Do you find it hard to fix a price as a dance teacher? If YES, here are 7 factors that will determine how much you should charge for private dance classes.
With the growing popularity of dance as a sport and the growing trend of dance shows and competitions on TV, people have found more reasons for taking private dance classes for themselves or signing up their kids for dance lessons. Even though the number of dancers willing to offer free dance classes are on the rise, most of these dance programs cost money.
Prices for private dance classes all depend on the type of dance and whether the student prefers to take private or group lessons.
Although dance instructors have the experience and knowledge required to offer dance lessons, most of them struggle when it comes to finding the best price for their dance education and sometimes end up charging far too little for their services.
If you are looking to settle on a fair price, just follow these factors and guides outlined below to know how much to charge for your private dance instruction.
7 Factors That Will Determine How Much You Should Charge for Private Dance Lessons
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As a private dance teacher, the amount you charge will be mainly determined by your location and your competitors. Note that the approximate hourly rate dance teachers charge is dependent on two factors; the average take-home salary of potential clients in your region and the number of other teachers who offer the same style of dance instruction as you.
If you teach in a low-income area, your rates will likely be lower. However, if you are one of the only nearby instructors for your style, you can command a little more than average. Local economy goes a long way to dictate the rates you can charge.
For example, if you are advertising in the center of Washington DC, you can safely ask for higher fees than if you were in Wisconsin. Also, if you offer hip hop lessons, along with twenty other professional teachers or studio classes, you’ll need to lower your rates to stay competitive.
2. Lesson level
Another factor that will determine your hourly rate is the level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, children, adults) of your lessons.
Related to this is the purpose of the session (training, recreation, fitness). Have it in mind that students who are in training to audition for an elite ballet school will need more of your attention and expect to pay a much higher rate than those who are only looking at dance as a form of fitness or leisure activity.
Indeed there is no predetermined amount of time or experience a student needs to move into the next level. In fact, it tends to be up to the individual teacher to determine the level and the rate. However, always consider the preparation time needed to meet the student’s goals and the amount of time it will require to get them there.
Also note that it is not uncommon for dance teachers to be asked for specific services. If these requirements take extra time to plan, you should apply increased rates to reflect this. Such events may include:
- Bride and groom’s first dance
- School formal preparation for primary and secondary schools
- Choreography for a special event
- Secondary school performing arts showcase
- Long term training for students who intend to apply for a dance academy or performing arts school
- Mentoring students who intend to apply for dance teacher jobs
- Team teaching with drama teachers to stage a secondary (or primary) school musical
- Focus on specific dance movements, styles or techniques
3. Area of Expertise
Also note that your area of expertise will need to be considered when you are working out your rates. Factors including technical difficulty of the style (e.g. classical ballet), competition from other tutors and whether you are working with beginners or advanced level students will all have an impact on the fees you set.
It is advisable to find out what dance styles are being taught at your nearby dance school or academy—if they are not offering what you are planning to teach, you can safely raise your fees. Don’t forget to consider what you can do to make your classes stand out.
Students are always looking for an instructor with a difference—someone they feel they are getting more than just the basic education or training from. Think about cultural links, theatre or drama aspects or performing techniques.
4. Your Teaching and Dancing Experience
Most of your prospective students will want to know about your experience before they enquire about your qualifications. While qualifications are important if you apply for a high-level job in a performing arts academy, individual students are more interested in whether or not you are experienced when it comes to dancing and teaching.
Remember that an experienced, but unqualified tutor or teacher is often valued over a highly qualified, yet inexperienced teacher. Which category best describes you?
- A passionate self-taught dancer with no formal dance education
- Skilful student, currently enrolled in a university-level dance course or at a performing arts school
- Fully qualified teacher with experience at a professional dance school or similar
5. Lesson Resources
Note that certain dance styles require specific resources, such as clothing or props, particularly when it comes to performing but also for general practice. Always ensure to adjust your rates accordingly if you choose to supply your students with necessary resources and equipment, including:
- Clothing items (tights, happi coats, etc.)
- Footwear (tap or ballet shoes, zori etc.)
- Props (scarves, fans etc.)
- Music and audio equipment (including microphones if needed)
6. Lesson Location
Note that private dance classes take place in various locations, all of which carry associated costs and need to be incorporated into your rates.
- Your home: electricity, cleaning
- Student’s home: transport
- Studio, classroom, community hall: rent costs
7. Your Specialty
Be it burlesque, jazz, capoeira, classical ballet, hip hop, tribal fusion, contemporary dance, or dance fitness: the speciality a tutor teaches needs to be taken into account when deciding upon their rates. Some styles (like ballet) are considered more technical than others and the less technical styles are often popular with absolute beginners.
Also the greater the competition, the more competitive your prices will have to be. On the other hand, if your specialty is rather rare, then you’ll be able to increase your rates. Also check to see if your specialty is being taught by the local school of dance or academy.
If you are the only person teaching ballroom or tap, for example, then you can charge a premium for your dance tutorials.
These factors mentioned above will greatly influence the price you charge your students for Private Dance Lessons. Nonetheless, note that offering discounts can help you find new students as well as build a solid base of regular students.
With weekly private dance tutorials, you can both help your students and also build your reputation as a dance instructor.