I was surfing Youtube looking for some waltz videos and I came upon this one from 1979.
I just love the poofy skirts - they look a bit like tutus. Not only has the costuming evolved since then, but the dancing sure has too. So has the dance business.
When I began teaching, I worked for a very sales oriented studio. They still exist - generally these studios have a club like atmosphere where socializing is a high priority and sales pressure can be pretty intense. The quality of dancing isn't the primary focus - # of lessons sold is. Many teachers (like myself) began in these "studio systems" and rebelled once we discovered competition dancing.
The number of independent dance teachers has grown greatly since I began teaching over 20 years ago. Mostly independent teachers focus on teaching over selling and often they have a greater level of training (which they pay for out of their own pockets) and therefore offer a greater lesson value to their students. The challenge with independent teachers and studios is creating community for thier students - that social aspect that really is beneficial and makes dancing that much more fun.
I'm excited to be working at Ballroom Unlimited with other independent teachers. As I become more integrated into the studio, I am finding that there is a wonderful community in place there. I am just developing my business plan and of high priority in it is to bring together the best benefits from both systems to create an atmosphere for my students where they recieve top notch instruction while having fun and making new, quality social contacts.
In the coming weeks I'll be developing class curriculums as well as working on building a resource of dance information and I'll try to keep you posted on new developments here.