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Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Cha Cha
6/7/2007  6:25:00 PM
Turning Point,

My husband and I started with AM in January. We have the same program $125 per unit (1 private, 1 group, 1 party) but have found that in some of the dances, we are becoming limited because we haven't paid for the next level of learning (we are in bronze 1 - AM breaks bronze up into 1, 2, 3 and 4) For us to continue all the way to bronze 4 it will cost us an additional $18,800! We learn pretty quickly apparently and when we ask questions about technique or something, we often get told that is later on in bronze. So basically, if we want to "know" we have to fish over $18,000!

We were going to order some videos from ballroomdancers.com to give us a few ideas since we can't afford that. What do you guys think?
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by CliveHarrison
6/7/2007  11:13:00 PM
$18,000 to learn bronze?

I've just done bronze & silver international ballroom on the back of six months of private lessons at £12/week, so that's just over £300. I passed with HC, so the teacher wasn't cutting corners (and, for example, my Waltz routine included 15 figures, when the syllabus required a minimum of just 6).

Are the US dance studios run by the mob? Do privately owned schools just "disappear"? Why do you pay such silly money?
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by operabob
6/8/2007  7:35:00 AM
...when we ask questions about technique or something, we often get told that is later on in bronze.

Which means they (the teachers) haven't learned the step yet.

A friend, a former chain studio manager, and now a Fellow ISTD says the instructors were often just being taught the next step before the class started where he worked.

Why do you pay such silly money?

Advertising tells them to!

Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by MrTango
12/9/2008  4:30:00 PM
"...when we ask questions about technique or something, we often get told that is later on in bronze.

Which means they (the teachers) haven't learned the step yet."

as a former student, teacher, competative professional, and coach I must sincerely disagree with this. It is detrimental and a disservice to introduce techniques of dance before certain others are mastered, or at least somewhat so. The process (often called "layering") can be related to building a house - it may look pretty at first glance, but if the foundation is unsound or the building materials are shoddy, sooner or later it will collapse. This is true of any skill, be it dance, art, golf, sales, bowling, or whatever.
In my experience, people tend to believe they are further along than they are, or don't appreciate the subtleties of certain essential techniques and cast them off because they don't feel the progress as fast. If you trust your teacher (IF!) you need to realize that you hired them for their expertise, and put your guidance in their hands, just as you would a college professor - you don't walk into a university and say,"teach me calculus!!" when you don't know algebra yet. This philosophy carried me far in the dance world - from many top student awards at various levels to top teacher awards, to finals at major comps and to coaching several other up-and coming competative professionals.
If you don't trust your teacher - you need a new one!! (regardless of whether it is AM,Fads, Independant or whatever)
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Polished
12/9/2008  7:00:00 PM
Mr. Tango. I think you would agree that with a class of begginers learning the Modern Waltz for the first time it is proper to teach them on a Closed Change for the person going forward, that it is a Heel followed by a Toe on the second step, and then a Toe Heel on the third..to the count of 1 2 3. I've heard all the excuses like they won't understand. Or this is a just Social class. I think the pupil came through that door to learn how to Waltz. They have paid their money and should be taught correctly. And those not doing it correctly should be corrected. When I first learnt the whole class was made to say aloud. Heel. Toe. Toe Heel. Then repeated on the other foot. Once the class got the idea he would teach that we must dance from foot to foot and not get stuck halfway inbetween.
When it is taught this way at the beginning it stays with the pupils forever. Are there any out there being taught this way.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Anonymous
12/9/2008  7:38:00 PM
No problem at all with that. I teach it similarly. But try to teach a new social dancer Swing (technique not the dance) and Sway before they learn to maintain foot pressure as they close their feet, all while holding a proper dance position to allow rotation, and getting the forward moving to be the aggressor yet still "follow" at the same time.
In my experience, that type of thing is usually what the student is referring to when they say "they-wouldn't-teach-me-that-until-I-got-into-a-higher-level-and-why can't-I-learn-that-now?"
And don't even get started on Cuban Motion!
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Anonymous
12/9/2008  7:39:00 PM
oops, didn't mean to post as anonymous
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by MrTango
12/9/2008  7:40:00 PM
must be late
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Polished
12/10/2008  9:13:00 PM
Mr Tango. I would steer clear of Swing and Sway with beginners. But I would demonstrate the correct hold and the position of the bodies and explain that this will be for later. I would insist from the very beginning that they know how to stand up straight and maintain that posture when moving.. On that first day I would tell them that one step forward is only an exagerated walk and dont try to make it anything other that it really us. I would always ask for a volunteer to answer for instance something I have mentioned. In this case what is the footwork for the first step of a Change Step. Then some other pupil for the second step and so on. This is how I was first taught and have not seen a better way since. Always remember their has to be a Physical Template danced correctly for the pupils to follow.
As for the Latin Motion I would send them to this site, the one you are on, and direct them to Learning Centre. Then to Intro Latin Motion. I would tell them to have plenty of paper in their printer and to print. Then to ask next time if there is anything they didn't understand on what they have printed.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by MrTango
12/11/2008  2:42:00 PM
Polished, you sound like a fine teacher, and I have no disagreement with you. I was merely responding to the earlier post which reflected an often-used complaint by students who may not understand the process, and instead blame it either on a teacher's perceived lack of knowledge or a sales tactic, not believing that their teacher actually may know what they are talking about or have their best interests at heart. I have seen it happen to veteran, high quality teachers, and well as newer ones. It all boils down to trust.
And again I stress that if you don't trust your teacher, you need a new one and/or a new studio. You shouldn't wast your money and, more importantly, your time when you don't feel the value - regardless of the name of the studio. I feel the same about my students, and so should any other ethical teacher. I am sure you would agree.

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