Studio Private Lesson Rates Not Upfront?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by freeageless, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Oh, no! I didn't think I was *really* disagreeing with you at all. My objection, such as it was, was just one of nuance. That is, it's not enough to have a will to do something, the desire has to be greater than any other conflicting desires one has. That is, I'd personally say "You know I really DOOOO want it... but sorry there are other things I want more. [In my example case, it would have simply been to not borrow the money.] Sorry!"

    I really do think we're saying the exact same thing, but with slightly different words.
  2. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    damn, "it is too far away" (3 hours drive each way) and "the hours don't work for me" (530-7pm once a week) is exactly what I tell people when they ask why I stopped doing my particular style yoga! I guess I just have to admit that I don't really want to do it right now!
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  3. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Meh. Define "lack of dance". If we're talking the occassional social or whatnot, ok, whatever. If you're talking competitions and serious lessons? Jane-Single-Mom-In-The-Bottom-Quintile-of-Income likely has other priorities for her limited resources, and that's a good thing. We are extraordinarily privileged individuals here. And yes, I'm including the students when I say that and am well aware of how hard many of us worked to get where we are.
  4. flightco

    flightco Active Member

    I have to agree that what I can afford is no ones business. However, I would not be afraid to put my foot down and say, I'm sorry but this not in my dancing budget (everyone has, or should have, a budget).

    I received a price increase in January and thought nothing of it because it was across the board (even on the website). If the increase was just for me, I would not take that so well.
  5. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    And my increase, thus far, has not been across the board. That is my issue. It was never a matter of what I can afford. Like Jude said, we are all pretty fortunate here. And what I can afford will not be a part of the conversation I intend to have with my pro about it. I just want to feel like I am being treated fairly.
    debmc and danceronice like this.
  6. JANATHOME

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    Larinda really makes an excellent point. Some of us have come up against the financial conversation with a pro at one time or another. The first time I did this I was uncertain how to open the conversation and make it a non confrontational discussion. Actually I ended up sweating over this conversation for nothing. We spend a great deal of our resources on this hobby and we need to be able to address the financial end of it without fear. There is nothing wrong with talking dollars with a pro and if something makes you uncomfortable you should, as in Wannabees situation. I cannot afford it is the wrong approach but that does not mean we should not have these open conversations. It is helpful to both student and pro.

    I recall on one occasion I told pro I wanted to cut my entries back at a comp.... Of course he asks why. I told him that I did not want to spend that much at a local comp...It was not that I could not afford it, I could of, but I did not want to... He understood right away and we cut back the entries with no further conversation, to Larinda's point. I ended up happy with what I did spent and made the comp more enjoyable for me.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I will grant you this, while "I can't afford it is probably not solid in the eyes of the pro (however solid and not a cop out it is to the student), the better thing to say is probably more like "I am not willing to sacrifice beyond the point that I am offering...I feel that is sufficient, if it doesn't work for you, I appreciate what we have accomplished thusfar"
  8. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    don't drink starbucks

    don't drink coke
    no pets
    dye my own hair for comps


    now try to cut out my personal trainer and we gonna fight!! LOL

    kidding larinda is right

    as a base starting point... I concur
  9. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    I heard ya there I have done a lot of local comps that mean nothing to me other than to dance for my friends or patients or be a good local ambassador of dance etc etc
  10. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I would be totally put off to know that I was being charged more than other students, unless the other students had been with my pro longer than I and had earlier rates grandfathered in. I think it is simply fair and ethical practice to charge all students the same. If a student is truly so difficult that a pro feels they have to charge them more to compensate...as someone mentioned... then just part ways with that student. Wannabee from all your postings on this thread and on other threads it sounds like you are a wonderful student. Without knowing your pro.. it sounds like he may simply be trying to get more $$ where he can. I agree with everyone... have the conversation with him to clarify. I disagree with what paying an extra $10 is worth it to you, because I would guess that if you are the only student paying more, in time you will resent that which in turn will affect your dancing and your joy of learning dance. Of course there are always things we can cut to afford more, but there are also things that pros can cut to not hike salaries. Each side has their options. I know it sounds as if you have limited choices given your home town, but tomorrow a wonderful new pro could walk in to your studio.. particularly if there are a lot more students than available pros. You could also travel to take lessons, or if there are other students who want to work with someone else, you could collectively fly someone in for lessons. Yes, that might be more expensive than what you pay for now, but I am someone who feels that the justice and ethics of practices are ultimately the most important issue to consider.
    danceronice and Wannabee like this.
  11. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    The thought of somebody else paying more or less than you for the same services drives you crazy, then welcome to the real world. Market is driven by supply and demand, and the price of your lesson may have nothing to do with the price of somebody else's lesson in content style or form.
  12. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Yes, and I am not a "negotiator"... so it stings a bit when I encounter this outside the dance world as well. IMV... it comes down to the ethics of the pro... hopefully they are not using the same ethics as a car dealer....not to put down the ethical car dealers out there....
  13. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Ok then. Does a repairperson or some other trained individual charge less per hour because the job was simple? A fee is a fee. Unless there is a sliding scale system discussed up front, you pay X dollars per hour/lesson/service. If a ballroom instructor is demanding to be paid more for their "challenging" students, then they should also charge less for the "easy" students. Or alternatively, ask their potential students for proof of income and require oh, I don't know... 20% of their total income for lessons.

    This is ridiculous.
    danceronice and debmc like this.
  14. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Exactly! How would you determine the sliding scale? Broke college student could have wealthy parents and vacation in luxury family homes several times a year. Should she be given a break? Established career woman could be supporting several children, and have no assistance. Should she be charged more because she makes more? Once you start charging different people different prices.... slippery slope downwards.....
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I wouldn't mind a disparity if ; 1) I could afford/was willing to spend more (not), and the reason for the disparity could be explained in a way that made sense to me (unlikely but not impossible)
    debmc likes this.
  16. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Teachers who charge different rates do not have to explain them nor do they have to charge what your perception of the 'right price' is. The concept of fairness has nothing to do with what you think is correct, since they have no real obligation to satisfy you as to their motives or values.
  17. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Ya know... Victorias Secret sends discount coupons to men around Valentines Day. Is that a problem, since they are obviously overcharging every woman who wants to buy her own underwear that week? I don't really get why everyone thinks either they deserve a break or no one else can have a break.

    Personally if students started telling me that I needed to give up my personal hobbies or cut corners in the studio in order to run my business at a lower price point that satisfied them, well, I would remind them their ARE cheaper teachers out there. And there ARE group classes. But I won't be cutting out my personal hobby of lint collection competitions in order to take a smaller paycheck, in order to cut business expenditures, in order to charge my clientele less. Studios and teachers run a business, and the point of having a job is to make money. It is not our hobby. When we compete and take lessons that is our hobby. And we are sacrificing our personal lives for that.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    you are right...they don't have to...and I , as the consumer, have the option to assess that, find it unacceptable, and move on...I don't see anything at all out of line or rude about simply saying "I have noticed that my rate was the only one raised and I need to know why"...the instructor can respond in any way that they see fit....that in and of itself is telling
    debmc likes this.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think this OP is at all be-grudging her pro a living wage or whatever wage he sees fit, she is simply curious as to why she is the sole area in which the rate has been raised... I completely reject that she would be out of line or nosey to inquire about that...and I would imagine that most pros would rather have their student politely inquire than either hit the door or be resentful on lessons because they felt obligated to shut up and put up...that one person dances for a living and the other dances for a hobby, doesn't negate that the hobbyist is the consumer and has the right to continually assess the cost benefit ratio of the provider of the service...even as the pro has the right to set their rate and stick to it
  20. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Absolutely Larinda, I was not suggesting that pros cut their costs, I just feel that they should charge all students the same and pointing out that if the counter argument to students is that they could cut out their Starbucks etc, well there are things that everyone can cut out of their personal expenses. To me, and apparently to a few others on this thread, we would not be okay with being charged more than other students working with our pro. Of course the pro can respond by saying ... Too bad, this is the way I want to do things, I've randomly decided to charge Wannabee more cuz I know she'll pay it. If so, then Wannabee or any student for that matter, has to decide what to do with that information.
    Wannabee and danceronice like this.

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