Dance teacher salary in a studio


Well-Known Member
Referring to non-independent dance teachers, i.e. teachers who work in a studio/franchise studio. I am being trained as a teacher and while talking to my teacher she told me exactly how low the per hour rate is for teachers in our studio. I knew that dance teachers are not getting paid well when I decided to be trained as a teacher but now I'm wondering if this rate is normal or if we're getting ripped off.
So even though most of you are in the US, I'd like to hear (from teachers) how much you're getting paid by the hour.
Not mentioning our rate just yet, want to hear what people will say first...

Twilight Elena
freds astaire started 7 an hour left 21 an hour
arthur murray started 8 per hour left 13 an hour.
franchised studio is not where you wanna be if you wanna make a living. sure they will give you an extra hour here and an extra hour there per sales and teaching hours but i could have made more being a cashier at a groccery store. this is me being full certified in latin standard smooth and rhythm through full silver. i stopped taking test at silver because there was no gold students at either studio where i was.


Well-Known Member
Erm. Believe it or not... it's just 4€ for privates in my studio. 2,5€ if you're doing reception desk. Rip off! And I don't even know if the silver teachers are better paid. I don't think so.

Twilight Elena
Twilight_Elena said:
Erm. Believe it or not... it's just 4€ for privates in my studio. 2,5€ if you're doing reception desk.
Is it actually legal to pay someone 2,5€ (I assume that's Euro) per hour where you are? I think that's USD 3 per hour!

Anyway, the ratio of teaching pay to desk pay seems consistent with what you hear of over here.

What does the student pay for the lesson for which the teacher earns 4€ ?


Well-Known Member
I dont understand this. Doesnt the instructor make a commission on the lessons being sold. If not, what is the motivtion for the instructor to sell lessons? And what about chain dance comps? Doesnt the instructor earn a commission on the entries?

This profession cannot be an easy life and without some financial incentive why would some instructors stay on years with a chain?
Just wanted to post this and see what other people think. As a part time instructor at a franchise studio I get paid by the lesson and not by the hour. Just wondering if other people have been in this situation before and if it is normal and accepted for part-timers as I have no basis for comparison. I make in the range of $10 per lesson that I teach.


New Member

whats the difference between being paid per lesson and paid per hour? aren't lessons usually around 50-60 mins? at least they are around here.


around here its $8-$10 for beginning instructors and up to $15 for more advanced. and of course there's the incentives and commissions. when all is said and done, if you keep up with your students and push them to group classes and parties, an instructor can make upwards of $20-$25 an hour.

and you're going to sleep really well at the end of the day from the exhaustion of a 60 hr work week and only getting paid for 30 hrs of it.

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
In three hours you can fit in 4 lessons at 45 min/lesson. Most every studio and pro I know have moved to 45 min lessons. Hours lessons are a fast disappearing thing of the past.

So 'per hour" only makes sense if the lessons are still booked on the hour, as opposed to 45 min intervals. You kinda have to clarify if you are payed by the hour or lesson.
I have friends who have worked in franchised studios (*cough* *Arthur Murray* *cough*) and they say that while the pay is horrible, their main incentive to stay is the free lessons, training, and coaching that they get. That's why they stay at the studio for a few years to get good, win a few competitions for credibility, and then break off and start their own business.

Not sure if that's what usually happens in other areas, but up here (In the midwest) the turnover rate at Arthur Murray is incredibly high.


Well-Known Member
Chris Stratton said:
What does the student pay for the lesson for which the teacher earns 4€ ?
That's a bit complicated. We sell units, which is one private lesson and one group lesson. That's 2 hours for about 40€ (it can get lower if you buy more units) but you can't say the student pays 20€/hour, I suppose. Maybe approximately it's the truth. To tell you the truth I'm not sure how much you're paid for giving group lessons and dancing at parties with your students, but it will be something around that price I'm sure.
So the student pays around 20€/hour, and we get 4€. Sounds reasonable?

Twilight Elena


Active Member
Twilight_Elena said:
So the student pays around 20€/hour, and we get 4€. Sounds reasonable?
At studios it's not just the teachers' pay that's covered by the fees paid by students though. There's rent, tax, electricity, non-teaching staff if any, advertising... A studio teacher gets free use of studio facilities. If you were an independent teacher, you'd have to pay a hire fee.
When I started, I got paid $8 per hour. That was $8/hour, whether I was teaching or not (which was nice). Or I could have made $11/lesson (40 min lesson) but I wasn't teaching enough lessons per week to make more counting up my lesson rate than my hourly rate (does that make sense?).

I now get $13/lesson (40 min) and I still technically could make my hourly rate instead, but I make more by counting up my lesson rate than my hourly rate. Basically, we have an hourly wage ($8/hour) to fall back on, but the goal is to teach enough lessons in a week to count your lesson rate instead (not too hard when the hourly rate is only $8/hour!). It's not much, but it's not terrible, especially when you consider that full time employees (but not me) also make a %age commission on the lessons their students purchase.

I am new to the forums, but I can say that I made somewhere around $7.50 per hour and an 8% commission with an independant studio. I don't feel that ANY of them pay really really well. I know that dance teachers get by because they love what they do! Most times they live on meager pay while making a HUGE difference in people lives. If I were to teach again professionally, I woud open my own studio. Of course, there are other hurdles when opening a dance studio.

For approx. a year I also worked in a Dance Arts Studio (ballet, tap, jazz) and taught ballroom to kids. It was fun, but again the pay was only supplemental. I did have the kids compete and it was easy to arrange as the parents were already accustomed to dance competitions. I only add that because it might be something you could work out with a local dance arts studio in addition to teaching.

It is long hours and low pay no matter how you look at it. Add to that any professional training/practice and it does not leave much free time. However, if you are dedicated and LOVE to ballroom dance, it does afford you with the possibility of travel and loads of fun!

Good luck with whichever path you choose!

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