San Francisco dance instructors discuss lessons

San Francisco dance instructors discuss lessons

What styles of dancing do you teach?

Yaelisa: "Only flamenco."

Ferguson: "American ballroom, but I rent [floor space] to different teachers for all different styles."

Baptiste: "I focus on creative Middle Eastern dance - better known as belly dancing - as well as yoga."

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

Yaelisa: "I have eight-week workshops, which are $100 to $110, or people can take private lessons for $65 an hour. I also have a drop-in rate, which ranges from $12 to $16."

Ferguson: "My lessons are $60 for 45 minutes. The other teachers have different prices, but the average is about $75 an hour."

Baptiste: "I charge hourly, and it's a sliding scale. For groups, it ranges from about $15 to $17 an hour or $60 for four classes. Private classes range from $60 an hour up."

Do you offer any types of packages? If so, can you give me a few examples and the price?

Yaelisa: "I offer the eight-week workshop, which helps because students can make up missed classes, and they also get a bit of a discount."

Ferguson: "I don't like to put people on a contract. I like to have them pay as they go, and then I reduce the price once they've been here for a while."

Baptiste: "I do group classes for weddings and bachelorette parties or corporate functions for about $15 to $17 an hour."

What is your experience in this industry?

Yaelisa: "I grew up with this. My mom was a flamenco dancer and singer. I went to Spain to study off and on for 10 years before returning to teach."

Ferguson: "I worked 10 years for Arthur Murray and Metronome, and I've independently freelanced as well. I've been dancing for 11 years."

Baptiste: "I grew up in dance studios. My parents founded many schools around San Francisco. I taught for a number of years, and I've done dance performances that combine belly dancing and yoga work."

How do you handle the most dancing-challenged clients?

Yaelisa: "With a lot of patience and encouragement. I believe there are people with two left feet who really want to dance. I never tell students, 'You can't do this.'"

Ferguson: "That's what I'm pretty good at: teaching different characters and personalities and people with different issues. I believe everybody should be able to get some instruction."

Baptiste: "I just try to be very patient and kind, and I work to bring out the best in them. I try to focus on their capabilities and what they're able to do and grow on that."


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