Why do Private Lessons COST SO Much?!

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by achilles007, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    Rbazsz, In the group class I am currently taking, there are about 7 men and 7 women. In the first class, I saw this one guy using either a cell phone camera or a small regular looking camera filming the instructor when he demonstrated the steps with and without a student to demonstrate them with. In the last class I took, I saw three other guys doing the same thing. I am not technology oriented so I don't know if those cameras also recorded what the instructor was telling us as well. As I stated before, I use instructional DVD's, but you may wish to do what those men are doing-using some kind of camera to photograph and record what the teacher is teaching you. Good luck!
  2. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Not all studios allow group class recording. Best to ask before you record.
  3. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    Nucat, I agree that it is best to ask. However, if the studio says no, I would look for another studio, because I would think that the studio is not really interested in their students learning how to dance. Obviously, the studio I go to does not mind if the students record the teachers teaching the classes. I note that on a recent Crystal cruise, the instructor whom I was taking private lessons from told me, that she and her partner teach at some dance camps. She stated that many of their students have asked them if they have some videos, because they stated they tend to forget the material. As a result, she stated that she and her partner were making some videos that they were planning on giving their students. She and her partner compete at championship levels. If even they think they are useful, that makes me even more suspicious of studios that would or might object to them.
  4. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily. It can interfere with the rights of other students not to be recorded if they don't want. It can interfere with the class. And the teacher has the right to be particular about controlling their "brand".
    I know some teachers produce their own videos which they make available to students taking classes, in this way they address all of the above concerns while still making a video summary of the class available.
    None of my teachers object to my video-recording private lessons, but in that case no one else is affected.
  5. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    I agree in general with what you wrote. I totally agree that it could "interfere with the rights of other students not to be recorded if they don't want." I don't know about the part of your posting that talks about the teacher being particular about controlling their "brand". If a teacher were to talk to me about controlling their "brand"-I might want more details, like why.
  6. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Please explain.
  7. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    If I am a teacher, actually, even if I am not, I want to control the image that other people see of me. If it is a video of me teaching a class, I want any video of me that gets out there to be of professional quality, professionally edited. If that's the first impression a potential student has of me, I want to make that as positive as possible.

    Also, if I'm really good teacher, how do I know you aren't going to turn around and either sell copies of that video, or put it up on the internet and make some money off ads on your page. Why should I let you make money off my teaching?

    A trusting teacher will let you record without conditions. A more careful one will either make you sign an agreement on what you can do with the video, or will simply forbid it.
  8. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    TT, I agree that what you have stated above are possibilities, remote possibilities in my opinion. However, I think that most students who are recording or want to film the instructor teaching the class are going to want to use the videos, because they are having problems retaining the material. They are paying to take the class. It stands to reason that they want to be able to absorb and/or retain the material. In any event, at the studio I go to they must not be too concerned, because they obviously permit the students to do it.
  9. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I understand where you are coming from, but bear in mind, any dance teacher being honest with you will tell you that you will need to take the class more than once (some people, many times) to become proficient in its content.
    I would be surprised if anyone thought that you could learn martial arts from a video. Yet dancing and martial arts are not so different, except that it hurts a lot more if you don't learn martial arts more quickly. ;-)
  10. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    TT, I completely agree with you about repeating the classes. I have never heard a group class teacher telling any of his or her students to repeat the class. In my case they don't have to. I know I need to repeat the classes. I automatically repeat the classes at least once and sometimes two and three times. Even doing that, I stll have to practice and use the instructional videos. I also see other students repeating the classes. In one of my group classes, one of the students whom I also saw repeating a class told the instructor in front of the other students that he uses instructional DVD's, because he needs all the help he can get. ;)
  11. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Re: recording - As mentioned, not everybody likes or wants to be recorded at a lesson. And even if they don't care, it can be a distraction.

    From a teacher's perspective, I've seen cases where a "teacher" masquerading as a student came in and recorded a class, then turned around and used that material to teach a class of their own. (There's a thread re: BR teachers popping into tango classes and then trying to regurgitate the material at their own studio.) Violation of intellectual property rights? Dunno and prolly doesn't matter, but still...

    But, I'd think that the easiest way to avoid any conflicts is simply to disallow recording. That does not apply IMO to private lessons and I would question it if I could not record e.g. choreo for a showcase, etc.

    Okey dokey, BOT!
  12. anametuer

    anametuer Member


    Agree, there is genuine concern about invading the privacy of other students in a group class. However if a sincere, regular student finds it difficult ( esp if the student is completely lost) and needs practice material, then I would suggest that the teacher should ENCOURAGE the student to record the class summary and help the student stay on course. This can be done at a special time and area without invading the privacy of others. A controlled demo with what should be exhibited will not hamper the business and on the contrary the student will be more Ireceptive to lessons and classes. i would still love Slavik's technique lessons and classes if any, after watching 'See it, hear it, master it'.
  13. azzey

    azzey Member

    Firstly, private lessons are mainly useful for working on specific things you do not get from classes. Like getting detailed feedback from a teacher on what you are doing wrong and how you can fix it. Of course until you are actually dancing regularly you don't need that feedback because you have nothing to correct.

    It may then take months for you to practice and apply that feedback from one private lesson. The odd private lesson once in a while might be a good thing, IF you're not getting the feedback from other places. It's not a requirement though! You can learn to social dance by just going to class and dancing regularly. It depends how quickly you wish to progress.

    There are other ways to progress which are not expensive:
    - LOTS of social dancing!
    - Salsa DVD's which focus on technique, like leading/following, spins, body movement etc.
    - Home practice of your basic step with a mirror (professionals practice for hours a day to improve the quality of their basics).
    - Studying workshop videos on YouTube.
    - Reading SalsaForums
    - Having practice partners to work out the bugs in your moves.
    - Video yourself.

    Like in decorating your flat, you can go the DIY route but every once in a while you might want to get professional advice. The important thing is to go regularly, take instruction (classes) from good teachers, dance all night, find quality dance partners, and ask for feedback now and then.
  14. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    ALL.. excellent advice
  15. Back when I was taking privates, I had a deal with my instructor that I would help her out occasionally with things like proof reading and revising press releases and in turn she only charged me $30/hr. This was back in 1999-2002. Eventually I started paying her $40/hr because she hadn't asked me to do anything for her for a long time and it seemed a bit unfair. She was a relatively new instructor, but she did have some experience. She may not have been a salsa expert, but she taught me an enormous amount about leading, and a fair amount about turning. I thought $40/hr was about standard back then. Maybe it was actually low end. I found the private lessons invaluable. I would love to do privates again, but I don't have the money now and the way things are going I doubt I ever will have that sort of money again.
  16. John Hawkins

    John Hawkins New Member

    I agree with tangotime. Regular classes should work for most people to learn to dance. Especially if you want to learn to lead/follow. Dancing with one person all the time, no matter how good a teacher, will never teach you how to lead or follow.

    Most people I know get privates once every couple of months to get intense feedback and focus on skills the know are lacking, not for the general learning process.
  17. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Independently of the skills, the style taught, experience and reputation of that teacher...

    I only would fix the prize at 60 dollars and above if the teacher has graduated from an academical school, at least with a BA. (does not matter at all whether graduated from a ballet academy, modern dance academy, academy of folklore, orthopaedagogy, or dance therapy). Only the degree counts and justifies the price.

    By the way, you can get privates for chicken feed. So many skilled but non-collegiate teachers, instructors or experienced dancer are around.
  18. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    That may be in Europe, but is not the case in the U.S. Really, we use the word "academical" a bit differently here, as dance is not considered an "academic" subject. There are not enough dance schools recognized as such, especially for ballroom, where anyone would care if you got a degree from one around here.

    As to cost, again, someone who could manage to pack in 40 hours a week at $60/hour would really be working hard to make what I will admit is a decent living, but no one is getting rich that way, for sure.
  19. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    $60/hr
    You do realize that we would hear this complaint whether the number were $100/hr or $30/hr
    If you can't afford the undivided attention of a skilled professional, and it's important to you, hustle and make some more money ;-)
    If it's simply a matter of how you prioritize your spending, then don't complain if those Starbuck's Latte's rate higher than a dance lesson. ;-)
  20. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    There is no difference between Europe and the US! Ballroom or salsa isnt taught in academies, colleges or universities over here, too. But if by chance a ballroom instructor or salsa teacher got an academic degree in dancing (usually classical dance) this would actually justify a higher category.

    Sorry, only my personal view.

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