Why do Private Lessons COST SO Much?!

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

  1. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Actually, degrees in ballroom are available in a number of universities in the USA.

    The istd also provides a teaching path that credits teachers for various levels.

    That said, teaching has nothing to do with degrees; the teachers who gave me the most were not always the most accredited nor the best dancers, but the best at making ME dance the best.

    Teaching quality is not about cost, proximity, or credits. To paraphrase an old joke: quality, price, convenience - pick two.
  2. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I disagree with this. Group classes can take you only so far. If one wants to become really, really good, he needs some personalized attention.
  3. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    for me, not in any way, shape or form does a degree matter or justify a price. although there may be dancers from the U.S. who would agree with you, i think you are also describing a common european paradigm which is far more focused on degree certification as compared with in the U.S., IME...although the U.S. is becoming more that way.

    IAE, i couldn't care less about a degree, even when i hire staff in my non-dance-related professional capacity. there are so many other things that matter more.

    i don't believe any of the top dancers i've been fortunate to receive instruction from learned what they teach in college, whether they taught salsa, west coast swing or ballroom.
  4. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    The very best social dance instructor I have ever known did not have any dance accreditations. Unless an instructor has gotten a degree at a well known performing arts school in the U.S., it doesn't mean much unless they themselves want to teach at a college or university.
    My first reaction to a ballroom or club dance instructor having a college degree in dance is "so?". Tell me what they won, tell me what their students have won, tell me where they are invited to judge, where they are invited to teach, that will mean much more to me.

    To what Tanya_the_dancer says, it really all depends on where you want to go. I know far too many dancers who took private lessons for 10 years without any substantial change to their dancing, and excellent dancers who learned overwhelmingly from group classes and actually getting out there and dancing. YMMV. Each individual has to evaluate what their goals are, and how best to arrive at them.
  5. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    Your message doesn't specify the dance(s) you want. $60/hour seems reasonable. The key is what to focus on. If it's just steps, you're throwing your money away. Concentrate on technique, e.g. axis, frame, posture, and balance which you need in EVERY dance.
  6. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I dont believe anyone implied that ,advanced level dancers would not obviously benefit from Private lessons ( thats ALL they usually do ) .

    Classes are normally geared to 2 distinct types.. Social and Medal test .
    The majority of American studios do cater, in some instances, to a Silver level.

    In the UK, some schools used to go as far as Gold .
  7. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Thats a NYC price..however, if one books a high profile Prof. then the rates usually reflect that . Also to consider.. who is paying floor time .
  8. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    Tanya, I agree with you. Group classes just teach steps. Dancers who think they just need to know steps will be lousy dancers. How is a beginner supposed to learn how to dance from dancing with other beginners? Beginners don't know when they are picking up bad habits that have to be corrected later.

    You need personal attention to learn frame. My private Argentine tango teacher used to describe group lessons that only focused on steps as "Monkey see. Monkey do."
  9. fayeh

    fayeh Member

    Dance lessons are not expensive if you believe that you are learning something out of it. Although, if you have never tried other dance teachers, how would you know if the one that you have is right for you? How do you know that there aren't other dance teachers who can give you more? Finding a dance teacher does require some time and shopping. Ask others who they take lessons with and what they like about their teachers. The price of the lesson is only expensive if you think that you are not receiving your money's worth.
  10. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    Absolutely CORRECT. I took weekly private ballroom, Latin, swing and hustle lessons from one instructor for TEN YEARS and weekly private Argentine tango lessons from another instructor for EIGHT YEARS. I spent thousands of dollars but it was worth it!! People asked me if I was rich to afford dance lessons. I said "I used to be rich. Then I took dance lessons. And now, I'm even richer."

    I suggest you go to many venues and take the lesson before the dance with many different instructors until you find the right one.

    Ask the dancers you admire who their teacher is.
  11. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Expensive or inexpensive are relative to (a) how much money you have and (b) how much value you place on something.

    As long as we aren't talking about food, shelter, clothing, medical care, transportation, and such, if you can't rearrange your priorities to budget for private lessons, then it boils down to (a) private lessons are an out of reach luxury to you, for now, (b) it's not THAT important to you, or (c) both.

    There are many people on this forum who prioritize their dance training over things like eating out, movies, drinks at bars, etc. I know people who are barely scraping by, but still manage to scrape together funds for a monthly private lesson. I also know people that budget more than my annual salary for their dancing.

    At $60, a private lesson is less than a moderately nice dinner for two. A lot less than my weekend bar tab when I was young and stupider. Less than a lot of people I know spend on Starbucks in a couple of weeks. Get rid of cable TV, and you might be able to get a few private lessons per month, too. ;-)
  12. Don Silver

    Don Silver Member

    In LA, the stronger instructors are in the hundred dollar an hour range (or more), although many will discount that if you purchase a set of lessons.

    As someone who has taken privates for music (and dance) over many years, I'll say they provide the tools for faster growth.

    With a great instructor, they are focused on me. Things I have under control already they can do a quick review. They spot my weaknesses and force me to deal with them. They also can show details that are overlooked in classes. Too many people and and instructor can only stop with each student for so long.

    I've taught group classes. If some guy isn't getting something, I may correct him IF I think it will make a difference. Sometimes he's so far off, there isn't time to stop and adjust him, it's just show and hope he figures out he was missing it.

    In private it's different. He gets fixed and is shown why something will benefit him.

    Note that most instructors with larger classes make more money teaching a group. In private the hourly is high, but people don't make it, they are late, stuff happens.

    Privates can provide accelerated learning over a period of time (you usually go backwards fixing issues, then move forward more rapidly, and over a few months the difference is noticeable.)

    For me, the right combination is both. Find a great instructor who teaches group classes, then take some privates from them. They will tell you things in private that are overlooked in the class. When in the class they can remind you of things you detailed in private. They will also pay more attention to you in the group.

    They will make a comment in class, and you'll see the details that others overlook.
  13. PatrickSmith234

    PatrickSmith234 New Member

    very interesting, thank you
  14. jerseydancer

    jerseydancer Active Member

    also important to consider how do you value your time and what are your goals. Do you want to pay less taking group lesson when you get little attention from teachers, if you are ahead of the group you may be bored, if you behind the group you may get frustrated, it is hard to have the group when everyone is the same level. Also, in a group you may not be able to practice with your partner. I value my time and willing to pay more for personal attention in a private lesson when i dance when my partner. So, if you think about the value you are getting in the time and money spent, in group it may take longer to learn, and you still probably end up paying the same as you invest in private lesson getting to the same level.
  15. jerseydancer

    jerseydancer Active Member

    Combination of group and private lessons does not seem to work for us, we prefer take private lesson and practice what we have leaned, then go back for private instructions. Before the competitions, our private lessons more like supervised practice, but still a lot of learning going on.

    Talking about price, i do not think private lesson for 60 dollars is expensive. I have issue with visiting coaches prices 250-300 dollars are way to high for what I get for my time and money. But that is different topic.
  16. Don Silver

    Don Silver Member

    If your primary goal is competitive or performance dancing and/or you tend to stay with one partner, then that's different from my POV.

    If someone is primarily social dancing, then a mix of privates and group classes works very well. If you take the mix with the same instructor, you get some additional benefits.

    Instructors pay a bit more attention to their privates students, even during a group class. In addition, they see things during that class that they can address later in private, if they didn't get a chance due to the time/attention aspects of the group classes.

    One size rarely fits all.
  17. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    an hour of one on one anything is 60 or more

    tutoring, guitar, massage, pilates, and dance lessons
  18. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Not exactly true.. I always charged $40 or $50 an hr depending upon floor fees and regularity attendance of the student .

    Metro areas are generally higher due to large floor fee costs ...but, even in Atlanta were i taught for many yrs, still kept the same price structure ( as do pretty much all the Pros. ) .
  19. donavan12cute

    donavan12cute New Member

    some of it, usually very expensive in the private instructor because it will teach you focused and seriously with the technique. 60/hour I think is fine with the great instructor :)
  20. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Nope. I charge $45 per hour (pre-algebra through calculus, science except for chemistry), major metro area. Not my "real" job though...

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