Though she sold Dance Unlimited in 2011, Danie Beck has 55-plus years of experience, and she remains involved in the industry, providing consulting services to other studio owners. She freshens up her business knowledge each year at the Dance Teacher Summit, where she’s been an ambassador for four years. She spoke to DT about coming into her own as a business person.
Former owner, Dance Unlimited
Dance Teacher: What was the most surprising question you heard at this year’s Summit?
Danie Beck: Some of the new studio owners who had been in business under five years seemed afraid to make changes. A lot of it had to do with money—I’d suggest adding on a fee for competitions or for late payments, and they’d say, “Oh I’ve never done that.” That’s OK, though! We all go through that. You can’t be afraid to step out of the original four-corner box you created when you opened; you have to change with the times. Approach it in a positive way, and understand you can’t please everybody. You have to do what’s best for your business and the majority of your clientele.
DT: When you first opened your studio, what did you struggle with most?
DB: I was raised in the trade, so I struggled with forming my own identity. My mom was a studio owner and I remember saying, “Mother, someday you’re going to be known as Danie Beck’s mother instead of me being known as your daughter.” Since I grew up in the studio, I had that experience backing me, and I saw it all around me, but I had to build that confidence. It’s about knowing what you’re capable of and know that what you’re teaching your students is correct.
Photo courtesy of Danie Beck