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  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer toria_dances's Avatar
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    choosing a pay type for teachers

    Hi I'm thinking about teaching both hula and bellydance in my local area. I contacted a studio and this the pay options they sent:
    1. 35/65% instructor will receive 65% studio will get 35% plus 3.00 per student for administrative cost

    2. Hourly Salary- would reflect education and experience ($15-$20hr)

    3. Instructor pays $15 hour for space rental

    I will call her to talk about it but I want to get you'll opinion first, which one would you choose? and why. Also what questions should I ask when I call her?

    Thanks
    Last edited by toria_dances; 06-09-2009 at 10:03 AM.


  2. #2
    Established BHUZzer faaria's Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    I've always done a 50/50 split The rules are I promote the classes they provid the venue. There isn't rent invovoled in these situations. these are gym type locations.
    Community Eds different.
    Community Centers are just outright rent.

    If I understand that one of your options is to simply rent for $15 an hour, I would take that, heck two students pays your rent. That way you can do all the registering, class managament, presenting the classes yourself to interested students.

    No matter the split you still have to promote, you still need to talk with/email interested students.
    Always always do contracted work with all details spelled out, no hand shake deals. Insist you are paid for the session by the closing class of that session. also insist on having access to student information for the students enrolled in your class.


  3. #3
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    This is based purely on my own experience, but I've always done best doing a split per student. I just make sure I set a minimum number of enrollees that guarantees I'll at least make my minimum teaching wage.

    However, if you aren't allowed to set a minimum number, or you're doing a drop-in class, you might do better being an hourly employee.

    I never do rental arrangements because I personally hate dealing with enrollment and payments issues. I'm more that happy to let the venues I teach at take care of those headaches for me in return for their 30% take.
    Last edited by laura 2; 06-09-2009 at 10:13 AM.


  4. #4
    Advanced BHUZzer SandraDances's Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    I prefer being an hourly employee because then all I have to do is show up, no advertising, no insurance, no risk.

    That hourly rate seems a little low, but if you are just starting, it is hard to get more than that from a community center. Push for the higher end if you can.


  5. #5
    Master BHUZzer danielabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    Quote Originally Posted by SandraDances View Post
    I prefer being an hourly employee because then all I have to do is show up, no advertising, no insurance, no risk.

    That hourly rate seems a little low, but if you are just starting, it is hard to get more than that from a community center. Push for the higher end if you can.
    I agree with this. I've done the split and it is not worth it to me - if it's raining one day and half my students decide to stay home, I don't want to end up teaching for pennies! (if it's a drop in). I prefer to just show up and get paid no matter who is there. But the hourly they are offering you is very low - I get $35 - $50 per class, and the $35 class is at a gym where I also get a free membership. Push for higher.


  6. #6
    Advanced BHUZzer jewelbellydance's Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    If casual students are allowed (so you've no guarantee of attendance) or you have little control over marketing, then an hourly rate may be a good option if you can get it a bit higher. If you go for a split, ask for a guaranteed minimum.

    If you have control over the pricing/attendance policies, and you have time to do all the advertising and admin then paying rent and collecting 100% of the earnings may give you the greatest return. Just don't underestimate the work involved! If you're new to teaching, having to do all that stuff on top of teach may be a bit much. But if you're prepared to put in that work, and you know there's demand out there, this could be good. NB: under this pay structure, the centre won't have much incentive to help you advertise the classes, so make sure you have a plan to deal with that.

    As well as negotiating pay, see if you can influence student enrollment policies. Ideally, you want to allow new students to give it a go then lock them in to paying for the full term (either by not allowing casuals, or offering a discount for full term payment). Also, try to minimise casuals, esp. towards the end of term, as they make a class hard to teach. Check that maximum class numbers are appropriate for the space available. And ask them how they'll help promote your classes.

    Good luck...and let us know what you decide and why!


  7. #7
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    I'm not opposed to teaching for a flat rate, but $15-20 an hour is ridiculous. Independent contractors -- people running their own business -- in most fields charge $35-50/hour for jobs that don't require a degree or certification, $65+ for jobs that do. (and that's a low figure based on my low cost-of-living area).

    Fitness instructors get that much as employees (meaning the employer is also paying into social security and unemployment on your behalf). And they don't have to provide their own music or props. As an independent contractor, you have to pay 25% self-employment taxes right off the bat, plus all the bookkeeping and expenses of running your own business. Considering the time you have to put into planning the classes, you'd wind up making about half minimum wage or less at that rate.

    I'd go for either the split or the outright rental. You can undoubtedly make more money with the rental.. but with the split you're likely to have a better long-term experience. If you do well, they'll be doing well and they'll be more likely to work with if things come up (like someone else wants your time slot and is willing to pay more).


  8. #8
    Advanced BHUZzer Ainsley's Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    If you want to go the salary route but the studio won't pay more than $20/hour, you should ask if they would be willing to pay you for a couple of hours of preparation time each week in addition to your teaching time. I was able to negotiate a per class wage that I'm happy with at a gym by using this strategy.


  9. #9
    Official BHUZzer Rya_of_Indiana's Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    Quote Originally Posted by toria_dances View Post
    1. 35/65% instructor will receive 65% studio will get 35% plus 3.00 per student for administrative cost
    Wait...so if you had 1 student with a $10 drop-in fee, you would $6.50 right off the top and then pay them $3 more dollars on top of that? That would only leave $3.50 a student!!!!!!

    Does that sound outrageous to anyone else? Maybe we just get really good deals here...


  10. #10
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rya_of_Indiana View Post
    Wait...so if you had 1 student with a $10 drop-in fee, you would $6.50 right off the top and then pay them $3 more dollars on top of that? That would only leave $3.50 a student!!!!!!

    Does that sound outrageous to anyone else? Maybe we just get really good deals here...
    Oh, I assumed the $3 per student was only once, when a new student registered. I register my students for 6 week sessions, and a typical student is with me for anywhere from 6 months to 5 years, so $3 per student wouldn't phase me.

    If you were doing drop-ins that would be a HUGE issue, and I certainly wouldn't pay them that more than once per student.


  11. #11
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    (sorry to go on and on, as you can probably tell I'm not just reacting to this thread or to Toria's question. I've been livid in the past about crappy deals that I've seen innocent dancers accept because they've never been independent contractors before and don't understand how it works)

    If that hourly salary is REALLY a salary and you (generic you, not Toria) will be an employee, with payroll taxes paid on your behalf and so forth, and the employer pays for your insurance and music and materials for your classes it's not a bad deal. But that's rarely offered, except at studios owned by bellydancers where the music, props, choreos etc. might be provided for you.

    Otherwise it's like saying 'I'll hire you to come work my cash register for an hour once a week for $20. But you have to buy your own uniforms, register tape, and provide bags for the checkout line. And use your own time to put the prices on everything in the store.And pay your own social security taxes, medicare, and unemployment.' Nuh uh.


  12. #12
    Advanced BHUZzer SandraDances's Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    I am a county and a city employee for working at the community centers. I get the benefits of said employ, including 401K.

    Anything I need, I get. I get to use county facilities for shows, their equipment, one place bought mirrors for me. I charge set up and tear down time.

    I also get paid more than all but two of the hourly employees of one center.

    A lot of it is how you sell yourself. I walked in with 10 years teaching experience and told them what I could do for them and what I wanted in return. They gave me one dollar an hour more than I asked. I am very friendly and kind to everyone there and I am treated very well in return.

    I think it is more than the money. It is building a nice place to work. It's not worth it otherwise.


  13. #13
    Official BHUZzer Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    I would go with either the split or the rental. With the split - the more you promote, the larger your class grows, the more money you can make. With a split, it should cover studio and insurance (especially if they are taking a $3 charge per student for registration). The rental is a great price! Vegas runs $25/hour and very few studio's rent. The up side is you control your advertising, student flow, etc...You can either create a liability waiver for students to sign during initial class sign up or just get insurance (not very expensive). The down sides to being paid hourly (I've gone down this road - never again) are: you know "work" for this studio so you may become very limited on your advertising or your ability to "work" at another studio, if your class only gets 3 students and you are working for $15/hr, you are only making $5 a student...however, if the owner fills your class with 20 students, you are now teaching for .75 cents per student per hour...not worth it. I worked for the County at a rec center and because of my experience they started me at the top of the scale ($15/hour) and though I made it clear that I would not accept more then 12 students per class - they would fill them to the point of not having any space in the studio (40-50 students) - I was getting milked! Keeping yourself independent allows you the freedoms the business/studio owner has themselves.


  14. #14
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    Quote Originally Posted by Amaryllis View Post
    though I made it clear that I would not accept more then 12 students per class - they would fill them to the point of not having any space in the studio (40-50 students) - I was getting milked!
    This happened to me too! I was getting a flat $50/hour, which seemed pretty sweet at the time (I provided the advertising, insurance, lesson plans, props, etc., the facility handled phone calls and registration). My max is 25 -- they kept putting 40 people in my class, despite their promises to stop doing it. So for the 6 week session, I'd make $300, the club was making nearly $2,000.

    So I spent my money and time attracting these students -- advertising is NOT cheap! -- and then they got crammed in like sardines, I had to spend part of my $300 on an assistant to come and help - -and I'm sure I lost some students forever due to the overcrowding.


  15. #15
    Advanced BHUZzer toria_dances's Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    ok I just talked to the lady at the center. She said the 3.00 is a one time fee per student each session. She could not give me a salary because she has not seen my resume, but its from 15 on up ( you have to pay your own taxes at the end of the year). They do allow you to set you mins and max amounts of students. For advertisement they put out a news letter each season, flyer's and press releases. You have to pay for background check and get your finger prints on file at the center if your teach kids 17 and under. They suggest you get insurance but don't require it. If you have 17 year olds and under in your class they are covered under the centers insurance, adults are not covered. I think I will go with the 35/65 split because she said I missed the summer news letter and flyer's, since they put them out and in the schools before school closes, and this week is the last week for school. I would still get in the press release since they put that out every fee weeks. For fall if I get my stuff together to be in the news letter and flyer's I would do the flat $15 rental, that way I'll get more money. that sound smart?

    also they don't promote/like drop ins


  16. #16
    Ultimate BHUZzer artemisia_danst's Avatar
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    Re: choosing a pay type for teachers

    in this case, i'd go for the rental fee.


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