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

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

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and those who are both are doubly blessed;)
  2. Fedya

    Fedya New Member

    It is all about supply and demand. If a teacher can get away with a price, then they are going to charge it. In other words, if they can find enough people to pay the price they want and need to make a living, then they are not going to lower it. There are good teachers out there that can get you really far for a reasonable rate, but if you want someone that you believe will give you more, then you have to decide if the price is worth it. I have taken a few lessons with people that I feel were asking too much for what I was getting so I decided not to go to them anymore. On the other hand, I found two teachers that I really likes what I got for the $60 an hour.

    I think that if you have the money and want to spend it you have every right. Everyone is going to come up with a different decision if the instructor and their price is worth it to them.
  3. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    As has been mentioned before, you can pay whatever you want for your lessons. A beginner taking a lesson from someone like Peter Eggleton will certainly learn something. Will the cost/benefit ratio be as low as a more advanced dancer? No. However, I believe I said something to the effect of that the average cost for a coach increases with your level.

    But they don't work on "a natural turn. For an hour" because they want to perfect their natural turn. They do it because it's a tool for teaching the proper technique that should be applied in countless other figures.
  4. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Well, it'd probably take a lot longer with the kibbutz experience. ;)
  5. It doesn't matter if its good for dancing or not. It matters what an individual is willing to pay for a lesson and what someone else is willing to sell a lesson for.

    And no, there is no glass ceiling. If you want to achieve something, you can do it regardless of the obstacles. Saying that someone else put an obstacle in your way that prevents you from being one of the best is baloney.

    The only way a knowledge-gap can exist is if the supply of lessons is less than the demand for lessons. In this case all of the teachers would be charging more, because the demand would exist for higher priced lessons. Of coursse on that note, new people would be attracted to the field and would teach at a lower price to attract business. So supply of lessons would eventually come back and match demand for lessons. And the cycle would repeat itself...Thus a knowlege-gap would only be temporary. And for all you economics geeks out there :), lets not get into marxian ballroom :)... It would be too much fun.

    Anyway, I think we would all agree that we would be happy to see a point in time when demand for lessons was enough that we got to pick and choose who we wanted to teach and we always had a full schedule. :)
  6. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    i don't see anywhere less expensively priced lessons. I think the market situation here is not so clear as 6-week wonders teach at most studios for the same $75-80 per hour.

    something is off in this model.
  7. caityrosey

    caityrosey New Member

    I introduced the idea because we should all care what is good for dancing..especially if we want to attract a wider audience/pool of participation. We should understand what the social structure of our sport means, even if we can't change its effects.

    A knowledge gap is something that occurs in a society when an element of social status limits access to information for a particular group of people within that society.

    Here is a quote about knowledge gap as it pertains to mass media access:

    "The knowledge gap hypothesis states that 'as the infusion of mass media information into a social system increases, segments of the population with higher socio-economic status tend to acquire this information at a faster rate than the lower status segments, so that the gap in knowledge between these segments tends to increase rather than decrease' (Tichenor et al. (1970) quoted in Kleinnijenhuis (1991))"

    What I'm getting at in applying this hypothesis to dancing is that:

    Access to lessons (information) is dependent on access to $$$, one way or the other. People with higher socioeconomic status have more ready access to $$$ (and dancing info) than people of lower socioeconomic status. People of higher socioeconomic status are more likely to progress to a high level in ballroom than people of lower socioeconomic status becuase, as we have established, as you go farther along in your ballroom learning, prices tend to go up.

    Now of course this will not always be the case, and yes people can sometimes make their own opportunities. But I think knoweldge gap happens in our sport, and we should be aware of it, even if ultimately there is nothing we can do to change it.
  8. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    I've known some pros to charge $35/hour for lessons. Granted, none of them are anyone I would want to take a lesson from. But I knew someone who took from a $35/hour pro. And he was fully aware that this guy was not at the top of his field. But thought the cost-benefit was good enough to serve his own dance goals.
  9. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    $35 including the floor fee?

    in NY I don't know any place where they officially charge less than $65 (and to get $65 you usually have to get a package). Most places I know charge something like $75 or $88 per hour. but maybe this is situation specific to NY. I did hear in CA it is often cheaper...
  10. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    Yup, $35/hr including floor fee. Although, $65/45 min. and up is more the norm.
  11. dTas

    dTas New Member

    what i don't like is when studios start charging per "session". $35/session but don't mention that the sessions are 30 minutes long with a minimum of 2 at a time (equals $70)

    then they turn around and say they have the lowest price at $35 a session compared to $65/hour at another studio.
  12. redhead

    redhead New Member

    that depends on a teacher.
    I had a teacher who loved teaching beginners since they never questioned whatever he told them to do. when I started asking "what if" questions and taking lessons from different teachers in addition to his lessons, he didn't enjoy teaching me as much any longer.
    In my experience though, pleasant personality is (almost) not a factor. Open mind and desire and drive to learn help. (I'm judging by observing with what kind of students higher-class coaches go overtime, skipping their 15-min break)
  13. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    Definitely depends on the teacher. Some teachers prefer the students who ask the "what if" and "what about x" questions.
  14. dTas

    dTas New Member

    i like the "what if..." students, they're much more fun to teach. :D
  15. lynn

    lynn New Member

    yikes! this is exactly what happened to me with one of my teachers. He preferred me to not ask any questions and just do as i'm told. Our lessons ended up being quite unpleasant when i started asking the why & when & how.... i guess sometimes they feel as if their authority's being challenged???
  16. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    I find it hard to believe that you can learn much in an environment where you're not allowed to ask questions. But, maybe that's just because I know it wouldn't work for me! :)
  17. redhead

    redhead New Member

    I think unexperienced teachers feel threatened when you ask questions 'cause they can't give you good answers. Or, they can give you vague and/or incorrect answers and get upset when you question them (especially when it's the opposite of what a better coach just told you on the same issue).
    (At least that was my case)
    Quite the opposite, knowledgeable teachers are thrilled to work with questions (and I'm always astonished by how a good coach can fix something you've been struggling with for weeks in just a few minutes)
  18. smoozer

    smoozer Member

    Either that or they don't really know the why's and are just parroting what they've heard or been told.
  19. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    My teacher was always a person who saw things and just did them, so she had trouble understanding why I was asking so many questions. But luckily she is also exceptionally good at analysing teh step because she knows exactly what she's doing.
    The fact that I ask a lot of questions bugs some teachers. It's unnerving for sure. I used to ask for amazing detail from my very first lessons, and for most teachers it's definitely easier to just show a step and let the student do it. But they are usually very helpful nevertheless.

    Twilight Elena
  20. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    I just sat down and read all ten pages of this thread. Wow!

    Some thoughts:

    RE: The college professor vs. 1st grade teacher teaching you how to add.
    I think it is important to bear in mind that some college math professors are horrible at teaching addition, and feel like they have no idea how to tackle remedial students (i.e., students who reach college without mastering basic skills). It's not that they don't know how to add, but it has been so long since they have had to think about such a basic, elementary concept that they may not know how to explain it. Similarly, many English PhDs are stumped by remedial English students who pepper their essays with sentence fragments, run-on sentences, and grammatical mistakes of every flavor. Just because English PhDs know how to write well does not mean that they necessarily know how to teach writing to those for whom it is not intuitive.

    The relevance to dance is that while some top competitors may be the best possible teachers at every level, one should not necessarily assume that that is the case. Some may not know how to talk to the couple that has been dancing international latin for five years but still doesn't really step onto straight legs when dancing cha-cha and rumba, or who can't maintain a decent dance frame in international standard even though they have had five years of lessons.

    Also, as an aside, college professors who whine that they don't make much more than 1st grade teachers are either A) wrong, or B) live in states with really good teachers' unions! (I'm a college professor, and while we don't make as much as corporate lawyers, we are paid handsomely compared to elementary school teachers!)

    RE: Lesson prices and ethics.
    We live in a capitalist country, for better and for worse. There are hotels that charge $600 or more a night, and you can't check in until 3 PM and have to check out by noon. That means you are paying $28.57/hr...and you probably aren't even spending every possible minute in your hotel room! Is it worth almost 48 cents per minute simply to have the right to return to a hotel room with a bed and a TV in a desirable vacation area when there are much cheaper hotels in the world? That really depends on you and what you want out of your vacation. Same goes for lessons.

    I think that as long as pros aren't engaging in discrimination against any group (e.g., they can't charge different amounts to people of different races), they can charge whatever the market will bear.


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