Quite often parents will ask if their child would benefit from having a private dance teacher. I have taught several private classes and there are a few things to consider before hiring a private teacher. The market rate for a private dance teacher is US$60-$80 per hour (excluding the rehearsal space). All of which means it can get quite expensive if you want to see true results. So take a moment to reflect on your motives by asking yourself the following questions:
Does your dancer NEED extra help?
If a dancer has fallen behind in class and needs extra help, private classes might be a good idea. Sometimes show or audition preparation requires dancers to seek special attention. If the student is just dancing for fun, private classes aren’t really necessary. Taking a few regular classes each week would be enough to get back into the swing of things.
Does your little one find learning with other students too intimidating?
Some families want to start off with a private dance teacher until their child becomes comfortable. Even so, I still wouldn’t spend money on private dance classes. Rather I’d find a standard class that fits in with your child’s age and dance level so they become comfortable this way. It is normal to feel a little overwhelmed in your first few dance classes. While private lessons could definitely help, group classes should do the same thing. They’ll also save a lot of money over time.
Are you interested in a different lesson?
I’ve had couples ask for private dance teachers in preparation for their wedding or just as a fun date idea. I think that is great! It is difficult to find group classes that will cater to two people in this way. Some parents also ask for a private lesson for girl scout troops, birthday parties, or other social gatherings. This is a fun option when you want to try something different. It creates a special bonding activity that may get lost in a bigger classroom setting.
Are you looking to improve awkwardness for dancing in social settings?
I’ve had men ask for private lessons in the belief they would feel more comfortable in this setting. In a private lesson, the dance teacher is able to work specifically on what seems off with the student’s natural movement. For women seeking private classes for the same reason, I would suggest trying Zumba before spending extra money. This type of class focuses on hip work that might give a woman more confidence in a social dance setting.
Lacking confidence rather than moves? Stick to a regular dance class. Private lessons lack the social aspect of a regular class. Making dancer friends is great for one’s confidence and creates better energy during class. Dancers start ‘vibing’ off each other and create a family atmosphere that makes dancing outside of class less intimidating.
Does your dancer have special needs?
Dancing can be very therapeutic for many people from all different walks of life. If you are looking for a regular class to cater to specific learning, physical or special needs, it may be a little harder to find. I have been approached by parents whose children have Autism, Down’s Syndrome, and Spina Bifida who are interested in seeing if dancing will be a good outlet. I 100 percent agree that it would, as long as it is a good fit for the student.
The size, style, and age group of the class will play a role in the dancer’s experience as well as how well their teacher understands their needs. The best thing to do is start talking to private dance teachers to find the person that would be most experienced and helpful. You might even want to look into an actual dance therapist to see what programs are offered in your area for group or private classes.
People have multiple reasons for seeking out private dance teachers. I just recommend you discuss your motives with the teacher to ensure you really need special attention. The price difference is pretty big and multiple lessons are required to see desired results.
If you are having trouble finding private dance teachers, look up some local studios in your area and ask who they recommend.