Ballroom Dance > Chinese Studios

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Since being in LA, I've been introduced to all sorts of dance studio models I had not seen before. Two Chinese studios I've been to have parties day and night 7 days per week. It's cheap to get in like $5. There are lots of people even say on a Tuesday in the afternoon. I am trying to understand the customs. Maybe you can explain...
    1. There are DIs that get paid to dance with ladies mostly and I think they charge maybe $30/hour and up. It can be for up to 3 hours.
    2. There is a couples area and you aren't supposed to disturb them.
    3. I "think" there is tipping that goes on
    4. There is line dancing in addition to traditional ballroom.

    What can you tell me about these studios and their policies/methods?
  2. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    I think they're owned by people who like to dance, rather than by people who like to compete.

    I'm not convinced they make money, but I'm not sure they're supposed to.
  3. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Definitely you see competitors there too, but lots of social dancers for sure. Yesterday it was $5 for men and $3 for women for 3.5 hours and there were probably 200 people there. They have group classes and privates that go on too so I'll bet they bring in $60,000/month. It is very minimalist in many ways, but it is a big floor with lots of tables, and then free water and tea, and that's about it.
  4. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Interesting. Sounds like it works better in LA than in NYC.
  5. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    despite being of chinese ancestry & having lived in LA for almost 25 years, i've never been to any of them. i'd be interested in hearing your take on it.
    everyone dances for different reasons, but most ethnic chinese of the older generation will still probably consider it inappropriate to dance with someone other than one's spouse, so i get the couples segregation. i imagine a large percentage of the extra women are probably spouses to rich husbands who may not even reside in the US. for them, it's a social outlet; they can mingle with members of the opposite sex without prompting a certain amount of gossip.

    it occurs to me that standard is the perfect hobby for someone in a shame based culture (such as the chinese) used to being told that what they do isn't good enough and that they continually need to improve.

    asians should not line dance.
    j_alexandra and Bailamosdance like this.
  6. ballroomdancertoo

    ballroomdancertoo Well-Known Member

    would you have any photos of the venue? also, what kind of music do they play. live bands, cds with djs, do they play american/international style music? alway curious about asian dance halls:)
  7. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I was considering doing a little work there, but the manager I felt was being a little pushy. A few problems (that are possibly solvable).
    1. Students buy cards for privates. They have to punch out the 10 private lesson card, and then I get paid.
    2. Wants to do an open house where I do two group lessons for free.
    3. I am supposed to do performance per year also for free.
    4. The more lessons students buy the less I make per hour. Ouch.

    I prefer not to name the studio, and of course, I know of some good people who go there.

    They play some line dance tunes, mostly Chinese music. There was a waltz that had quite a "beat" and I thought it was a Foxtrot at first. They don't really play foxtrots, VW or Quickstep but lots of Waltz and Tango, as well as a sort of single step jive and cha cha. The most impressive part is big parties twice per day 7 days per week.
  8. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    How much do thestudentspay for privates and how much would you get?
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    All students want a discount when they buy packages. Everyone makes less in order to provide this expected service to students.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  10. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Or perhaps the absent husbands are gwai lo.

    Well, even though inflation and interest rates are low, when you accept advance payment you are getting the float on someone's money.
    hereKittyKitty likes this.
  11. londongal

    londongal New Member

    Interesting, I've been to one such studio IN China that's run exactly the same way.
    They had tea dances almost all days of the week.
    Most couples were formed of one student (women) and one instructor (youngish men who were mostly amateur competitors with their own partners, who were absent). There were one or two female instructors with male students.
    Attendees pay about $60 for 3 hours of dancing - I believe some portion went to the studio as floor fee, and some portion went to the instructors, but I don't remember the exact proportion. The studio also charges a small fee for tea and fruit platters.
    The studio played 2 Latin followed by 2 Standard songs throughout.
    Instructors were paid to dance and practice with the students, not give a lesson. I believe giving instruction on the floor was not encouraged.

    My impression was that many of the male instructors were doing this most days of the week to earn some extra money. Some were too young to be teachers, but they were more than competent as dance partners.
  12. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I don't mind offering a deal for a package, but when we are talking 30+% off my regular price, I reach a point where I might be scheduling low priced lessons so much that I don't have spots to charge my higher regular rate. I have always had students that had no problem showing up with a check or cash each week and didn't even ask for a discount.
  13. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    It's a different model - one where the instructors are at least as much sales people as dance instructors.
  14. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I always thought package discounts (in any industry) reflected the economic value of increased revenue certainty.
  15. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    If you are sufficiently booked that scheduling low paying lessons interferes with your ability to schedule full price lessons, then I don't suppose you really need the extra students, right? And if you are not booked to capacity, and have room, then you should take the lessons even at the lower rate, because without them your income for the hour is zero.

    Nothing is certain, not even a prepaid package.

    And regardless of WHY we offer discounted packages, the end result is the student saves money and the teacher and studio lose money, period. (unless the teacher is independent such as myself. And then the only one losing money is me because I pay the same floor fee to a studio for a full price lesson as I do a discounted lesson.
  16. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I understand how that logic holds well for many. My goal is not to be booked to capacity, as I have two businesses. I also understand if I had no fallback and wanted to go head first into teaching, being a DI could really give me a great start.

    Now, there is such a thing as being a pushover where you can be underpaid, and sometimes holding out can lead to a higher salary, or one studio might be willing to pay more than another. Everyone has a market value, and it can vary from place to place.
  17. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    If being paid with a 30% cut is below your perceived market value, or you feel that taking a cut is being a pushover then I would not take the job. The rest of us, however, see it as the cost of doing business.

    When my students competed with me they paid a "per dance fee'. When they competed and did >x entires I took a 20% cut in my per dance fee. That is just how business goes.
  18. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Let me try another way: I always thought the higher price of pay-as-you-go reflected the economic cost of lowest-possible revenue certainty.

    Either way it seems that stable long-term business relationships have economic value (even when "long-term" is relatively short, and even when pricing power is already depressed).
  19. flightco

    flightco Well-Known Member

    Not just students, most volume purchases result in some type of discount. Otherwise, why purchase anything in a qty greater than 1? If it is the same price either way, keep your money in your pocket and keep the flexibility you would not have if you made a volume purchase. (This is why I shop at Costco, I may be stuck with a pallet of toilet paper, but I got it for a really good price; however, my options to change brands are reduced)
    DanceMentor likes this.
  20. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

  21. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    the system seems to have left update requests pending even though they apparently timed out. if someone wants to go ahead and delete all the duplicate responses, i'd appreciate it. thanks.
  22. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member


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