I danced at a franchised studio that boasted some pretty top-notch talent, who went on to become the top two pro couples in their field in the US NDCA championships. However, as great as the teachers/teaching were, the money was not great at all. When my then-teacher left to go teach at Ballroom on Fifth, he was able to drop his prices by $15/lesson but still take home more pay. (Unfortunately I quit dancing and moved several time zones away, and it was 3 1/2 years before I thought about trying to dance again.) Also, competitions through the franchise were *expensive*. However, I found ways to work around that. Still, I was paying more for the same number of heats then than I ever did afterwards when I changed to dancing with an independent teacher (who happens to also have some nice titles to his credit) at an independent studio and going pretty much independently to NDCA competitions. And then there were the sales tactics. I hated that they would pull me into the manager's office to get me to re-up for more lessons. One time I let it slip that I had just gotten a bonus at work, and it took them about 1 1/4 seconds for them to start sweet talking me into spending it on a block of 60 lessons. I would have bought more lessons anyway, so I thought it was really tacky of them to always be used-car-salesmaning their way into my wallet. Oh, and then there was what I call "social promotion" of students. Like, I danced Bronze for about a year, and then my teacher left. So I was given another teacher, fresh in from Russia (I think it might have even been someone who went on to win a US Rising Star pro title). The manager told me that I was ready for more challenges and so my new teacher would start teaching me Gold Standard. Yeah right. I was not ready for that. I mean, I didn't know any better so I went along with it, but after I left and quit dancing for a while and then came back, I started over again at Bronze and as I was learning from the new teacher I realized that I had a huge amount of work to do before I would really be ready for Gold. Several years of work, in fact. (I eventualy got there, and beyond, in both Pro/Am and Amateur, so there is a happy ending to this story.) It would take a lot for me to go near a franchise again. But then I have no need to, as I've been hooked into the local independent grapevine and so can find what I want, where I want, and don't feel like I'm being gouged on the price.