Ballroom Dance > Ballroom Lite please?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Holiday, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. Holiday

    Holiday New Member

    I want to learn ballroom and I want to learn as thoroughly and as accellerated as I can handle them. And I can learn a lot very quickly. But I also want to learn them one dance at a time, instead of clustering them together like they are in dance schools to eliminate confusion. I want a group class environment so that I can interact with other dancers and adapt to their differences, but I want to keep cost down, because I don't know how much I'm in to it, just yet?

    In other words, I'm looking for a concise accellerated courses starting from scratch, for students who are proficient in other dance forms. And where you don't have to explain the definitions of frame or balance to them. Crash course samplers are a little too basic for this category.

    Do these classes exists? And if so, where do I sign up?
  2. Porfirio Landeros

    Porfirio Landeros New Member

    We all want a Mercedes for 10 bucks, eh? ;)

    You are really asking for everything in one place (for 'nothing'), and it's probably pretty rare. I'm not in New York, so I can't refer you to anywhere specific, but I do have some advice.

    If you want to learn the dances one dance at a time, I know a lot of schools will do classes in monthly cycles (for example, Foxtrot every Tuesday, Swing every Friday), so you wouln't be mixing up more than one dance in an hour.

    Teachers/studios don't have too much control over the types of other students you're going to be sharing the class with. Although most classes are broken down in levels, students usually drop in/out based on whether or not they feel they can "hang" with the speed of the class. So, find a studio that has the crowd you're looking for - you'll have to shop.

    If you want to get good (fast), a combination of privates and classes is your best bet. During the private time, you'll get the focused attention you're looking for. During the classes (and parties), you'll get to test your knowledge and feel what it's like to dance with others.

    Sorry, I can't help you with money. Privates cost more (and you'll learn faster), while classes cost less (and you'll have to "mix-up" all your dances).

    Out of curiousity, are your goals to be a good social dancer or a competitor?

    Sorry, I can't just point you to the place you desire based on your original post... good luck.


    P.S. Don't sign any contracts with any studios until you've shop around to find the culture you're looking for [if you're going to sign a contract (to get a better deal) at all].
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    DON'T sign a contract until you're sure. A lot of studios will sell you a "package" for example, pre-bronze, bronze I or bronze II (50 to 100 lessons each) , then spend a lot of time teaching you dances you may or may not want to know.

    Before you walk in, be very clear about what you want, and say so clearly.
    Then follow your instincts.

    I also agree that the best way to get good quickly is to mix group and private lessons. In private lessons, you get individualized attention and specific feedback. In group lessons, you may learn some new steps, practice with various partners, and reinforce the basics. The two go together.
  4. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Obviously there's crossover, but, as Porfirio and Pygmalion have pointed out, the way to get the most bang for your buck is groups = figures and privates = technique.
  5. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    I don't know how it is at other studios..but at my studio there is NO SUCH THING as a contract. We have written agreements that can be terminated and refunded at any time.
  6. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I'm curious Alyssa, is that by either party? If so then I'm not sure I understand the purpose of the agreement in the first place. :?
  7. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    The agreement is sort of like a receipt as I see it. It tells how much the student pays for what so that we can keep records as to what each student is enrolled on. We don't legally bind anyone in a contract.
  8. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the clarification…sounds like it makes sense for all parties concerned.

    Anyone from your studio going to this weekend’s Embassy Ball in Irvine, CA? If so tell them to say hi, ok?
  9. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    not that I know of. the next thing I think anyone is doing is going to hawaii for the hawaii star ball. we're really busy at our studio right now. getting tons of showcase lessons and choreography out of the way..not too much time to travel :( :( :(
  10. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Ok. Anyone else here going to Embassy or the USDSC?
  11. Porfirio Landeros

    Porfirio Landeros New Member

    Anyone else here going to Embassy...

    Hey Jonathan,

    I believe I'll being going as a spectator on Sunday night.

    I'm taking a break until October having come off a pretty busy August - we did both nationals and Nevada Star.

    Also, from my experience, the field has never been really built up in the American Smooth category at Embassy - in fact, they even schudle the championship at the end of a day session! :roll:

    Well, maybe we'll see you there... I plan to go to cheer on the Champion crowd as well get a glimpse of what USDSC will be like.


    P.S. MissAlyssa, it's nice your studio doesn't enforce the package-purchase agreements at your ballroom, in fact, the ballroom I go to is pretty much the same, but a written agreement that is signed by two parties with mutual gain is a contract (as long as it doesn't break the law), and if one party doesn't want to release the other from it, he/she doesn't have to. In your studio's case, it appears that public relations and customer service come first, so they release the student from the contract and give them a refund - but 'technically' they don't have to (so long as they're not breaking the law). Personally, I don't want to sign anything, but I see why people do when they want a good deal... I have a verbal agreement and my coach knows I'm not going to leave anytime soon.

    Cheers to customer service :)
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Agreement vs. Contract

    The impression I've gotten throughout is that you, MissAlyssa, are one of the lucky ones. You work at a good, reputable studio that's trying to train teachers and dancers.

    You should see the contracts that I signed at my former studio. Well down into the small print, they actually depreciated your lessons over time. So if you cancelled the contract after some time, you might be released from the contract, but you'd get no money back.

    That said, I have to say something in their defense. The studio I started at was full of nice, fun-loving people, who were just trying to make a living working within the rules set up by their franchise. With only a couple exceptions, they didn't want to be slimy. They just had to, to make a living within that franchise. (I'm naming no names.)

    Also in their defense, they sold me big contracts for lots of lessons, but they also introduced me to every dance there is, which is what I wanted. I can hold my own in every major and minor ballrom dance, Latin dances, swing, C&W line dances, two-step, waltz, even bossa nova and PEABODY, for Pete's sake. And I had a blast doing it. I left because I wanted to add some technique, and they couldn't give me that.

    I think the deal is buyer beware. Know what you want, and stick to your guns.
  13. Holiday

    Holiday New Member

    Hey, thank you so much for the tremendous replies. :) It's not so much that I am against spending the money on classes, but rather of getting the proper utility for each unit taken. If there were such classes that pushes the envelope like I'd mentioned, I wouldn't have a problem with taking them over again after completion, because it will marinate and I'll always get something out of it that second time around. Or even the third or the forth time around.

    I am a social dancer and a hobbyist, so I don't have any hang ups about greatness or classifying myself as a beginner. I personally feel that private lessons should be used for technique and concepts reenforcement for what you have just learned. And the pace is good but the group classes trails the pace significantly.

    Excuse the whacky analogy, but it's kinda like chess vs. checkers. Many wouldn't bother to learn the former because there's too many rules and checkers is more straight forward and simpler to play. And others who take the time to study the chess manual may find it too wordy and give up. The quicker you get the person out there playing the game while they are still interested, by easier it becomes to get them hooked.

    I think dancing is similiar in the way that intimidation for newbies are not soley a fear of looking ridiculous as it is feeling paralyzed on the floor not knowing what to do. Then let some time pass and the interest goes too.
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Regarding the frustrations of being a new student, check out the article,
    "A student perspective," under the articles forum.
  15. Holiday

    Holiday New Member

    Thanks for the article pygmalion, but I don't think that's the case I'm having here. I don't have an issue with fundamentals nor am I racing toward an advanced student status. Should such an accelerated learning dance course exists titled basics through pre-intermediate, I would stay there for as long as can get something out of it. I wouldn't put a time limit on it because it's moving at a pace I can handle. And I'm alright with that.

    It's far removed from an ego thing. I try to learn as many partnered and not partnered dances as a form of cross training to enhance my primary dance, in which I am also an instructor in. I understand the hazzards of jumping levels because I'm always delegating on them. And I don't put myself above any standards I set on my students.

    But that you for the article though, it was a good read. :)
  16. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    Re: Agreement vs. Contract

    Yes, I am very lucky (and reminded of this every day by my dance director haha) to be at such a well run studio. We are a part of the Fred Astaire Franchised Studios so the big wigs have had a lot of time to "perfect" (don't hold me to it..) our "system". Our lessons (assuming you started with the Intro deal and moved your way from that to the Beginners to the social to the bronze etc) actually APPRECIATE in value. Students also don't "lose" lessons unless they cancel their lesson in less than 8 hours before it was scheduled to start (8 hr cancellation policy). If a student "refunds" their agreement they do not lose all monies. They are only charged for the lessons used.

    Going back to what Porfirio said...

    No, we aren't the "contract" Nazis lol :lol:
  17. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Nevada Star?


    I didn't know you guys also did Nevada Star. How was it? That's an event I've never been to... What size event was it/what size heats did it have/etc.?
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feedback. Point taken, and no criticism intended. Actually, my coach and I had a great conversation about this yesterday -- it's really hard for both the teacher and student to do the stuff necessary to keep us motivated and dancing.

    I'm going to search the forums, and, if I can't find a similar topic, open a new one on what keeps one motivated to keep dancing. I'd love to hear people's comments.

  19. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    great! I don't think there is a topic like that but thank you for checking before you posted it!!!!

Share This Page