Dancing can either be a fun pastime or, for some gifted people, a great career opportunity.
Dance studios can cater to both types of dancer, though they tend to be aimed more at those who are looking to have fun and socialise rather than pursue a career.
Students can learn new techniques and have fun at a dance studio but they should, perhaps, be a little wary when signing up..
Dance studios generate large amounts of money for those who run them and so, just as with most types of business, scam artists become involved in a small number of them.
HOW DANCING STUDIO SCAMS ARE COMMITED
Dance studios don’t tend to allow students to come and go as they please, preferring to organise agreements for minimum periods instead.
Clients will be signed up for a certain amount of time, typically a year or more, during which will they be contractually obligated to continue paying fees.
Dance studios that are looking to earn as much as they can from their clients then find ways of using those contracts, including adding terms and conditions that compel their students to make purchases of training materials or equipment solely through them or an agent of their choice (who will undoubtedly be giving them a nice kickback).
Additionally, such contracts may also compel clients into paying additional fees too, such as a contribution towards the cost of the venue, or for extra training sessions.
Funnily enough, a lot of these ‘extras’ will either be unwanted or will go unused.
HOW TO AVOID DANCING STUDIO SCAMS
As with everything in life, common sense is key.
Before joining a dance studio be sure to check them out and ask questions.
Speak to people who are already members as well as searching for the studio on the internet.
Whilst you shouldn’t believe everything you read it will be worth investigating any complaints you see or hear.
Here are some ideas of the types of question you should be asking before joining a dance studio –
- What is the cost per dancing lesson?
- Will there be a need to pay for extra materials or lessons?
- What are the total costs of the contract?
- Are there any advance payments or deposits required?
- Will there be monthly or annual fee increases during the term of the contract?
- How many lessons you are paying for, when are they held and how long do they last?
- Can you cancel early and what would be the cost of doing so?
- Is your payment protected if the studio goes out of business?
Check whether the answers to those questions will be contained in the contract and, before signing the contract, it may be worth consulting with an attorney to verify that you are clear on what you are paying for and what rights you have.
Enjoy your dancing!