Studio Owners

4 Things Dance Teachers Wish Studio Owners Understood


In the studio world, rifts can arise between studio owners and dance teachers. Teachers often feel that their concerns go unheard or uncared for, so here are four things they wish studio owners understood. Teachers, let us know if there's anything we missed! If you're a studio owner, check it out, and share on our Facebook page things you wish dance teachers also knew.

1. Mid-class interruptions are offensive.

If you want teachers to incorporate more jumps, fewer turns or different movement into class, set up a meeting to discuss your concerns. Mid-class interruptions and criticisms are disruptive and have a negative impact on the way students view their teacher.

2. Demanding "winning" choreography is a recipe for competition disaster.

Of course every studio wants choreography that does well at competition, but demanding that from your teachers can be toxic. There is no magic button for generating first-place work. That being said, if you expect your teachers are doing their best work that allows your students to grow and develop, you're sure to find true success: stronger, more capable dancers.

3. Teachers need positive feedback, too.

Keep your eyes peeled for when your teachers succeed, and let them know you appreciate them. Your studio couldn't survive without the hard work of dedicated educators, so be sure they know how great they are!

4. Boundaries are crucial.

While teachers are committed to helping your studio succeed, they simply can't be at your beck and call at all hours of the day. Be aware and considerate of your teachers' boundaries.

Courtesy Meg Brooker

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All photos by Ryan Heffington

"Annnnnnnd—we're back!"

Ryan Heffington is kneeling in front of his iPhone, looking directly into the camera, smiling behind his bushy mustache. He's in his house in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, phone propped on the floor so it stays steady, his bright shorty shorts, tank top and multiple necklaces in full view. Music is already playing—imagine you're at a club—and soon he's swaying and bouncing from side to side, the beat infusing his bones.

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