AM wants me to pay $6,000 for Bronze II classes. They want me to convert my 16 Bronze I classes to my Bronze II order. They will not teach me any Bronze II moves with my remaining 16 Bronze I lessons unless I sign up for the Bronze II.
With the Bronze II classes, I get 35 private lessons and 35 group lessons.
I am a woman and with the group lessons, there are so many women to men that there is never anyone for me to dance with.
So in my opinion, I am paying $6,000 for 35 private lessons (group lessons are useless) = $172/hour.
What do ya'll think of that?
The problem is I love the teachers and all the students. The teachers are extremely knowlegeable and have been dancing for over 20 years competitively. They are a blast and the dancing, which I have started in the beginning of February has brought so much joy to my life.
Can someone steer me in the right direction of what I should/could do at this point?
Real teachers with real expertise take your money one lesson at a time. They're too busy to risk risk wasting their time by booking you for future lessons you might not want to take when the time comes. Also, never sign anything that doesn't state the name of the teacher you will be receiving lessons from.
Yes!! Whats up with the $6,000 package? I thought all that was ilegal? Maybe not in NJ. The Independents I take coaching with do it one at a time or perhaps a 10 lesson package at a slightly lower rate. 35 hours would last most a quarter to half a year.... and who knows how her focus of interest might change in that time..... Also, it seems the AM and FA are very "creative" in what is now a "1Hr" private.......
I just don't understand charging for a set number of sessions to cover a certain portion of the syllabus! Shouldn't this determined on a lesson my lesson basis, based primarily on the ability and talent of the student? What takes someone 35 lessons to master can take someone else only 10 lessons to learn! I would not agree to such a price structure...
Make no mistake, Dance Studios are a business and need are there to make money. There are other studios than AM or FA. The independents are often run by people who love the dance first and make money second.Maybe they will give you more Bang for your dance dollar. Also, group classes (in my opinion) are never "Useless". You can always focus on footwork or other technique in a group. Also, the basics are the foundation of all our figures and even a Bronze I group will give you an oportunity to practice yourcraft! Good luck and happy dancing.
Hi NewJerseyDance, If you like it at this particular studio I would communicate with your teacher your concerns. Be upfront and honest about what you want, I am sure that they will want to make sure that you are happy above all else!
All debate about price and tactics aside, progession through the skills of ANY sport is a very personal thing. I teach skiing. If someone signs up as a level 4 skier and pays for level 5 lessons then when I meet them they turn out to be a level 6 skier I do NOT keep their level 5 money and insist that they give me more money for higher level lessons. I teach to them at their level. If they are in the wrong class, I move them to the right class, no extra charge. If I tried the method you seem to be talking about, I would not only go broke, I would probably get reported to the Better Business Bureau and sued (I live in the states, after all). If I were you I would run, not walk, to a different studio.
My dance instructor teaches me what I am ready to learn when I am ready to learn it regardless of where that item is listed in the syllabus.
Also, there are more men in the studio than women so the situation you described in groups is reversed. Maybe you should come to Seattle?
Come to the UK. Within ten minutes' drive from home I can choose three dance schools. The most expensive charges £5.50 for an hour's group class. They constantly rotate the students around every couple of minutes, so that everyone gets to dance with everyone else. Another is £5/hour, and they offer structured classes at six different levels, as well as holding a weekly social dance and teaching privately, and the other is just £4.hour, and still perfectly OK.
Not one of the three have any facility to "sell" me a course of lessons: I just turn up on the night, and pay as I go. All of them know that we would just laugh at them if they tried any such stunt, and they also know that we are free to go where we find the atmosphere and quality of teaching that suits us.
$6,000 - and just for part of bronze? Well, at least you've cheered me up!
Clive. In Australia we are about the same as you are in the Uk.. The pricing is about the same when pounds are converted to Aust Dollars. I dont know of any place here where we have to pay in advance, pay at the door is the way we go. Even medal classes are pay as you arrive. Some offer a discount if a twelve week course is paid in advance. I have never yet paid in advance ever. What I read here makes me shudder.
In the Arthur Murray schools students do not pay extra for Group sessions or practice sessions. there is no monthy membership dues and your not charged differently depending on how high your teacher is certified. You can also use your lessons at an of the 300 plus studios world wide without extra charge. Most students in the Arthur Murray system attend 10-20 group classes a month while attending only 4-6 private lessons. A Student using the system the way it is inttended will find it is much more economical than the "pay at the Door" technique. Also being that the instructor supervised practice sessions run about an hour and a half the students find that the cost per hour of instruction is about 1/2 the independets.
I always marvel at this. If you are happy then stay, if not don't. That is all there is. If you believe the environment and teaching is great pay for it. That is why people by expensive cars. It isn't illegal what AM does, just life, there is a reason they are one of the biggest franchises and it is not bad business practices. When you go to college you pay for sets of classes to get you to goals, not individual classes. So the idea is tried and true. Also, most people think they are already advanced because they can muddle through some steps, that doesn't mean they are actually ready for the next level. So again, if you are happy, pay for it...if not go somewhere else. You have the choice.
Also, all AM lessons are fully refundable,(as long as you don't cancel too late, which is rude) so it is only a commitment they ask for, not the money itself, since you never have to pay all of it up front.
terence2, I know you want to make your point of view as unbias as it can be, but you are a coach for them and you have an interest in them. I agree that you cannot make a blanket statement by the practices of one franchise unit, but if you have a mass of people complaining about about each individual units, that speaks volume about the franchise that those individual units make up don't you think?
Actually, i havent worked for any franchise since 2002.
One can only speak of ones experiences. As i said , there are good and bad operations, in all franchised establishments. There are close to 7/800 franchise schools world wide . IF every one was as bad as people seem to think-- how come they have , and do , exist , as long as they have ?
its always the bad ones, that get the press. ! ( and deservedly so )
I have known some pretty bad independant operations-- they seldom seem to get a mention .( you are aware of the recent Hong Kong debacle ? )