Why people pay for dance lessons

April 2, 2015

Why do people PAY for dance lessons – not only financially, but also with their time, energy, and attention – devoting much money and many hours for years of their lives learning and practicing “how to dance” (on their own and with others, watching, imitating, and taking private lessons and group classes)?

There are many factors to consider regarding the desire for dance lessons – including, in increasing importance: (financial) “affordability”; (geographic and time) availability; “quality” (of teaching and facilities); compatibility (with the instructor, other students, and “philosophy” or “style” being taught); and, most of all, YOUR (“real”) reason and/or motivation for wanting dance lessons.

1. Affordability is relative – compared to both the payment or investment (neither of which is seldom solely financial) and the “value” perceived and received. Cost, terms, and results vary – as much or more than how easily anyone can or will exchange what they have for what they desire. What you may actually get for what you pay is usually more important than the amount exchanged. Paying more often results in getting more – for the amount paid (and may actually “save” you from paying more to learn less or having to unlearn and relearn). There is no consistent correlation between cost and anything else, but bargains usually aren’t, and people generally get out of learning and everything else in life in relative proportion to what they put in. Only YOU can determine if an amount asked or price paid is “worth it – to YOU.

2. Availability of instruction and opportunity to learn may require travel and a change in schedule – or limit choices of what can be learned from whom to what is closest and at times that do not conflict with other activities and obligations. What is most accessible and convenient is usually most sustainable.

3. Quality of what is taught, how, how well, how fast, where, by (and/or with) who can make a big difference in what can can be learned – and done. A good teacher can often save students time and money by teaching (more) in one lesson than might otherwise take much longer to learn, understand, remember, and/or do (if ever). Quality is almost always more important than quantity. The biggest mistake many people make is wanting and trying to do more, poorly, rather than less, better. The degree of mastery of basic elements and fundamentals enable or limit all else. The best teachers don’t just instruct, demonstrate, and explain, they help students “relate” to and apply all taught.

4. Compatibility consists of many factors, such as personality, values, beliefs, interests, abilities, preferences, needs, desires, and/or goals – of teachers, students, and styles (of both dance and instruction). Compatibility does not require people to be the same, but does imply some synergy or harmony together. Often overlooked in an opportunity/option is whether it is a good fit.

5. Motivation includes both conscious desired outcome as well as subconscious “needs”. Why anyone desires or does anything is seldom really for the reasons they believe – or readily reveal. To know your own or anyone else’s values and priorities pay attention to actions – and how time, money, energy, and attention is spent/used/invested. Ask (yourself and others) why and what is important or desired or received. It usually takes several repetitions (of asking and answering) to discover what may be at a level below conscious awareness.

Do you want to lose weight and get in shape? WHY? There are also many other (FUN and SOCIAL) and often even faster and more effective ways to do this.

Do you want to look and feel “better”/”more attractive”/”more confident” (on and off the dance floor)? WHY? Increasing competence often will increase comfort and confidence – not only specifically, but also generally – but dancing is certainly NOT the ONLY way to “improve” ability, appearance, or “appeal”.

Are you worried about losing your husband (or boyfriend)? Taking dance lessons may actually increase rather than reduce this possibility if it means spending more time, money, and attention learning and/or dancing (with others) than with and him (and his needs and interests) – especially if he doesn’t (already or would like to) dance and share your desire to learn/improve/dance – together.

Do you want to meet women? Well, you probably will – but even being an awesome dancer does not mean any woman on or off the dance floor will have any personal/sexual/relationship interest – nor even desire to dance together.

WHY do YOU want dance lessons?
WHAT are YOU wanting to LEARN or DO or HAVE or BE (as a result)?
HOW MUCH is that “worth” to you?

© 2015, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.

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