Dance studio business advice is a staple of Dance Teacher. We share expert perspectives in every issue—from managing your brand to how to best clean your floors. But our annual Studio Business issue is my favorite because that’s when we get to celebrate you—the studio owner. We never tire of meeting the special breed of dancers who choose to tackle the business side as well as the artistic and pedagogical aspects of our field. Studio owners are the triple threats of dance education: artists, teachers and entrepreneurs.
In this issue you’ll meet Nicole Benson, Kelly Dailey and Melinda Pendleton. Each brings a different dance pedigree to the vocation of studio owner: modern, hip hop and ballet, respectively. But the daily challenges they face are similar. They may sound familiar to you as well because they’re your challenges, too.
Meet the people behind this month’s fun cover: (l–r) editor (and videographer) Alyssa Marks, art director Emily Giacalone, editor Andrea Marks, photographer Kyle Froman, dancers Saioa Lopez, Kevin Benamar and Fitgi Saint-Louis, stylist Chuck Jensen—and the stars themselves, Ahtoy and Daniel.
One of the biggest trials you face is that of business competition—especially when it comes from within. When a teacher in whom you’ve invested time and resources leaves your employ to open her own studio, it can really test your fortitude. But recently we’ve been hearing the other side of the story: teachers who have ethical or philosophical disagreements with their employers. They want to do things their way—and isn’t that one of the reasons you work for yourself? But there is a wrong way and a right way to do it. Andrea Marks tackles this sensitive topic in “Making a Graceful Exit.”
Let’s face it, management practices can make or break your business. It’s not easy to build a loyal and productive team, while also teaching and choreographing and enrolling students. But the payoff is huge. In our Business section, Rachel Rizzuto outlines six essential steps to a great team.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Enskat; (top) by Matthew Murphy