Spotlight On: Carole Royal

Seen & Heard At the Dance Teacher Summit

Royal Dance Works

Phoenix, AZ

Number of students: 500

Years open: 32

Dance Teacher: What is the biggest piece of advice you have for other business owners?

Carole Royal: For the first years of my business, I really just bobbed along, hoping for good circumstances without a real plan. I had a vast dance background, but trying to learn the business aspects of running my studio was hard. Setting concrete goals turned everything around for my business and my dancers. I gave a seminar on goal setting at the Summit, just like I give to my teachers every year. I even have my students write out their goals at the beginning of each year.

Royal Dance Works' seniors performing Unravel in 2010

DT: What kind of things do the students write down?

CR: Some will say that they want to get their left split or a solid triple turn. Some will say that they want to receive a scholarship at a particular convention. If students really focus on what they want to accomplish, it brings them closer to it. It’s fun to go back and look at the goals that dancers have written, and what they’re doing now. One of our dancers mentioned that she wanted to dance with a star. She just toured with Lady Gaga!

Rosemary Beyer teaching a children's class at RDW

—Rachel Zar

“The Dance Teacher Summit has completely changed my business. I’ve utilized many suggestions from teachers across the country, like creating a new program for preschoolers and updating the way I charge for costumes. Next year for the first time, I’m going to be taking some of my teachers with me. I’m in Phoenix, so traveling to New York is a little bit hard for me. But after last year, I came back to my studio and said, ‘You guys just have to go!’” —Carole Royal, owner of Royal Dance Works in Phoenix, AZ

Photos by Dustin Curtis, courtesy of Carole Royal

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