Starting a Dance Studio

starting a dance studio
If you love to dance, starting a dance studio can give you the opportunity to do what you love while teaching your skills to others. Usually, a dance studio is started by a professional who has studied dance for several years and is an experienced dance teacher. Professional dancers generally have degrees, certificates, or awards in their area of expertise. They become proficient in a particular form of dancing through years of instruction, practice, and teaching.

When starting a dance studio there are several different types of dance you can teach such as ballet, ballroom dance, tap dance, salsa, belly dancing, hip-hop, modern, jazz and more. It is recommened to conduct market research when choosing a location, prices, target market and the types of dance classes you will offer. You want to offer a dance that people in your location will be interested in. You need to decide on a target market; who your targeted customer will be. Will you be offering dance classes just for kids? just for adults? Both? What prices will your target market be willing to pay? Many other dance forms can be taught in dance classes like Irish step dance, folk dance, African dance, clog dance, circle dances etc.

Job Duties

When starting a dance studio, you will first have to decide upon the scope of instruction you will provide as well as whether you will be teaching groups of dancers or prefer the one to one mode of instruction. When starting a dance studio you also need to consider whether you will be teaching both children and adults. You can provide formal training to serious dancers and less formal to recreational ones. You can also offer drop-in or open dance classes where one can join without prior registration as well as scheduled classes.

When opening a dance studio you need to find a location and select a name for your studio. You will also have to decide whether you will be administering the lessons alone or hiring teachers for different dance forms. This being done, you will have to draw up a business plan and develop marketing strategies by performing a SWOT analysis. Being certified will improve your chances of success. You will also have to keep your finances ready.

Where will you work?

When starting a dance studio it must be visually appealing as well as spacious. The dance studio should be close to residential areas and schools. It should have a hardwood floor and sufficient natural lighting with the mirrors placed along the long edges that would let you watch individual dancers. There should be proper ventilation. You can decide to install benches along the perimeter of the dance floor if they are needed. The dance studio should have changing rooms. There should also be enough parking space.

Basic Costs

When starting a dance studio, you will have to decide if you will be buying or renting the facility. A major proportion of the capital will be spent on overhead costs such as location. You may also need capital to remodel your location. If you decide to hire other dance teachers while running your dance studio, you will inquire additional costs for thier salaries. You may also need insurance to protect your business in the case someone is injured in your facility. When starting a dance studio you can decide whether you will supply dance shoes for unprepared students.

Tips for Starting a Dance Studio

Here are some tips for when starting a dance studio.

  • Offer introductory classes at schools to bring some publicity to your dance studio. You can also offer a free first time class to entice people to try your dance class, and hopefully if they like it, they will keep coming back and be willing to pay for it. If a newcomer comes to your free class you can have them register/ fill a form with thier name and address. Then if they don’t return you can send out a survey along with questions on what you could do differently, or why didn’t they come back. This can give you valuable feedback on areas you might want to work on.
  • Pay special attention to safety and comfort. Make sure that your dance studio is comfortable, and well ventilated. The atmosphere and mood of the dance studio can make all the difference escpecially if your clients are there for recreational purposes.
  • Check as to what the competitors charge before fixing yours. Conduct research before setting your price. Some clients are more sensitive to higher prices than others. Determine your target marget, and what they are willing to pay. Also consider that you have overhead costs you need to cover such as rent/ electricity. Determine your break-even point, (how much revenue you need to make to break even with your costs). Your revenue needs to exceed your costs in order for your business to make money. Calculate how many clients you need to make a decent profit, and conduct market research to determine whether this is managable.
  • Make clear program leaflets stating what happens if someone falls ill or misses a class and refund guidelines.

Advertising a Dance Studio

When starting a dance studio try a variety of of advertising methods and keep track of them. Keep the methods that are working out the best for your business and dump the ones that are not.

  • Flyers- Determine if you can put up flyers in community centers, recreational center, shopping centers and places where your target market are likely to go.
  • Dance Studio Business Cards- Create business cards and hand them whenever an opportunity appears. Network as much as possible. Seek recommendations from friends and family.
  • Yahoo Local Searches- If you include your business in the Yahoo Local Searches, when people search for your service in your local area your business will appear in the list. To add your business to Yahoo local search, enter the term “add business to yahoo local search” in Yahoo.com and click on the first link.
  • Google Local Searches- Google has a local search as well. To add your business to Google local search, enter the term “add business to google search” in Google.com and click on the first link.
  • Newspaper classified ads- Newspaper ads in your local newspaper can help spread the word about your dance studio.
  • Post ads online- Post ads on sites like craigslist.com offering a free first time dance class, to entice people to try your class
  • Website- When starting a dance studio a website is a good idea to provide clients with access to general information about your business. You can also advertise through adwords. You should also utilize social marketing sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Not sure about starting a dance studio? See a list of small business ideas

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5 comments

  1. Andre Leftwich says:

    Everydanceschool.com is a great dance directory to list your local dance studio.

  2. Kristen Belton Willis says:

    What about insurance and business set-up? That’s what I need help with.

  3. Dance away! says:

    I will be sub-leasing at a dance studio. Do I still have to purchase my own insurance? they focus mainly on kids and I will be teaching adults.

  4. Phoebe Imafidon says:

    Hi,my question is,is it advisable to get a loan to set up a dance studio?

  5. genebabe says:

    how good is dance studio as a business?

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Resources


Small Business Development Center- consult with experts

SCOREs - find a SCORES chapter near you to speak with a business consultant.

Small Business Administration- provides information for starting a small business.