Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) page. You will find answers to the most often asked questions. If you click on any of the questions, in blue, the answer will appear below. Clicking on the question again will hide the answer. Please select from the following categories:
Dancing is an opportunity to engage the expressive & creative aspects of your personality.
There a many opportunities to use your dancing at home and around the world.
It's a great way to have fun with your significant other or to meet new people.
Dancing sharpens the mind, increases flexibility, and enhances aerobic fitness.
Please give us a call and schedule a free trial lesson with us and then do the same at any other studio(s) you may be considering, before buying lessons. The free trial lesson is a great way for you to see how we teach as well as assess the quality of our facility and requires no further obligation on your part.
There really isn't a good single answer to this question because it depends on:
Are your goals for your dancing limited, modest, or great?
What is your aptitude for learning dance?
How often do you intend to take lessons?
Do you participate in most non-lesson dancing opportunities offered by the Studio?
Do you go dancing outside of studio activities?
When you take lessons at Scott Dance Studio we'll teach you as rapidly as your ability and desire allows. We'll go as fast or slow as you're comfortable with and you'll have lots of fun while learning.
Sure! We teach a mix of individuals & couples from beginner to advanced, so you'll be comfortable and fit right in at our Studio.
The short answer is no. Using your own experience; how many people do you know that were able to learn anything but the most basic skills this way? How many pilots, mountain climbers, actors, or athletes learned these skills by watching a DVD or reading a book?
Some may ask why we don't use group classes as a primary teaching method. You simply can't learn to dance properly using group classes as your PRIMARY activity. This is because:
Students learn at different speeds and a group class, by necessity, can't be oriented to address individual needs.
If you are an individual who learns a little slower, the lack of individual attention will likely be demoralizing and a source of frustration.
If you are an individual who learns more quickly, the slower pace of the group class will likely also be frustrating.
Some individuals also have a tendency to miss some classes, so when they rejoin the group everyone has to wait for them to catch up.
You will inevitably learn some things wrong, but the instructor won't be able to take the time to help you correct them. This will make it difficult for you to dance with other students in the group class and may make it impossible for you to dance with properly trained students.
Taking these issues into consideration; group classes aren't effective or efficient as a PRIMARY teaching method. You'll learn a lot more in a one hour individual or couples private lesson than you'll learn in many hours of group classes.
Group classes can be very effective when used in a SUPPORTING role to private lessons. The types of activities we use group lessons for are things like:
Focusing on techniques such as Cuban hip motion, posture, frame, rise and fall, etc.
Teaching simple fun dances that we might perform at the Friday Night Practice Party.
A general orientation for outside groups to the various dances we teach.
Preparation for specific activities such as weddings.
For activities such as weddings it makes more sense to consider the use of a group class, if other members of the wedding party are to participate. This can be a good solution, because all participants are preparing for a specific activity, they are all motivated, and their dances often have to be choreographed and coordinated. A good example is when the Bride & Groom, Parents, and Wedding Party want to learn and participate in a dance together.
We are primarily focused on teaching adult individuals and couples to dance. We do occasionally make some exceptions for teenagers. However, if they are less than 18 years of age; one of their parents will have to enroll them.
With very few exceptions you will have the same instructor for each private lesson. Exchange lessons are available for those who like diversity.
Initially this may seem like a good option, especially to new students, but there are some real downsides to this approach.
If you have no way to know how many hours there are to teach or when they're going to be taught; it is impossible to predict how many instructors to have on staff. This can cause studios to be chronically under or over staffed – not a good approach if quality is important to you.
When you can show up whenever you like; you're going to have to accept whichever teacher is on duty at the time. At our Studio our teachers focus on how each individual/couple learns best and tailors their teaching methods accordingly. Also, we develop an individualized chart and lesson plan for each individual/couple that we review, before your lesson so we are prepared to give the best lesson possible. These important benefits are lost when you have a random set of instructors instead of the same instructor.
Training is another casualty of the one lesson at a time approach. If you have no idea of the number of lessons your instructors are going to teach, there is a large disincentive to invest a lot of time and effort in training. This can lead studios to employ low end teachers, to keep costs low, who provide poor lessons.
Value is the true test for the sophisticated shopper. The goal should be; how do I get the best training at the lowest cost. This can only be determined by comparison shopping. See the comparison shopping section for details.
We use an internal certification system for our instructors. It is based on American and Internationally accepted standards. For the purpose of providing structure and milestones, in our ongoing instructor training, these certifications are very valuable to us.
Other studios also use certifications, both internal and external.
The question is: Are these certifications of value in assessing the quality of a studio or in comparing studios? The answer is no for the following reasons:
If we say our Instructors are certified by the International College of Dance Instructors; sounds impressive doesn't it. The problem is it's a make believe organization and certification. Some studios will do things like this.
Franchises will often certify their franchisees. If you pay big bucks to buy a franchise they are going to certify your instructors. This may mean very little in terms of their abilities to teach dance.
Some studios join dance organizations and get their certifications that way. If you pay your memberhip fees you are quite likely to get certifications. Again, this may mean little or nothing in terms of teaching abilities.
The bottom line is this: Studios can & do use certifications, internally, as a tool to develop instructors. Having said this; it is also true that they're worthless in terms of evaluating the quality of a studio. As a consumer you have no way to ascertain the quality of the certification or know if the certifying organization is even real. The best strategy is to simply ignore this issue when comparison shopping.
Without trying to be evasive, there are some difficulties in providing a specific answer to this question. There are many variables that factor into cost including:
What are you goals; club dancing, wedding, ballroom, competitions?
How many dances do you want to learn?
How many lessons are you interested in purchasing?
How are you going to pay for them?
While most studios won't be willing to quote lesson prices on the phone or via email, but they should be willing to provide specific lesson prices in person. To assess some of these variables; please come in for a no obligation free trial lesson. Please see the downloadable comparison shopping form in this Faq for specifics.
Each one of us has different aptitudes, goals, and available time. We think that offering a certification for a fixed cost is a terrible idea. If you learn a little slower and can't master the material as quickly, the studio has an incentive to give you the certification as soon as possible, so they can offer the next fixed cost milestone. The problem is do you really want a certification when you really haven't mastered the material. This is sort of like ordering an online diploma – the document may say you're a physicist, but obviously you're not.
On the other hand if you learn quickly then you are likely paying too much to achieve the certification. At Scott Dance Studio we teach you as fast as your aptitude and comfort level allow. When you receive a certification from us it is a real achievement to be proud of.
It's easy to comparison shop for products. If you're shopping for a new car; you can find, or order, exactly the same vehicle at many different dealerships. The quality of the product (the new car) will essentially be the same regardless of where it is purchased, so finding the lowest price is a prudent priority.
When selecting a service provider (such as a dance studio), especially one that is engaged in teaching requires a very different approach. Cost and quality need to be assessed in order to determine value.
For example if you compare two studios:
One with great teachers and the other with mediocre ones; you will learn far less at the mediocre studio and and possibly pay more, therefore it's a poor value. Also, at the mediocre studio you might actually be taught steps or styling that is wrong. This will make it difficult or impossible to dance with students that have been taught properly.
The key is to comparison shop: compare several studios based on quality AND cost. All services, including dance instruction, vary in quality, so it is very important to check this out before purchasing lessons at any studio.
We teach you the proper way, with exceptionally qualified instructors who will see that your learning is both fulfilling and enjoyable.
Our lessons are a full 60 minutes in length, many other studios are only 40 – 45 minutes.
Each private lesson includes that weeks group lesson and practice party at no additional charge.
With all that we offer the cost of our lessons is less than virtually any other studio in the Indianapolis area. Why pay more for less?
We can do this due to two main factors:
This is a huge factor in the quality of the training we offer. We are a second generation family owned business that has been in continuous operation for more than 40 years in Indianapolis.
We have by intention maintained our status as an independent school of dance. We could have gone the franchise route, but it is clear to us that most of what a franchise offers is marketing services and huge costs. Some franchises have an initial cost of $100000.00 or more and ongoing costs. In addition some franchises charge significant monthly fees on gross sales. This results in much higher lesson prices and, for us, no benefit.
Our building was bought and paid for years ago, so we have no mortgage. Most other studios either have a expensive mortgage or are paying expensive commercial lease rates. These studios have to add these expenses to their lesson prices.
Marketing, especially with some franchises and many independent studios is a significant expense for them. We get our message out mostly with our website and word of mouth, therefore we don't incur the overhead that many other studios have. The more marketing you have the higher your lesson prices tend to be.
We have no cost associated with the development or modification of our website, because we do it ourselves. Most studios have to pay for this to the detriment of lesson prices.
Dedicated office and sales staff is quite common at many studios. Each one of these people receives compensation and benefits that adds to the cost of lessons. Every employee at Scott Dance Studio is an instructor, so we have no additional staff overhead. When you call us you'll be talking to a working instructor. So if you call us at a time when we're all teaching please leave a message and we will get back to you quickly.
These factors allow us to offer the highest quality lessons available, and because we have dramatically lower overhead than other studios, keep our lesson prices low.
Franchises are mostly about whether or not a potential owner has the money to purchase the franchise and pay the ongoing fees – Not how good they are at teaching students to dance. Therefore you really don't have any way to determine the quality of the lessons without comparison shopping.
The fact that a studio is franchised or independent doesn't provide you with any useful information concerning lesson quality. Either type of studio could be excellent or terrible – comparison shopping is the only useful method to determine likely quality.
There is nothing wrong with listening to a friends recommendation, but please consider the following before making a decision:
Your friend may only have taken lessons at one studio and therefore he/she doesn't really know anything about other studios. So by all means put your friends recommendation on the list of studios to comparison shop, but still make sure to examine potentially better alternatives.
There are a number of questions that need to be answered in order to determine the value being offered by any dance studio you are considering:
What is the length of the lessons and how much do they cost?
If the lessons are less than 60 minutes in length you need to calculate what the hourly rate would be because:
Knowing the hourly rate of each studio you are considering will allow you to make an apple to apple comparison. An example: You are comparing two studios (A & B) that both charge $100.00 per lesson (Our lessons are considerably less expensive than this). Studio A offers 60 minutes lessons while Studio B offers 40 minutes lessons.
The cost per hour for studio A is obviously $100.00 per hour. However the cost per hour for studio B is $150.00 per hour! The actual calculation is as follows:
60 minutes ÷ 40 minutes = 1.5
1.5 x $100.00 = $150.00 per hour
It is very important to have this information before comparing other factors. This calculation is also available in our downloadable comparison shopping form.
What's included in the lesson price?
If the lesson price does not include group classes and the weekly practice party then you need to determine the cost of each of these and add those costs to the previously calculated lesson per hour cost. You are now close to having your apples to apples cost, but you need the answer to the next question to make sure.
What's the highest price, per lesson, I would be paying in the next 12 months?
Most studios offer various specials to new students and there is nothing wrong with this practice. It is important though to determine what the ongoing cost for lessons are going to be. As a smart consumer this is critical knowledge.
If the price depends on the number of lessons purchased ask for specifics on the price for of the minimum package they offer and the number of lessons included as well as their most expensive package. Ask if practice parties and group classes are included.
What's the quality of the lessons?
The answer to this question is just as important as lesson cost. Before committing to take lessons at ANY studio you should schedule a free trial lesson with them. The combination of cost and quality are the two essential ingredients in determining value.
You may be asking: Since I'm not an expert how can I evaluate the quality of lessons? It's not that hard if you pay attention to the following details:
Communication is something to look closely at. A good instructor will pay close attention to how you learn best and then tailor their teaching approach accordingly. As you're taking your lesson do you feel the instructor is communicating to you in a manner that is easy to understand, and is efficient and effective?
Is the instructor knowledgeable about the material he or she is teaching you? When you ask questions do you get direct and useful answers or confusing and uninformative answers?
How at ease and comfortable does the instructor make you feel? At first this may seem to be unimportant, but to learn effectively it's very important to feel at ease, not nervous or self-conscious.
How much did you learn during your free trial lesson? Even if you like the instructor and felt comfortable while taking the lesson; if you didn't learn anything what's the point of purchasing lessons?
By paying attention to the details above you will be in a good position to judge the quality of each studio and its lesson offerings.
We recommend you use our downloadable comparison shopping form. It will be a big help in evaluating and selecting the right studio for you!
If a studio won't give you direct answers to your questions - worry.
Use this PDF form to collect information from each studio you are comparing and then enter it into the Comparison Shopping spreadsheet.
Use the information you collected with the shopping form to complete this spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is compatible with Microsoft Excel as well as the free OpenOffice.org