Arthur Murray Dance Studio
Arthur Murray Dance Studio – Indianapolis, IN
Looking for Managers, Teachers, Receptionists, Dancers all Positions! Do you have a background in sports, dance, theatre, film, or are you the… Arthur Murray Dance Studio
Arthur Murray Dance Studios – Penn Valley, PA
We teach all the most popular dances like Salsa, Bachata, Swing, Hustle, W.C. Swing, Wedding Dancing and all the traditional Ballroom Dances like… CareerBuilder
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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Arthur Murray Dance Studio full-time (more than an year)Pros
1. Dance Training: Although quality is not always guaranteed, someone who has never danced before can get very valuable dance training in the basics using videos and a manual
2. Team setting and close relationships with coworkers. This is a pro as long as you have a great team and manager, otherwise it is a con because no matter how much or little you like them, you have to be around them and work directly with them in close quarters.
3. Exposure to training from professional coaches. The studio owners will pay for a dance coach to come and train staff in a group class setting anywhere from once a month to once every 6 months, depending on the Franchise.
4. If you like glamour and glitz, you can submerge yourself in it in the dance community. (though most of it is pretense for the teachers as they live off of barely enough money to survive, let alone be pampered)Cons
*I must preface by stating that this review may only apply to CT Franchises, other states may be better. Please investigate the studio if you are considering working from them or spending your money there.
1. Pay. You might as well work as a fast food cashier at for the first two years because the average Instructor makes around the same amount of money.
New instructors receive 9-10$ a lesson with a base salary that is typically 125-200$ a week ( it can vary by Franchise). It takes awhile to build clientèle, so you may be making less than minimum wage for several months until you build up.
There are two options for a significant pay increase: convince your students to sign up for competitions which cost them thousands of dollars, or learn more and gain higher certifications which are given after passing a very long test and takes years to accomplish. There is also a ceiling, as you can only certify up to a certain level ( which would takes 10-20 years to accomplish) With each certification, your pay per lesson increases by 1$.
The ideal is to teach 25 lessons a week, but this is very difficult and requires a good team setting or being a male instructor who has a lot of ladies that compete. It is possible for women but much harder as she would need to act as a man/lead.
2. Opportunities for Growth. The promotions offered depend on the studios size, in a small franchise, your chances are slim.
Generally there are three positions: Instructor (entry level), Director/Counselor (manager) or Franchisee (owner) that's it. (You can become a travelling consultant you need to spend lots of money on coachings and win competitions to then move on and coach others) .
If your team is small with only one manager, you could potentially never receive a promotion, unless your manager left. The various "opportunities" that are then offered come with added responsibility but no added pay or benefits such as the dance trainer position where an employee is in charge of training the new dance instructors but does not get any extra compensation. This ends up resulting in very low motivation and low quality training sessions as it becomes a burden to the trainer.
This varies dramatically by Franchise, the bigger the team, the more opportunities.
3. Hours. Unavoidable 40+ work week with no paid overtime for your entire career unless you become a franchisee or a traveling consultant.
The average studio hours are 1-10 pm Mon-Fri. You are typically permitted to begin part time to build your clientèle, but it is expected that you will become a full time worker and once you do, you can never go back to part time. This can be challenging if you have a family or need to work another job to gain a sustainable income. 10Pm is the end of the work day, but there is a mandatory meeting at the end of each day which can continue until 11pm or until management sees fit (one full hour past work time).
There are also frequent competitions and student parties that occur outside of business hours, but all instructors are usually required to attend them.
This pattern results in a typical 45 hour work week and there is no paid overtime as teachers are exempt.
4. High Turn Over Rates and Poor Morale. Most Franchisees are very arrogant and show no respect for your time as an individual. They act as if they do not have to answer to anyone- not even the CT Labor Board, and treat you like a disposable body.
There are frequently mandatory meetings that are held outside of work hours as well as unpaid training weekends and conferences which you are strongly expected to attend. If you do not attend, or question them, you may risk being shunned by the community and labeled as not being a committed worker.
This can severely affect your work because most dancers are looking for dance partners and if the owners label you this way, it discourages other instructors from wanting to partner with you, thus hurting your dance experience and credibility with your clientele. Most employees are secretly very unhappy but no one will talk about it in fear or being labeled or shunned. They are frequently late themselves and will start meetings and functions hours late, but expect you to be early to everything.
5. Quality of dance training. Arthur Murray is not well respected amongst the professionally trained as being good quality dancers. They are robotic and typically do not win in competitions outside of their own little pond. The best way to describe this is the blind leading the blind. As a new instructor or a student, you may be being trained by someone who came in off the street, read a dance book, and now is certified without looking very good or executing the moves well. Dance is obviously a very physical thing and to dance well, you need more than a manual with instructions on where to put your feet. However, this is how the majority of instructors are trained AND teach unless they pay for dance coachings from professionals on their own time and dime.
Essentially, Arthur Murray is about teaching social dancing for fun and is sales oriented. If you want to become a serious dancer and expect high quality, you will be very frustrated and disappointed. Also, if you are a dancer with an extensive background, you will either be a valuable asset to the team and possibly the only member that knows anything about real dancing, or you might be viewed as a threat to the team and have to undergo "untraining" to get you to think like them ( I personally saw this happen to a very experienced dancer). You are trained on a need to know basis, the management makes sure you have just enough training to be able to teach but not an inch more.
In the management training manuals it states clearly in bold letters that, "Arthur Murray is a business that runs a dance studio, and not a dance studio that runs a business".
Sales is most important, dance quality comes second every time.
6. One track mentality. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you're a terrible dancer, or have no clue what you're talking about, as long as you keep your numbers up. This is only a con if you were not expecting a sales driven position, which is not the guise under which most passionate young instructors sign up. What they might not tell you, is you are being hired as a lower level sales associate. Your job will be to sell dance programs and competition entries.
The motto in Arthur Murray training meetings is that they need to " train the students in how to think" IE, the customer is not right. If the customer does not want to buy more or attend the competition, the instructor has not done a good enough job of training his/her student on how to think and behave in the studio. It is always the instructors fault if their student did not enter Arthur Murray to later become competitive dancers; they were not "trained" correctly.
7. Arthur Murray is dangerously close to being a cult. Arthur Murray has an extreme and borderline paranoid focus on positive thinking and has held nationwide company training weekends on various theories in how to control your destiny and cure yourself of diseases via positive thinking. They want you to practice what they teach you as well as pass it on to your students. Some of this training seemed that it could be slightly offensive to religious groups that believe in a higher power as it was prescribing an entire way of life. Is it helpful information? Possibly. is it workplace appropriate? Certainly not.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Stop burying your heads in the sand when issues arise in the company, it does not make you a positive thinker, rather kills morale and de-motivates the staff. Start holding management personally accountable for the jobs that they do. Stop micromanaging employees and start hiring people that you actually trust to do their jobs correctly and then step back and let them work. If management fails to do their job time and time again, replace them.
Start training your staff the way you train your students, with personal one on one instruction. If students can't learn solely in group settings why would you expect your staff to? Be more flexible with staff, it may be a shock, but they have actual lives outside of Arthur Murray World, like families and friends that want to see them. Maybe allowing some people to have part time hours or different shifts or schedules is a way to keep your staff from burnout and in the end decrease your turn over rates, which are disgustingly high. If you want happy students, keep a happy staff. This is a new world where the customer IS actually always right. Instead of trying to "train" and control how the staff and students think, it's time to start thinking about how you can better serve your clients needs and your staffs needs. Forcing people to think a certain way is disturbing and creates resistance and frustration.
Start asking for feedback from staff and students - put up a box to get anonymous replies. If you cannot handle "negative" feedback and respond to the problems and concerns in the studio, than perhaps you shouldn't be a business in a real world with real problems.Doesn't RecommendNeutral Outlook