Ballroom Dance > How much is too much to pay for a lesson?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by caityrosey, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. caityrosey

    caityrosey New Member

    Hi all.

    How much is too much to pay for a private lesson? Of course lesson prices vary by region and by quality of the teacher and by good old supply and demand. So some teachers charge $30/hr, and some charge (so I hear) $200 or more.
    How much is an hour of learning worth to you? How much can one pro teach you that is worth more than what another pro can teach you in one hour....or, to say it another way....if one pro charges $200 an hour and another charges $50, are you likely to learn more in one hour with the one pro, or in 4 lessons with the other pro?
  2. dTas

    dTas New Member

    i charge $50 an hour. i pay $100-150 an hour for my lessons.

    i think it all depends on the level that you are at and what you are looking to get from your lesson. if you are a beginner then paying $200 a lesson for a world champion to teach you the basic is crazy.

    but if you are a competitor and need some coaching on what will make your routine stand out over the others then that $200 is money well spent.

    you need to research your teachers and find out who will give you what you are looking for. in order to do that you need to know where you are in your dancing and what you want to concentrate on.

    so... yes, $200 an hour is reasonable if you are at the level where a $200 coach will be valuable to you. but if you aren't at that level then a $30 teacher will do just fine.
  3. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Something a lot of intermediate dancers don't realize is that many of the $100-plus coaches have information that will help you at your present level which you probably won't get from the lower priced ones. That's not to say it's not worthwhile to get as much information as you can from affordable sources, just that it's worthwhile to supplement it with some of the higher priced coaches from time to time, to cover the things that are still missing.

    It can be interesting to watch a visiting coach at work. Some lessons with very advanced couples will be hard to understand due to the advanced subject matter, but others will address things so basic (but with exacting treatment of often overlooked aspects) that any serious dancer could benefit every bit as much as the highly advanced couple the lesson was given for.
  4. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I wish I had never had a lesson with anyone who cost less than $150 right from the beginning....ever! When I stopped working for a studio and was free to pursue my own dancing with my own choice of coaches I was left trying to rearrange and clear out the misunderstandings in my brain about very basic things. Yet my aspirations are rather high. So depending on what you are expecting to do with your dancing should help you decide how to spend your money.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and also, I think it bears mentioning that oftentimes there is an issue of whether more than one person is getting a piece of that fee...and often students have no idea how that breaks down or why
  6. caityrosey

    caityrosey New Member

    Would anyone be willing to agree that there are some coaches out there who are too highly priced for what the average human can reasonably be expected to retain from a one-hour lesson? I mean just in terms of what your intellect, emotions, memory, and body can retain. I'm sure that the coach who charges a lot of money is fabulous, but how much is too much before you have to say: you know what, as good as you are, what you have to teach me/and what I will be able to learn in one hour is not worth $xxx.

    Not trying to be antagonistic here. I fully agree with what many of you have said that higher priced coaches may be higher priced because they have more to offer...but where is the line? That's what I'm curious about.
  7. lynn

    lynn New Member

    i suppose the simple answer is really "what the market will bear". I think it's a supply/demand issue - the coaches are free to charge whatever $ as long as there are students willing to pay the asking price.

    As from the student's perspective, i'm sure everyone has a different upper limit - but again, it depends on a lot of factor - the ability to pay, how much the dancing really equates in $$ amount....etc
  8. caityrosey

    caityrosey New Member

    Has anyone made the decision of where they personally drop out the demand side of the equation?
  9. lynn

    lynn New Member

    i think the $$ amount differs from person to person and from time to time. I.e., depends on my current salary, financial obligations.....etc. Are you looking for a specific number???
  10. caityrosey

    caityrosey New Member

    Well no, that's probably not appropriate to ask for specific numbers from the forum members if this ties directly to personal finances for everyone. Lets say x=1/10 the of your weekly income. How many "x" is the magic number?
  11. lynn

    lynn New Member

    eh.....the magic formula is 1/3 goes to taxes (i guess this is probably specific to canada?? :confused:), 1/3 goes to mortgages, 1/3 goes to living expenses - the numbers vary depending on if a person is living @ home, carries a mortgages....etc. The traditional approach is that entertainment is about 1/10 of the monthly salary - but i have a feeling most ppl's dance expense is probably way higher than this, esp if there are comps involved.

    I would guess that for majority of us, dance expense probably falls around 10-35% of our monthly salary, anything more seems a bit hard to sustain in the long run.
  12. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    The most I ever paid was $100 per hour when I was preparing for the competion. On the regular basis I pay $50 - $60 (about typical rate in our town), but when we lived in NY, we paid $70 per hour.
  13. Another Elizabeth

    Another Elizabeth Active Member

    I don't think I have gone over $200/hr, but I'm not sure. I am only willing to pay a rate like that for a teacher who consistently gives me stuff that I can work on for months, though (e.g., Charlotte).
  14. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, I guess the answer depends on "Is that person and the information valuable to me". There are people I have gladly paid $250 for 1 hour. And there are World Finalists I would not bother to drop 50 bucks on.

    (AE, your childs pictures get cuter and cuter all the time!)
  15. caityrosey

    caityrosey New Member

    Although now that I think about it a litte more, I don't think proportion of income is really the best way to think about this. Lets look at a different example we can all relate to: shoes.

    At what point does buying a more expensive shoe mean that you are buying a "better" shoe? At what point are you paying more for a status symbol than for the actual value of the footwear?

    Same with lessons.
  16. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    Well. If I needed top coaching, i.e. I was going for a serious comp, then I'd give 200$ - but only to a pro. And I mean PRO.

    Twilight Elena
  17. lynn

    lynn New Member

    I actually think shoes are a little different than lessons. For me, how well the shoes fit and how comfortable they are are the main buying reasons, price and brand are influential but rarely determining factors
  18. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I wish we all could afford to take from Eggleton and Gleave, like Larinda...
  19. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    She does have a bit of a point about shoes, in that sometimes people will look at you a little differently if you say, for instance, that your coach is Charlotte Jorgensen than Jane Doe. Doesn't wearing Ferragamo shoes give people a different impression of you than wearing Payless shoes?

    However, with respect to lessons, the price you should pay depends on the level of your dancing. Although there is some variation within the price of coaches of a given level, generally the higher-level the coach, the more s/he will cost. I'd say the quality of the coach is more important than finding someone cheap, although that's certainly a very subjective trait.
  20. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    I pay currently pay $65 per lesson, which is a great value. When a coach is brought in, prices have ranged from $90 per session up to around $135 per session. I'd agree that the quality of the instructor or coach is more important than the cost.

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