Nationally, the average cost of private dance lessons is between $75-$100 per hour. The price of private dancing lessons depends on four key factors:
- The style of dance
- Your teacher's experience level
- How many lessons you buy in advance
- Where you live
While private dance lessons cost more than group classes, there's no substitute for the individual attention and instruction you get in a private session. And there are a few simple ways you can save money on private dance classes no matter where you live or what kind of dancing you want to learn.
Here's how to find the right dance teacher and get the most bang for your buck when you book your next private dance class.
What's in this cost guide?
You can expect to pay between $75-$100 an hour for one-on-one dance lessons in most US cities. Your level, the style of dance, length of the session, location, and whether you sign up for a package can all make that price go up or down. Private lessons often cost the same for one person as it would for a couple.
One-on-one dance lessons are one of the fastest ways to learn a new dance style, master a new move, or progress to the next level in your dancing. Below, we'll break down cost factors based on your goals as a dancer.
Most dance teachers charge the regular rate ($75-$100/hour) for beginner dance lessons, but often offer discount rates on intro dance class packages.
Many teachers also offer a discounted short “trial" lesson (often 15-30 minutes) to assess your level and make sure you're interested in learning the dance style they teach. These may cost less. For example, the prices for lessons with Dance with Carolyn in San Jose, CA are:
- 45-minute private dance lesson: $95
- 30-minute "trial" class for new individuals or couples: $49
The Connected Dancer in Los Angeles, CA provides similar options:
- 1-hour private lesson: $95
- Introductory lesson for new students: $60
This is an option to save money and explore several dance styles before buying a package. You can also save money on beginner dance lessons by booking private group lessons with a few friends to lower the cost per person. An individual private lesson for one person can cost as much as $100, while a semi-private lesson for you and three friends might only cost $150-$200. Dance with Carolyn offers a semi-private 45-minute lesson for three people starting at $125 per lesson.
Most studios and dance teachers charge a blanket rate for private lessons regardless of the particular dance style they teach. However, not all styles are equally popular.
If the style of dance you want to learn is new or less popular where you live, it can be difficult or more expensive to find a qualified teacher. And if the dance you want to learn is popular, it's nice to know the average rate for private lessons to compare teachers' rates. On average you can expect to pay these rates for private lessons in swing dancing, ballroom dancing, salsa dancing, tango, and hip-hop or modern dancing:
Cost Per Lesson
Swing (Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa)
Ballroom (waltz, rumba, foxtrot, chacha)
Salsa (salsa on 1 or 2, bachata)
Here are a few more sample prices for the cost of private dance lessons from swing dance, lindy hop, salsa, tango, hip-hop, and ballroom dance instructors in different cities around the country:
Example price of private salsa dance lessons
Arati, a top pro salsa dance teacher in Manhattan charges $80/hour for private dance lessons in salsa, bachata and wedding dances. She also offers discounts when students book multiple classes:
- 4 classes: $300 (savings of $20)
- 8 classes: $560 (savings of $40)
Example price of private hip-hop dance lesson
Hip-hop lessons can vary depending on where you live within a single state. Here are some average rates for private hip-hop dancing lessons in California:
- Los Angeles: $85 per lesson
- San Francisco: $95 per lesson
Typically bundled into multiple hourly-rate packages, the price for wedding dance lessons can range from $100 for a single lesson to $2,500 for a dozen weekly classes, original choreography, and extras like crash course lessons for wedding party members and family (like the father of the bride).
The three biggest factors that determine how much a wedding dance instructor will charge are:
- Where you live
- How close to the wedding it is
- How many lessons you need
If you need multiple dance lessons in a short period of time, and you live in a city like New York, expect to pay a premium to prepare for your first dance. For example, The Connected Dancer in San Jose, CA charges the following rates for lessons (per couple, not per person):
- Three 45-minute wedding dance lessons: $259
- Seven 1-hour wedding dance lessons: $595
- 14 lessons: $1,140
- 21 lessons: $1,785
Private dance lessons typically cost 2-3x what you'll pay for a group dance class, so it's important to define exactly why you want to take one. Reasons to book private lessons instead of a group dance class include:
- You're in a time crunch: Private lessons help you learn the basics quick. If you're scrambling to learn choreography for your first dance, have an upcoming event, or just can't wait to get started, private lessons are an excellent value.
- To learn specific skills: Private lessons are especially useful for students to hone in on specific moves or techniques they're struggling with on the dance floor. Your teacher can help you identify what's causing the problem while also gaining confidence with things like turns, partner connection, and dancing comfortably at different tempos.
- To learn advanced moves: Most dance teachers are experts with years of experience. If you want to master a more advanced move or style, a series of private lessons with a professional dancer is a great way to break down complicated sequences to learn advanced moves at your own pace and make them your own.
- You're shy: Not everyone wants to learn how to dance in front of a room full of strangers, and that's ok. Private lessons with the right teacher can give you a firm grasp of the basics of a dance style while also building up your confidence to dance in group classes and socially.
- To practice a performance or routine: Private lessons give you a chance to practice a routine or performance piece with a pro to get out any jitters and fix trouble areas to make your big performance a hit.
- You have an injury or disability: Many dancers, especially older dancers, have old injuries or physical limitations that affect their dancing. Learning how to safely dance within your abilities with a trained professional is essential to avoid further injuries and enjoy yourself on the dance floor. Regular private lessons with the right teacher can also help you and your partner find moves and styles you both love, so you can dance comfortably.
It's important to find a dance teacher that fits your budget and specializes in the dance style you want to learn. However, it's even more important to find a private dance teacher you'll feel comfortable working with in close quarters for multiple classes. Below are tips to find the right dance teacher:
- Read online reviews: Reviews are the quickest way to make sure a dance instructor's students like the way they teach and get insights into a their overall style and which level of student they typically work with.
- Comparison shop within (and even slightly above) your initial price range: While budgets are important, remember why you're taking dance lessons in the first place. Increasing your hourly budget might help you find a better dance teacher who can get you where you want to go faster, ultimately saving you money. Sometimes you can get a lot more in less time from experienced, professional teachers that charge a little more.
- Look for teachers who specialize in a specific style and sub-style. Get specific with your private dance teacher search. Don't just settle for someone who teaches “ballroom dancing" when you really want to learn the foxtrot. “Swing dancing" and “Lindy hop" aren't the same thing, and there's a world of difference between “salsa on 1" and “salsa on 2." Find a teacher that specializes in the subset of dancing that you want to learn and you'll get a lot more for your money.
- Schedule a discounted intro lesson: There's no substitute for firsthand experience with a dance teacher. When you narrow your search, ask if they do discounted intro lessons of 30-minute intro lessons to help you get a feel for their personality and teaching style.
- Find online videos of teachers performing: Performance or competition videos are a great way to assess the style and level of a potential teacher and see their unique style in action (it never hurts if they impress you!).
- Visit the dance studio: If a teacher works at or with a particular studio, visit the space before booking a classes to get a sense of the culture and environment of the teachers, the space, and the current students.
Comparison shopping and purchasing private lesson packages (often bundled as 5 or 10 weekly lessons or even as a monthly class “membership") are the quickest ways to cut the cost of private dance lessons. There are additional ways to save on lessons too:
Book a class package
One of the best ways to save money on private dance lessons (and become a better dancer quickly) is to pay for multiple lessons at once. Private lesson packages of just five lessons can often save you as much as 20% on the price of a single private dance lesson.
Here are some sample rates on private dance lesson packages around the country:
Example private dance lesson package prices: Miami Dance Fitness (Miami, Florida):
- Two 120-minute lessons at client's home: $280 ($70 per hour)
- Five 120-minute lessons at client's home: $500 ($50 per hour)
- Thirteen 120-minute lessons at client's home: $999 ($40 per hour)
Example private hip-hop lesson package rates: Dance with Carolyn (San Jose, CA)
- Five 60-minute lessons: $340 (a $85 savings)
- Eight lessons: $510 (a $170 savings)
- Twelve lessons: $765 (a $255 savings)
Example private dance lesson package prices and discounts in San Jose, CA
- Single lesson: $95
- Package of 5 lessons: $450 (a $25 savings)
- Package of 10 lessons: $850 (a $100 savings)
- Package of 20 Lessons: $1,600 (a $300 savings)
Book in the “off season"
Many teachers and studios offer special rates for private dance packages around the holidays or during the summer (most dance studios slow down when people are on vacation). Ask about sales and special rates when you contact teachers during this time.
Book off hour lessons
Most instructors teach weekly group classes that pay more than they can charge for private lessons. These classes are almost always scheduled on weeknights between 6-9pm.
If you work from home or have a flexible schedule, booking private lessons outside of normally busy hours is another great way to save money, since teachers will be happy to have a session that doesn't conflict with their regularly scheduled classes.
Avoid cancellation fees
Plan your lessons carefully to avoid costly cancellation fees. Most teachers require you to cancel or reschedule at least 24 hours before your lesson or you will be charged a fee or could forfeit part or the entire cost of the class. Ask about cancellation policies (on both sides) so you're clear ahead of time.
Go to the teacher or a studio
Asking a dance teacher to come to you adds extra time and expense to their already hectic schedule. When you ask a teacher to travel, they will likely charge you for the time and cost of travel. Make things easier for them and you'll get a better rate for private lessons.
Stick to a regular schedule
If you offer a teacher a consistent recurring weekly or bi-monthly lesson, they'll be much more likely to offer you a better rate, since stability is difficult to come by in the dancing world. Find a teacher you can stick with and negotiate a lower rate for a regularly scheduled lesson, and you'll both be happy.
Take a "crash course" before you commit
Dance teachers and studios frequently offer one day "crash courses" in certain dance styles. Oftentimes these 2-hour extended introduction classes can save you money on intro lessons while giving you a good sense of both the teacher and the dance you want to learn.
How to Get the Most for Your Money in a Private Dance Lesson
Finding the right dance teacher is just the beginning of your private dance lessons. Now you have to actually dance! Here are some easy ways to maximize your time in a private dance class:
Show up early
Don't waste the first ten minutes changing your shoes, going to the bathroom or (gasp!) showing up late. Get to your lesson 15 minutes early so you can hit the ground running (er, dancing) as soon as your lesson begins. If your teacher is coming to you, clear the dancing area and be dressed and ready before they show up.
Wear the right clothing
Save the vintage dress and three-piece suit for the club. Wear appropriate clothing and shoes to your lesson for the best results. Hip-hop instructors recommend loose-fitting clothing, while ballet or salsa dance instructors may recommend closer-fitting clothing. Ask your instructor what you should wear and recommended dance shoes ahead of time.
Learn some basics beforehand
Research a few basic steps, watch videos, and try to learn some of the vocabulary for your dance style before your lesson.
Have a few steps or moves you'd like to learn
You're working with an expert, so they'll have a default teaching style and curriculum. However, it's helpful for both you and your teacher if you know some moves or styles you'd like to learn. If you like spins and turns, say so. If you want to dance the basics really smooth, let your teacher know!
Ask to film a video recap of what you learned for review
One of the best ways to practice the skills you learned in class is to review them on your own (free) time. Ask your teacher if they'll let you film them performing the steps and moves you learned in class so you can review the video before the next class.
Get homework for your next lesson
Make sure you leave each private lesson with drills or steps you can practice at home. If you do your dance homework, your teacher will be able to help you progress more quickly without any extra lessons.
Ask about a playlist or a song so you can practice at home
One of the best ways to get better at dancing is to embrace the style of music you'll be dancing to. Knowing popular songs connect you to the music and make dancing a joy instead of a chore. Ask your teacher for some of his or her favorite songs to dance to and play them at home, in your car, or while you practice for your next private lesson.
Private dance lessons are an incredible way to gain confidence, stay in shape, learn a new style of dance, or hone your technique. If you're an advanced dancer, an enthusiastic beginner, or you just have a specific goal in mind or time crunch (like an upcoming event, reunion, wedding, or even a performance), booking a private dance teacher is one of the best way to achieve your goals and start dance like a star.