Franchise Experiences

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by SDsalsaguy, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    agree...there are levels of happiness and levels of hell and one person's happiness is another person's hell...and sometimes a certain sprinkling of hell is fertilzer for a certain parcel of heaven...thank goodness we don't all want the same parcel..and we all have a different idea of what we are willing to spend in dollars, in time, in sacrifice, etc..
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yeah. And in immortal words, why can't we all just get along? :lol:

    We don't all want the same things or make the same choices. So it's all good. *shrug* :cool:
  3. bia

    bia Active Member

    I'm good with it being all good, but I have to admit that I didn't realize the scale of the expense. My minimal competition experience has been am-am at collegiate, USA dance, and small independent comps. I knew that pro-am was more expensive (for good reason), and franchise was more than that, but I didn't know by how much. So, to the OP, I'd just say that you have options.
  4. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Nothing compares to the costs of the big fa/am closed comps. :) I know I saw one from previous studio where base price from franchise headquarters was 8k
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    FA trains good quality teachers. Eight grand is a lot of money.

    You decide. *shrug*
  6. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Yep, all a matter of what's value for you. I've not done any of national ones, have done local ones. and haev spent 5 figures in a year (don't now :) ).

    I already posted results of FA pros at USDC, and everyone knows where my heart lies. ;)
  7. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    I know at least one couple who has routinely spent six figures in a year though
  8. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    This strikes me as the equivalent of someone deciding to be a patron of the arts. After all the money that size swizzles around a bit, probably some chunk of it ends up subsidizing my own dancing one way or another (facilities, instruction, etc.). Um, tell them "thanks" for me.
  9. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to DF MidwestDancingGuy!
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    I had a heaven and hell thing going on there, for a while. You're talking to a truly intense person. I literally had spreadsheets to track my dance progress -- patterns, technique, levels, goals. You name it. Success orientation to the max. So I do get where competitive dancers come from.

    But, before I started dancing, I did a lot of years in the diversity and inclusion trenches, doing anything and everything to help people from all backgrounds at all levels feel valued and included.

    I'm not saying that the two always clash in the dance world, but, in my view, there's potential for some disharmony. So I chose. Doesn't mean I can't change my mind, at some point.

    As my very wise, octogenarian Dad always says, you pay your money and you make your choice. Eh.
  11. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    This made me laugh -- I can relate to so much of this myself -- down to the spreadsheets and the goals -- except I did this as a social dancer.
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    :cool: Either way. Dance passion is serious business. :)
  13. Thanks, latingal! :smile:

    Yeah, it's a bit scary seeing this sometimes, especially as a noob to the ballroom dance world. Heck, I don't even watch DWTS or SYTYCD. Right now, I just want to be able to dance with a woman if, say, I get dragged by my friends to a salsa club or something.

    But getting back to the original thread, I went out for a drink with some other students in my studio after one of our dance parties, and we were talking about this topic. I gave the example of a small business buying advertising on Google. If you decide to buy, say, 5 ads, Google doesn't try to pressure you into buying another 500 just to squeeze money out of you. And this was Google's business practice from the very beginning... not just after they became big. :google: (And we're talking the advertising business, people! One of the most cutthroat industries out there!) If one of the largest companies on the planet can run a very profitable business with dignity, why the heck can't these franchises....? Did a bunch of used car sales rejects decide to start running franchise dance studios or something? :confused:

    (P.S.: I realize that there are plenty of slimy indy studios too. I'm speaking in relation to my current experience, which is w/ a franchise studio.)
  14. katelyn

    katelyn New Member

    I've been a student at an Arthur Murray studio for 2 years now. I have to say that my experiences were great in the beginning but lately they have dwindled dramatically. My teacher is amazing, very knowledgeable, we have great chemistry and I trust him, I feel lucky to have had such a great teacher. AM however is a different story. Unfortunately the owner is hardly ever there, which makes voicing concerns very difficult and never taken seriously. Because a group of students have gotten really close with our teacher he has told us about they way he has been treated and has spilled the beans on how much less expensive indie studios are. I guess my main gripe is with the emphasis AM puts on selling and the cost of things. It seems like every time we do a spotlight it's 5$ more but there is nothing added. They replace our practice party night with extra events so if students want to dance they have to pay when we wouldn't have to usually. The only thing holding me to AM is my teacher! If I were a newbie I would check out an indie studio first before a franchise. You can pay almost 100$ for a private at my studio with some teachers who have hardly been dancing for 5 years (let alone teaching) where in my same city top teachers charge only $75 for a private... so AM teacher with zero experience or sought after well known teacher???
  15. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to DF katelyn!
  16. TangoRocks

    TangoRocks Member

    Welcome to DF, katelyn! Therein lies the dilemma of a franchise studio--there are good ones, there are bad ones, and there are ones that go from good to bad, where only your private instructor is worth staying for. I've had a similar experience with you--stayed at the same studio for the sake of my private instructor even when the rest of the experience started being not worth the big sticker price. The nickeling and diming is also very annoying, since you do pay a lot AND usually sign a contract to even be there. There is another whole thread about green trainee teachers and whether or not they are worth the $130-ish lesson fee (if you only took privates and never went to a group or party, that's what I calculated it would be where I am) so I am not going to touch it.

    Hope you are in a larger metro area than I am so that you can find a potential replacement to your dance teacher/dance crowd that will bring back the original joy you had with your franchise.
  17. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    IME, many AM and FA teachers eventually go indy. Probably not going to happen very quickly in your teacher's case though.

    Indy studios can also have issues; it's just a little easier to walk away from an indy - no long-term contracts usually.
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Welcome katelyn. :-D

    Hmm. I wonder how it happens that your current pro "happened to" spill the beans about his treatment and the cost of independent studios.

    I'd tread carefully with that one. Chances are he's signed a non-compete agreement and will disappear from your life if he ever leaves the franchise.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    welcome katelyn...I think the answer to your question depends upon why you dance and what you hope to achieve...

    I don't like to pay for friendship...it never really works anyhow...but beyond that, if I wanted to have a secure pleasant social environment in which to simply dance and I didn't particularly care about how rapidly I progressed, I might well find your environment more satifying...if I wanted to get good and do so at a faster pace, and potentially not get taken to the cleaners doing it, I would probably check out the independent highly qualified person who is charging less...for me that is a no brainer but I have lived through blind loyalty and understand how it complicates things...good luck
  20. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Amen and amen.

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