Studio Owners
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When Genevieve Weeks opened her children's dance studio, Tutu School, in San Francisco in 2008, she quickly figured out that she'd hit on something good. "By 2009, I'd opened a second location, and that one also did quite well," says Weeks. "I realized that this studio could thrive in a lot of communities." At the same time, she says, the reality of opening more locations was sinking in: "It'd be double the payroll, double the rent," she remembers thinking. That's when she started to explore franchising.
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Studio Owners
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Plan Ahead Marketing Idea: Boost Boys' Class Enrollment

How many little (or big) brothers are going to fall in love with dance once they decide to join in or watch an older sibling take virtual class? Strategize now how you're going to get those cuties into the physical classroom!

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Teaching Tips
Photo courtesy of the Academy for the Performing Arts

“Keeping agile" has taken on a whole new meaning for every studio owner and dance instructor since the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shuttered studio doors for safety's sake in March. Now is the time to show parents how you bring normalcy and positivity to their children's lives so you can retain tuition revenue until your doors reopen for business as usual.

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Studio Owners
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Q: What tips do you have for beginning studio owners on recruiting students? I'm just starting out and am not sure where to begin.

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Teaching Tips
Jessica Kubat (center) with her studio staff. Photo by Vincent Alongi, courtesy of Kubat

Jessica Kubat's path to becoming a studio owner wasn't typical or glamorous or the product of a family business, handed down. When she opened MJ's House of Dance in Lindenhurst, New York, this past summer, she had just turned 40, was a mom of three, and had worked at two different studios long-term. Over the last two and a half years, she'd painstakingly saved up $25,000 and had gone to the Small Business Development Center at a local college on Long Island for help creating her business plan. Her area was moderately saturated with studios, so she spent considerable time planning what would set her school apart—live musical accompaniment, for one—and hired a marketing director nine months before the business even opened. It was a methodical, careful approach—Kubat calls it "the old-fashioned way"—to opening a studio, and it's paid off: She started summer classes with 75 students and is well on her way to reaching her first-year enrollment goal of 250 dancers. "When I turned 40, I decided that it was time to do something bigger," says Kubat. "I always wanted to own a studio—it was just never financially available to me."

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Studio Owners
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Dance teachers aren't dummies. As in every other industry, the importance of social media for growing a business is not lost on any of us. It's in knowing exactly how to use it effectively that's the challenge. For a group of artists who work within the confines of centuries-old techniques, it's no wonder we start shaking in our boots the second we hear words like "algorithm" and "digital strategy." What's more, the Wild West of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is constantly changing. How are any of us supposed to feel like we have a handle on things?

Don't worry—we've got you covered. We caught up with an expert, Brigham Young University School of Communications faculty member Adam Durfee. Named Social Media Innovator of the Year for 2019 by The Social Shake-Up conference, he's spilling on the do's and don'ts that will make all the difference in engaging your audience and growing your dance studio business.

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Studio Owners
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If you're a studio owner, the thought of raising your rates most likely makes you cringe. Despite ever-increasing overhead expenses you can't avoid—rent, salaries, insurance—you're probably wary of alienating your customers, losing students or inviting confrontation if you increase the price of your tuition or registration and recital fees. DT spoke with three veteran studio owners who suggest it's time to get past that. Here's how to give your business the revenue boost it needs and the value justification it (and you) deserve.

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Studio Owners
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Q: I have an amazing group of polite and dedicated dancers, but their moms are constantly at each other's throats. What's worse, they spend all of their time at the studio, stirring the pot. It really changes the mood here. What can I do to stop this?

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