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Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding Dance Lessons (3)
- Date Published:
- January 2, 2014
Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding Dance Lessons
For package descriptions and prices for private wedding dance lessons please see the Wedding Planning page on our website
The top frequently asked questions
1. Is the lesson rate per person? No, the private lesson and package rates are for the couple. Please inquire about group rates for additional people.
2. "How long is one lesson?"
Each lesson is 55 minutes long and can start on the hour or on the half-hour.
I pay for the dance space by the hour, and I usually schedule clients back-to-back, so it is not always possible to run overtime, since you would be cutting into someone else's hour. Please try to arrive on time.
3. "Do we have to sign up for a package of lessons
if we don't feel that we can fit it into our schedule or arent sure how many lessons we need?"
No, I offer discounts on the initial wedding packages but you decide how many lessons you need, and you are more than welcome to pay per lesson as you go.
4."What form of payment do you accept?"
I accept payment in person cash or check only.
I accept credit card payments on the website Via PAYPAL.com only.
PAYPAL.com is a safe and secure way to make online credit or debit card payments without giving your personal information or credit or debit card information to merchants or websites.
5. "What is the best to make an appointment-- phone or email?"
You are welcome to do either...
however, it is easier for me if you email me all the info.
I do not take phone calls while on lessons and I teach at all different hours. On a busy week I can get 20+ calls on the voicemail. It is difficult for me to return phone calls on the same day.
6. What should we wear to the dance lesson?
Dress is casual, regular shoes or sneakers are ok on the first lesson, dress shoes or wedding shoes on the second lesson.
Smooth leather sole or THIN Soled shoes that stay on your feet are best. No Clogs, No Thongs ,No Mules unless that is what you will be wearing at your wedding.
Wear your actual wedding shoes after the first lesson-- Make sure to cover your wedding shoe toes with clear tape to protect from scuff marks until wedding day.
7. If we are really bad dancers, should we pick a really slow song?
No! Dancing slow is HARDER than dancing fast.
At Last by Etta James is a really slow song, it is not an easy song to dance to because it has a tricky jazz beat, so beware when picking this one, it is actually one of the more difficult songs for dancing!
In order to be able to do justice to a slow song, you have to remain calm & steady,filling in the gaps in the music with minute, fluid, subtle body movement.
Normally you'd have to be a very experienced dancer with great rhythm to pull this off.
If you doubt your dance abilities at all, you should go with a medium tempo song-- not too slow.
Starting the party off with a fun and lively upbeat song can get everyone in a great dancing mood.
8. "We're not sure what dance or song we want to do for our First Dance. Any suggestions?"
First look at your own music, bands that you like together
After that, the Sinatra jazz standards are a safe bet ("The Way You Look Tonight", "Fly Me to the Moon", etc.).
The song you pick determines the dance you do, though some songs can fit into more than one dance style.
I have had couples do anything from the jazz standards mentioned above to Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Van Morrison, Sade, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Julio Iglesias, Sting, Ronan Keating, Firehouse, Marc Anthony, Ronan Keating , Alison Krause, Maroon 5, Coldplay, U2, Marc Cohn, Michael Buble, Al Green, even Led Zepplin & Weezer
9. Can you teach us to dance to any song?
yes! If you can move and it has sound I can choreograph to it.
I will entertain some of the more trendy ideas of surprise dances and a little bit of comedy if it suits your personality but I cannot "make you funny" and I don't really want to copy something off of youtube that has been done and seen by many.
I will advise you towards simplicity and good taste whenever I can and will advise against offensive language or content on your special day.
BUT there are exceptions to everything if its suits the couple and I have had some really hilarious people pull out all the stops at entertaining.
I will try to find what you love about any song or genre of music, as should your guests if it is meaningful and represents who you are. Remember that everyone that cares about you will remember you by it and it by you. Keep it positive and about love.
I don't know of any other teacher with the wide range of taste in music or variety of dance skills
I love to be challenged with a new song, come on! Bring It!
10. ."If we have to cancel, do we lose our lesson?"
You are welcome to cancel and/or reschedule your appointment,
and will incur no charge as long as you call, email or text me with 24 hrs notice so that I may fill the hour
I can be reached at 206-618-9624 email@example.com
If I do not answer the phone, you can leave a voicemail.
If you do not give sufficient notice, or are a "no-show", you will be responsible for payment or the lesson will be deducted from your package . Sorry to have to take such a tough stand but I cannot be responsible for forgotten or lost appointment cards. I can only be flexible for true emergencies. If you are sick or have an emergency call me immediately. I do understand that things do happen, I have a family of my own too.
Do you offer a FREE trial lesson?
Beware of "FREE" lessons! You get what you pay for! Free lessons are not given out of the kindness of a studio's heart, most "free lessons" at dance studios are simply a lure to get you through the door. Much of the lesson is spent convincing you of the benefits of dance as a lifetime hobby and reviewing lengthy and expensive packages for after your wedding. The free lesson's emphasis is not actually on learning to dance but rather on selling you more lessons. It costs a dance studio thousands of dollars to create a dance instructor and promote their business. Therefore, studios do not give away QUALITY private lessons for free. Therefore, they must recoup their loss on the "FREE" lesson by hiking up the price on any lessons you purchase in the future. A "FREE" lessons generally consists of 20 minutes of dance instruction (which may not even focus entirely on your actual dancing goals) and the rest of the "lesson" is a sales pitch. Your time is valuable, studios should respect your time by answering all your questions over the phone, by email or on their website. The first sign that a studio is in the higher price bracket is if they refuse to quote you their rates over the phone and/or don't post them on their website. Other studios know each other's prices, so you have to ask yourself...who are they hiding them from? If you have to spend your valuable time finding out that a studio is too expensive or doesn't meet your needs or expectations, isn't that already too high a price to pay for a "FREE" lesson?
With me, you can expect answers to all your questions before even walking through our door. The lesson is intensive and focused on your specific needs from the onset. I will even GUARANTEE you an entire wedding dance in ONE hour if you tell me in advance that is all you intend to take. Isn't that better than a "FREE" lesson designed to convince you that you need MORE lessons? Ask the studio if they are willing to make that same guarantee on a "FREE" lesson.
How do you ensure customer satisfaction?
1. Provide a timely response to your emails and phone calls.
2. Provide full answers to all your questions online or on the phone before even walking through our door.
3. Read the teachers' bios, testimonials and teaching philosophy before you even walk thru the door.
4. No pressure or sales pitch during your lessons or EVER!
5. Offer a grace period for upgrades after you have had two lessons. The industry standard doesn't accommodate for upgrades.
6. Present you with all the most valuable and important material and techniques on the first lesson! I don't hold back on teaching material.
7. Schedule lessons well in advance and end lessons 1-2 weeks prior to the wedding.
8. I extended the lesson duration to :55 minutes when the industry standard is :40 - :45 minutes.
9. My lessons are moderately priced and I publish them so you know you are being charged the same as the next client.
10. Offer discounted wedding packages.
11. Only the best, most experienced instructors. No trainees.
12. Offer private lessons "a la carte" so you can control how few or how many you purchase.
13. Convenient weekend and evening hours.
We feel overwhelmed. How do we select a dance studio/instructor? If after reading all of these you still can't decide, call me, I will be happy to answer questions and chat with you about your visions and concerns.
What is the difference between a wedding dance specialist and a general ballroom dance teacher? Your goals.
One of the problems with selecting a standard dance studio or instructor is that they view wedding couples as "lost leads." This is because the wedding couple has a short term goal - - the wedding, which does not usually lead them to take very many lessons. Keep these facts in mind when you call or go into a studio:
1) "FREE" lessons: you get what you pay for! Most "free lessons" at dance studios are a means to get you through the door. Much of the lesson is spent convincing you of the benefits of dance as a lifetime hobby and reviewing lengthy and expensive packages for after your wedding. The free lesson's emphasis is not actually on learning to dance but rather on selling you more lessons.Therefore, studios do not give away QUALITY private lessons for free.
2) One dance style versus a variety: We leaves the decision of how many dances to learn up to you-the client! Most wedding couples are on a tight schedule and limited budget, they want to focus their attention on feeling comfortable for their first dance in front of their guests. In contrast, general dance studios may discourage students from studying only one dance for various reasons (primarily the bottom line). Complicating a small program (3-5 lessons) with additional dances may result in needing to purchase more lessons and cause a sense of confusion and discomfort on your big day. Feeling comfortable with new dance material generally requires about 5 hours. Depending on your skill and comfort level,it's O.K. to reevaluate your progress and comfort level after the third or fourth lesson to consider learning the very basics of a second dance but be wary of teachers too insistent on focusing on more than one dance from the onset.
3) Experience of the instructor: Since wedding couples generally purchase small packages (less than 25) many studios have their most inexperienced instructors teach the wedding couples. Dance lessons are as important as any other service you might hire for your wedding. You have every right to ask how long your instructor has been teaching. How many wedding couples? Do they have photos, videos or references?
4) Flexibility in package options: Be wary of studios who insist you cannot benefit from just one lesson or worse do not allow you to purchase only one lesson! Even one lesson with the right instructor can show remarkable results. Some students time or budget do not allow for more than one lesson. I created this niche in the Seattle area years ago because I saw a need was not being met. I have been flattered by those attempting to imitate me or my website.
5) The Teacher: The personality, demeanor, image, teaching style are all important factors to consider when selecting a dance teacher. Just because they are good dancers does not guarantee that they will be good teachers. The teacher must genuinely enjoy working with beginners and ideally have the compassion and understanding of the unique pressures that wedding planning involves. Your wedding dance preparation can be the most relaxing and romantic aspect of your wedding planning process IF you have the right instructor! I encourage you to do your research and compare! Competitive show dancers may be great at that but their choreography can be way to over the top. I dont want your family judging you on tricks and footwork, I want them to notice the way you laugh and smile at each other, happy to be married.
6) The Script: If you feel your instructor is using a scripted sales pitch, They probably are!
Your 20 year old instructor, Miss Sweet, will usually try to make it seem important by calling you Mr. Jones & Miss Smith. What she cannot tell you is where all of that expensive lesson money goes, because she only makes $13 an hour and is only prompted and scripted on her sales meetings just minutes before your appointment. Those instructors are young, naive and temporary. They usually are only in "training class". Unfortunately they are also "scripted" to lie about their experience, training and level or qualification so it is very difficult to distinguish. They are also not allowed to teach beyond the material planned to be taught for that days sales procedure so if you ask to "see something different" your instructor will probably not know anything else or be allowed to show you.
If they did not start choreography on your wedding dance to your song on the first lesson, you are probably at one of these studios.
If they continue to talk about your dancing goals for the rest of your life although you have given them your wedding date, you are probably at one of these studios.
If they are trying to sell you the benefits of coming to their group classes and parties and want to sell you a package that includes these, you are probably at one of these studios.
If you are often supervised or have your lessons interrupted by a manager, you are on a sales procedure.
7) Contracts: I don't use them. I don't sell more than 20 lessons at a time and we will schedule all lessons paid for. I do not schedule any of your lesson time for "talking about money" and I will never take you into an office.
Phone or email is great for extra questions.
I do not have a manager or second salesperson that is going to check up on us and I personally take responsibilty for everything I do.