Ballroom Dance > Taking classes at Arthur Murray

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

  1. SexyMan2Cha

    SexyMan2Cha New Member

    That would be really interesting to see. I want to go undercover to an AM studio to see how things really go over there. I'm curious after reading (most of) this thread.

    My teacher actually went through the am teacher program and has absolutely nothing good to say about it, and some crazy stories.
  2. Porfirio Landeros

    Porfirio Landeros New Member

    I look forward to seeing you do a Magic Step(R) in your next Foxtrot final ;-)

    I think AMI used Spanish names for a lot of their Tango and Paso steps, too, to keep them more authentic. International uses more ballet/French and English descriptions.
  3. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

  4. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    I've seen a few of these as well. Did you recognize the instructor?

  5. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    MOst of them were names I never heard of..
  6. PasoDancer

    PasoDancer New Member

    AM sounds an awful lot like the Super Adventure Club.
  7. Laura

    Laura New Member

    A friend of mine taught at FADS years ago, and one day we were talking about "proprietary" steps. He showed me his old students' favorite, the "Champagne Glide." It was some Smooth thing involving going in and out of wing and doing a developpe' somewhere along the line.
  8. Keelzorz

    Keelzorz New Member

    Our team's FADS instructor decided to challenge us at our last lesson, and pulled out a few proprietary gold cha-cha steps. You'd have a heck of a time arguing that they weren't open routines, with neck drops and slides and a fair bit of side-by-side was a really memorable lesson, helped us all with our ability-to-learn, but I dont know if I'll ever pull those out in competition.
  9. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    I only watched one episode of this season, I'm glad it was the one that allowed me to laugh at that!!
  10. love2swing

    love2swing New Member

    As a (now former! last day was Friday for those who had read my previous thread) instructor at AM I feel compelled to defend them as well. I had been dancing for quite a while before I started teaching, and then went through 6 additional months of training before actually being able to teach my first student.

    Anyway, the first thing I wanted to address was that perhaps you weren't being taught closed body position not because you hadn't reached the magic number of lessons yet, but rather because maybe you're doing something fundamentally wrong yet that your instructor wants to fix before introducing closed position. Or maybe it just is about the money. Who knows. A good instructor will never hold you back. Sometimes I just get irritated when my students think they have a step or move or whatever I'm showing when really they are doing things wrong and I'm trying to find a nice way to tell them that we need to work on the basics more before we move onto more complex things. I would never hold my students back, but I also do my (polite) best to try to make them see that they need more work on things before moving on. It's not how many "moves" you can learn that's important, but rather leading, following, timing, etc, that is-- making dancing actually dancing and moving to the music and looking good at it and not just adding step upon step upon step. But, I'm not specifically trying to attack the original poster, or anyone in this thread, but rather a generalization of some things I've noticed over the past several years.

    Second, I have to brag up my studio. Like everyone has said, studios within franchises vary, and I'm proud to have worked at what I consider a "good" one. Yeah, my boss preached to me the "we can plan what they will learn based on the amount of lessons they choose" when I started, but I have never pushed this on my students, and my boss has never bugged me about it. I figure as long as I'm doing my job at keeping my students happy and helping them progress through their dancing, they will come back. And so far, this has proven to be the case.

    Third, AM studios are great for the social aspect. I can't even count how many students I've had come to me in the past few months that have been going through some sort of tough time in their life and told me about how finding dancing and the studio has really helped them through it. Nothing makes me feel better then hearing we actually make a difference in people's lives. We also have a few really good students that do quite well at comp's, so I feel we also teach quality dancing as well. We are mostly a social studio, but we have two instructors that are absolutely fabulous with the competition people/couples. They dance competitively themselves, and it's amazing to see what they can do with those wishing to compete. Of course, these people are also in the studio a lot more, so that might have something to do with it as well.

    Anyway, I just wanted to throw my two cents in. Sorry if I came off as hostile-- not my intent at all. Just wanted to again state that not every franchise is the same.
  11. sunderi

    sunderi New Member

    AM has an official 12 dance bronze syllabus in Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Rumba, Cha Cha, Swing, Hustle, Merengue, Mambo, Samba, Viennese Waltz and Bolero (all American style). Although they have supplemental syllabi (?) for international, country western, west coast, etc, those dances do not make up the core syllabus.
  12. sunderi

    sunderi New Member

    You wouldn't be the first. We get that from time to time. :) People have a hard time pretending to not know anything -- we figure it out in about 10 minutes (or less). ;)
  13. liangjz

    liangjz New Member

    I'm getting the feeling that a lot of people don't shop around for dance lessons... but I don't fully understand why.

    I mean, I would shop around for any investment that exceeded $200, but I keep seeing and reading about instances where people don't.

    I know part of it is strong marketting and salesmenship, but I can't get a good grasp on how much that contributes.

    I don't mean to rip on anyone for their choices, but I really am genuinely confused and curious.
  14. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Maybe there's enough difficulty in making the decision to take lessons at all, that once they do that, if they are reasonably comfortable the first place they walk into, staying is preferable than resuming all the stress of the search.
  15. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    hmm reading this thread I thought about doing that too,
    good thing you mentioned that you figure them out really fast... though wouldn't require much figuring with me... at this point I don't think I could ever pass for a beginner...

    does anyone know if their "have to buy X lessons to complete level Y" is required by the corporation or if it is up to the individual studio?
  16. marianya

    marianya New Member

    Personally when I first made the decision to start taking dance lessons I did a lot of shopping and I was dead set against franchise studios mainly because I simply didn't feel that they would lead me to where I wanted to be with dancing (starting out, I didn't want to dance for the social aspect, I wanted to dance to be able to choreography effectively down the road).

    Unfortunately I didn't know anyone that danced so I couldn't find any "good" studios via word of mouth and I know of stories of smaller studios where the instructor didn't really know much more outside of the social aspect of dancing and I didn't want to find myself in that situation.

    Why I ended up with AM was because I realized later that I needed to be more social and AM would help with that at the beginning. And I've found that the [high] payments has forced me to become more committed in going to classes and practice parties... versus other studios I would have to pay extra outside the lessons and I would be a lot less inclined to go out there and meet other people.

    I'm having fun now, but I'm still shopping around, I don't intend to be with AM any longer than a couple years maybe three, four tops (though I doubt I would get to that point). Eventually I would like to go to another studio where I could compete in the ProAm (or Am-Am) circuit, rather than the AM only Dance-O-Ramas... but that isn't for many years down the road...
  17. saludas

    saludas New Member

    If you'd like, PM me the # of your bankl account and I will gladly help you keep 'committed'...LOL

    Glad you're having fun - you still should learn how to dance. If you're still willing to do it, and haven't run out of money, try an independent teacher. I'm sure if you told us where you live, someone here could reccomend a teacher - for probaly much less than you are paying now. Then, when you go to the socials in your area, you will be able to dance with the people there.
  18. marianya

    marianya New Member

    That's the catch... I don't go out... ever, except at the AM studio I'm at. So when they have the parties and festivals and whatnot I meet others from other AM studios.

    But, if anyone does have any recommendations I'm open to them. I live in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. The reason I say southwest of Chicago is because I know I could probably find good studios galore in Chicago, but I don't want to contend with traffic, parking and all that jazz. Plus I already commute from the lowest point of DuPage County to the highest point of DuPage County so going to Chicago on top of my already long commute would be killer at the gas station and car mileage... so I guess any recommendations of the western suburbs of Chicago would help.

  19. sunderi

    sunderi New Member

    I'm 99% sure that those numbers are determined by the studio, but I do think there is a general sense given by the corporation. At my studio, the rule of thumb for planning is about 4-6 lessons per dance per level (i.e., Bronze I) for a couple (closer to 4 per dance per level for a single). I'd be interested to hear what it is elsewhere.
  20. cl5814

    cl5814 New Member

    If you may say, how many steps per dance per level ? Say for bronze level 1 you have A, bronze 2 you have B, bronze 3 you have C ? So, in total, you have X steps for bronze, Y for silver and Z for Gold....

    Could you give us the numbers for A,B,C,X,Y,Z ? (doesn't have to be exact, but close enough)

    * just curious *

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