General Dance Discussion > Dance Instructor Training Offering

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by TripDubSki, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    To conflate "dancing " and "teaching" , is a common mistake by those who have come into the profession, and been given the wrong impression , how they are separate entities .
    1. ... The system in the UK ( used to be ), for an individual who wanted to turn pro, was akin to an indentured profession. For the 1st exam ( Assoc. ) training in a recognised dance school, for a minimum of one year .

    1. The majority ( if not all ) of applicants, had already gone thru medal tests .
    2. ....Pretty much all trainees, were only going for one exam, in either BR or Latin
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  2. blackswan

    blackswan Member

    Agree - I had some ballet training years before starting ballroom and encounter the same issues with rhythm. But I've gone back to it recently and feel there is little better for improving posture, core strength and strength and articulation of the feet. So imo opinion it's overall worth it now that my understanding of rhythm is coming along. And it helps with smooth a lot, although there as well I was way too up at first.
  3. TripDubSki

    TripDubSki New Member

    Hi guys, I spoke with the studio manager last night and thought I'd update everyone.

    So after reading everyone's comments here, which I do appreciate, I had some pretty tough questions to ask him. I feel like these got me some honest answers too. I asked him about the sales aspect of the job, the time commitment, being able to dance at other studios, fraternization policies, etc. There definitely is a contract, but some of the points are negotiable. I actually asked him for a copy to take home so I could peruse it further. I haven't signed anything yet, as I still want to chew on some of the fat, so to speak.

    I was able to negotiate a position that would allow me, at a minimum, to only go to one instruction session a week. Now if I wanted to get serious about learning to dance, I would put in as much effort as possible, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't obligated to be in the studio all of the time. I also managed to whittle down the amount of time I would spend instructing at the studio upon me becoming a certified teacher. If I do sign, I'm only obligated to instruct there at a one year minimum.

    I carefully considered some of the input you guys gave me, and my biggest issue was having dance become an onerous task for me. I didn't want to learn to dread something that has been such a pleasant experience for me so far. The thing is, I do really want to learn how to dance! I have the time, but shelling out the money for private lessons is a chore. However, this opportunity does present itself as a fiscally seamless way for me to obtain grace on the ballroom dance floor.

    Probably, my second main issue with the job is the sales aspect. You know, I really kinda grilled him down with interrogatives to try to get an idea of what I'd be getting myself into. He basically said that I would be learning how to present the product to try to hook people in, and then he would close all of the sales. Now, I didn't get the fine details, but this does seem rather in-genuine. When I was 18, not too terribly long ago, I almost fell for one of those Multi-Level Marketing schemes. A friend of mine tried to get me to buy into it, a good friend! Ever since I have become incredibly skeptical of business and sales, and I just couldn't see myself being a part of that, especially when it comes to the emotions one develops when dancing. The propinquity that students and instructors develop, physical and psychological, seems like it could be an easy thing to manipulate and present as genuine when it really is false and only upheld to earn the students money.

    That's all I can think of for now. I'm still working through my morning coffee, and I danced all night at a concert last night so I'm still kind of recuperating.

    I do want to say this: THANK YOU everyone for all of your responses. I feel like this crowd is a rather welcoming one and that you guys only wanted to help. To be perfectly honest, I didn't like some of your responses, but I realized that's a good thing. That just means you guys were telling me the truth that no one else would've been able to direct me towards. And reflecting upon everyone's words, it was fantastic input. I still have a lot to think about. Regardless, enjoy your Saturday everybody! I know I will.
  4. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    Yeah. So this happened to me. My instructor hooked me in, and then the manager closed the sale, but that's also how my car salesman did it, too, last time I bought a car. I mean, the amount of money exchanging hands with a car dealer and the dance studio can often deal with similar monetary amounts. If that system works, why reinvent the wheel?

    And that's also how the same studio bilked a buddy of mine out of his $20,000 IRA. I blame him more than I blame them - he is a grown --- man, so that's on him. It was very easy to push the gorgeous female dance instructor on him based on how they read him and he handed over his retirement money because he liked the attention, found it intoxicating, and he wanted as much of it as he could get. Bless his heart. I've watched that happen two more times at this studio - once to a woman, the other to another man - but that doesn't happen to everyone. You're right, it can be easy to manipulate those who easily succumb to being manipulated. But that doesn't mean YOU have to be THAT instructor. You can be the instructor you want to be.

    Therefore, you may also want to find out what sort of sales quota you'll be expected to fill. You'll probably be asked to do paperwork that shows how often you cold call, follow up on messages left on the studio machine, follow up on students who you haven't seen in a while, follow up on students who are still in the "trial program" and get them to join the bronze program. Having had that sort of job once in my life (I worked at a gym), that was the part that was so. not. fun. for me, I had no idea that part of the job existed.

    I'm pulling for you! Good luck!
    IndyLady likes this.
  5. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    A studio that asked you to become a teacher in their chain and then lets you only commit to one hour a week of training speaks volumes about how they view their students. I would run like crazy from a studio that would put 'teachers' with this little training in front of the students and charge a price that could be spent on experienced and quality teachers. This is a 'contract mill"...
    s2k likes this.
  6. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    Ditto. I remember when I had a similar offer right out of undergrad - it was at least a 4 night a week commitment for at least 2-3 hours between the classes and shadowing someone.

    That was a contract mill too.
  7. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member


    But I'd also like to point out the manager of the studio at which OP is investigating says he only needs to be there "at a one year minimum." Which speaks volumes about how they view their teachers and how little they may care about turning said person into an "experienced and quality teacher." Doesn't sound like they're willing to invest in a trainee. /shrugs
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    A good approach..

    Now, here's something you need to know ; as to "selling " dance, good lessons sell themselves, and most important to remember, dance studios are a Business .
    RiseNFall likes this.
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    terrible assumption and attitude.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  10. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    well to be honest... OP really isn't really willing to invest in them... since he's the one negotiating down to the lowest possible amount of commitment.

    I would not immediately assume this is a contract mill but rather a studio that hopes that OP will love it enough to commit. And if not... then they haven't wasted really their time on him. Nothing worse than pouring your time, info, and money into someone that's using you for free lessons and doesn't plan on sticking around anyway.
    s2k and IndyLady like this.
  11. TripDubSki

    TripDubSki New Member

    I said it seems like it could be that way; not that I've necessarily experienced that first hand. So you 100% disagree with me on that?

    You don't think there's anyway that studios could use the proximity of dance in any way, shape, or form to keep the student around? I feel like that's something to be aware of, and it'd be foolish not to even consider it. As s2k said, just because there are instructors like that, that doesn't mean I have to be like that.
    s2k likes this.
  12. TripDubSki

    TripDubSki New Member

    I said that to give myself some wiggle room, personally. I feel like the manager went along with it because he feels that I'll be putting in more time and effort than that regardless, which I likely would. But you could most certainly be correct on that. The thing is, I felt rather fast advancement from my instructor. I don't have anything to really compare it to, but I was pleased with my progress. And she had only started her instructing roughly 5 years ago, so they told me anyways.
  13. TripDubSki

    TripDubSki New Member

    I should clarify this a bit better. He told me it would take me 2 years to be a successful dance teacher, and a 6 month minimum to teach beginner classes. The one year minimum is for AFTER I become a certified instructor. He wants me to at least work for the company for one year before I dip out. This leaves me at a 3 year obligation to them.
  14. TripDubSki

    TripDubSki New Member

    In previous posts on this thread, people seemed to encourage me to make sure I wouldn't be pinned down. Destroyed social life, doing things that I didn't view as a part of becoming an instructor, etc. So, I simply negotiated a good deal for my life style. Does that mean I would follow my bare minimum to a T?Personally, no. I just wanted to be honest and upfront with him just in case he didn't get what he wanted from me. And he made your last point very clear to me. He told me that people have burned him on this before. I wouldn't want to be one of those people, as it would eat me up a good bit on the inside. That's why I talked it through with him and gave him my honest MINIMUMS.
  15. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    What certification are you studying for?
  16. TripDubSki

    TripDubSki New Member

    Not sure about the correct answer to this response. But I suppose the title would be something along the lines of being a Professional Instructor for the Arthur Murray Dance Center.
  17. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    I would suggest that you find out what the 'certification' requires, what it means in your chain studio, and also find out what it means outside of your studio 'bubble'. But first, signing up for years of study for a certification that you know nothing about tells me you need to probe deeper, despite your feeling that you have studied this...
  18. TripDubSki

    TripDubSki New Member

    I agree. It's a big decision. That's why I've done the amount of research and mulling over I have so far. Just more things to consider before I make any final commitment. I appreciate your input. Thank you.
  19. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Three yellow flags here:

    The manager is blowing Merry Sunshine and you're playing along.

    You might very well be progressing quite well, but you admit having nothing as a comparison.

    Does your teacher compete outside AM? Pro-pro? Pro-am? How does she place / how do her students place? She might be quite good, but you said she "only started [...] five years ago". There's nothing wrong with being a social-only teacher, but what are HER credentials?

    I get a sense of slightly shady here, but it's your call.

  20. TripDubSki

    TripDubSki New Member

    I decided not to go through with it.

    To be put succinctly, I do not know if I'm willing to dedicated the time into dance to make an instruction job worth it for me.

    I found a local independent studio around me. They do salsa only, which isn't exactly what I'm after, but I still enjoy the dance. Living in a small city makes it rather tough to find multiple studio options. I'll still keep looking and exploring new venues.

    Apologies if I came across as off-putting, or made some unsavory comments. When you have someone who kinda just woke up one day and decided that they wanted to learn how to ballroom dance, with no prior knowledge beforehand, the entire world of dancing can seem rather daunting. I was simply trying to gain some input, and perhaps, some direction from what I imagine are much more experienced dancers.

    I thought I might have found a calling of some sort. Something likes this seemed like a rare opportunity. I suppose I was wrong. Perhaps I managed to avoid being manipulated out of my time for the betterment of a studio that didn't have my best interest in mind. Perhaps I missed out on the chance to have a dance studio gain some traction in a local area. Either way, the spirit of dance continues within me and I will find a way to utilize it and to improve on this art. Financial situation barring appropriately of course.

    Thank you for your thoughts and time.
    s2k likes this.

Share This Page