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anonymouslyandposthumously,I´m not sure I would consider any membership that doesn´t have entrance requirements to be a scam. The Coeur d´Alene Chamber of Commerce does not require anything but ´money´ for membership. Yet, it is a nice touch to have, and certainly something that is a plus if it is a widely recognized organization. I, personally, am not intimately familiar with all of the different dance organizations; yet, the NDCA looks like a reputable organization.
Let me prefix this by saying that it was an interesting article - the reporter certainly put a lot of time and effort into it. I would also like to state that the negative tone about the ´entire´ dance scene being dead is largely due to how the reporter spun things off. There is live scene, not a vicarious life, but a live scene for informal social dancing. The scene that is dead, is competitive dancing. The reporter blurred the distinction - but then again, negative articles tend to sell best.
My experience has been the following, Spokane Dance Company is a great place to go if you want to get access to competitive instruction in Spokane. Simply Dance is great if you want to go have fun, but you are not really interested in proper technique, and you like a predominantly Late High School to Junior College crowd. Once again, this is in relation to their social dancing - I am not comparing the private instruction. I have not taken private instruction from all the instructors in town, nor do I have the expertise to judge them accordingly. "non frat" rules, as dancingman pointed out, ARE to protect the student - it´s not say that every place without them is going to be abusing students, that is certainly not the case, but properly enforced you ensure a level of professionalism.
In regards to instruction, I have been in classes with both Glenn and Patty, they have both been extremely polite to me, and not once have they encouraged ´elbowing´ or ´kicking´ people. As a lead, they do stress that I should use my frame to prevent my partner from coming to mishap, and to use my body as a shield if needed. Yet, before they recommend that, they spent time talking about floorcraft, and how to select different steps, or change your frame, to avoid causing trouble on the dance-floor. Also, the approach they take is a very professional approach focusing on getting straight to the meet of the dance, and how to preform proper technique, with constant references to sources, both oral AND written, of where the techniques come from. It really is a very comprehensive method they teach, with wonderful analogies to help you along your way of figuring out your two left feet.
This is not to say that Glenn and Patty are the only decent instructors, but they are wonderful instructors, and very importantly the atmosphere they create is a very nurturing atmosphere to learning to dance with aspirations towards high level of technique - and that, in my opinion, is almost as important as the instruction itself. There is an adage that says "If you want to be good at something, surround yourself with people who are better than you [at that thing]." Spokane Dance Company creates an environment of people who are striving to constantly improve their technique, and it screams that out loud to me when I go and socialize with dancers. While, the other studios I visited did not throw off the same vibe.
Spokandroid, I fail to see your connection of assuming the commentator is a guy? Are you assuming all dance instructors are girls, then? Equally sexist.
Secondly, I talk about Simply Dance´s Sat. night dance, with fellow students, and even the instructors. I also attend both studios from time to time for social dancing. They have made it very clear that friends from other studios are welcome even if they take lessons elsewhere, and I even discuss with other students about other dance locations. Never once have I, or others, been approached or reprimanded while talking about it in a ´this is a fun too´ tone. Now, people who actively solicit another studio, certainly should be 86´d on out - especially an instructor who has the audacity to do that - it´s the sharing and collaboration you mentioned, spokanedroid, if you are at another studio, share and collaborate with the place who is putting the roof over your head. If their rules bother you, go elsewhere. There is a difference between mentioning and soliciting - if you don´t know the difference, there is always the dictionary.
anonymouslyandposthumously, Glenn isn´t the only person who would mention an ´attorney´ - the idea that only one person in the entire community would think about that is very childish. We live in a sue-happy 21st century these days.
In summary, about the rules, my theory has always been that if A: the rules are too strict, the place will go out of business. If B: the rules are acceptable but you don´t like them, you either aren´t serious enough or just don´t have the self-discipline. So, go find a casual studio, and stop whining because some of us like to actually learn in a serious, but extremely fun, environment.
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