Ballroom and the economy

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by pygmalion, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Very good point! A lot of teacher come from a system of having a "closer", someone else to finish the sales. So lots of teachers never get their hands dirty with talking about money. Then suddenlyfor whatever they are in a position to have to sell and close and they just seem to gloss over the details becasue that is a part of the job they were never properly trained to do.
     
  2. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    NO, actually it doesn't. It's actually a pretty good marketing tool.
     
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Huh? DM. What's a good marketing tool?
     
  4. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i'm not sure what the point of saying "just because you think a teacher is slimy, doesn't make him slimy." actually, the only thing that makes him slimy is if i think so - since much of the money-exchanging is done in an extremely loose manner, with either no contract or a long contract filled with smallprint type and a million exceptions and arcane rules, with very little regulation or standardization, executed by people largely unable to successfully negotiate things like financial negotiation - it's the opinions of the people paying the money which matter most. in fact, the only thing that matters is their opinion.

    i don't understand why we would say "if you don't like it, don't criticize but just go somewhere else." no. "shut up and put up" doesn't apply for me in any areas of my life as a consumer of goods and services - when i don't like something about the way the transactional part of a business relationship is handled, i speak up. i try to get things changed, i point out inconsistencies, i warn others. i do more than just walk away and turn my head when others find themselves in compromising situations.
     
  5. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    Offering to forgo getting anything to compete so one can make a name/get seen in a new town.
     
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Penetration pricing. Meaning, offering services at a discount of some sort until you get yourself established. 8)
     
  7. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i wonder if i'll get slammed after he's "established" and I'm used to pro-amming for free. hmmm.

    i don't know, not sure i even want to go pro-am in the first place. but that's another discussion.
     
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yeah. That's why I'm here. I've seen a lot of what I perceive to be slime. I voted with my feet. But I also share my experiences with others so that, when they exercise the right to make their own choices, they're doing it better informed than I did. *shrug* And yeah. I do make judgments, based on my own experience. 8)
     
  9. spatten

    spatten New Member

    I don't think most of us have a real problem with comps or pro's that charge around market value. Laura's examples indicate Pro's charging signicantly more than fair market value. The amatuer in these cases was not well educated enought to know fair market value - and thus paid much more. The market would not bear these exagerrated costs.

    It is the unfortunate cases where the Pro, probably using undue influcence, tries to get much more out of the Am in the end. I am sure this is a rarity - and most pros are just trying to make a reasonable living. BUt it has happened enough to leave a bad taste in a lof of DF'ers, and has tainted the industry to some extent.

    In the end, I think the more ethical everyone involved behaves, the better the competition is going to be for everyone. By this I mean not soaking a few cash cows even it the opportunity presents itself, and both Am and Pro being up front with each other. I have seen Am's taking advantage of Pro's too - so both have to be wary.

    Edit = Yikes, 12 new posts while I was writing 1 response. I feel slow :(
     
  10. alemana

    alemana New Member

    as well you should!
     
  11. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    It might feel like getting slammed to start having to actually pay, but I doubt someone is going to charge outrageous rates to the student who makes him famous. You can always say no if he does.

    I don't think doing this has to be a big decision - just make sure you are both clear on how long (how many competitions) you are committed to in return for your free training. Other important questions: do you like the way the pro dances? If you have an amateur partner already, will you have time? Does you partner like the way the pro dances?
     
  12. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i don't have a partner now. i dumped my latin partner and think if i 'm going to compete at all, it will be rhythm.

    also, i'm not getting training for free. i'm paying for the lessons as per usual. the only thing that might be free (again note how amorphous this all is! ugh, hate it) is the comps - he seemed to say that he wouldn't charge me for that, that i would just pay entry fees and that's it. but i need to clarify, obviously.
     
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yeah. You'll probably be better off if you and your teacher spell everything out clearly, up front, at least as much as possible. That way, there's less room for misunderstanding and possible conflict later. 8)
     
  14. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    I've been in a situation once where my tacher offered to do a comp with me, and was teaching me for free to prepare. I was to pay for entry fees, and he was to keep the scholarship if we won in exchange fore the lessons....

    Unfortunately, he never told me when he wanted to compete, and we never did... I feel kind of bad about receiving free training, but it's not my fault that he never made up his mind about the competition..... That was over a year ago... Don't keep in touch with him much
     
  15. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    To return back to sales practices for a minute, while it's not the pro's job to protect the student from themselves, I also do not think it is ethical for the pro to encourage bad financial planning. There should be no encouregement from the pro or studio of loans or cashing out investments to pay for dancing, and any mention of such things by the student really deserves a cautionary comment.

    Perhaps the easiest way to distinguish good sales practice from bad is a simple question: is this student being encouraged towards a sustainable level of participation? Will they be able to remain a student for many years, or are they going to burn up their savings in six months and have to stop?
     
  16. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Yes, he has a pro partner. The billing of the travel expenses evolved over the seven years I competed with him...for a while he didn't charge the anything at all for travel expenses. Then he'd charge us each a very low charge. Then he'd sometimes charge us the difference between what he'd have spent for the one night he needed to be a the comp for his own event, and the extra nights needed to be around to dance with the students, plus he'd charge off a portion of his plane tickets to us. Sometimes he'd charge off his entire plane ticket and hotel stay to us, it seemed to depend on the comp. Considering how reasonable my teacher's per-dance fees were for the longest time, it all worked out very well for us. I know some people think it's really unfair for a competing teacher to charge the students for his travel expenses, but I don't have a problem with it at all -- especially since our teacher never charged us for "lost income" and since he kept his per-dance fees quite low and unchanged for nearly 7 years.

    Even paying for his travel expenses my pro/am costs were still quite reasonable compared to the various 'horror stories' we've heard over the years. He managed to find a way to charge for his time, get the bulk of his travel expenses (never his partner's) covered, and keep a group of reliable students who he could count on for consistent lesson income without ever making us sign contracts, buy lots of lessons in advance, or shell out thousands of dollars for competitions.
     
  17. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I don't understand why people think it's unfair. It's unfair if the teacher charges each student for the entire travel amount -- and I've heard it happen! That's just wrong. The expenses should be divided amongst the competing students. As for the partner being there/not being there question, I look at it this way: if she wasn't going to be there, then we definitely should be paying for his travel expenses. If she is going to be there, then we might as well continue to do it -- after all, our teacher wouldn't take us to the comp if it was a big loss of time and money for him. It's a form of compensation for having to be in the ballroom to dance with a bronze student after being up dancing in his pro events until after midnight the night before, or worse yet having to be "up" much later in the day to dance in his own pro events.
     
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I never have understood why people have such a big problem with that issue. If the pro and his/her students are at a comp together, I don't see it as unfair for a pro to charge the students for travel. *shrug*

    Well... yeah. I guess people get stuck on the idea that, if he/she's competing too, why should students pay for travel? Really. That seems kind of nickel and dimey to me. Either you trust the teacher or you don't.

    If you trust them, discuss the costs as needed, then pay. If you don't trust them, you have bigger problems than their travel costs, IMO. :lol:
     
  19. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Exactly. When I started out the first time I was presented with a price and told "and you'll be dancing in X heats." I was like "uh, I don't WANT to dance in that many heats and I don't want to spend that much money. How about I dance in Y heats?" Invariably the manager of the chain I was dancing at would come back the next day and say "okay, Y heats will cost you Z." And when Z was suitable to my pocket book, I'd go for it. The bottom line is that some people would rather have some of your money and keep you as a loyal student who comes week in and week out than not. Of course, the other bottom line is that some people just work from a "sell sell sell" mentality, and see you more as a buyer than a dancer. I like to avoid those kinds of people.

    $10,000 for 200 heats sounds like a decent deal, as Warren pointed out. It's the $10,000 for 40 heats that I've heard of back in the "bad old days" that made me go "uhhhhhh, are you sure you know what you're getting for your money?" Thing is, things vary from studio to studio. I started at a chain and although the prices I paid there were much higher than what I paid 5 years later working with an independent, they were still much lower than some of the numbers that were circulating around in the late 90's/early 00's when pro/am dancers started reporting their experiences on boards like these.
     
  20. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I've heard it done before, so it's not farfetched at all.
     

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