And Another One is Gone

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Yesterday, I noticed that Cosmo was not present at the studio.  I didn’t think much of it since he didn’t have any lessons scheduled.  Then, I get there today and I see OwnerGuy doing a Bachata with Cosmo’s student.  I talked with Tex and his wife and it turns out this was by mutual agreement.  We never get the full story but Tex is close with Z and she likes to tell tales out of school so the story he was telling me was that Cosmo wasn’t the greatest at the required paperwork and so they mutually agreed that he would leave.  Although OwnerGuy left the door open should he wish to return so I guess he left on better terms than other instructors.

It can’t be an easy life being an instructor at the Famous Franchise.  You work every night and if a student wants an appointment on Saturday, you are working part of Saturday.  And I know there are weekends with mandatory training so you probably don’t have much of a life outside the studio.  And there is all the other training you have to do which makes the job very physically demanding.

And, loving to dance is only going to carry you so far.  Teaching is much different from dancing and it is a business and you are expected to push students to take more lessons.  Always selling in some way.  There is also a lot of paperwork required which I’m sure is not fun.  Nothing worse for a creative type then to be stuck with doing a lot of what probably appears to be menial work.

I wonder if Z and OwnerGuy don’t really know how to retain people.  OwnerGuy was always driven and wanted to make this a career and he and Z were serious competitors which is also keeps you around.  Part of me wonders if they are just expecting everyone else to have that same motivation and don’t know how to deal with people who don’t.

Maybe there is no real way to keep instructors around but that really makes the business model hard to figure.  Over a year, they invest a lot of time and money in training the instructors and then you let that walk out the door and have to start all over again.  And, a male instructor in this part of the country is probably worth his weight in gold.  Seems like you would try to find some way to keep him around.

But, more than that, it changes the dynamic of the studio and it forces OwnerGuy to reset his plans.  We had a nice group at the last Showcase and we have a number of experienced students.  Losing two instructors hurts because there just aren’t enough people to go round.  OwnerGuy had turned over two ladies to Cosmo and now he has to take them back along with Cosmo’s students.  And, he’s already carrying several couples.  There’s the special club that requires a certain number of lessons per week so I think the newer students are going to get the short end of the stick.  People are going to walk away.

At the very least, we won’t have the same number of people and routines that we did at the last Showcase and that’s a little sad.

OwnerGuy also wants to get a group of people to do some of the bigger dance events.  Well, you can’t expand that club without experienced instructors because there are only so many heats that Z and OwnerGuy can do.  If you have multiple people wanting to do all arounds or scholarship, then someone won’t be able to.

But suppose they do end up taking four of us to an event in April.  Well, that means Z, OwnerGuy and Kid T will have to go like they did at the last Big Dance Event.  But, now, you don’t have Sunny and Cosmo so the only ones left are Vanna and NewerGirl.  Can you keep the studio open with just those two?  I think it would be tough and, even if they did, there would be people with no options for lessons who would just stay away.  Granted it would just be a couple of days but it is still lost revenue.

Yeah, I’m not going to be pretend to be an expert on the business model for the Famous Franchise.  If all you want to do is crank students through full Bronze, then it makes sense.  But if you want an advanced group of students to take to Big Dance Events, then it seems like you’d need to figure out a way to keep experienced instructors.

Oh well, it probably won’t directly impact me but it does change the studio vibe and that makes me sad.  Cosmo was fun to watch and he was always fun to talk to so it is a hole that can’t easily be filled.

3 comments

  1. Your studio is not alone. Our studio, and our nearest sister franchise, are really short of male instructors and desperate to find new ones. And this has been going on for months now.

    1. I’ll never know what went on behind the scenes but a male instructor has to be money in the bank which is why I was a bit confused because it didn’t sound like they worked real hard to keep him and I don’t think he had another thing lined up.

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