Studio Owners

Stop! Make Sure You DON'T Deduct These Items on Your Taxes


You can't deduct everything. Nondeductible business-related items include:

Commuting costs from your home to your studio Note, though, that trips from your studio to other business locations (theaters, dancewear stores) are not commuting, so those costs are deductible.

Contributions of your time to a charitable organization Helping a local school with a holiday production is on you—you can't deduct what you would have charged for your time but didn't.

Fines and penalties, including parking fines.

Capital improvements If you own your studio and put on a new roof, you usually have to recover your cost through annual depreciation allowances. Merely adding a new coat of paint isn't a capital improvement, though—so it's deductible.

Pro Tip: Contributions to your own account in a retirement plan aren't a business deduction, but you can take a personal deducation for them. (Don't have a plan set up for 2017? You can set up and fund a Simplified Employee Pension, or SEP, up to the extended due date of your return, which effectively shelters your profits and helps you save for retirement.) —Barbara Weltman

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Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

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Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

Christy Funsch's teaching career has taken her from New York City to the Bay Area to Portugal, with a stint in a punk band in between. But this fall—fresh off a Fulbright in Portugal at the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, School of Dance (ESD), teaching and researching empathetic embodiment through somatic dance training—Funsch's teaching has taken her to an entirely new location: Zoom. A visiting professor at Slippery Rock University for the 2020–21 academic year, Funsch is adapting her eclectic, boundary-pushing approach to her virtual classes.

Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

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Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

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