Purchasing more lessons instead of expensive gifts for your instructor

#1
I see a lot of male students give gifts to their dance instructors, almost a way to curry favour or something. Since most male students probably have a crush on their female instructors.

I have a wonderful female dance instructor. Yah obviously she's physically attractive but we have a healthy teacher-student relationship because I don't have an emotional attachment to her and she has a genuine desire to see her students succeed. She's genuine and gives it to me real and sometimes it's not exactly pleasant. My dancing has improved dramatically since I started lessons with her.

In my mind, I'm gonna "reward" her not with expensive gifts but by purchasing more lessons from her. That's why way of showing appreciation. And I think that's how most instructors would want their students to show their appreciation.

Am I right or wrong?
 
#2
I have been on the receiving end of gifts. Some students are just giving people and they don’t just give me gifts but they like to be generous with others. When they come back from a trip overseas, maybe they bring something back. These sorts of gives are fine.

But when gifts are also motivated by physical attraction or emotional attachment, the timeline is not always good. The teacher may not provide the student with what they were looking for, and there could be a breakdown in the future.

It is important for the instructor to be clear that their motivation is to teach dancing because they are getting paid for their expertise in dancing. Moreover, engaging in non-professional activity jeopardize their reputation or career, so they definitely want to be recognized for their dancing expertise above all else.

I can recall a situation where a student gave me many gifts, But then as time wore on, they started to be more demanding of me. When I treat them equally and not consider the gifts as a reason to give them special treatment, it became apparent that there was going to be a problem. One day they just got angry and quit.

That was a while ago, and more recently I have been more careful about letting the students know why am here and that is to teach them how to dance.
 
#3
In my studio, teachers are forbidden to see their students outside of the studio. The rules were stated clearly in the beginning and the students signed the contract.

I am attracted to my dance teacher (who wouldn't be?) but I'm not emotionally attached to her, mainly cause I'm a lot older than her and I know there could never be anything substantial. Even if I wanted to give her gifts, I don't know her well enough to know what she would like as we hardly discuss anything non-dance related. So I show my appreciation by taking more lessons from her if needed if I'm prepping for a competition.
 

Loki

Well-Known Member
#5
Nobody is required to give gifts to teachers. I might give a small Starbucks card for Christmas, but nothing beyond that, male or female. I agree - buying private lessons is sufficient.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#6
In my studio, teachers are forbidden to see their students outside of ..
Please make a difference between teacher and instructor. I find it simply necessary that the student has personal contact with his teacher who guides him during a difficult new period in his life. I had more than 50 instructors, but only two teacher who took me at hand. This is a specific relationship and I wish you will encounter.
 

IndyLady

Well-Known Member
#7
Nobody is required to give gifts to teachers. I might give a small Starbucks card for Christmas, but nothing beyond that, male or female. I agree - buying private lessons is sufficient.
Agreed. I give a small gift (gift card, ballroom dance schwag, etc) + thank you card after events (Showcase, comps, etc) as an acknowledgment of their efforts to prepare me for the event. But I don't think of it any differently than giving my kid's teacher a small gift at the end of the year (though now that I'm thinking about it, the latter probably deserves way more than the former).

I'm on a bit of a tangent here, but one of my annoyances with my studio is the line about "the best compliment you can give your instructor is bringing in guests". (psssst - I'm here to learn to dance, not to be a free recruiter, so cut that b.s. already. If I never heard another word for the rest of my life about bringing in guests I would be the happiest student alive.). I'm not an instructor so who knows if they would actually agree, but I think the best gift/compliment you can give them is to work hard, put in the effort, represent them well both on and off the floor, and if it has to be financially quantified, yes, more lessons.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#8
one of my annoyances with my studio is the line about "the best compliment you can give your instructor is bringing in guests". (psssst - I'm here to learn to dance, not to be a free recruiter, so cut that b.s. already. If I never heard another word for the rest of my life about bringing in guests I would be the happiest student alive.). I'm not an instructor so who knows if they would actually agree, but I think the best gift/compliment you can give them is to work hard, put in the effort, represent them well both on and off the floor, and if it has to be financially quantified, yes, more lessons.
I feel like the best compliment I can give my instructor is to show up and work hard (and pay on time). The follow-on benefit to that is that I do bring in new clients, because they see me dance at shows and comps and come in going 'I want to dance like her'.

I do tend to give pro a small holiday gift, often homemade, but I do not feel obligated to do so. I also do not take extra lessons - my standing weekly lessons are it.
 

IndyLady

Well-Known Member
#9
I feel like the best compliment I can give my instructor is to show up and work hard (and pay on time). The follow-on benefit to that is that I do bring in new clients, because they see me dance at shows and comps and come in going 'I want to dance like her'.
I wish I could say I inspired people to take up dancing, but I'm in a closed system (so if they are watching me they're already taking lessons) and I'm not *that* good, lol. I was mainly whining about the constant cajoling (weekly at parties) to bring in your friends, have a guest party, guest promotions and prizes, intra-studio competitions for # guests brought in, etc. and the "best compliment to your instructor" being used as a guilt-tripping tactic.

I do tend to give pro a small holiday gift, often homemade, but I do not feel obligated to do so. I also do not take extra lessons - my standing weekly lessons are it.
I did not mean to imply that I do take extra lessons as a gift (I don't, I only take what I want/need), only that I would sign off on that as a "gift" for the purposes of this discussion thread. My post was a bit sloppy there.
 
#12
If your instructor is doing a good job for you taking more lessons isn't a bad idea. I'd try to avoid thinking of them as a substitute for gifts, though. It doesn't happen to everyone, but one pitfall of thinking you're giving someone a gift or doing them a favor can be feeling you're owed something in return.
 

DL

Well-Known Member
#13
I see a lot of male students give gifts to their dance instructors, almost a way to curry favour or something. Since most male students probably have a crush on their female instructors.
This post seems to start with a rather distorted perspective on the concept of generosity.
 
#14
I'm new here. I'm also just getting hooked on dancing. I"m also close to retirement age.

My husband and I found a studio last July. At holiday time we gave small gifts to our private teachers who have really been helping us improve a lot. We have different teachers because during the school year, I can go during the day, and Jim can only go at night. (I take two lessons a week; Jim was taking 1 a week. Now that it's summer, I'm horning in on Jim's lesson too, but the teacher focuses on Jim. I'm there to dance with him.)

Jim felt weird about handing a gift to the young female teacher, so I was the one who actually handed the gifts to both of them during one of our studios open dance nights. The gifts were modest -- gift certificates to Macy's-- but we both felt it showed appreciation in a way that just getting lessons doesn't.

On the flip side, I tutor students. Some gave me gifts at the holidays. I appreciate them for the sentiment. One her final lesson, one of my students gave me a hand written note expressing her thanks-- I loved that. (My husband is envious that I get personal notes from customers. It's not the sort of thing that happens at his job.)

I tend to think the dance teachers feel the same way. So I think with a personal service in the "teaching" type area, gift are nice in a way that isn't monetary. So you can't really think of more lessons as "gifts"; they aren't.

Of course, no one minds money being showered on them. But mostly, the teacher will just think it's nice you thought of them.
 
#15
I tend to think the dance teachers feel the same way. So I think with a personal service in the "teaching" type area, gift are nice in a way that isn't monetary. So you can't really think of more lessons as "gifts"; they aren't.

Of course, no one minds money being showered on them. But mostly, the teacher will just think it's nice you thought of them.
Thanks Lucia. Welcome to ballroom dancing. I'm sure you and your husband will find much joy with it.

I think for my situation, it's different. See, I'm quite young. I'm in my 30's but I look like I'm in my mid 20's. The female instructors at my school are in their early to mid 20's so if I shower them with gifts and stuff, it looks like I'm trying to woo them or something. When we dance more sultry dances like tango and V waltz, when the other students observe us, it already looks very sultry.

I'm not trying to brag or anything. I'm by no means a great dancer. I just mean that when I dance with these young female instructors, because I look of similar age and our body types "match", if I suddenly get gifts for them, it's very obvious I'm trying to woo them or something.

I am attracted to my female instructors physically but I love dance more and I want to keep things professional. For me, dance is a sport and a major part of my health and fitness.
 
#16
If your instructor is doing a good job for you taking more lessons isn't a bad idea. I'd try to avoid thinking of them as a substitute for gifts, though. It doesn't happen to everyone, but one pitfall of thinking you're giving someone a gift or doing them a favor can be feeling you're owed something in return.
And that's my entire point. If I've got a very talented instructor who is helping me make breakthroughs in my dancing, I want to show my appreciation by doing more lessons with her. That way, it's for our mutual benefit. Giving her gifts is like saying now she owes me something. But if I do more lessons with her, we both benefit.
 
#17
V,
I understand completely! My husband is 59 and he also felt weird handing gifts to the female teacher. That's why I gave them! Also, since we gave to both teachers, and they knew we were happily married, we knew it wouldn't be misinterpreted. It also helps that we most definitely aren't trying to woo them!

If we were single, we'd have to have a screw lose to think the 20 - 30 year old instructors thought we were in their dating range. Yes, they are attractive. But wrt to my teacher and jim's teacher I'd be more likely to want to play matchmaker with my nieces and nephews!

Don't feel bad not giving gifts. It's not required. As I mentioned, I'm a tutor. One of the reasons they are nice is they aren't required. In your position where you actually might otherwise like to date the women who are your instructors it's better to not give them gifts. I'm sure they appreciate lack of ambiguity just as much as you do!
 
#18
V,
Don't feel bad not giving gifts. It's not required. As I mentioned, I'm a tutor. One of the reasons they are nice is they aren't required. In your position where you actually might otherwise like to date the women who are your instructors it's better to not give them gifts. I'm sure they appreciate lack of ambiguity just as much as you do!
I've grown to respect my instructors for their talents. I would never want to put them in a position to compromise their careers even if they were interested in dating me. I see how hard they work and how devoted they are to the art of dance. I also have dance goals of my own that I want to achieve and they are my way of getting there.

Yes, no gifts. More lessons. The biggest gift you can give an artist is to show appreciation of their art.
 
#20
In my opinion, taking more lessons is not a substitute for gift, it is giving more work.

Appreciation can be expressed in words.
Lessons are expensive. If I'm taking more lessons with an instructor, it means I'm appreciating her skills as a teacher and that it's working. At my school, the instructors take pleasure in seeing their students improve and succeed. I've seen instances of mild frustration when some of their students are stagnant and haven't improved. It's not all about the money for them.
 

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