Ballroom Dance > Franchise Experiences

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

  1. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Last time I did 26 single dances plus 2 scholarships, it was about $1000 in entry fees.

    I compete in smooth/standard. I've never done franchised comps, so I don't know how they differ from pro-am comps like Heart of America, or different Starballs.
  2. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    you are a smart lady Laura :)
  3. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I'm just curious -- why so many events? Obviously the cost per event isn't very high based on what you said, but I just never got how someone could do that many.

    Well, I guess maybe it's not that many after all -- it works out to 13 single dances per scholarship. I know a lot of people who do 10 single dances per scholarship.

    I do suggest, though, when people remark on how expensive Pro/Am is, that they pick one style and focus on it -- saves money on lessons, entry fees, and costumes.
  4. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I do smooth and standard, and I like to do at least 2 of each dance. My teacher charges a flat fee per day, no matter how many dances I do, so I might as well dance more.
  5. I think $2,500 was the price for the AM Dance-O-Rama in Costa Mesa in June. Though I'm not sure if that's the final figure. The price goes down as more students sign up for it. I believe that price was for an instructor who had about six amature dancers. That price pays for the instructor, entry fees for 4 dances, and dinner/show...oh yeah and the trophies/plaques too. Hotels, airfare, transportation fees, etc...are you responsibility.
  6. jschaab

    jschaab New Member

    Number of days and number of other students attending seem to be the two major cost modifiers for me. Number of events only seems to make a substantial difference in that it can imply more days.
  7. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Just wondering one thing about franchises. I was told that sometimes franchise studios would hold a student back on low levels for as long as they can. The reason for that (again, as I was told) was that if the student is working on a high-level stuff and his (or her) teacher leaves there might be no one else qualified to work with that student. So does this sort of thing (holding back) happen often?
  8. tuftufwang

    tuftufwang Member


    I am slightly concerned that people participating on this forum have been sued for comments possibly ranging from slanderous to slightly negative. Not sure what was the past history that involved law suits but do you think that past incidents have limited the freedom of expression a little here? If so, it is a pity that some people are unable to share their experiences for the benefit of others who may be able to glean valuable insight from other people's stories.

    DF appears to be one of the more conservative forums I've visited, which is nice in a way because you read less BS. I guess my main question is this: should people posting exercise extra caution?
  9. love2swing

    love2swing New Member

    You can't qualify all franchises or independents into one broad category like this. I worked for a franchise studio for a number of years, just recently moving on as I had lost the passion to teach, and we never did anything like this. I have posted about my experiences in several other threads, and my franchise was a dream to work for or take lessons from. I don't think anyone would ever intentionally hold someone back, franchise or not. That's bad business all around. People will find out about it, get angry, and leave.

    What I have found is that my former students, when they first start, think that if they can get their feet to stumble through the steps in a manner that sort of resembles what they are supposed to be doing, they think they have it and want to move on to bigger and better things. Well, I know that they don't have it, it doesn't look good, and that they won't be able to lead or follow it the way they do the move currently, so I have to find nice ways of saying all these things to get them to practice and do the move properly from footwork to leading, following, style, etc. Perhaps people think that if their instructors aren't teaching them the flashy moves they are being held back, when in reality it is because the instructors are trying to get the moves being taught to them to be presentable and dance-able.
  10. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member


    No one has been sued for comments made on DF. If you look at DM's original post his comment was that people have been sued for comments made on forums, not on this forum. Part of the issue, of course, is what someone can be sued for and, in court, what the finding would be. The implication for this is that I don't think people need to be concerned about what they say, even when very negative, if it can be substantiated and backed up with specific and concrete evidence. The general thinking along these lines being that a it can't be slander, etc., if it is fact.

    The implications for posting is that you can describe your own experience -- positive or negative -- as long as it is done respectfully and without making defamatory declarations. As always the purpose of the DF is to provide quality information about dance, and this includes negative reviews as well as positive ones, and not just to gossip. I think that if people use that as a guideline, they should be able to post whatever they want without too much concern (although I am not a lawyer and in no way claim to be qualified to offer legal advice).

    Hope that helps, at least a bit,

  11. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I'll have to agree and disagree with you here l2s. As far as agreeing, I couldn't agree more that franchises & independents cannot just be considered as uniform categories. I've been to a franchise studio that I consider the best run and with the gretest value of any studio I've seen, just as I've also been to a franchise studio (same franchise by the way) that I consider the most unethical of any studio I've ever seen. In the same vein, I haven't seen a single practice in a franchise studio--good or bad--that I haven't seen the counterpart to in an independent studio.

    As far as disagreeing, my personal experience and my interview data suggest that students do, at times, get deliberately held back. This isn;t at all franchises and, in fact, I think it is just as common at all studios with staff (vs. independent) instructors, franchise or not. So no, I don't think this is a franchise practice per se, but yes, it does happen in franchise studios.
  12. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Well you are wrong in terms of any meaningful training... today well over half of the top few rounds of competitors come from a short list of independent studios in New York City and its NJ suburbs...

    Also, when strong competitors or competition trainers are based out of franchises, their efforts in that direction tend to be entirely independent of the franchise program - as far as they are concerned for their noteworthy activities, it's just an available floor to teach or practice on. Similarly, strong competition efforts in independent studios usually bear only distant connection to any group or walk-in programs offered in that location.
  13. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    True, but if we look at the typical judging panels in the US, then yes, many have franchise related backgrounds.
  14. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Maybe that's what it is. I heard the comment about holding back from a pro btw. My personal experience involves (in that order) independent teacher, not-so-good studio, independent again (I followed my teacher when he left the not-so-good one) and a really good one.
  15. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, I've been told it as a student and during my research from pros as well.

    As a student I was told by one teacher that I couldn;t take "x" group class since I hadn't purchased that level package yet. Note, not because I wasn't ready or at the right level! :roll:

    More to the point though, I've done interviews with pros who have told me that there managers have been upset with them for giving the student too much information... not too much as in too much for the student to take in/their level, but too much as in "what are you going to do when you run out of stuff to teach them" (as quoted to me in an interview).
  16. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    In terms of training, this is generally true only in reflecting practices from the past (though most of your big names then ventured overseas for their real training) In terms of business, many do own franchise studios, yes, because the pros cannot concentrate in a few cities the way the amateur & pro competitors do, and the majority of business across the country is franchise-style if not literally franchises.
  17. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that these people are simply products of the franchise systems, but many of the top people today (as in coaches and judges) who grew up in the US first got started with ballroom through the franchises. That's just a simple matter of history and, to discount it, ignores a major contribution that did take place.
  18. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I've heard this story, but the opposite happened to me. I was dancing Bronze at a franchise with a *very* good teacher (went on to become an NDCA national pro champion). He left the studio, and they switched me to someone new (who went on to become an NDCA national rising star champion). When they switched me, they told the new teacher that he would be teaching me Gold. I don't know their reasons for this....I quit dancing shortly thereafter for 3 1/2 years, and when I came back I started all over again at Bronze, and it took me quite some time before I was really a Gold level dancer. So, based on that, I feel that when the old franchise said to move me up that it was just a "social promotion" and didn't really mean I was at that or ready for that level.
  19. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I totally agree with you on this. I can imagine that many people go through a "the steps make the dancer" phase at one time or another when they are a beginner -- for some people that phase is very short, and lasts a lesson or two. For others, it lasts a lot longer, and leads to claims of being "held back."
  20. saludas

    saludas New Member

    It's a matter of economics, not dance quality - franchises offer jobs.

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