I'm early at a new studio and I'm reading the stuff on the wall. Lots of glossy promotional materials, the list of classes, events, why they are the best place on the planet for dance instruction, instructor photos (photoshopped to remove grey hair), etc.
I run across the "Studio Policies" with the rules for their classes. You know:
- No gum chewing
- No food or drinks (except water)
- No insulting other students
- No powder on the floor
- No dancing with scissors (running is fine)
- Wear appropriate clothing (especially in pole dancing classes)
- We're not responsible if you have a heart attack or fall in love with other students
- Inside the studio there is no shooting or stabbing allowed (take it outside before discharging firearms)
Then I hit the section at the bottom and I'm shaking my head.
- It's important you show up on time.
- If 2 or less people are there at the beginning of class, class is canceled.
- If 3 or 4 people are there at the beginning, class is half the original time, students pay the full rate.
- If 5 or more are there at the beginning, classes run full length, normal prices.
- Studio reserves the right to cancel any class with less than 10 students.
I really love the "pay full price for half the class" concept, if less than 5 people show up.
As a totally selfish individual, I love when I go to a class and only a few others show up. I almost get a private lesson for the price of a studio class. I get lots of attention, and the instructors tend to speed it up or slow it down based on the students. These are great classes for me and I recommended the instructor's class to others if they do a good job.
It's clear to me that if the class doesn't develop a reasonable following, it will be canceled. Most studios need 5-15 students per class to break even on expenses, so I know the 3 person class can't last for very long. If I like the class, I will tell others about it.
On the other hand, it's not my fault others didn't show up. I realize the studio can't look the other way every time. If the class is usually larger and it's slow one day, then it's a bonus for me. Canceling a class which is normally full seems inappropriate to me, since I made the drive and the effort.
BTW - When I teach, I enjoy the energy of larger classes but I like the small groups too. If there is poor weather, a new startup class, or there hasn't been enough publicity to attract students, I teach a complete class if one person shows up. I'm there already, the student is taking their valuable time to attend, and it's not their fault others didn't make it. If only one person shows up every week, I may cancel future classes.
Maybe some studio owners/instructors will post some comments to clarify the issues for us (you can be anonymous if you choose). I'm curious as to why the students who make the effort to attend should suffer if others don't attend. I'm guessing the studio has to pay the instructor the same amount for 5 students as for 25 students, so if they cancel or cut the class in half, maybe they don't pay the instructor the normal amounts.
Seems like short-term thinking to me. I certainly am not going to go to a studio more than once that cancels classes because only a few people show up. I'm hoping someone can tell me what I'm missing, because those policies just don't make sense to me.
If they post a class schedule, and I attend, I would expect them to teach me. What about you?
I took up meditation.
I like to have an espresso first just to make it more challenging.