Ballroom Dance > Taking classes at Arthur Murray

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Donchik, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. HCMikeC

    HCMikeC New Member

    I agree with all of you. Hearing both sides of the AM experience is important. While there may be "holding hands" at some AM studios, I doubt that that is the case across the board. Just makiing sure specific experiences are highlighted rather than putting am umbrella over all AMs.
  2. HCMikeC

    HCMikeC New Member

    That statment was misinterpreted. I was saying that people who feel pressure from their studio to do more than they want should move elsewhere (find another studio). I was not referring to people involved in the discussion. Sorry for the confusion.
  3. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i suggest you give up the desire to "make sure" anything is "represented" in a way you happen to agree with. it is a mission destined to fail.
  4. Donchik

    Donchik New Member

    I am really excited with the response that I have received on this forum. This is exactly information and input I was looking for. Thank you all.

    I do have more questions though: Some of you sound like you take private classes only once in two weeks or even less? is that enough? Or is it because you already on pretty advanced level? Also where do you practice in between the private classes? Do most studios let you come to practice on your own?
  5. Porfirio Landeros

    Porfirio Landeros New Member

    Because Arthur Murray, Inc. (AMI) is a corporate entity, it's not unreasonable to make some broad statements, since there is a central organization responsible for training, sales practices, and a corporate culture.

    It's true that individuals have more influence over how the local franchises may be run, but if AMI corporate was really concerned about some of the things people here are complaining about, they'd be either agressively re-training the owners/employees at the less-than-virtuous studios or pulling their franchises - instead, they seem to keep cashing the royalty checks. BTW, they come down on a studio FAST if they don't get royalty checks...

    I took lessons for a while at a franchise, but my experience wasn't bad at all, when I was a customer. Also, my teacher was a friend that I knew before he worked there, so I don't think my experience was typical. At the time, that studio was the only way to get new dance information in a tapped out dance scene. The scene has changed in that town since then, especially since independents regularly visit that town. Luckily for me, I moved to San Diego, where I know for a fact I wouldn't be the dancer that I am today if I had kept taking lessons at that franchise. This was MY experience, so no one can tell me this is unfair ;-)
  6. HCMikeC

    HCMikeC New Member

    Not trying to have everyone agree with me. This is a good thread. Don't mean to hijack it.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and some of us take lots more...I take no less than 6 hours a week....I also do no fewer than two groups a week...and @6-8 hours of practice which our studio lets anyone on package do at the studio for free so to speak
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    you're fine
  9. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Usually, the more advanced you get, the more hours you tend to put into lessoning. It's the beginners or (as someone else so rightly put it) the "i'm in it for the fun of it only" that have sporadic classes - and probably don't even practice (other than going out to a social). As in everything, you get out of it what you put into it.

    Practice is paid time at a studio. Most studios give you time if you are taking lessons with an instructor there - most higher level studios (with competitive students) charge an hourly rate. Remember, practice is not really just going to a social and getting up when you like the foxtrot they are playing - it is work that requires (at times) counting and study, work in front of a mirror, and repetitive action.
  10. Laura

    Laura New Member

    It all depends on how fully you can absorb the information presented, and what your goals are for using it. A social dancer who might go to a dance or two in the two-week period between dances might get plenty of information to deal with, and if they are happy with how they dance when they go out, then all is well. A Pro/Am competitor would need a lot more than that.
    Yes, but you usually have to pay a small practice fee, and there might be certain hours that you can't practice during. The studio closest to me charges $5 per person to practice as long as one wants in a day, so long as there are no group classes going on in the main ballroom. Another one I go to charges $10 per couple or single per hour. So prices and rules vary.
  11. SexyMan2Cha

    SexyMan2Cha New Member

    I think a little heat every now and then could spicen up this forum a little
  12. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    love the avatar ;)
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I thought so too---before I became a moderator
  14. sunderi

    sunderi New Member

    I think a lot of the points made here are good ones. Of course it's reasonable for people to discuss a negative experience had at a studio, franchise or otherwise, just as it's reasonable to discuss positive experiences. It is frustrating to those of us who work with AM studios (as employees or customers) with which we've had positive experiences, and we want to defend these studios, which we are so proud of and enthusiastic about. As with any company, you'll find positives and negatives, and it's a shame that each individual studio can't sink or swim on its own merits, but the overarching brand name invariably prevents that.

    One thing that I think has been alluded to in this thread, but I'm not sure was specifically mentioned (I've been lurking on this thread for days, and can't swear I remember each post in detail) is that our *goals* are going to determine a lot of what we get out of an individual studio. AM is the right place for some people. (It's absolutely the wrong place for others, and there are probably some AM studios that aren't right for anyone.) Generally, the studios tend to be fun, and filled with enthusiasm. The social dance scene at an AM can be hard to beat -- especially for people just looking to get out and have a little fun with friends or a significant other. It can be a lot of fun, and as some have mentioned, a really great introduction into dancing, even if it isn't where you *ultimately* end up. As with any service business, as our needs change, our vendor often changes -- we all switch doctors, grocery stores, personal trainers, veterinarians, etc, as our needs change.

    I'll add my name to the list of those with positive AM experiences. I was a student at my studio for 5 years, and I've now been teaching (with the same studio) for a year. I personally would recommend my studio to anyone in my area except the *most* competitive pro/am dancers. But that's just my experience. :)
  15. newdancer113

    newdancer113 New Member

    I've been taking lessons at AM for several months now, and have been very pleased.

    Before I started at AM, I tried taking a group class in salsa at a local independent studion. That didn't work for me. Since I'm single, I went with no partner. I found that a group class of people all trying to learn at the introductory level held me back, especially since I had no one to practice with in between. We were all basically bumbling around. Some days the teacher would show a move, and everyone could do it when he counted it out, but then put on music and it all fell apart.

    Then I checked out AM. I liked the idea of the combination of private and group lessons. It wasn't until I started taking private lessons with a professional instructor (mine is a joy to work with and has been dancing and teaching for years) that I understood what it felt like to follow (probably becuase I'd never danced with a guy who understood how to lead)

    In the studio I attend, everyone starts with private lessons only, and you don't go to any group classes until you have a little experience. That allows me to be able to learn from the group class setting as well.

    My teacher has geared the lessons toward my goals (for example, I'm going to a big out of town event soon, for which we temporarily suspended following the program and added a number of dances I didn't know).

    I also like the idea that I can sometimes do lessons with other instructors, which has been valuable.

    I am totally enjoying my lessons and plan to continue there for the foreseeable future. As long as I can come up with the money, so far I believe I have been getting my money's worth.

    The franchise experience can be variable, simply because it's a franchise. That means that each studio owner can run things somewhat differently.
  16. alemana

    alemana New Member

    it's true. some McDonald's *are* better than others.
  17. DennisBeach

    DennisBeach New Member

    I agree with you. I think seeing the pros/cons of franchisies and seeing how many made their experience positive at a franchise is very valueable.

    Key seems to be establishing that as the customer, you are calling the shots.
  18. SexyMan2Cha

    SexyMan2Cha New Member

    Very clever. I could add on that but it might spark a debate again which will then have to be flushed with political corectness. :eek:
  19. JohnLL

    JohnLL New Member

    Alemana, just curious as to your experiences with AM or franchise studios in general. I haven't been on this forum for long so I don't know your background although from the tone of your comments I'm led to believe that you haven't had positive experiences with franchise studios.
    I don't care for your "McDonalds" comment (not that it really matters) and wonder how you would like it if I associated your studio or instructor with a fast food joint which is why I'm asking about your personal experiences with AM.
  20. JohnLL

    JohnLL New Member

    Hope my comment in the above post does not come off as rude *not my intention at all*. If it does I apologize. :) Everyone is entitled to their own opinion I know. Yours compares AM to a fast food chain. Mine is that I find that offensive. Just trying to find some basis for a little bit more of a debate.


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