My experience has been with non-franchise studios and teachers only, and I think it is worth mentioning that these have their own share of problems and pitfalls. Sometimes, reading threads like these makes it look like independent studios and teachers are trouble-free. They aren't. If a person is comfortable in a certain dance situation, I say leave them be. And dancing is not really an "investment", though I have spent on my dancing more than the cost of a shiny new Jag XKR. It is a hobby and an entertainment and a treat to oneself, and a social activity. No one needs to defend their choice to any one.