Tampa dance instructors discuss the lessons they offer

Tampa dance instructors discuss the lessons they offer

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."

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