I know what you mean about dance teachers making lots of money. I mean most of the teachers I know drive really expensive cars -- Beemers, Benz, Bentleys, and wear designer clothes, wear really expensive jewelry, live in big expensive homes in exclusive areas --- NOT! Most of the ones I know funnel a good bit of their income back into their own dancing. The competitors have to pay for lessons, they have competition travel expenses, they have to buy costumes, just look at the money they spend on shoes alone -- how many pairs of "teaching shoes" alone do they go through in a years time? -- they DO clock a few miles on the shoes. Floor rental teachers have to pay for their time in a studio and Contract studio teachers only make a small percentage of what the lessons cost.
HMMMMM following that logic then my attorney makes a TON of money given the fact that he charges me $100 just to talk to me on the phone for a couple of minutes and jeez, psychologists??!!??? just to sit and listen -- wow. How bout doctors who are in the room with you for only a couple of minutes just to give you a perscription and tell you to go home and sleep which is what you were doing before you ever went to them to begin with??!!??
Teaching dance ain't an easy task folks, it's physical, it's intense AND demanding -- especially competitive dancing. A good teacher gives 110% on every lesson, every day. They have to dance and dance hard to inspire. They can't slop around the floor and expect their students to become good dancers. Imagine doing this 6 - 8 hours a day. A good social dance teacher has to be energetic, enthusiastic, encouraging etc. Both styles of teachers have to possess good people skills and lets face it, not all of us are in good moods when we go in for a lesson, so who gets the brunt of it??? That alone deserves compensation.
These folks (the teachers) for the most part have to pay for their own education which doesn't stop after they get their basic teaching skills under their belt and like everyone on here complains about, lessons aren't cheap and from what I see professionals get no "Freebies" or "professional discounts." They pay what everyone else pays. Have you ever seen what they pay for certification exams?? The examiners time (which can be up to eight hours), the exmaniation fees, the organization fees, the floor rental fees, if they bring the examiner to them they have their travel expenses (or if they go to the examiner they have their own).
Let's just give the pros some consideration here, ok??
Location: SF Bay Area
I may at least need to do a group class, just to stay in the game. But living in SF Bay Area, the cost of living is astronomical. I could not afford to pay $130/week for private lessons. It's hard to find an amateur partner out here. I would want one simply for dancing, not to become romantically involved with. Plus, what does one do when one has advanced beyond their dance partner?
Location: Toronto Canada
Sorry, but I don't know where that came from! I just reread the thread and I didn't see anything about teachers earning too much money. Smiley did say that the teachers are earning more than she (these names, I can't tell what sex!) - but thats a fair observation and was not a complaint.
Did I miss something?
I don't begrudge my teacher a cent - indeed, he is also putting himself through college while trying to build a professional career. Personally, I see it as way I can support an art that is way too little supported - and he always gives 200% (effort that is!) so its money well spent.
Location: SF Bay Area
For the record, I'm female. I don't begrudge anyone who is able to make a good income at something that they enjoy. My concern is that many dance teachers think their students have a great income. That's not always the case.
I don't want to sound harsh (anymore than I do naturally lol) but if you don't have the income to do something, then why would you try to do it? I mean if it's that important then is there an alternative to create more income?
I know several teachers who were trained by their studio managers/owners to "interview" their prospective clients to find out income levels on the first lesson, those without the means to do this were systematically pushed aside or "over quoted" so they would leave. I don't necessarily think this is a great device, but maybe given your circumstance, that's what teachers should do. Screen out those with limited incomes and steer them toward group classes or teachers with lesser qualifications who charge less.
I think most teachers do naturally assume (as do attorneys, doctors and other professionals) that when a client comes to them the client can afford their services.
I teach, but don't naturally assume that the people who come to me can afford private lessons. The studio where I work offers one free private lesson. That way people can get an idea of what private lessons are like and what costs are involved. Many take the lesson, then decide that they can't afford to do private lessons, but continue dancing at our studio doing group classes.
Location: SF Bay Area
The so-called try-out that you mention with the studios, letting people know the cost of private lessons and competing is a good idea. That way, people know what they are getting into financially. If that had been the case with me, I could have saved myself a lot of financial debt and heartache. I also thought that ballroom dancers were a cut above the average person. I wanted to socialize with people who were clean livers, people who don't smoke, drink, use drugs, swear or engage in illicit sex. However, it turned out that the ballroom dancers I saw were just the same as any other group from any other walk of life. Very disappointing. Different studios have different people so it's probably a matter of shopping around to find the kind of people one wants to associate with.
Come on now Smiley, you're painting a very black picture of ballroom dancers. Ballroom dancers are as you say, from all walks of life: rich and poor, of all creeds and colours. But I find it hard to believe that you expect them not swear on the occasional occasion, and even harder to believe they are to be teetotal and non-smokers. As for illicit sex? What is illicit between two consenting adults these days? - As long as it's not done in the public eye. Drugs? If you mean classified, well that's something no reasonable person would condone.
I happen to be teetotal and a non-smoker. But it's well known over here that I had a long relationship with with my dance partner (a single lady) who chain-smoked, but it didn't bother me, and if she was a moderate (alcohol) drinker, that wouldn't have bothered me either. It's what the average person does.
From your posts it appears that you have a finacial problem which isn't going away, and it looks as though it's made you feel quite depressed to think that you can't afford to carry on with the hobby you so much love.
So please don't moan at those who can afford to go dancing. It's not their fault that they can afford their dance lessons and you can't.
You're quite right to do that. I've found people do vary from school to school, but usually that's only in their manners, i.e. some places they're very polite, and others they can so ill-behaved.
I wish you well Smiley, and hope that you get yourself sorted out and are soon back on the dance circuit.
Location: SF Bay Area
I've been away awhile and just now reading the threads. I'm still hopeful to get back into dancing. Actually, it's been a good thing that I have been away from dancing for as long as I have (about a year and a half). It's given me time to sit back, reflect and analyze the experiences I've had and made me question whether I want to return to competitive dancing or go the social party route.
With regard to the money issue, it's no secret that ballroom dancing is expensive. I strongly feel that if the sponsors picked less expensive locations (like Elk's Clubs, or townhalls or even renting out a school's gymnasium), the costs would decline significantly. It's not necessary for an amateur competition to be held in a hotel ballroom. One can get a few people together to decorate an establishment to reflect a ballroom dancing arena. If enough people did this, it would encourage people in a local area to not only attend this event but would also bring more people into the ballroom arena. That could end up bringing all costs down, including private lessons. It's a classic case of supply and demand.
Welcome back. I hope that you've returned to dancing with more resolve that you'd dance more than ever. Social dancing and competitive dancing are not mutually exclusive, so why the agony?
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