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Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by terence2
8/13/2016  11:15:00 PM

You have written as though "they" were interested in Comp. work ( No CM etc ).

From a teaching perspective, altho we know its value, CM is NOT top priority when I teach my class/private lessons to beginners.

In matter of fact, the priority needs to be developing Lead/Follow and floor craft ,And the ability to get around a dance floor , in a social event

The majority of beginner students , do not give a pigs ear, about in depth techn.( and in many cases, not any !)

Here's a few words of wisdom from the late A. Moore.. para phrased " After teaching for 1 year, I began to realise that, not Everyone, wanted to be a medalist " ...
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks - no not really
Posted by MidniteDancer
10/6/2016  3:14:00 PM
AM has good points and bad points. Some of the criticisms have been "explained away" but such explanations were based on faulty assumptions. I have been dancing now for more than 10 years, and my first year was with AM.

First, they do have a lot of inexperienced instructors. 6 weeks or even 3 months is not even close to being sufficient experience to teach several dances. It is important not only to be able to know the basics of the steps you are teaching a beginning student, but you must also be showing by example the technique that will be needed to dance properly at a more advanced level. Also, you NEED an understanding of the more advanced level to understand the intent and direction of that underlying foundation.

That said, AM also has very good and experienced instructors.

It has been said that Am "holds you back" from advancing. The argument against this is that you must first learn the fundamentals before you are ready to learn more. While the latter is true, that does not mean the former does not also occur. Some students are simply faster than others. I am fortunate that I have always been a fast student. I was frequently stymied in my learning during that first year, not because I was missing knowledge, but because the instructor was not yet allowed to teach me something. Or, couldn't teach it because she hadn't learned it yet herself. Looking at who was "advanced" to the next level and who was not, advancement seemed to be much more about how long you had been taking lessons and how much you had spent rather than about what skill you had developed.

It has been said that AM is very expensive. That is relative. If you are able to attend a lot of group classes every week, which are typically free as long as you are taking private lessons, the cost then becomes comparable to what you would pay for the same number of privates and group lessons at an independent studio. If you are not able to attend many group classes, then AM is more expensive. So it really depends ion your availability to take full advantage of what is there.

During that first year, each week I took 1 private lesson and typically attended about 5 group classes and a couple short parties. Could I have saved money by doing that at a private studio? Probably, but not much. But the bottom line is that it is questionable as to whether I would have learned as much at a private studio. That may seem paradoxical since I said they also held me back a little. But AM is very syllabus driven (and they have a good syllabus). That means that students actually get through the syllabus. Getting through the syllabus is more restrictive in some ways, but more thorough in others. Do I think that someone on Bronze II should be refused instruction for a figure in Bronze III or IV if they are excited to learn it? No. Do I think they should have a strong foundation in Bronze to learn a Silver figure? Yes. But then I also think the instructor should have a solid foundation in Silver to teach Bronze.

I also think that AM instructors should be a little less flirty inside the studio, and a little more friendly outside the studio. (The non-fraternization outside the studio clause is ridiculous for those who can be professional adults.)

All in all, the good with the bad, I really can't complain that my AM experience didn't give me what I needed. I am a perfectionist and I drive myself hard, and in the end that didn't fit with the culture and I moved on.

Anywhere you go, you will find good people and bad people. In any work place you will find competence and incompetence, professionalism and unprofessionalism. Welcome to planet Earth.

Meanwhile, find the studio and instructor that fits best with you and your needs, and keep dancing... lead/follow with your frame, practice your technique, and have fun!
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Your business
2/19/2017  7:23:00 PM
Hello person who is mad about Arthur Murray. I'm not going to be bias but I will say this being I was an instructor at AM. Your probably upset because you just can't dance. I'm not trying to mean or rude promise. But some people have two left feet. Some people have even 1 left foot. And in this case yes there are times when people pay for lessons and they are upset because they feel as though they wasted money. But this is where common sense should kick in don't keep paying for something you can offord if you are not happy with it. Because honestly it's not about the money for many people or even learning to dance it's about the experience. Doing something that makes you smile like bowling. Most people suck at it but always end up doing it again bc it's fun. I have left Am to venture out to many studios bc I wanted to see if I was getting fair treatment. You know what I learned? In other studios instructors curse and are unprofessional and dirty and disorganized. To say the least at Arthur Murray you are getting a clean well mannered instructor who at least "pretends to care about your well being" even if they do or don't the point is at least you feel good when you are there and if you don't then it's not for you. So don't worry cause every closed door opens 10 more instead of sitting on a computer ranting go find that open door.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Mondo
4/18/2017  5:26:00 PM
It is expensive. $140 per 40 minute lesson they charge the credit card on the 1st of the month for one lesson per week which is $560. Ouch. Or it can be $700 if there happen to be 5 lessons in the long month. Plus every once in a while I'll take an extra lesson per week because I really like the lessons and oh yeah I fell in love with my instructor LOL. The instructors are good at making you fall in love with them.

I know they do a lot of sales and a lot of feeding the ego. But I don't mind so much. I've always been socially awkward - a loner - and am newly separated from my wife. So rather than be a lonely old man, I get to go do this fun thing, and try to learn how to socialize. It's difficult for someone like me, I'm really out of my comfort zone but I'm forcing myself to try.

I don't feel like they're "scamming" me; I feel like I pay for the service they provide which yes, does include being extra nice to me and being flirty. Every job involves "acting" in some way if you think about it. I have tried seeing therapists for my socializing difficulties, and they never helped much. In many ways going to AM is like going to a therapist, only a lot more beautiful therapist where I get to have fun dancing and exercise. Dancing is both physical and mental exercise which creates endorphins. I always feel better when leaving the studio.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Swing2016
4/21/2017  10:57:00 AM
I understand your point but I personally would prefer people be honest with me and not pretend to like me. In the long run, it's more hurtful to find out that while they are praising me to my face, they are actually bad mouthing and gossiping about me behind my back. And that goes for anyone that I will ever have any kind of dealings with.

It's not that I have any kind of proof that this is happening to me personally at the studio I go to (I'm a FADS student) but I have my suspicions because I've witnessed it happen to a friend of mine who used to take lessons there but has since moved on.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by fadslaguna
5/1/2017  8:14:00 PM
As a top professional instructor within the FADS system, I must say, this onion has a LOT of layers.
Firstly, most students do not walk into a studio looking to be "the best dancers". There are many reasons students walk through the doors.
1)a fun way to exercise
2)social outlet
3)aren't feeling challenged in life and want a new hobby
4)Stress relief
5)lonely and want someone that will listen
6)trying to save their marriage
7) just want a date night away from the kids

And the list goes on... For many, many students, it's enough to have an instructor that is just a bit above them. In fact it often makes the relationship easier. A very experienced, champion level dancer can sometimes be intimidating. That said, a good instructor will be able to identify why the student is there pretty quickly and give them the service they want. Occasionally, however an instructor won't have the knowledge to give solid techniques or to figure out how to motivate the student. But this can happen anywhere. Not everyone is cut out to be a GREAT teacher, just as not everyone is cut out to be a champion. Many of the instructors you find at "independent" studios are GREAT dancers, but that doesn't always mean they know how to teach. It also doesn't necessarily mean they have the tools to identify when a student is getting frustrated, bored, needs someone to talk to for 5 minutes. A good instructor, manager, and/or owner should be able to find what a student wants, and how to motivate them in a very short amount of time. I always say it's my job to keep their interest, then grow their desire, and finally inspire passion. It is possible to take a non-serious student to a place where they want to be "the best dancer", but as an instructor it's much easier to know that most students do not have that kind of passion the first time they walk through the door.

As for "holding students back" or "making" them buy a program before finishing their last one...well those are old school sales techniques. at one point almost EVERY studio used those, but now VERY few studios use those methods. In fact they started dropping away around the time this post was first made. That said, if a student is motivated to be great, or they just aren't learning that fast, it may be in their best interest to stay at their level of "patterns" and work the techniques of those. And buying more lessons for a showcase is different than buying them for your syllabus work. It's much easier for an instructor to keep those separated by having 2 blocks of lessons to work from. For example, Tuesdays lesson is for Showcase and Thursday we work on Syllabus.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Susan
4/29/2017  2:10:00 PM
This is simply untrue. My son is being trained as an instructor at an Arthur Murray dance studio by other professional instructors not videos. He has had several years of Jazz, tap, and ballet training prior to joining Arthur Murray. He has been training with instructors for several months and must pass a test to become certified in six different styles of dance before he can teach a class. The instructors are very knowledgeable and do not use a book to teach a class. I don't know where you are getting this from, but it does not happen in northern Virginia.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by FormerProLatinDancer
5/25/2017  5:35:00 PM
"This is simply untrue. My son is being trained as an instructor at an Arthur Murray dance studio by other professional instructors not videos. He has had several years of Jazz, tap, and ballet training prior to joining Arthur Murray."

I had 15 years of Ballroom/Latin experience before I started instructing, and my prices were well below that of Arthur Murray.

"He has been training with instructors for several months and must pass a test to become certified in six different styles of dance before he can teach a class. The instructors are very knowledgeable and do not use a book to teach a class."

Any good instructor will reference a book from time to time. I refer to the DVIDA syllabus with one of my better students all the time so I don't waste time teaching him things that he should know. Arthur Murray doesn't let their syllabus leave the studio... and it's more or less the same!

"I don't know where you are getting this from, but it does not happen in northern Virginia."

Your own response confirmed that they do. Arthur Murray may bring in someone with a dance background, but they'll "train" them in a few short months to teach Ballroom dance at a price world champions charge. I don't doubt your son's ability to dance, but to say that he could teach at that level of price? You've got to be smoking something.

Arthur Murray is a place were people go to feel good about themselves first and foremost. A distant second reason is to actually learn how to dance.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by ladydance
5/26/2017  2:00:00 PM
You can't learn 6 different dances in "several months" and be competent in technique, steps and both the leaders' and followers' parts as well as leading and following.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by mayagsd
5/28/2017  1:00:00 PM
i began my dancing lessons, decades agao, at arthur murray. the teachers were good, but they definitely were pressured by management to "go slow" and sell lots of lesson packages.... I was lucky, i only signed up for a basic package that cost something like $600.00 in 1977. i learned the basics, especially in swing, cha cha, and hustle and met a bunch of friends that went dancing together every weekend. at one point my instructor took me aside and said, "you have a certain knack for this..don't buy any more lesson packages here...go someplace else, like a private studio, and take lessons there." I'm sure she would have been fired if management knew she told me that...but i took her advice and left, went to an excellent private studio, where the teachers were even better and no more contracts...just pay by the hour....that's the only way to go....

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