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

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

  1. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    But there is a difference between what people can do and what they should do. I have met several very good pros who consciously limit what they charge for lessons because they want ballroom to be accessible to a wider variety of people and I really respect that. On the other hand, if a pro decides to charge more per hour so they can teach fewer lessons and earn the same amount (and increase their own practice & free time) I certainly respect that decision as well. There are many motivations for setting price and what the market will bear is just a part of that decision-making process.
  2. Well said ChaChaMama! :)

    I would never work with a teacher that refused to let the students ask questions. First off, the only way to improve is to first understand what you are doing wrong and then change it. If a teacher does not know how to fix the problem, or at least identify it, they are not worth the $$. Imagine trying to learn rise and fall from someone who simply walks through the steps and then asks you repeat them. Now imagine learning rise and fall from someone who sits you down and says, the reason we rise is _____, the reason we lower is ____. Instead of trying to imitate a motion, you now know the principle behind the motion and can use it in all of your dances.

    Who is determining what someone "should" do? Is it you? Me? The government? The person who wants what that person has? The actual individual?

    I point this out so that "you" realize that no one has a claim to anything other than their own life. If you claim more than that, you are stepping on the rights of another person. Would you like it if someone stepped on Your rights?
  3. alemana

    alemana New Member

    take a breath. "rights" are not the issue here.

    Read carefully - the points wyllo were making were balanced and considered many aspects of the THEORETICAL (lights should be flashing here! ding ding DING!) discussion we are having.

    when there's a thread called LISTEN UP ALL YOU PROS I AM GOD AND HERE IS WHAT YOU MUST DO, then get your goat up.

    geez, i feel like i'm back teaching rhetoric 101 sometimes.
  4. caityrosey

    caityrosey New Member

    You are right, no one can require anything of anyone.
    "Should" is a moral/ethical dilemma that goes beyond mere supply and demand or what one person can ask of another. No one should, as you say "step on the rights" of anyone else. We are asking whether teachers should make the CHOICE to make the information they have to share more accessible. Teachers have to want to do this, no one can force them to--nor would we want to force them. Teachers should consider the choice to make their lessons more accessible because of more long term goals--the good that wider access to information does for the dance community as a whole. More access to information should lead to wider participation--that's usually how things like this work. We complain about how little interest there is in our sport in the US, yet we fail to recognize the elitism that contributes to it. Western society is very individualistic, sometimes at the expense of a community-oriented perspective that would help us to better understand our problems and find solutions.
  5. I agree with everything Wyllo said after the first line. I honestly don't know where you are going with the "Theoretical" unless its to say calm down, in whcih case I should say that I am very calm. I do think that the points are valid here. This dicusssion is about what "we" as a ballroom community think about the price of lessons. If someone thinks that price gouging is bad because it has the potential to limit the growth of the sport, those thoughts belong here. If someone things that price gouging is ok and that it will not hurt the sport, that belongs here too.

    Please let me know what your concern is.

    But its soo much fun :)
  6. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I don't believe that what individual teachers charge is a primary driving factor in the cost of access to ballroom dancing information.

    - A much more important factor is the tradition of offering only private lessons (instead of detailed group classes) for all serious training.

    - The best teachers in an area are often not its most expensive (though they may be above the average), while the worst are almost never the cheapest. Expertise as a student/costumer thus has a major impact on the cost of information.

    - The majority of lessons taught are not an effective use of the teacher's time as a source of knowledge. Instead, the teacher is trainer, taskmaster, peacemaker, partner, personal trainer, entertainer, therapist, babysitter, etc.
  7. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Very true :)
  8. Asking if teachers should make a particular choice or not is removing the choice from them. Should teachers choose to give away lessons? This is the same as saying should teachers give away lessons? It removes the teacher from the equation and focuses on what others want the teacher to do. I know this is repetative, but the choice is the teachers and no one elses.

    Does greater access to ballroom information lead to wider participation? I think that greater visibility and good marketing lead to wider participation. The technical information is secondary.

    Look at football (american or soccer). The popularity is huge in comparison with ballroom dancing, but it came about because it is easy to pass a ball from one person to another and then run down the field. It is rather easy at the novice levels. Don't get me wrong, I played for years and practices were a bitch. But at the basic level, all you need to know is how to throw and kick.

    Unfortunately ballroom is not like any other sport. It is sensual, romantic, sexy, and very erotic! :) What this means is that in most cases, guys must touch girls (and vice versa) and both parties must be comfortable with the closeness, themselves, and another partner. I say unfortunately, because in this sense, America and much of the world is still to conservative.

    I actually don't think the sport is elitest. Most dancers I know scrape by. I only know one instructor that owns a mercedes. And that is because the studio he works at is well managed. I think that many people believe ballroom is elitest because of the beautiful & expensive gowns. However, when you look at the core of the ballroom community, what do you see? Competitors? We make up a small portion of the business. Most of it comes from newlyweds and the older generations who use it as a social tool. And they really don't have a need for the technical information. Most simply want to learn how to do a box step.

    I wonder... Did anyone read down this far? :)
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    i did...and i agree that beyond comps and I mean big ones, it isn't so elitist at all.....folks who live in large urban areas may not be as aware of this though
  10. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    I wonder how ballroom compares to other sports in terms of cost? I rode horses throughout high school so I have always considered ballroom to be "cheap" by comparison. But compared to team sports like soccer or football, I would assume that ballroom is quite a bit more expensive -- especially since there are often local leagues people can join.

    Of course, my perspective is from the amateur side of the sport. Competing in pro-am would definately be outside of my financial abilities.
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    having said that...I can tell you that I spent no less than 30K on it this year...but that was my choice...not what I had to do...I could have rented dresses...I could have danced fewer heats...I could have had less coaching....
  12. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    wow, that is a lot.. I haven't spent even half of that since I started... (well, since I buy and sell dresses, I only include the original money I put into them not all the money spent and then recovered)
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    right and given that I just started a year ago and bought three dresses(one smooth, one standard and one latin) that is $7800 right there
  14. dTas

    dTas New Member

    i agree too, along with fascination. i think the "meat and potatoes" of ballroom dancing is the social aspect and what most people actually see is the top tier and not all the beginners learning so they can foxtrot with thier SO.
  15. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Well, I am sure you can sell them and recover quite a bit of your investment there..
  16. musicchica86

    musicchica86 Active Member

    I agree that most people with a bit of knowledge about what they're doing want to learn from the top pros. Personally, I'm not one of those people. I've been dancing for about a year and a half, and I'm about to start lessons with a great instructor that's definitely not your average wedding-reception, teaching-mostly-beginners instructor--but neither is he of Charlotte's or Nick Kosovich's class. Yes, he went to Blackpool and won an award, but it was with the BYU Ballroom Team, not as an individual competitor. So I think I'm getting a priceless opportunity to get lessons from him for less than $65/hr ($65 is his regular rate, but I get his junior rate until I'm 21). As far as I'm concerned, I'd be an idiot not to take advantage of this opportunity, especially since we seem to get along fairly well already.

    I guess my point is, yes there are people out there who think they have to pay hundreds of dollars an hour for coaching from the top pros in order to improve, but there are also people who know that they can get high quality instruction without paying the premium.
  17. dTas

    dTas New Member

    back when i was working on competition we priced out a year of competition, 1 professional comp a month, to be about $50K. that's travel for two, coaching, dresses, hotel, food, car rental, etc OUCH!
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    let us pray:roll:
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    but I will say studio charges @68 an hour ...I am betting that half of this goes to my pro...and bless him, he only charges me $10 a heat...but I do take no less than 6 privates a week...and it adds up

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