Dancing! Arizona is a dance studio ripoff scheme. This studio is located in downtown Scottsdale and owned by an character named John McAttee. He masquerades his studio name on meetup.com under psuedonames such as Steppin Out Ballroom Dance Club, Swings the Thing, Swingin' Out Gay and l*****n Swing Dancing, Scottsdale adult ballet fitness, and The Spiritual Oasis Angel and Healing Center. The names of the groups are changed often so that he will look bigger than he really is, but they are all run out of the same studio
WARNING! Joining any of those organizations is an invitation to be fleeced!
John McAttee is an OK dance instructor but he is overly pedantic and often teaches quirky styles that arent usable in local dance venues. As an example he taught a noveau hustle dance that is not compatible with the dominant New York style in the valley. Many of us students spent a lot of time and money learning a dance nobody in Phoenix does. Johns answer is that we have to take more lessons from HIM to learn it even better. What a joke!
Taking lessons with McAttee isnt a pleasant experience. He is very good at analyzing problems but often uses that knowledge to insult and demean his students. McAttee knows a lot about dancing but its very easy to find better teachers in the Phoenix area and these other teachers keep up with current trends in dance. McAttee spends lots of time pooh poohing local dancers even though he is rarely seen dancing anywhere so we wonder how he knows so much about what goes on.
Dancing! Arizona offers group dance lessons but expect there to be a high turnover rate of students. Customers quickly tire of McAttees negative attitude and boring lessons and then leave. That high turnover rate means that his students are all rank beginners, so anyone that hangs around the group classes for more than a couple of weeks will not make progress in their dance technique because as soon as somebody learns basic footsteps they go somewere else. Anyone that knows how to dance and who makes the mistake of taking John's lessons becomes unpaid dance assistants for McAttees beginning students. John will never thank anyone for the favor.
McAttees ballet classes started with modest numbers of students but since the end of 2011 the students have fled. Thats because he tried to treat everyone like they are little girls at a Russian dance studio instead of adults, as he advertises. Even worse he is unorganized for intermediate ballet lessons. He often doesnt know what choreography to use and he fumbles around for a song that will work to his improvised choreography. We often have to stand around and wait while John practices by himself to come up with a pattern that makes sense. Perhaps the biggest scam is that the lesson, which is scheduled for an hour, lasts far less than an hour. His intermediate floor lesson often lasts half an hour because by then he is too tired to conduct the rest of the class.
McAttee tries to get students to buy into long term contracts. He charges $10 for anyone who walks in the door and takes a 45 group lesson. Students should expect to get a high pressure sales pitch to con them into buying cards with 10 or 20 tickets. The tickets are discounted to about $4.50. He says these are the lowest prices in town but thats simply not true. Many of the studios in the Phoenix area offer a 90 minute group lesson and a 2 hour dance party for $7 and all of these studios allow you to pay up front everyday you take lessons so there are no long term commitments. The other studios usually have higher quality instruction and better students to dance with.
The worst part of McAttees ticket scheme is that he wont refund money for any reason. Be sure to read his refund policy which says somthing like, as soon as you give me money its mine and not yours! He often changes the class schedules so sometimes customers get burned because they signed up for a specific lesson on a specific day. These people are out the money because McAttee wont refund it even though he changed the schedule.
He changes schedule because most of his classes fail to attract enough people. He swaps classes on his calendar and then announces new classes to convince newcomers to buy lots of expensive tickets.
Buying lessons from John McAttee is a risky investment because its unlikely his business will last long. His classes are too small to make a profit and eventually students are going to sue him for fraud. If lawsuits from students dont get him somebody else will, like for instance the Zoning Commission or the Attorney General. McAttee is probably violating zoning codes because he uses his studio for other purposes such as fortune telling, sances, political discussions, movie screenings, and piano lessons.
One of the most annoying things McAttee does is cheating on meetup.com. He does this by inflating the number of people who RSVP for events. He does this by putting down that he has 10 or 20 guests showing up for his dance parties. His guests are total fabrications. I have gone to many of his Friday parties when I might be the only that showed up, or perhaps one lady walks in the door who has never danced. Some ballroom party, huh? He even had the gall to charge me for these fiascos!!!
His cheating on meetup.com isn't limited just to just parties -- it's also happens for his lessons. I have seen when 8-12 rsvp (because he games it with his own guests) but only 1 or two show up. He also games the ratings by removing negative reviews. Go to his meetups and you would be led to believe everyone loves him.
Im not sure why I stuck with John McAttee as long as I did. Perhaps it was because he was one of my first dance teachers so I had a sense of loyalty. McAttee is too narcissistic, egotistical, and selfish to care about students, who are his customers.
The final straw for me happened this week when McAttee refused to give me a ticket card for 10 classes that I earned for attending the most classes during a three month period in 2011. I won easily (which wasnt difficult since most people dont stay very long). So, I asked for my card that I won but refused to give it to me. He said that he is angry at me for being late for classes and he had other vague complaints, so in his opinion I don't deserve to win the card. He didn't put any pre-conditions like that for the contest so he was just making an excuse not to give me what I won. I called him on the phone to demand a refund but he hung up on me after saying that we have nothing more to talk about. He then scrubbed me entirely off his meetups pages.
John McAttee owes me at least $365 for lessons I have already paid for. At this time it doesn't look like he will refund me without a battle in court. He has other ex-students who paid even more upfront.