Atlanta dance instructors discuss the lessons they offer
Who we talked to
Sherman Murdock, owner
What styles of dancing do you teach?
Ofelia deLaValette: "Ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, belly dance, contemporary, lyrical, dance fitness and an assortment of dance/yoga/Pilates hybrid classes."
Sherman Murdock: "Ballroom, swing, country western, Latin, hip-hop, ballet, tap and jazz."
Joe LoCurto: "We teach ballroom dancing, cha-cha, tango, rumba, waltz, foxtrot and swing."
Besides learning how to dance, what are some other reasons people take lessons?
deLaValette: "To become physically fit, to have a hobby in which they develop skills, and because dance is a great exercise alternative. Dancing builds self-esteem."
Murdock: "For exercise. It's a really good way to meet new friends, especially friends that are interested in activities."
LoCurto: "Sometimes they're learning for their wedding, or to get back into ballroom dancing, to make new friends or to do it for exercise."
How do you charge for dance lessons and what's the cost?
deLaValette: "By the class. You pay $15 per class, or you can get a class card where you get multiple classes for a discount."
Murdock: "We're $12 an hour. That's for a group class. Most of our private lessons are $40 an hour."
LoCurto: "We have group sessions that are about $10. Individual sessions are 45 minutes, and cost between $50 and $65."
How often do you recommend your clients take a class with you? Do they need to practice outside of class?
deLaValette: "It depends on what they want to accomplish. If they want to lose weight, at least three classes a week. For enjoyment, once or twice a week is fine. They don't need to practice outside of class."
Murdock: "It depends on their skill level. Some people can't take more than one class a week. Some students take six or eight classes a week. We take our students out dancing four nights a week, so they get practice then."
LoCurto: "In the beginning, maybe twice a week. After that, maybe once a week. They should practice three times a week for 15 or 20 minutes, just to review things in their own mind. It's suppose to be fun and easy, not stressful."
How do you handle the most dancing-challenged clients?
deLaValette: "That's why they take classes."
Murdock: "One-on-one instruction. My wife and I take those people in and work with them closely, especially when we go out dancing in social situations."
LoCurto: "Everybody has different abilities, and you base their progress on what they can achieve."