General Dance Discussion > A moral question

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by pygmalion, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    We all know them. The older, wealthy widows, widowers and divorcees who frequent some dance studios to fill a hole in their emotional lives. The ladies who want to be "waltzed" across the floor, but don't really want to dance well. The men who just want to talk and be listened to.

    I've known a couple teachers who used such students as "cash cows", selling them outrageous numbers of lessons, and never really worried about the quality of dance being taught (because the students didn't care either.) I've also known a teacher or two who cared only about quality of dance, and had no patience with non-serious students.

    The question is, is either course really wrong? If a lonely person (who can afford it) is getting their emotional needs met by taking lots of dance lessons with no particular goals in mind, is a dance tacher really doing anything wrong by selling him/her those lessons?

    I know people on both sides of the debate -- the ,"quality dance, don't worry about the income," people, and the ,"just give me the money,don't worry about teaching them to dance" people. What do you think? Is there a middle ground?
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I forgot to include my own opinion. I think it's okay to sell students as many lessons as are willing and able to buy.

    It gets slimy when (1) teachers exploit the personal relationship (e.g. my Mom is sick, I need a new car, I really want to win this contest. Could you please help me out by buying these lessons you don't need)

    (2) students are led to believe they are better than they are (e.g. Oh, Mrs. So and So You're such a great dancer. You have so much natural ability. Only five hundred more lessons, and we'll have that box-step nailed.)
  3. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I might add that it is illegal in some states for a student to be confronted by more than one sales person.

    It's the tactics that are used that are important. I witnessed a case where a teacher in a threatening voice told a studet, "you will be really sorry" if you don't do this $10,000 trip to Hawaii.
  4. d nice

    d nice New Member

    It is only morally questionable when the student is convinced, by hook or by crook, to do something they don't want to do or when the teacher knows the student can't really afford it.

    Otherwise it is a problem of ethics. I refuse to lie to my students. If they ask me about there progress I'll be honest. If it isn't what it should be I try to put a good face on it, but only to soften what may be a blow to their ego. I've turned away students with lots of cash because they needed something I couldn't give them. I've taken on students who paid in services (accountants, CMT, chirorpractors) when it was more convenient for them and their current living situion than paying my fee.

    I love dancing, I love teaching dance. I simply act professionally in the manner in which I would want to be treated.
  5. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    we have a large handfull of these ladies and gentlemen at our studio. they all enroll on a ton of lessons. I don't see a problem with it if 1. they know they aren't going to get better doing the lessons just to be "danced" 2. they aren't going to have to file bankruptcy/2nd mortgage/sell house, car etc. All in all, if the people are happy taking the same mundane waltz lessons every day for the rest of their lives...who are we to judge?
  6. Gator

    Gator New Member

    That was the primary reason I have never attended studio parties. No disprespect to anybody, but t was just plain "weird" feeling being there. I did it once to see what was going on, and never tried again, though the studio was pushing me hard to attend(for the price BTW)

    I think that's not very smart from them. Unless the person is way too naive, that sort of thing is really easy to spot. Normal person would say screw all that, although it depends what R U ther for. In my old place I knew quite a few (both genders) who were there to meet someone vs. dancing skillz improvement. If that's ok with the student, ine, but the problem is that the studio/teachers sometimes overlook those who are there for dancing, not for dating :( I've heard that so many times, the place promoted as one where U'd meet quality singles. I guess it's all part of the business. Donno how much it helps those who want to get better in their dancing.

    Well, if the person wants to hang out in there the only way for it is to buy lessons :) It's much worse if they treat U like that while U want to be a better dancer ;)

    P.S. May bve I am too cynical, but I do not expect too much of "morality" from the studios, They're in it for the money, plain and simple.
    For now I have an independet teacher, it's just me and her, I think it's a lot more effective.

Share This Page