Ballroom Dance > Franchise Experiences

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

  1. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I just wanted to point out this new thread about substitute teachers as it mentions Franchises and practices several times.
  2. dragon3085

    dragon3085 New Member

    I've been with AM for 4 years now and so long as my instructor stays I will stay as well so long as I can afford it. I will say this, 1. Our studio does not seem typical of other AM studios, and 2. there is a difference between the teaching and the managment staff. The managment should get on their knees and kiss the feet of the instructor because they are the only reason we stay.
  3. samba ajr

    samba ajr New Member


    I'm planning on going to the New York City DanceArama next month. Anyone else?

    I was planning on going to an independent comp next weekend, but as other students dropped out, my price went up (I would have been the only one there with my pro). I decided to skip that and put the money into DanceArama. (I'm still going to go [to Stardust] for dinner and the show, and take my Mom for her Mother's Day gift! And my pro will still be joining us--pretty good deal!)

    Anyway--I did look at the website for the independent comp. The dance entries were about $30-35 each. OK. My pro quoted me $50 each. I nodded my head and didn't let on. I do understand that he needs to be compensated for his time. I do believe that if I pressed the issue, he'd actually lower my price. In fact, since I'm the one at the studio who goes to nearly every event, he tried to reduce my costs for the independent comp.

    I guess i need to get myself an amateur partner so we can go to the "lower priced" comps! Any takers? :wink:
  4. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Re: DanceARama

    And also you'd be more in charge of your own dancing and can put together you own cute routines and can practice for free, lessons are half price (the other half is paid by your partner)...
  5. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Here's a new, related thread from Larinda that may be of interest. Her actual question had to do with closed vs. open studio systems, but a lot of comments have been made regarding franchises in this context :arrow: independant or employeed, which is more honest
  6. :confused: Price does not equal/conflated to value? Well, okay maybe with a product like jewlery. I can understand that owners attach sentimental values and emotions with a piece of jewlery that might make it more valuable to them than the fair market price. But with service, price is a gauge of the value(quality) of the service offered. So, I don't know where you're going with this. Yes most of the independents don't offer group classes and socials with their program; you'd have to pay for that separately. You're not comparing apples with apples here. To do that, you have to total the cost of a private lesson and a group class and a social which still is slightly less than the price of one lesson at a franchise.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    no...not in all old studio just sold to a franchise and I can tell you that most of the instructors who were there as an independent studio had far more experience and expertise as instructors...I was charged a lower rate for privates and it included the groups and socials...the rate is higher now for less on a number of counts
  8. chocolatchica

    chocolatchica New Member

    I started out taking ballroom lessons at Arthur Murray and tottaly fell in love with the studio at first but the longer I was at the studio the worst it seemed to get. They taught I little too simple and slow for my taste (plus little to no technique) and it seemed as though they were trying to hold me back so I would buy more lessons. I also had a bad experiance with the owner and a teacher because it was too much gossip and drama. I think that a studio should be more proffesional about such issues and it really turned me off to Arthur Murray. Ontop of that I started raking privated with a private instructor and AM and I felt as though I was as good as or just one step away from being as good as my instructor. That didn't really help me put too much confidence in my lessons. Sorta like I was just learning whats in the book. But on the up side, they're competitions are some of the best I have ever seen or been a part of because the dancer you meet there are just awesome friendly people. They cheer you on all the way and it seemed so fun; not too competitive. I always looked forward to the competitions for sure! I think its a great way to get started in the omcpetition world. Would love to go back but I believe it about $700-$800 a month for a private a week and groups. Wayyyy to pricey for my tast and budget for that matter. Sorry Arthur Murray!
  9. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    I am really amazed at the number of people on the site , that have had chain school exp. Can,t make some of the comments public I would like to share , having been involved with both franchises at very high levels for many yrs . raised in the "english " system , one would think that there are vast differences in the operating approach. Many schools have pre paid class course set ups. does not happen with private lessons, but to your peril, if you cancel too often, they will tell you to find another teacher ! . The comments are so diverse in the posts and much of what is said I would agree with .I have been asked in the past, which system , if I had a choice , would I have prefered to be " schooled " in-- tough choice, for different reasons . ( p.s. for the J.Lanza poster-- worked for him on 2 occasions )
  10. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    No, price is not very well corellated with value in ballroom instruction at all. Price tends to be based on what the teacher (or their employer) thinks they can or should charge. This bears extremely little relation to the teacher's depth and accuracy of knowledge, and ability to communicate - if it bears relationship to the teacher's status at all, it is usually to their fame and position in the local hierarchy.

    In comparing prices, remember that those group+private+party practices are only of value as long as the group and party are of value. For post-beginner dancers, such things are usually no longer of core educational value - some continue doing them for fun, but it is not usually worth being forced to purchase them as well to get the private lesson that you actually need. It's possible to have group activities of real value to more advanced dancers, but you need a critical mass of more advanced dancers to offer that, and its rare to be able to collect enough into one studio.
  11. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    very asstute. (sp?)
  12. DeltaVim

    DeltaVim New Member

    That's a cool one, Larinda! (It's 'astute'.)
    There is a certain truism in your spelling in it, when it comes to oddities of pay scale distribution.

    The market will pay what the market will bear (i.e. as little as one can get away with and still get the desired outcome); sometimes this leads to weird situations where highly intelligent and qualified people are screwed and given crap salaries (e.g. portions of academia), and people who have a higher percieved economic value get showered with money (NFL, etc).

    It's somewhat weird, but it's the result of *human nature* as expressed through capitalism. If one doesn't like one's position in things, one just has to figure out how to get in a situation of more actual and percieved value.

    The bigger a 'name' one has, the more bargaining power. In the end, it's all about the power to walk away from a price or situation--who needs to stay in the deal more has lower bargaining power.
  13. tuftufwang

    tuftufwang Member

    $2500 without airfare???!!! Goodness gracious! How many days are you competing? Does this include hotel stay? That sure sounds quite high to me? My cost usually runs between $1000 to $1500 depending on the location. Here's the breakdown (non-franchise):

    my airfare - $230-$300
    hotel stay (2 nts) - $250-$350
    fees to instructor - $500 (he usually brings 3 students so his expenses are equally divided)
    entry fees - $260-$300

    On second thought, maybe your cost is a lot higher if your instructor dances with you only, which means that you have shoulder the entire cost.
  14. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    How many dances are you doing if your entry fees are only $300? My competition costs are usually around $2600, but I am doing a lot of entries, so the entry fees part is a lot bigger, last time it was $1500.
  15. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    wow, I wish I had the kind of money people spend on pro am competitions.. That's a lot of lessons.. or a REALLY NICE DRESS :)
  16. tuftufwang

    tuftufwang Member

    I usually do 5 singles and one scholarship. You may be doing a lot more entries if your fees total $1500. I think entry fees are fairly standard + or - $5-$10.
  17. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I usually do five entries plus the Scholarship for my division. Based on what is customary in my area, at $35 per single dance, and $110 per scholarship, and about another $40 for tickets to get student and the teacher into the ballroom, that's $325 for entry fees. Then, at $40 per dance (some local teachers charge less, some more, but that seems to be a normal rate), that's another $400 for the teacher's fee for the day. So, where I live, people can do a local comp for about $725. That's not cheap, but it is what it is. Some comps only charge $25 per entry and $95 per scholarship, and some teachers charge a $20 per dance or a $100-$200 flat fee, but some comps charge $65 per dance and some teachers charge a $1500-$5000 flat fee. It all really depends, as you can see!

    Out-of-town comps that I've gone to over the years cost about the same as the local examples I gave, but of course one has to add in their travel expenses and a share of their teacher's expenses. The nice thing if a teacher has several students is not only are there more people to split the teacher's expenses with, but there are also potential roommates to help cut down on one's own hotel expenses with.

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    You dont say how many entries was figured in with that $2,500 estimate. That is what is going to drive your cost up or down more than anything else.

    I take lesson both from an independent instructor, and from a franchise. So, I/we do have the opportunity to compete at closed franchise comps. When we do compete at a FA event we still control our costs. We know what the entry costs are, the hotel costs, ect.... We never purchase a meal plans(very expensive). We have found that franchised comps are more expensive, but not over the top more expensive. (Again, excluded USABDA comps)

    To give you an idea, last FA comp we did 22 entries and it cost us about $900. At least at this studio there is no instructor fee, it is built into the entry fee... So I guess it could be comparable to the costs that Tuf posted. Sounds to me that the $2500 includes meals, shows, ect...
  19. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    It really pays to fully research airfares, too. For instance, in August I got a 2-day special from Airtrain to go to Atlanta R/T for $218. A day before or a day after and it would have been $300. I'm constantly checking fares.
  20. Laura

    Laura New Member

    That's why I make my own dresses...the money I save by making my own goes quite a way towarkd making the rest of the dancing work financially.

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