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Affording Lessons Without the Insomnia

Doesn’t it strike you as unfair, that the most fun and enjoyable activities are often the most expensive? Golfers and skiers will know what I mean, and dance lessons – especially private ones – are no exception.

Purchasing a several-hundred to several-thousand dollar program inevitably carries a certain amount of sacrifice on the part of the dancer to be. Hey let’s be honest, you could have taken a vacation with that money!

But isn’t the point of sacrificing something, so you can get something better in return? What’s the point otherwise? Here then, is my strategy for affording lessons while putting more enjoyment, not less, into your life.

If you haven’t already done so, spend some time thinking about what you like most about dancing, or where you want it to take you. You’re on the right track if you find yourself getting excited just thinking about it. Write down that reason to dance, and assign it a score between 1-10, with one being of low priority and ten being of very high priority. If you have multiple reasons, combine their value to get your score.

Next, go over your expenses and write down everything you spend money on that isn’t vital – that subscription to Hulu doesn’t count. Write those down on a separate list. Now here’s the important part: Go over each of those expenditures, and give them a 1-10 priority rating as well.

For you emotional thinkers, here’s an alternative strategy: Make the same list, then go over each item slowly and check in with your body to see if you feel a sense of tightness or release/relief. You can confirm how that feels by imagining something really stressful, then something really fun and relaxed, to see how each affect your body. Put an asterix beside each item that gives the tight, stressed-out feeling.

Now compare the scores or asterix-ed items with your reason(s) to dance. Are there some things you spend money on that have a lower priority than dancing, or are expenditures you feel guilty about? If you were to cut those out, how much money would you free up for your lessons?

You’ve just confirmed you can afford dance lessons, AND get rid of some of the things that were less important to you. Just be aware that knowing you can reallocate your finances and actually doing it can sometimes be challenging – wean yourself off your bad spending habits, one at a time.

And by the way, if you went through the list and found there wasn’t anything you could put on a lower priority, or are otherwise willing to give up, that’s okay too. Maybe dance isn’t what you need right now, and if that’s the case, don’t force it. We’ll be waiting for you when you’re ready.

About the Author

Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

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