Ballroom Dance > Coaching

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by sbrnsmith, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    As we all know, good coaching comes with a price with all good things in life. What have you found to be the best coaching sessions? Keeping in mind that each persons experience/dance journey is different.... what was most worth it to you? There are many amazing dance coaches and teachers out there. What were the factors that made it a great coaching session? No names needed.... just how to decide what is worth spending my budget on?
  2. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I go first by my teacher's recommendations. There are more excellent coaches coming through the studio than I can budget for, so I cannot take with all of them. He knows me, knows who I'm most likely to get along with well, and knows I'm most interested in technique. Thus, the brilliant choreographer is not the right fit for me at the moment. I now know which coaches who tend to come to the studio I like the best, so they get priority in my budget. The point of a coaching is a fresh set of eyes and viewpoint, but I also like repeat coachings to build on what we did last time. That said, I still reference something I learned in a coaching years ago with somebody most DFers wouldn't know and who I had one coaching with. She was able to explain something to me in a way that I understood and remembered.
    scullystwin42 and Loki like this.
  3. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Agree with @RnF - Perhaps obvious, but don't take a coaching just to take a coaching. Some studios push coaching even when the coach isn't a good match for (all) students. Buyer beware.
    jiwinco likes this.
  4. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    First of all you need to be far enough along in your dancing for coaching to help. Familiar with terminology, basics, movement mechanics to some extent . Second your pro or others need to be familiar with the coaches emphasis tendencies...some tinker with your choreo, some work body mechanics mostly some work connection mostly...and you tailor your coaching selection based on what you need from that coaching session right now.

    occasionally a coach will teach you something you couldn't learn from your teachers by explaining it differently but that is a hit and miss proposition.. they are not all seeing oracles

    and perhaps most important .. you pro has to guide you to coaches that you can emotionally handle..some are very kind others mix kindness with criticism and others are drill sergeants... what are you up for??? this changes with time. early on i could not have handled heavy criticism as i come from no formal dance background.. now i know what i know and don't, so more critical coaches are tough enough to learn under that system now..
    Purr, Sania, RiseNFall and 1 other person like this.
  5. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    They're not?!?!:jawdrop::eek::confused: (;))
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  6. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    So this brings me to the uncomfortable point of- is your dance teacher recommending the best coaching for you at this point in your dance journey- or is it all about 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours'. Keeping in mind that dance is a business just like any others- I'm finding out that the bottom line aka $$$ also matters a lot. I don't want to be a piece in a game of chess. I want to get the most out of my dance journey and my dance dollars....I don't just want to do a coaching session just because the coach is there and x number of slots have to be filled up. I want to do it if I get something out of it too. At the end of the day, my dance dollars are funding the coach coming in. Should I have some input? Or do I just go along with my teacher, even though I'm not sure it's helping me?
    IndyLady likes this.
  7. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, and no. To all of that.

    Coaching is important to studios, as they help the studio as a whole grow. And so it IS kinda expected that students take coachings to make sure X spots are filled. Because if a studio/students won't support the owner bringing in coaches then no one gets any help.

    That being said. Owners/teachers should be very thoughtful about bringing in coaches that can help the most students at any one time. Bringing in coaches whose info or teaching styles don't mesh with the majority of students in a community is kinda pointless because you risk turning off the students and having them feel a little bit taken advantage of.

    The coaches that most help the "students first" are the ones that in the end will help me in the overall networking in industry because I end up with a better community (and continued growth of my own knowledge) to show for it. Going at it from a "networking first" approach doesn't guarantee growth of the community. And that is my job... growing the community.

    I kinda always put it to my students like this...(like I tell my stepson about new foods) I bring in a new coach. At least try it once. If everyone hates it, then I will get someone else next time.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  8. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Have you had coachings that you think did help and ones that you did not think, all in all, were worth what you paid for them? If so, did you give your teacher that feed back?

    If what you are saying is he's bring in teacher X and teacher X then has him come coach, and you don't really think you get that much from teacher X, then I would say no, you don't need to do it.

    As I've said in other threads, within what is good for me, I do my best to support my teacher and the studio. I do things that I wouldn't expect all students to do. On the other hand, I use Fasc's rule and think about what I want as well. Pro has a certain number of students he can accommodate. It's reasonable that if I ask him to give me some of his lesson slots that I'm going to do my part at, say, the team match. Or the one competition where he wants to win top teacher. But I'm clear about what dances I want or am willing to do. And I do fewer heats than I used to because of the stress on my feet and my wallet.

    It's not an obvious hard line. I think it's good for everybody if students are supportive, but nobody should do something they really don't want to do. And it really sucks if you feel you are being mislead and/or used. Yes, it is a business, but bad business practices lose clients in the long run.
  9. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    What if I've tried this coach the last 4 times? I'm not so arrogant as to believe that I won't learn anything. Howvere, I have also become more aware of what I can learn from someone. I do support the studio, maybe more than my fair share. Other students seem to get a pass on coaching because they have other commitments- I always get roped in. At some point, spending hundreds of dollars on a coach I am not as enthused about gets old. I've asked for other coaches to be brought in, so there is more variety, and choice. And if that does not happen, I should have a choice in saying no.
  10. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    You do. Just say "no". And if necessary say "NO!!!!"
    RiseNFall and danceronice like this.
  11. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Of course you have the choice to say no. See Larinda's post: she asks her students to try somebody once, not four times. See my post: nobody should do something they really don't want to do, and you clearly don't want to do it.

    Something to ask yourself and ponder: given what you are saying, why are you at all conflicted about saying no?
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  12. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Saying no is perfectly valid. I've passed on coaching opportunities for various reasons, including who the coach was (they're great for choreography, but that wasn't what I needed), timing (I was still working on things from a fairly recent session with someone else, and wasn't ready for more info), and budget (I'd maxed out my coaching line item for the year).

    In the other hand, I've gone so far as to skip a few lessons to accommodate an expensive coaching (that I was leaning toward passing on) on pro's strong recommendation... and it turned out to be excellent. IMHO, that's the tough part - you never know ahead of time how useful it will be.

    But bottom line, it is my decision, and I don't take every opportunity for a coaching that comes along... because I can't. Pro knows this, and tries to help me figure out which ones are likely to be the most useful.
    Purr and raindance like this.
  13. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    I should probably think more on this one before I respond because I'll probably be chewing on this for a while (associated pun not intended), but oh well. I generally try to remain open-minded about coaches, but I've had enough variation in experiences that I'm not as open to "what the hell, let's try him/her out, what did you say their name was?" as I might have been in the past. A coaching at my studio costs anywhere from $150-$200 plus one of my private lessons (b/c instructor is with you on the coaching), so this is not something I take lightly. I generally google the person to see what I can find out about them if it's someone I've never heard of, and also take into consideration whether it makes sense to get a coaching in light of whatever I am working on.

    Yes, both. I've had some amazing coaches, one in particular is my favorite and I am willing to move heaven and earth to make sure I get a time slot or two with her when she comes to our studio. I've also had some duds, and I've been very open and clear that I won't take a coaching with that person again if they return to the studio. You only get one shot with me as a coach to see if it's going to work out, I won't dole out hundreds of dollars for second chances.
  14. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    200 a session on someone I have to Google ain't happening.

    I've paid much more .almost 300 a session for Tony Meredith. Worth every damn penny!!!

    I resisted this opportunity 3 or 4 times but my pro kept telling me how much I would like it. The Mrs took one with me too and totally thought it would be a waste of money. Best coaching she ever had she said . I trust my pros judgement even more now,even tho at first I thought she just wanted me to help cover her expenses with Tony working with her and her pro partner .

    The sticker shock affected my trust of my pro that won't happen again. If you can't trust your pro has your best interest at heart,there are other issues to resolve besides coaching costs.
    s2k likes this.
  15. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    I haven't had any dud coaches but if you look at the list you will see why not

    Bob and Julia,decho and bree,Victor verrayset,Ron montez TonyMeredith. Tony redpath Jonathan Roberts Anna trebunskaya linda DEan, marianne Nichole

    No Larinda yet but......someday
  16. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Good, I have him coming here in 2 weeks. And the price here isn't nearly that high!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  17. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    See, this is where my experience has been counter-intuitive. The coach I love - you'd probably have to google her, I'd wouldn't be surprised if you've never heard of her.

    OTOH, I had a coaching with someone who is a household name around here. It was not fruitful - we did some international rumba (which I have never gotten back to) and I didn't feel like we clicked. So it was nice for a photo op and bragging rights, but the added value to my dancing was negligible.
    Purr, Dancing Irishman and RiseNFall like this.
  18. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Second that - great teaching often correlates with competitive achievements, but there are plenty of teachers who are substantially above or below the general trend line.
    RiseNFall and IndyLady like this.
  19. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    As they say on the Chronicle of the Horse boards, "No is a complete sentence." If you've had a coach FOUR times and don't think you really want to do it again, say no. It's your money, and the studio is not entitled to ask you to spend more. I've had coaches where I'd happily take from them again and coaches where I've said "no" for a variety of reasons (I liked one as a person, it was interesting, but I didn't really feel his teaching style worked for ME, others where I'm sure they're great but I just didn't have the money at the time, etc.) It's a lot of money to drop and it's too much money if you don't feel it's worth it. Just say no, you pass.
  20. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    I think it is bad enough that some studios pressure students to take regular private lessons more often than they really want to. Adding coaching pressure (really, really, you need to do this extra coaching on top of your regular lessons or you are not being "supportive") on top of that would be enough to make me leave altogether if I had any other attractive options. Lacking other attractive options, I'd grit my teeth and say no to any coaching I didn't want, and ask them to back off the sales pressure.

    Now, offering coaching as an option, letting the student know what the coach is good at/known for (which style(s) and other info) and what to expect, what the costs are, and how that would fit in with the student's dance journey, and letting them decide whether they want to go for it this time around is appropriate, IMHO.

    Personally I prefer coaches I click with, that I know will be helpful for my personal dance goals, and that I can also see multiple times over the years, as opposed to people coming through for one shot deals. But sometimes you have to try a few coaches before you find those that you want to see again and again. And some coaches are wonderful enough that they may very well be worth the one shot deal thing as well. But that should be up to the student, or the student in consultation with their usual pro, to decide.

    So - OP - if you really don't want to do coaching with this particular coach, or this particular time around, simply be up front and say that you aren't going to do it this time.
    danceronice, GinaN, Loki and 2 others like this.

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