When are Private Lessons Recommended?

Private lessons offer a learning pace that is tuned to you in particular, which usually means a slightly accelerated learning pace over group classes.  The more skilled you are, the more true this becomes.  At the absolute-beginner level, there is almost no difference between a good group class and private lessons. 

Greater concentration on individual dance technique also occurs in the private lesson versus group classes.  For the more skilled dancer, private lessons are recommended.  For highly skilled dancers, private lessons are highly recommended.

Private lessons are good for working intensively on details after you have taken some group classes. Usually this involves the details of bedrock technique skills, and sometimes involves little details that go wrong in your leading (men) or following (women).

Private lessons are good for feeling what an excellent partner should feel like, because you get to dance directly with the instructor, who, in theory anyway, is pretty good at this stuff. Private lessons are also good for being coached on what you should feel like, since the instructor can give you feedback on a moment-to-moment basis.

Private lessons are good for intensive pre-wedding polishing, especially after you have taken some group classes. In one or two private lessons, we can polish the little things that aren't fixable in a group class; work on styling (tuned for dancing in wedding clothes); and deal with "first dance" choreography -- how to pattern the moves across the floor to look good.

Private lessons are also the solution if:  (a) Your schedule absolutely cannot accommodate any of the group classes being taught. (b) You are in a hurry to learn.  Since the sole focus is on you in a private lesson setting, you will naturally learn to dance more quickly and you may display better technique early on.

Private lessons, however, are more expensive than group lessons.  Private lessons can cost 6 - 10 times more than group class lessons.  For information on Private lessons taught by Ben De La Vega at PJ’s Dancetique, including the costs and how to sign up, see Private Lessons

Group Classes have Some Advantages of Their Own

First, you can learn to dance at a lower cost.  Group lessons are a very inexpensive way to learn how to dance.  Due to the cost factor, group class lessons are the way to go if time is not a factor.

The early phase of learning to dance simply requires lots of repetitions (in a context of clever and instructive progressions), to let the body acquire an automatic feel for the fundamentals. Doing simple stuff over and over is the very best way to master certain aspects at the beginning. While doing simple repetitions, there is no advantage to private lessons.

The cost-benefit ratio for private lessons is much more favorable after you have the basics under your belt.

Group lessons are considerably less intimidating and less exhausting for most people, because there isn't the constant, nonstop spotlight of the instructor's attention.

In group classes, you get a sense of the pace at which other people learn, which is reassuring enough that it helps most people learn faster.

You should definitely take group lessons -- from us or someone else -- before you take private lessons anywhere.

Group lessons have some advantages over private lessons provided you chose a very excellent program for Group Class lessons, as taught at PJ’s Dancetique by Ben De La Vega.

For information on Group Classes, see Classes and Calendar.