Sponsored by Alternative Balance

5 Ways Dance Teacher Insurance Works to Protect You

Courtesy Alternative Balance

As a dance teacher, you know more than anyone that things can go wrong—students blank on choreography onstage, costumes don't fit and dancers quit the competition team unexpectedly. Why not apply that same mindset to your status as an independent contractor at a studio or as a studio owner?

Insurance is there to give you peace of mind, even when the unexpected happens. (Especially since attorney fees can be expensive, even when you've done nothing wrong as a teacher.) Taking a preemptive approach to your career—insuring yourself—can save you money, time and stress in the long run.

We talked to expert Miriam Ball of Alternative Balance Professional Group about five scenarios in which having insurance would be key.

Scenario: A student pushes herself too hard during a long competition rehearsal and tears a ligament, requiring surgery.

Because this injury happened under the purview of your dance teaching expertise, you'd need professional liability insurance to protect you against bodily injury claims.

Scenario: A dancer claims to have been sexually abused.

Though you've probably never considered the need for insurance to cover allegations of sexual abuse, this coverage—offered as an optional add-on with an Alternative Balance policy—is becoming more common, says Ball. "The biggest benefit would be that it covers defense costs," says Ball. "If someone brings a lawsuit against you, it's expensive to have to defend yourself in court." She says a typical sexual abuse case can cost anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars—and can go on for six months to two years.

A girl sitting on the floor of a dance studio, clutching her stomach as if upset or in pain.

Courtesy Alternative Balance

Scenario: A parent's credit card number gets hacked during an online payment.

Cyber liability is another popular, optional Alternative Balance coverage, says Ball, that can take a huge weight off your shoulders if you accept online payments. This type of liability insurance would cover you if a customer is hacked and their personal information is leaked. In the last year, she notes, data breaches for small businesses increased by 10 percent. "A lot of people don't know the details of what you have to do if your business is hacked," points out Ball. "Every state has their own reporting requirements, so cyber liability coverage jumps in to figure out what all needs to be done to comply, and then covers the associated costs."

Scenario: A Theraband you've provided to use after class malfunctions and snaps a student's foot, causing an injury.

In this instance, you'd need product/completed operations coverage to protect you—it covers you for bodily injury and property damage claims that result from students using products you use to teach dance after class has ended. While the product itself might be defective and therefore the responsibility of the manufacturer, you could also be held responsible for providing the product to your student as part of your professional service.

A girl sitting on the floor of a dance studio, wearing a leotard, tights and pointe shoes, clutching her ankle as if in pain.

Courtesy Alternative Balance

Scenario: During a convention class you're teaching, a dancer trips on an extension cord and gets hurt.

General liability coverage would protect you in this scenario. This type of coverage deals with claims of bodily injury that aren't specific to your profession. Because these situations are most often beyond your control—especially as a freelance teacher who rents her space from a studio owner or is a guest teacher at a convention—you'll be relieved to know that this coverage is mobile. It applies to all of your teaching gigs, regardless of location. Alternative Balance even insures pole fitness classes and nutrition-related jobs, along with over 500 other services in the health, beauty and wellness industry. One policy from Alternative Balance covers you for all of them, so if you have other teaching gigs, you're in luck.

Teaching Tips
Courtesy Jill Randall

Fall may be fast-approaching, but it's never too late to slip in a little summer reading—especially if it'll make you all the more prepared for the perhaps crazier-than-usual season ahead.

Here are six new releases to enrich your coming school year:

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Sponsored by A Wish Come True
Courtesy A Wish Come True

Studio owners who've been in the recital game for a while have likely seen thousands of dance costumes pass through their hands.

But with the hustle and bustle of recital time, we don't always stop to think about where exactly those costumes are coming from, or how they are made.

If we want our costumes to be of the same high quality as our dancing—and for our costume-buying process to be as seamless as possible—it helps to take the time to learn a bit more about those costumes and the companies making them.

We talked to the team at A Wish Come True—who makes all their costumes at their factory in Bristol, Pennsylvania—to get an inside look at what really goes into making a costume, from conception to stage.

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Studio Owners

Jana Belot's 31-year-old New Jersey–based Gotta Dance has six studios, 1,720 students and, usually, 13 recitals. In a normal year, Belot rents a 1,000-seat venue for up to 20 consecutive days and is known for her epic productions, featuring her studio classes and Gotta Dance's pre-professional dance team, Showstoppers. Until March, she was planning this year's jungle-themed recital in this same way.

When the pandemic hit, Belot soon decided to do a virtual recital instead. Due to the scale of the production—300 to 500 dancers performing in each of the 13 shows—postponing or moving to an outdoor venue wasn't practical. (Canceling, for her, was out of the question.)

Unsurprisingly, Belot's virtual recital was just as epic as her in-person shows—with 10,000 submitted videos, animation, musicians and more. Here's how it all came together, and what it cost her.

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