First: The Dance Murfreesboro Difference
We opened Dance Murfreesboro in 2010 with one goal in mind. We wanted to create an affordable, fun studio where people could learn and grow at their own pace. My first ballroom dance lesson was a gift at a “big box” studio. I quickly realized I was being held back and then felt the sticker shock when I was told what it would cost for me to progress in training.
I didn’t want to be on Dancing With the Stars. I just wanted to be able to go out social dancing and have a good time. I was not willing to mortgage my house or sign away my first born child for this. I did some research and found another studio in my area where I could pay as I went for lessons. This was much more my style. I had to drive 45 minutes to get to that studio though and quickly realized that Murfreesboro was underserved in quality dance instruction at an affordable price.
Thus, Dance Murfreesboro was born. If you are searching for a dance studio to call home, I recommend you look at the following three things when making your decision.
1. Teaching Style
Does the studio stick to a strict syllabus, or do they let the students learn at their own pace and also focus on the technical as well? I am all for organization and following a system when learning. Sometimes though, things can be too systemized and students can spend thousands of dollars to simply learn “moves” or “patterns.” Then, when they find themselves dancing with someone other than their instructor or partner, they realize they don’t know how to lead or follow.
We have students come to us every week from studios that teach on a strict syllabus raving about how they’ve been dancing for months and are quite accomplished. We are surprised and sad for these students when we assess their knowledge and realize they have already spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to learn what they could have picked up in one of our beginner classes for $10.
At Dance Murfreesboro, we strive to teach ALL aspects of partner dancing. We want our students to be competent in moves and patterns, but just as important, we want them to be good leaders and followers. I would much rather dance basic moves with a man who can lead than get tossed around the dance floor by someone trying to execute patterns they memorized.
2. Social Dance Opportunities
When you are learning to dance, practice is the most important thing to help you grow as a dancer. It is important to find a studio that gives you quality opportunities to social dance with a wide range and levels of dancers.
You want to make sure that the opportunities to dance are available to all dancers and not just people taking private lessons at that studio. Studios that limit their opportunities to private students only are losing the potential of many additional dancers that could add value to students development.
I suppose studios do this because they are afraid that their students being exposed to “outside” influences might make them look at other avenues for their dance education. At Dance Murfreesboro, we are confident in our quality instruction and friendliness of our “dance family,” and don’t spend time
worrying about losing students. It is more important that our students have quality opportunities to continue to grow.
3. Price and Commitment
When I took my first ballroom dance lesson, I had no idea what dancing cost. My first lesson was a gift, so it was free. I quickly fell in love with dancing and when the first “package” was pitched to me I signed on the dotted line for a few hundred more dollars in lessons. By the time I was approaching over a thousand dollars after only dancing for a few weeks, I decided it was time to do a little research. Unfortunately, many times it takes people much longer to do their research and lots of money is wasted unnecessarily.
Ballroom dancing is not an inexpensive sport. That doesn’t mean that it has to cost an arm and a leg to learn to dance though. It is important to find a studio that will allow you to work within your budget in order to get you on the floor!
While we always recommend a mix of private and group classes, if your budget is more limited, you might only start with group classes, or less frequent private lessons.
Choose a studio that allows you to pay as you go as opposed to locking you into a contract. That way, you can adjust your learning to your current life situation. Dancing should be fun, not a burden when the bills come in at the end of the month.
At Dance Murfreesboro, we offer $10 group classes that include a social dance so ANYONE can afford to learn.
Choosing a dance studio is an important decision that should be researched. You will spend many hours a week learning and practicing there. Be sure that you are getting out of the experience what is important to YOU. Find a studio that feels like home. We hope it will be with us.