1. irhxcbcziuzxs

    irhxcbcziuzxs New Member

    Hello everyone.

    I recently started taking dance lessons at Arthur Murray. I signed up for the introductory 4 pack with 4 group and 4 parties for $316. I've always enjoyed watching dancing a lot, but I had no clue I would love it so much. It's all I think about and I have only had 3 lessons!

    Before this, I had really danced before, this is crazy to me.

    It is unfortunate how expensive Arthur Murray is, especially since I feel at ease with my instructor even though shes only been dancing for a year and a half.

    Anyways, so far we have gone over Salsa (my favorite) Samba (also my choice) Rumba, Foxtrot (we tossed that one out) and I learned the basic steps for East Coast Triple Step Swing.

    Anyways, seems I have found a new passion, and thought I would introduce myself.

    Where can I learn hip-hop?
  2. QPO

    QPO New Member

    Find a non chain dance school, to lower the costs of dancing.....

    As for HIP HOP check your local papers....

  3. irhxcbcziuzxs

    irhxcbcziuzxs New Member

    I am very concerned about finding quality instruction outside of a chain, so many independents, I don't even know where to start.

    If anyone could suggest anything

    I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  4. QPO

    QPO New Member

    I dont live in the US at all I am sure that others may be able to recommend, just keep in mind that a chain set-up does not necessarily give better instruction or visa versa, it is important to seek good advice from those that have experienced the teachers. I know there are a few people here in your area. when they get to read this thread they will comment I am sure :)
    Good luck
    Dont forget to look in your version of the yellow pages and your local paper.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    you can find pleny of quality instruction that isn't in a chain studio...and some offer hip hop...
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    welcome to DF
  7. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    You can shop around. Most independents will let you take group classes and just pay for one class at a time. You could also try taking the intro specials at one or two studios; usually you get one or two lessons for a very cheap price and can see if you like the instructor and studio.

    It might help if you define your goals. Do you want to compete? If so, try to get a teacher who is an active or retired competitor (that is, he or sho competes/d as a pro with a pro partner). If there are any dance competitions in your area, go as a spectator, watch the bronze rounds, and see which local instructors have students who do well.

    Or so you want an active social atmosphere in the studio? Then go to the open practice parties or socials and check them out. Is it the kind of crowd you are looking for? Do they seem at least somewhat welcoming to beginners? (It's often a bit hard for beginners at socials, since they don't know many people or many dances, so may not dance much at the beginning, so don't rule out a studio just because you feel a bit awkward at their social--chances are you'll feel awkward for a bit most anywhere.)

    Good luck!
  8. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member


    I completely understand your concern about straying from the chain studios. I have seen evidence of people calling themselves dance instructors who have not had any training in instruction. At least at Arthur Murray, instructors go through a training program. It is, however, possible to find high-quality instruction in a non-franchise studio.

    My LW and I took our first two years or so of lessons at an AM here in Indiana that has a close relationship with your GR studio. We were very pleased by the quality of the instruction. We also ran the numbers and discovered that if we took one private lesson, two group lessons and attended one party a week at the independent studios in town, we'd end up paying about the same amount of money as what the AM studio charged for a private lesson (with all the other stuff included). So, while AM's private lesson prices were more expensive, we found them to be a good value.

    If, however, money were tighter, we'd definitely go to a private studio, where we could buy a group lesson or two per week ala carte.

    Should you decide to investigate alternatives to AM, one good way to find the best instructors outside the franchise is to get to know some dancers from the other studios and ask their opinions. A good way to do this is to attend dances that aren't hosted by studios -- those hosted for example by USA Dance chapters (unfortunately, the closest chapter to GR appears to be the K'zoo chapter but there might be other non-studio dances in GR to attend).

    Once when the LW and I were visiting the GR area (a year or so ago), we attended an open dance at an independent studio in the 4300 block of Lake Michigan Drive NW (PM me if you want to know the name of the place -- I believe I'm forbidden to mention it here). The dance was preceded by a group lesson and we were quite impressed by the quality of the instruction. Mind you, this was one visit, where we saw one instructor teach once. Your mileage may vary. But it might be worth a look for you.

    Around here, most studios offer an introductory private lesson for free. It's a way to "audition" a prospecive instructor at no cost to you. If the studios up there have the same deal, that might be helpful.

    BTW, welcome to DF. Wishing you continued fun with dancing!

  9. irhxcbcziuzxs

    irhxcbcziuzxs New Member

    Thanks for all the helpful advice!

    I don't know how to tell if an instructor is good or not, and I would prefer not to get stuck under some bad habits. The amount of places here in Grand Rapids is overwhelming. Here are a few I found that had websites...


    There are many more, just not any with websites that I could find. Huge list. Makes me tired just thinking about it!

    My goals are currently unknown but I would love to pursue this as a hobby and see where it takes me. I would love to get at least into silver.
  10. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Welcome to Dance Forums, irhxcbcziuzxs! :) One thing that may help is to look for instructors who have students whose dancing you admire.

    Whether your goals are social and/or competitive, I think good technique is good technique.
  11. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    IJ, I think it should be fine to name the studio, as it is for informational purposes. So please do, if you don't mind. :)
  12. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member


    The links you deactivated in irhx's message are active in your quote of his message!

  13. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    I understand that it's difficult for someone who doesn't know much about a subject to evaluate an instructor's knowledge of that subject! That's why getting references from other dancers can be helpful -- especially if you can talk to dancers who've developed some expertise of their own.

    When my LW and I started, we were in the same position of not knowing whether the instructors we were evaluating were teaching good technique. But we had the advantage of having education degrees ourselves, so we could easily evaluate the instructor's teaching abilities. Ultimately, we chose the one with the best teaching abilities and she turned out to be a subject matter expert as well.

    Even if you never decide to compete, the amount of success a teacher's students have in competition can be a valid indicator of the quality of that instruction. Again, something else to ask around about.

    With so many studios in the GR area, I'm surprised there's no USA Dance chapter there. Nonetheless, it wouldn't hurt to get in touch with the K'zoo chapter, as they might know of members who are local to you who could help you in your quest for studio information. Their web site is http://KalamazooDance.org. I'm sure there's contact information on the site.

  14. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    The place we visited is called Social Dance Studio of Grand Rapids. It's at 4335 Lake Michigan Drive NW. They have a web site.

    By the time we visited, we'd been dancing long enough to recognize good technique, etc. The guy who taught the group lesson provided a good mix of technique and figures, while considering the ability levels of the people in the group.
  15. _malakawa_

    _malakawa_ New Member

    i can say that you are a great learner if they taught you samba in these 3 lessons that you have. samba is a syncopated dance, and for most of the people very hard to learn. + triple step in swing.


    i am not sure that you are going to learn everything properly when you started from very hard dances. ;)
  16. irhxcbcziuzxs

    irhxcbcziuzxs New Member

    We only went over the initial basic steps for the samba (foward and back and to the sides) and the 1-2-3 4-5-6 rock step of the triple step swing.

    I managed to do it at Jive tempo the other day, lol
  17. _malakawa_

    _malakawa_ New Member

    it is not important which steps you did. if you never danced before, this is not a good way to start.

    don't get me wrong, but first learn basics in easier dances (foxtrot, rumba, waltz, single step swing, hustle) which will help you in controlling your body better and in understanding the rhythm much better.

    i wish you all the good luck and great dancing. ;)
  18. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    :oops: Thanks, IJ!
  19. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Ah, wondered about that - if a copied-link was really a linked-link or if it is a copy. Now I know... :) I suppose its obvious in retrospect.
  20. KN

    KN New Member


    I'm not discouraging you from sticking with Arthur Murray, but depending on how quickly you progress, you may find yourself looking elsewhere for lessons. From what I have heard of AM, it is a great place for beginners (very expensive, though), but when you become more advanced, AM may not be advanced enough for you. Of course, this could just depend on the AM location and its teachers.

Share This Page