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  1. #11
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    As for sessions, for my regular privates I separate the class into 10-week sessions, which is the same way I'd separate a regular group class. The dynamic is different, but the material I teach is basically the same unless of course the person is booking a private on a particular topic.

    I like 10 weeks because it's a nice number, easy to multiply when the session is being fully paid for up front, and because 10 weeks is generally enough for me to teach all or most of the material that I have prepared for each level and for the student to grasp it, given regular practice which I always encourage. For that, anything close to 10 weeks does the job, but I'd be hesitant to separate my sessions into fewer than 10 weeks.

  2. #12
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Most teachers who allow drop ins have a higher fee for the drop ins. I have only had one teacher who charged the same, but her classes were always full so she didn't need to worry.

    At the moment I am only interested in teaching private classes, but thinking of starting courses again later next year.

  3. #13
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Because i teach through community centres we follow the school term - paid up front, so they range from 8 to 10 weeks. I also have 2 teachers and they both follow the school terms as well, and we pay for the term up front. With the community centre if you miss classes too bad ( they control the fees and pay me to teach) One of my teachers allows you to make a class up if you wish by joining one of her other classes for a session in the same term (missed classes don't roll over to any other term) The other teacher with my particular class is more casual she'll roll a class cost over to the next term because in that particular class there is only 2 of us & we are more than just students we are a small troupe & friends and she knows she can alter times even days with us if she needs too (she teaches karate & self defence to school kids and also women at risk and sometimes those classes have time alterations) Her other classes are more formal like my other teachers. Both my teachers have their own studios, so are not caught in the community centre system.

    So after all that I would personally ( if I had my own studio) follow a school term timetable with payment up front
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  4. #14
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    I'm not a teacher but here's some feedback as a student.

    If I'm thinking of trying a new belly dance school and they insist I pay for the whole term upfront, I won't go. Why should I buy a pig in a poke?

    I'm happy to pay for the first class (at a premium, if necessary), which is then deducted from the term fee if I decide to stay.

    However, if I have the choice between a school that offers a multi-class pass or one that is pay-by-the-term, I'll opt for the school that offers the multi-class pass.

    Why? Because I'm an adult with adult responsibilities, and although bellydance class is one of my big priorities, it's almost certain I'll have a work or family emergency at least once during a term - so I never get full value when I pay for a term pass

    A 10-class pass valid for 3 months means I get full value for my money even if I miss a class or two, but I still have an incentive to attend as often as possible to use up my pass before it expires.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    Ok so i teach my classes in 3 month blocks as well - 12 weeks at 1 1/4 hrs per week. I do not allow drop ins because i have rent to pay, my classes are small and people (here at least) are not dedicated when it comes to dropping in. Like Amulya, if someone comes in during the semester and wants to pay for the remainder while understanding that they will be playing catch up, i will allow it.

    IF someone does want to try it, i would consider the whole premium fee to be deducted business, but to me one class doesn't give you a good idea of how a course will run. In my Beginners 2 - providing the student had already done my 1 class or someone else's, i would allow a multi-class pass. but i haven't had that happen.

    It also makes things complicated because my students have a FB group where i make available little video clips of what we've done in class so that they can practise during the week and receive any interesting links that i may come across online - like Shira's site. how do i manage that with drop ins and multi-passers. it really dilutes the dance education, which is really my priority.

    About my course Amulya, my Beginners 1 is pure fundamentals, basic movements, introduction to the culture, musicality and re-orientation for the first 9-weeks. i come from a culture where gyrating is the norm and where there is alot of indian dancing so everyone thinks that they know what bellydance is even though they generally absolutely do not - that's why i have re-orientation. lol. my last 3 weeks are purely practise. they use what they've learnt to follow me dancing. i don't teach choreography just yet because they tend to switch to counting rather than listening to the music if i do it to soon. at the end of the 12 weeks, i offer 2 sessions where i do a very short sample choreography. it's optional, but people usually take them.

  6. #16
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    I think the 10 lesson pass works for bigger belly dance schools, if you teach gazillion of classes. Then it doesn't matter when students exactly turn up. But I have been to classes like those when I was a student and it took away from the quality of the classes: always different students and the level stayed low.

    Btw in community centers it was easier to allow students to try out because you're not dependant on pay by the students directly. But again, it can be hard for them if they drop in late. Adding them to the rest of the course is easy.
    Those courses were so cheap that it wasn't an issue if people couldn't come for one lesson (money-wise that is) they might have a hard time catching up though.

    My first teachers were in comminity centers and yes I skipped some classes too if I couldn't come, it was so cheap that it wasn't a loss.

  7. #17
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amulya View Post
    I think the 10 lesson pass works for bigger belly dance schools, if you teach gazillion of classes. Then it doesn't matter when students exactly turn up. But I have been to classes like those when I was a student and it took away from the quality of the classes: always different students and the level stayed low.
    That's why I suggested a short expiry for the pass. For instance, if each term is 10 weeks, and the pass is only valid for 3 months, a student can't afford to miss more than one or two classes if they're going to get their money's worth - so there's still an incentive to turn up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mya View Post
    IF someone does want to try it, i would consider the whole premium fee to be deducted business, but to me one class doesn't give you a good idea of how a course will run.
    That's true, but one class will tell me whether a teacher is hopeless. You might be surprised how many bad dance teachers manage to attract enough students to keep a school running, so you can't judge a school by its longevity (or its glossy website).

    I once went to a flamenco class with a teacher who was once quite a famous dancer. It was a fiasco, because she was drunk. I spoke quietly to one of the other students and they admitted she was frequently drunk, but they stuck it out because if she did manage to arrive sober, the classes were excellent.

    I decided I wasn't prepared to pay for such hit-and-miss instruction!

    As it happened, she didn't collect the money till the end of the class but she expected me to pay for the whole term. I have to admit I lied and said I didn't have enough money. After a bit of grumbling she let me pay $25 as a deposit, with the rest to be paid at the next class.

    Needless to say I didn't go back.

    That's the worst experience I've had, but I've also tried out at a bellydance school where the teacher was clearly an intermediate student who knew less than I did about bellydance technique and exercising safely. Her beginner students would no doubt have given her a good review, but her "Advanced" class was more like a Beyond Beginners. If I'd had to pay for a whole term upfront, I would've totally wasted my money.

    So maybe you can see why I refuse to pay upfront for a whole term with an unknown teacher. And I'm sure I'm not the only student who's had similar experiences.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 12-05-2011 at 08:29 AM. Reason: merge

  8. #18
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    This is where your site (and those like them) comes in handy though. It's pretty hard to fake good dancing on video and the peer reviews can help a student pick a good teacher.

    I don't do drop-ins because they are just killer with the rent I pay, but anyone who wants to see me teaching just needs to pop onto youtube as I have a clip of me teaching some private students (that I uploaded with their consent).
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
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    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  9. #19
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    I have used sessions before that were determined by the facility. The problem I was up against was students who took the 6 or 8 week beginner course now thought they were ready for the next class. I understand the thought that they were ready to progress. After all, they were done with this and on to the next, right? Unfortunately, it isn't the beginners who realize how much there is to learn, and they seem insulted if you want them to repeat the beginner session.

    Without having 30 classes a week, how do your students advance levels? Are they required to do the first class multiple times? Do you focus the advanced classes on topics? Can they go after attending X many classes, or do you promote them to the next class?

  10. #20
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    The same as any other dance style's classes do - exam & audition.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

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