Studio Owners

Ask the Experts: Studios Posting Open Calls Before the End of Year

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Q: I own a studio in a city that has a competitive dance market. I've seen other studios in my community put ads on Instagram and Facebook for open-call auditions in April, long before most studios have finished their competition season and year-end recitals. Is this fair?


A: Studios in our community do the same thing, and we absolutely hate it. In my personal opinion, this is unethical. Dancers who are registered at one studio should not be auditioning at other schools until after Nationals are over and they have fulfilled their commitment to their current studio.

Studio owners and dance teachers need to respect one another. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard. Soliciting another studio's dancers is unprofessional. You will always have dancers changing studios—it's the nature of the beast—but we should never chase or solicit a dancer ourselves. If I'm approached during the season, I will talk to the dancer and their parents, but I will under no circumstances allow them to audition or take a class until they have completed their commitment to their current studio. I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror, and I won't be able to do that if I compromise my integrity.

Sponsored by A Wish Come True
Courtesy A Wish Come True

With so much else on your plate, from navigating virtual learning to keeping your studio afloat, it can be tempting to to cut corners or to settle for less in order to check "costumes" off of this season's to-do list. Ultimately, though, finding a costume vendor you trust is paramount to keeping your stress levels low and parent satisfaction high, not to mention helping your students look—and feel—their absolute best. Remember: You are the client, and you deserve exceptional service. And costume companies like A Wish Come True are ready to go above and beyond for their customers, but it's important that you know what to ask for. Here are some tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your costume company.

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Charles Anderson (center) in his (Re)current Unrest. Photo by Kegan Marling, courtesy of UT Austin

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