outstanding teacher and competitor. Owner of indy social studio is former FA.
  16. TangoRocks

    TangoRocks Member

    Good points made by many people above. Just adding my 2 cents, since I know a few people who switched from being students to trainee-instructors (we need a new name for them--six-week wonder won't cut it, because these ladies have been dancing for a few years, almost made to full bronze level, umm, six-month wonders, maybe? ;) )

    At least at the franchise location I go to, trainee instructors are not paid, period; however, they do not pay for the training they get either. If a trainee instructor gives a group class or a private lesson, they get paid for that, not sure how much but I rather think at a rate too low to support themselves just being trainee instructors.

    I find that interesting, because one of the six-week wonders we had left the studio recently, relocating to another city--she didn't have many students, nor did she teach a lot of groups; maybe they (studio management) wrote her off as a bad investment; not that they'd ever admit to that, of course :cool: That girl was the perfect embodiment of the classical six-week-wonder: negligible talent, but VERY good looking, and even after intensive training, she didn't dance as well as most of the intermediate students at the studio; yet she was a "pro" charged at the same rate as the experienced teachers there.
  17. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Can we infer that the customers actually wanted to learn to dance as opposed to flop around the floor with a hottie? Lookers can bring in a lot of cash... ;)
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and I think it is important to remember that independent studios can and do have some rather suspect barely functional pros as well...everyone has to start isn't exclusively a franchise issue
  19. waltzguy

    waltzguy Active Member

    So true. I know of a studio in my area whose teachers don't have or teach the basic elements of posture, footwork, etc, etc, etc.
  20. TangoRocks

    TangoRocks Member

    Oh, definitely, and I'd have the exact same reaction to a six-week wonder at an independent studio--I apologize if it sounded like I was criticizing the chain mentality when it comes to barely qualified pros given equal billing to the experienced ones. Chain studios are typically notorious for that kind of behaviour (the studio manager at the chain I go to once boasted to me that if a person has the right attitude and absolutely no dance knowledge, they could make him/her a teacher) but I agree with you that independents are not utopias either. At a swing studio I occasionally take lessons, they have some student-turned-instructors (most with nice competition wins to their names) and it's a hit and miss--some have very good teaching skills (if not the experience yet) whereas some can't teach a six-count basic to save their lives. All of these people are good dancers--but that isn't in itself sufficient to qualify them to teach dancing.

Share This Page