It could be argued that half the battle of owning a dance studio is getting people to follow the rules. To ensure your business will run like a well-oiled machine, it helps to have clear expectations in place for students and their families—and, most important, to make sure everyone knows them from day one. Of course, every school is unique, and behavior that may be acceptable to you might be out of the question for someone else. "There are so many studios out there," says Dana McGuire, a studio co-owner in North Kansas City, Missouri. "Know and stand by what you're about." Here, four seasoned studio directors discuss the issues they consider non-negotiable.
"Having parents in the studio distracts kids," says Petrou. If you're worried about parents who'll hover unnecessarily and try to barge into class without permission, opt to keep them in the loop (remotely) via viewing windows, video monitors or scheduled observations. "Our teachers often set aside the last five minutes of class to bring parents back to see what their kids are working on," Petrou goes on. Find a level of parental presence that works for you.