Salt Lake City dance instructors discuss lessons

Salt Lake City dance instructors discuss lessons

What styles of dancing do you teach?

Maria Ivanova: "We teach all the social dances like salsa, Latin ballroom, the Argentine tango and African dance - even belly dancing."

Phylliss Whitaker: "We teach ballet for adults. In January, we'll start teaching adult tap and Irish dancing, as well."

Margene Anderson: "Any style of partner dance such as swing, salsa, ballroom and Latin dances."

What's your favorite dance and why?

Maria Ivanova: "Salsa. With salsa all you need to know is how to lead and follow."

Phylliss Whitaker: "I grew up as a ballet dancer. It's my specialty."

Margene Anderson: "I like them all. It really depends on the music that's playing."

Besides learning how to dance, what are some other reasons people take lessons?

Maria Ivanova: "There are millions of reasons. It's a fun way to exercise and it's a great way to meet people."

Phylliss Whitaker: "It's a great outlet for energy. It can help build self confidence or act as a social network. It's more effective than therapy in some cases."

Margene Anderson: "People take dance lessons to exercise, relieve stress, meet new people, start a new hobby or for an upcoming event, like a wedding."

How do you charge for dance lessons and what's the cost?

Maria Ivanova: "Customers purchase a six-week session for $52. That gets them one hour of class and one hour of practice per week."

Phylliss Whitaker: "Typically adults pay $100 for a 10-class coupon. It's like a punch card. Each time they come in it's marked on the card."

Margene Anderson: "One four-week session, with one-hour lessons once a week, costs $40 per person. Private lessons are $65 for one or two people."

How often do you recommend your clients take a class with you? Do they need to practice outside of class?

Maria Ivanova: "I recommend at least once a week. We put together a list of steps, a syllabus and even a salsa CD for them to take home and practice with."

Phylliss Whitaker: "Adults typically take classes once a week but we recommend at least twice a week. They should practice at home if they want to improve."

Margene Anderson: "It depends on their goals. Usually they come in once a week but others come in once a month. It's a good idea to practice at home."

How do you handle the most dancing-challenged clients?

Maria Ivanova: "I've met many people with two left feet, but I've never met someone who couldn't learn. You have to have patience."

Phylliss Whitaker: "I develop a routine that's less challenging and dance with them myself. You have to praise and encourage them many times while they dance."

Margene Anderson: "I know what they're capable of doing, it's just using my experience to get them to do it that's hard." 

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