Tampa dance instructors discuss the lessons they offer
Who we talked to
Maria Di Teodoro, owner
Ballroom Tampa Bay.com
Temple Terrace, Fla.
What styles of dancing do you teach?
Michele Mason: "We do all of the ballroom and Latin dances."
Diana Reichardt: "Ballet, pointe, tap, jazz lyrical, modern, hip-hop, and yogalates."
Maria Di Teodoro: "Ballroom and Latin dances."
Besides learning how to dance, what are some other reasons people take lessons?
Mason: "There are so many, such as making friends, building self-confidence, or for fitness."
Reichardt: "They do it to build confidence; some want to pursue a career; some do it for grace and poise; and some just do it as an extracurricular or for exercise."
Teodoro: "Physical exercise - it's low-impact aerobics and it's fun, so they don't even realize [they're exercising]."
How do you charge for dance lessons and what's the cost?
Mason: "It depends on how they purchase the lessons. Whether they're private or group, there's really a wide selection. We have an introductory special, which is $45 for two 25-minute classes, including a party."
Reichardt: "We do dance cards for adults, or they can pay by class. It's four classes for $45 or eight classes for $80. Private lessons are $65 per hour or $35 per half hour."
Teodoro: "By the hour. It ranges by instructor, but the average is about $75. I charge less than that."
Have shows like "Dancing With the Stars" helped your business?
Mason: "It's been wonderful for the business. It gives gentlemen permission to come out and dance because of the male stars on the show."
Reichardt: "Yes, we've had an influx of people interested in dancing."
Teodoro: "It's helped guys more than women, because [of] the stigma of a straight male dancing. Now they see football players and athletes doing it and say, 'Hey, I can do that!'"
How do you handle the most dancing-challenged clients?
Mason: "There are so many people who think they can't be helped, but that's not true. It's like anything you put your mind to - you realize you can do it."
Reichardt: "I usually recommend they take an extra class or private lessons. But our classes are small, so all of our students receive individual attention."
Teodoro: "I can teach anyone to dance. I had one guy who hated it the first six months. Now he's doing it all. It takes a lot of patience and breaking it down in more than one way."