Stop Paying for Dance Lessons

Recently I read the following blogpost, Why I don’t pay for dance anymore, by Shad Martin.  It was an interesting take on why he has his daughters enrolled in dance lessons that was inspiring, but in many ways hit the nail on the head in a practical way, reinforcing why I love teaching others how to dance.  Learning to dance is more then just about learning the box step or why Cuban motion is such an important characteristic of Latin dances.  Learning to dance teaches us so much more than that.  

After reading the article I was reminded of something Arthur Murray once said “I wouldn’t spend a dime for dance lessons. It’s true!  What’s more, I’ve never known anyone who would take the time or make the investment, JUST to learn to dance.”  Seems like a ridiculous thing to say for a man whose name is synonymous with dance instruction.   It’s not about the dancing, but the journey and what you learn and experience along the way.

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Why you should not pay for dancing anymore

Martin writes a very insightful article that defends the money he invests into his daughters’ extracurricular activity making it known that dancing may be the vehicle but it is not the destination.  He writes:

So if I am not paying for dance what am I paying for?

  • I pay for those moments when my daughters become so tired they want to quit but don't.
  • I pay for those days when my daughters come home from school and are "too tired" to go dance but go anyway.
  • I pay for my daughters to learn to be graceful.
  • I pay for my daughters to learn to take care of their bodies.
  • I pay for my daughters to learn to work with others and to be good teammates.
  • I pay for my daughters to learn to deal with disappointment, when they don't get that part they hoped for, but still have to work hard at the part that they received.
  • I pay for my daughters to learn to make and accomplish goals.
  • I pay for my daughters to learn that it takes hours and hours and hours and hours of hard work and practice to create something beautiful, and that success does not happen overnight.
  • I pay for the opportunity my daughters have and will have to make life long friendships.
  • I pay so that my daughters can be on stage instead of in front of a screen...”

Although Martin insists on these character-building concepts for his young daughters, many of these lessons are great to learn or reinforce at any age.

Similarly Arthur Murray understood that you do not pay for dancing.  So if you are not paying for dance what are you paying for?

  • The opportunity to be the life of the party.
  • The chance to think outside the box and get creative.
  • The opportunity to exchange ideas with other dancers.
  • The freedom to forget the things that stress you out for the next hour.
  • Living vicariously through yourself instead of others.
  • Getting out of the house and all its distractions.
  • Moments that will become your greatest memories
  • A vacation you will never forget.
  • Experience that will build you into the person you always knew you were.
  • A new frame of mind and new perspective.
  • The opportunity to reconnect with a loved one or friend.
  • The admiration of your peers.
  • The chance to slow down the clock on old age or illness.
  • Connecting with friends outside of social media.
  • Chance to check something off your bucket list.
  • Skills that you will never forget.
  • Exercise that is actually fun.
  • Satisfaction of learning something new at any age.
  • A date night spent interacting with each other instead of watching a movie screen.

Don’t pay for dancing, pay for the benefits it provides.

If you are currently taking dance lessons, write us and tell us what you are paying for.  If you are not taking dance lessons, what would you like to gain from the experience?  Please share with us and...keep on dancing!

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