Avenue 56 Dance Studios

My fiance and I recently took an introductory lesson from "Marcus" at Avenue 56.  Has anyone taken lessons from this company?  We both got a very uneasy feeling and something seemed very fishy, but I don't want to leave a bad review in case I'm just being paranoid.  


He initially said he was open all the time.  Then later only wanted to meet Tues or Sat...usually in the evening.  Also tried to seem busy by scheduling a time, then sounding like he had another meeting, and thus changing the time.  Studio looked rundown...said he was in the middle of renovations...  


I think he tried to relate to us by saying he was in the same field as us (as in profession)...but quit early on.  He sounded like he knew what he was talking about most of the time, but little things were incorrect in he was saying...he should have easily known if he were truly in that field...this made us most suspicious... 


Said he made a million dollars in some business venture (after he'd quit our field).  So not in it for the money.  


All he taught us was a box step (which we learned from youtube already)...and kept telling us how great a teacher he was and that he taught us great technique.  During the time he was "teaching" us to do the box step...he kept walking away...not really watching.  Told us to do it over and over again.  That's it.  


Kept pushing us to pick his higher package.  When we said we'd like to stick to the lower package...his tone changed.   He wanted to the money up front in cash (to hold the date supposedly).  Which we said we didn't have with us at the time...and pushed us to run across the street to the atm. I asked if we could put down a deposit, and he said no.  When we hesitated, he kept pushing us and telling us that he was very busy and needed it to hold the spot open.  He even said he would pay our atm fee if we would just pay up front now in cash.  


I told him I didn't feel very comfortable paying cash up front and just leaving without a contract or receipt or anything.  He was very inflexible...seemed like he was ready to just get us out of there.  


Did anyone have the same experience?

Posted on December 18, 2008 at 8:45 pm
bbexx
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(18) Comments

jackieg
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RUN AWAY FROM THIS GUY!!!!

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 1:47 am
Smita1224
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I dont live in your area but this has bad written all over it. i agree with jackie, RUN!

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 1:49 am
genae
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sounds like he's full of crap, I say keep it moving...
Posted on December 19, 2008 at 1:50 am
midnyteblue110609
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Yeah def. creepy!!! Run away fast!!! Wow, what scammers in the world!

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 3:39 am
GoingtobeGoff
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yeah.. wow.. run!!

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 3:42 am
bbexx
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Yea that was our feeling too!  What get's me is that this company website looks fantastic...and he's listed on the theknot.  I also talked to an "assistant" when I called.  Everything seemed so legit until we met the guy! 

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 7:51 am
abattyref
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From your description, (place run down, pretending to be busy, no contract or receipt, requesting cash) it sounds like this guy's business isn't doing well and he's desperate. I'd run away too.

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 8:05 am
Coralwed13
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sounds werid...the website for the dance studio seems fine...does he just rent out time there to teach?  If so call the actually dance studio number and ask to speak someone in charge and talk about your concerns.

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 8:26 am
jackieg
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this sounds like the kind of guy who would make up his own fake reviews...

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 9:09 am
KellyandAlan
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yea, he doesn't sound legit.  I've danced for a number of studios and nothing about him or his place sounds right...especially the fact that he just wanted you to do the same steps over and over for a dance you already knew!?!  Perhaps that's the only dance he knew lol?  Sorry for your experience but there are so many great ones out there, keep looking!  Good luck!  DANCE IS LIFE haha :)

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 10:42 am
jackieg
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and whether he's legit or not....to PUSH someone to go get him cash?????  unprofessional....

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 12:01 pm
edlivera
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I am a dance teacher ... this is a fake for sure hun! We have many forms we need to fill out and our clients can put down ANY amount as a down payment and then pay monthly if they want to! This is NOT right. And he's the only on there? That seems weird to me. I know there are 6 - 10 teachers at our studio at any given time not to mention the receptionists and stuff!


 


This is NOT right .... definitely don't fork over any cash and forget this guy! And you definatly should have learnt more than the box step in your first lesson!

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 1:35 pm
bbexx
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Thanks for all of the input everyone!  I feel much better about our decision.  Thought we were just being paranoid!  

Posted on December 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm
trojanEngineer
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Has anyone had any experience with 'Marcus' or this Studio? ?


My fiance and I are pondering whether or not to stick to him.  We gave him a deposit before reading this thread  :(

Posted on March 11, 2009 at 4:52 am
bbexx
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trojanengineer--please update me on the rest of your experience with the studio!  we were just so iffy about the whole thing and didn't want to risk it.  

Posted on March 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm
trojanEngineer
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So I just spoke to "Marcus", still don't know his last name:


I insisted that he give us a contract since we gave him 200 cash.  He danced around the issue saying that he never gives out contracts b/c he never screws anyone.


I called him on one of his many elaborate sales pitches; that he teaches the best competitive dance in that studio.  I asked if I can observe sometime but he said you can see them on TV then changed the topic quickly.


He said he also has a studio in Santa Monica so I asked him for the address.  He didn't give it to me, saying his dancers never have enough room there, never really aswering the question.


I asked him how long he's taught out of the studio in Lomita where we met him.  He said 9 years.  In actuality, I did some research on him on the internet and found that he rented out a space in Placentia/Fullerton, a studio called Top Hats.  I called Top Hats for a reference and the owner said he does'nt really know anything about him only that he rented space for only a couple months.  I mentioned this to him (catching him in a lie) and he asked how I knew that.  He quickly got nervous.


I asked for my money back and he said they usually don't give deposits back and that the first intro lesson was worth $180.  He eventually agreed, (b/c I think I made him nervous)  ( Hope I don't come back to an abandoned studio)


 

Posted on March 11, 2009 at 1:36 pm
kassi_o
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especially based on trojan's remarks, I'd stay away with a 30 foot pole!

Posted on March 11, 2009 at 1:58 pm
bbexx
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We went to the Lomita location as well when we met him.  He also told us that we could see them on TV.  Did you notice the super creepy laugh?  


Good luck!  I hope you get your money back!  Don't go alone ;)!

Posted on March 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm

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