Chicago area experts talk about dance instruction
What styles of dancing do you teach?
Who we talked to
Ronald Ford, owner
Dance Center Chicago
3868 N. Lincoln St.
Mary Lee Sinopoli, owner
10628 S. Western Ave.
Jill Demarlo, owner
Arthur Murray Dance Studio
116 W. Illinois St.
"Ballroom and Latin social and competitive dances."
"Hip-hop, jazz, ballet, ballroom dances and yoga."
"All partner dances including ballroom and salsa."
What's your favorite dance and why?
"I teach dance. I like them all."
"Ballet. I was raised on ballet."
"I really like them all."
Besides learning how to dance, what are some other reasons people take lessons?
"The two main reasons are to meet other people and to feel comfortable in social situations that require dancing."
"Many reasons. Dancing helps you gain flexibility, reduce stress, and improves physical stamina, breathing and posture."
"Most come in for exercise, to improve their self-confidence or for stress relief."
How do you charge for dance lessons and what's the cost?
"We charge by the class. It's $12 for one hour."
"It's a 14-week program that's extremely individualized. The cost is private."
"Our private lessons run for one hour. The first private lesson is $25."
Do you offer any types of packages? If so, can you give me a few examples and the price?
"We have discounted packages. They can buy a set of five lessons for $55 or a set of 10 for $100."
"No packages. Just our programs. Each runs according to the seasons."
"We have a package that offers four private lessons with unlimited group lessons for $440."
Have shows like "Dancing with the Stars" helped your business?
"I'm just as busy as I was before."
"A little bit."
"As far as guys go, absolutely."
How often do you recommend your clients take a class with you? Do they need to practice outside of class?
"As often as they like. It's up to them how fast they wish to progress. They need to practice at least a few times a week to pick up a dance."
"Once or twice a week. Usually people are so busy they can't practice outside of the studio, but I recommend they do."
"At least once or twice a week. Really, whatever is realistic for the client. They should practice, but many practice the wrong steps."
What is your experience in this industry?
"I've been teaching dance for 30 years."
"More than 25 years of teaching."
"I've been teaching for 16 years."
How far in advance does someone need to schedule lessons with you before they can start?
"They can call the day-of, but it's best to call at least a week or two in advance."
"With our specialized programs I suggest they call a few weeks in advance."
"They can call the day-of and we'll fit them in our schedule."