*EDIT* I think this might belong in a different sub-forum but I cannot figure out how to delete my thread. Hi all, short time lurker and brand new member to the forum. I've been taking classes at an Arthur Murray in the DC area for several months now. I've read a lot of mixed feedback about Arthur Murray/franchises in general, some of which I can totally relate to. This is certainly the most I've ever paid for a hobby and I wouldn't be surprised if Arthur Murray charges more than independent studios, but that brings me to my first question. How do I find independent studios around the DC/MD metro area? I've googled, but only found ballrooms which do offer some privates but seem more geared towards social dance nights (Hollywood Ballroom, for example) and studios like Avant Garde and Dance Bethesda, which are not franchises as far as I can tell, but whose prices, once group and dance parties are factored in, are not much less per weekly/bi-weekly lesson. Now, maybe the group lessons are less essential as dancers progress, which makes sense, so even a small difference in private costs would add up, but as a new dancer who isn't necessarily looking to compete, it's fun to meet and dance with other similarly skilled people and not just my instructor. Am I missing something or is my DC suburb just ridiculous with real estate costs and thus an outlier to the indie=cheaper rule? I will say they teach a variety of dances that others on these forums have not seen at Arthur Murray (country 2 step, west coast swing) though not as a focus to beginners. Also, though I do get compliments from time to time, my instructor is honest with where I can improve and my last private was focused almost solely on technique with no new steps. I'm also constantly reminded about my posture. This is all to say (though my non-AM experience is limited to 2 or 3 more specialized dance studios) I don't feel like I'm being strung along just to keep buying their product like so many have described on here and I do feel much more competent when I go out to salsa clubs and such. Thanks in advance for any input!