Ask the Experts: Minis Competition


Q: I have a competitive studio in a highly saturated area. Two different studios are advertising auditions within the community for a new minis competition team. It feels like they're soliciting my minis clientele. How do I handle this?

A: Unfortunately, not all studio owners see soliciting the same way. To me, soliciting is when you contact someone else's clientele, whether in person, over the phone or even by using Facebook, to advertise your studio. Many directors feel it's all right to promote open-call auditions for their competitive teams. I, personally, do not. Our competition team is by invitation only—and only my studio's students are eligible.

I don't believe you can tell another studio owner how to ethically conduct him- or herself. I have had teachers approach my students at competitions and hand them their business cards. I have also had them walk up to my dancers and ask them if they've ever considered changing studios. One year at a competition, another studio hung a banner in the changing room, inviting students to their summer intensive. In that case, I didn't confront the owner—I just went to the competition director and had him handle it. (No competition wants solicitation to happen at their events.) Always conduct yourself with high morals and hopefully others will follow.

But if a parent or student contacts you unsolicited, that's a different story. If a student or parent from another studio's comp team calls our studio or comes in to inquire about classes, I will give them the studio tour and meet with them to answer their questions—but that's all, until their dance year is finished. Only if their studio's season is over and they have had their year-end performances will I allow them to come and take class.

Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

Keep reading... Show less
Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.