Pros/cons of being a dance instructor

#1
If you're a dance instructor, could you share what you think are the pros/cons of your job/career? And do you have any pros/cons specific to being a part of a franchised dance studio, if you are a part of one? Would really appreciate a variety of viewpoints. Thanks!
 

suburbaknght

Well-Known Member
#2
If you're a dance instructor, could you share what you think are the pros/cons of your job/career? And do you have any pros/cons specific to being a part of a franchised dance studio, if you are a part of one? Would really appreciate a variety of viewpoints. Thanks!
Pros:
Getting to do something you love.
Getting to share something you love with people.
That "light bulb" moment when someone gets it for the first time.
Making a difference in people's lives.
Seeing people change over time.
Creative opportunities.

Cons:
Money
Exhaustion
Money
Ongoing physical pain that never completely goes away
Money
Lack of spare time
Money
Always working when your friends are free
Money
Social dance less fun or enticing than it used to be
Money (especially in the beginning)

Working for a franchise can be a phenomenal experience or an awful one depending on the individual studio, just like independent studios. The best sign it's a good franchise studio is that there instructors stick around, the worst sign is that they constantly cycle in new instructors (are they always advertising for new teachers?). The franchise-specific benefits are that franchises tend to be much more consistent with their teaching and have excellent support structures. The franchise-specific downsides are thta they tend to be very isolationist, often not permitting their instructors to take outside coaching or attend outside events.
 

wonderwoman

Well-Known Member
#3
Cons also include ways in which it can affect your romantic/intimate life, from jealous lovers to unwanted advances. Franchise studios tend to have strict written rules about your interactions with students, and sometimes a non-compete clause preventing you from working for any direct competition within a certain time frame after you leave them. It will be risky to go out social dancing outside the studio, even if you felt up to it after working all day. I'm sure there is also the risk of losing the passion when it becomes a routine and an obligation and just a job. Also at a franchise you might get paid commission, and it will take time to build a client base and make the money you want. Oh and franchises use a syllabus and want you to teach with the goal of getting the student to buy more lessons. I have a friend who was fired because he would not lie to his students, he was honest with them about their shortcomings, instead of saying only positive compliments so they'd feel encouraged to continue buying lessons. You won't necessarily get to teach as much as you think. For example, I bought a newcomer/introductory package, which was much cheaper than the proceeding packages, so during those first lessons, my teacher had to waste a lot of our private lesson time chatting and making sales pitches.. he had to get me to the end of that package hungry to learn more and buy the next package.

Pros... it has to be amazing to teach someone who has never danced and watch them get it and watch them fall in love with it.. the moments that things click, or they accomplish a personal goal, or they start smiling more and carrying themselves more confidently and you know you helped them achieve that :)
 

Sagitta

Well-Known Member
#4
Pros:
Getting to do something you love.
Getting to share something you love with people.
That "light bulb" moment when someone gets it for the first time.
Making a difference in people's lives.
Seeing people change over time.
Creative opportunities.
I find in teaching that I learn as well and that my dancing technique improves, and I am not as likely to fall into bad/sloppy habits..

Cons:
Money
Lack of spare time in the evenings
Always working when your friends are free

Social dance less fun or enticing than it used to be - for me it is because I get some dancing in already when teaching so less need to dance. However, to a larger extent it is music choice. I play music I like during my lessons so when djs play music I've heard a 1000 times before I just don't feel like dancing to the "overplayed" music. Play great music and I will social dance all night.


I don't belong to a franchise/dance studio.
 
#5
I took a job for one week at a "franchise studio" and I quit.

After I saw how the inner workings of pushing the package deals and the sales pitches worked I just couldn't allow myself to do it. I knew in my heart that I would be toooo dam good at it. It's all to easy - A lady walks in the door. I spin her around, treat her like a princess, and she is hooked. Then I sit down with her and get her to spend LOADS of cash. I just couldn't do it. I can totally relate to Wonderwomen's friend.

Personally, I feel that teaching would be fun and rewarding. However, IMO I think a small non franchised studio would give you more freedom.
 

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#6
Something I've mentioned here before; seems like the way to go is as an independent where you're not bound to the rules and policies of any one studio in the same way you would if you are working for a studio and most of the money is yours. I've never taught so maybe there is something I'm missing here? Though those independents that I've known seem very happy with it.
 
#7
Anyone out there end up quitting their job as a dance instructor simply b/c they couldn't make it financially? On the other end, anyone end up leaving a job they've had for a while to be a dance instructor and did or didn't regret it?
 
#8
I took a job for one week at a "franchise studio" and I quit.

After I saw how the inner workings of pushing the package deals and the sales pitches worked I just couldn't allow myself to do it. I knew in my heart that I would be toooo dam good at it. It's all to easy - A lady walks in the door. I spin her around, treat her like a princess, and she is hooked. Then I sit down with her and get her to spend LOADS of cash. I just couldn't do it. I can totally relate to Wonderwomen's friend
TurnsAre4Girls, I respect you for this so much. From a student prospective: We take lessons from independent teachers, and because our teachers are very driven, and because we see the progress and enjoy lessons with them so much (we pay for lessons as we go), we take so much more lessons than any in franchise can sell to a student, and not planning to stop. We have tried a franchise, and stopped the lesson right after the first sales pitch, and never came back.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#11
Personally, I feel that teaching would be fun and rewarding. However, IMO I think a small non franchised studio would give you more freedom.

Not necessarily.. and " fun " ? its like most professions, it has its good and bad days/weeks .

Working for small studios can be more demanding in different ways ( often, lots of w/end work ) altho, when I owned studios, I tried to avoid w/end work for my staff .
 

suburbaknght

Well-Known Member
#13
Anyone out there end up quitting their job as a dance instructor simply b/c they couldn't make it financially? On the other end, anyone end up leaving a job they've had for a while to be a dance instructor and did or didn't regret it?
I'm incredibly lucky to have my family's support, both in the intangibles (emotional, spiritual, etc.) and financially. There's no way I could do this on my own.
 

chomsky

Well-Known Member
#14
Pros:
Getting to do something you love.
Getting to share something you love with people.
That "light bulb" moment when someone gets it for the first time.
Making a difference in people's lives.
Seeing people change over time.
Creative opportunities.

Cons:
Money
Exhaustion
Money
Ongoing physical pain that never completely goes away
Money
Lack of spare time
Money
Always working when your friends are free
Money
Social dance less fun or enticing than it used to be
Money (especially in the beginning)

Working for a franchise can be a phenomenal experience or an awful one depending on the individual studio, just like independent studios. The best sign it's a good franchise studio is that there instructors stick around, the worst sign is that they constantly cycle in new instructors (are they always advertising for new teachers?). The franchise-specific benefits are that franchises tend to be much more consistent with their teaching and have excellent support structures. The franchise-specific downsides are thta they tend to be very isolationist, often not permitting their instructors to take outside coaching or attend outside events.
so, money...
 

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