My friend danced for this dance studio for several years and all it brought her was frustration. Her mother was not as involved with the other parents and their Dance-Parent organization, and she was definitely treated differently than the other students because of it. Favoritism occurred frequently. The entire organization was very gossipy and competitive, despite being touted as fun for people of all ages and skill levels.
The teachers are not very professional, and very few of them have any real dance experience, but rather are somehow related to the owner. Her lessons were placed at very inopportune times, and sometimes she had to miss school to attend them. When she later switched to a different studio, she was told that she had been doing several techniques wrong.
She mentioned that in one class, when they could not do a move, the teacher simply yelled at them to repeat the same technique again and again, rather than evaluating each student and telling them what they were doing wrong.
Everything was focused on them making more money. There were very few fundraisers and other drives to reduce the cost to the students. Costumes were outrageously priced, even before the accessories and add-ons. Around recital time, everyone was stressed out, and my friend frequently felt that they seemed to forget about the "fun" aspect that they claimed to value. The rehearsals were long, sometimes going as late as 11 pm on school nights.
I went to a few of her recitals and they were very unprofessional. The sound system was so poor it was painful, and the entire event was generally disorganized. Seating was "first come, first serve," which often resulted in mayhem and people pushing, shoving and running to get to the front of the auditorium. "Preferred parents" were sometimes let in early to get seats. One time her mom and I got seats in the front row and we got yelled at by one of the staff members for sitting in her seat. We pointed out nicely that there was no indication that it was reserved. She continued to get angrier and informed me that her friend/family member was supposed to have saved her a seat and threatened to get the studio director. Later, we saw her sitting in another part of the front row with some people she obviously know, so it must have been a mistake, but there was no reason for her to be so rude. I was appalled at being treated this way after paying $10, especially when there was no indication ANYWHERE that the seat I was sitting in was reserved.
All in all, the experience was bad for my friend, her mom, and me, especially considering the price. What I've mentioned here only scratches the surface of the favoritism, nepotism, and utter lack of professionalism she saw. As my friend discovered, there are many better quality studios in the area.