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So I decided to do a little experiment last night on my lesson with Kid T.  We were working on the Fox Trot so I did it the Famous Franchise way for a bit and then decided to see what would happen if I tried to land on the second beat of the slow.  She stopped and got on me about my timing and how it looked like I was taking my time and going extra slow.  I kind of shrugged it off as one of those things that happens from time to time although I was kind of smiling inside.  I do that a lot anyway but this one was because of my little secret.

Like the other two days, the dancing went well.  She hadn’t planned anything beyond Fox Trot but, after some initial mess ups and my intentional playing around with timing, we had looped it multiple times so we moved on to Tango.  I guess the run around we were doing in the Fox Trot was especially good today since she made several comments about it and OwnerGuy even took a minute off his lesson to watch one.

Same story with the Tango.  A few tweaks in a few places that I probably need to write down but it seemed to go well.  I don’t know if she can really see or feel everything I might be doing wrong but there weren’t comments about keeping my head up so I take that as a good sign.  At the end of the day, it was a fun lesson but still no moment.  Guess we take what we can get.

There was an open house right after but there was only one new face and that was someone brought in by another student.  It’s a little sad that they couldn’t drum up any new business.  It is always more fun to get some fresh faces in the studio.  And it made parts of the evening a little strange since they set these things up like they are talking to a large crowd of newbies and I guess they can’t deviate from that pattern.

They did have student demos to show off the different levels.  I wasn’t asked to participate.  At first, I was a little upset by that given how much I love to show off, but there was a cost to getting to show off which was new.  They were broadcasting parts of the event live to help further spread the word and each person/couple who danced had to give a little testimonial about how great the Famous Franchise is and how much fun they are having and so on.

Once I found out they were doing that, I was fine with not being asked.  To be clear, despite my reservations, I’m not totally down on the whole Famous Franchise experience.  They can and do teach people to dance.  They do create a fun and welcoming environment so you do make friends with the other students.

But, if I’m going to give a review, it is going to be honest and there have been bad things mixed among the good.  I couldn’t really stand up there and broadcast nothing but positive stuff because I know there is more to the story and I’d want people to have the whole story.  Yes, they will teach you to dance and, yes, you will meet a lot of nice people.  And, yes, the atmosphere tends to be welcoming, friendly and supportive.  But, there will always be pressure to take more lessons and/or learn new dances.  Sometimes it is subtle but it will always be there.  Also, the Famous Franchise is much more expensive than most studios so it isn’t going to work for everyone.  Lastly, you should be prepared for your instructor to leave if you plan to be there for any amount of time.

So that’s how yesterday went.  We’ll see how next week goes.

One comment

  1. Wall – I share your ambivalence about the FF. I concur with everything you said, and would add that at least at my studio, no videotaping is allowed…which I find outrageous. I’ve snuck off to several different studios/teachers over the years, and all encouraged me to video teachers’ moves so I would have a shot at emulating them. I suspect the FF wants students to feel they NEED more lessons; expediting their progress by other means is not a goal. I suspect another reason is the newer teachers’ dancing would subject the company to ridicule. That said, I have more fun a the FF than I’ve had elsewhere. I’ve benefitted tremendously from my affiliation with my studio and I’m truly grateful for that. Problem is, the resentment over the other stuff builds up from time to time.

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