Studio Owners

These 3 Dynamic Duos Know How to Make a Business Partnership Work

Thinkstock

Running a studio is an enormous undertaking that requires you to wear many hats at once (and with expertise): pedagogy, customer service, business management and beyond. Some owners find they're better off doing the work with a trusted partner by their side—someone to share both the responsibilities and the rewards. But finding the right person to work with isn't easy. You need someone whose personality, strengths and weaknesses complement your own. Here, three sets of successful partners get to the heart of how they make it work.


The best friends

Infinite Motion Performing Arts Academy
Mahwah, New Jersey
Enrollment: 350
Faculty: 12
Years in business: 8

Colleen Cross and Rosanne Renda have been working together for 17 years. They met when Renda came to work for Cross at her first studio, which she owned with a previous partner. When her partner moved away and the business closed, Renda and Cross kept the studio company alive by holding rehearsals in a rented space. The pair soon decided to formally team up to launch a new entity as a 50-50 partnership. Today, Infinite Motion Performing Arts Academy is three times as big as the former studio.

Responsibility divide: Renda handles curriculum, programs, social-media marketing and any student issues that arise. Cross deals with parents and handles schedules, payroll, managing teachers, and directing and producing performances.

Communication style: The two meet face-to-face at least once a week to update each other on the latest developments in their respective areas of the business and discuss. They make all major business decisions together.

Success secret: As best friends, Renda and Cross say it's sometimes challenging to separate the personal and the professional—so they schedule "friend days." They get together socially with the rule of not talking about the studio. This year, the pair escaped for a spa weekend in Connecticut.

Partnering perk: "[You never] feel like you're alone," says Renda. "You go through all the highs and lows together."

Words of wisdom: "Before you go into a partnership with someone, make sure your philosophy and intentions for the business are identical," says Renda.

News
Getty Images

It can be tricky to get away for a conference, whether due to travel budget concerns or finding a substitute to cover your absence. One silver lining of the pandemic is that five conferences are now available online, no travel necessary. You'll find sessions to address your concerns no matter what your role in the dance community—whether you're on the business side, interested in curriculum development, need continuing ed certification, or a performer who wants to teach. Why not gather colleagues from your studio or school for an educational watch party to inspire you as you launch into the new school year?

Keep reading... Show less
Health & Body
Getty Images

Talar compression syndrome means there is some impingement happening in the posterior portion of the ankle joint. Other medical personnel might call your problem os trigonum syndrome or posterior ankle impingement syndrome or posterior tibiotalar compression syndrome. No matter what they name it—it means you are having trouble moving your ankle through pointing and flexing.

Keep reading... Show less
News
Scott Robbins, Courtesy IABD

The International Association of Blacks in Dance is digitizing recordings of significant, at-risk dance works, master classes, panels and more by Black dancers and choreographers from 1988 to 2010. The project is the result of a $50,000 Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.

"This really is a long time coming," says IABD president and CEO Denise Saunders Thompson of what IABD is calling the Preserving the Legacy and History of Black Dance in America program. "And it's really just the beginning stages of pulling together the many, many contributions of Black dance artists who are a part of the IABD network." Thompson says IABD is already working to secure funding to digitize even more work.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.