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Cost of private lessons
Posted by Joe
1/5/2016  7:22:00 PM
The various forums cover every imaginable topic having to do with Ballroom Dancing with the exception of cost. My wife started dancing 2 years ago with a small package of private and group lessons as well as unlimited practice time and complimentary monthly socials at her studio.
As the initial package was about to expire another package was offered with perhaps 10 privates and 10 groups as well as the practices and socials for about $1000.00.
When the end of that package was in sight the only option offered was a package of 50 privates and 50 groups with the same practice and socials included.
It seems that she is in fact paying $100 a private lesson and the rest of the package is nice but not really having much value since socials remain monthly, "unlimited" practice is only available during specific none lesson studio times if an instructor is there to open the studio and group lessons are not necessarily designated for a particular dance in advance.
As this package draws to a conclusion I am wary as to just how much more the term will be extended. I am concerned that after paying in full within 12 weeks (a requirement of the studio ownership) that the business could fold at any time or that the lone certified instructor could take ill. The owner/partners could break up or even the students could suffer a critical or severe illness which would prohibit future dancing.
This seems unreasonable to me not to offer shorter terms and smaller packages.

Your comments would be appreciated. Thank you.
Re: Cost of private lessons
Posted by ladydance
1/6/2016  7:30:00 PM
I think that being required to purchase 50 private lessons in advance is unreasonable and I wouldn't do it. As you point out, many things could happen to prevent you taking those lessons. If you don't find the groups, practice time and monthly socials useful, then you are paying a lot for private lessons. I would look around for another studio or renegociate with the one you're with. Don't think they won't do it, I don't know a studio that doesn't make deals to keep students. I manage a studio - our only package is 'buy 11 private lessons for the price of 10'. The student has a year to use their package. Our privates lessons are $60 to $75 an hour depending on the instructor. No one has to pay in advance. The day they start their package is the day they pay. You are right to question their business practices and don't let them play any emotional games with you. Dancers can become very attached to their instructor and their studio and some studios exploit this.
Re: Cost of private lessons
Posted by TundraDancingGal
1/20/2016  9:09:00 AM
I use an independent location for lessons, at our local Art Center. They charge about $10 for group, less if you join the Art Center and buy a "punch card". It's $90.00 for 12 punches for drop-in classes. When I take a private lesson there, I pay $50.00. Several times my instructor and I used a different location (I needed practice rooms for an event) and I still paid my instructor the same $50, plus the $10-20 for the room. (Yes, our local Y and other locations were VERY accommodating.) I've also taken a couple of private lessons while traveling and the prices were more than this. However, it was with a 5 time world-champion who had recently opened his own studio and only one other person came for the "group" class. So I got essentially a private lesson for $50.00.

Other private studios in our general area charge about $60-$150 depending on the instructor. When my husband started out, we looked at, I'll just say nation-wide dance studios; we weren't comfortable with the cost or program. We're about 60 miles from any large-metro area, but when we decided to take our first lessons, I was surprised how many options there were in our small city or within 30 miles, for taking lessons. We still take group lessons, for the camaraderie, but I won't drop my private ones as they're so beneficial.
Re: Cost of private lessons
Posted by xfactornagpur
1/13/2016  4:22:00 AM
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Re: Cost of private lessons
Posted by student like you
1/19/2016  1:54:00 AM
After exploring many different scenarios, I came to a conclusion, that I will only deal with those instructors/studios, that will accommodate my request to pay one lesson at a time. Indeed, I am offered savings, should I choose to buy a package - but I decided for myself not to - for all the reasons that you listed. It turns out, that the best professionals have no problem with that - they are secure, that if you are happy with their work, you will come back. I learned to disengage from any situations where there is any sign of pressure - good practice even outside the ballroom dance world. I have been working with the same teacher for the past three years - $90 per private lesson. I researched and interviewed several others and took trial lessons before finding exactly what I was looking for; and yes - I had been burned by the package deals before. Live and learn...
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