Ballerina dancing in the middle of a dance studio stock image

People who dedicate their lives to dance from a young age, and spend quite a bit of time in the studio and on stage, often dream of opening up a dance studio of their own. This is a perfectly obtainable dream, as long as you put your mind to it and strategically navigate through the steps of getting your studio up and running.

Wondering how to open a dance studio? We’ve got you covered!

Gain All the Experience You Can

It all starts with experience. Not only is it a good idea to earn a degree in Dance, but you also need to have some studio management knowledge. This is where the dance program at Dean College will give you an edge, because you’ll not only learn more about dance and the history of dance (as well as subjects like movement and anatomy), but you can also specialize in studio management, gaining business experience at the same time. It’s also a good idea to find an internship at a dance studio to get a firsthand look at what it takes to run a studio and whether it’s the right career path for you. Whether you’re helping out with business-related tasks, teaching dance classes or a little bit of both, an internship will give you valuable real-world experience. All of that provides you with a solid foundation in both dance and business which you will definitely need to open your own dance studio.

Get to Know People in the Area

Once you graduate from college, decide what general metropolitan area you have in mind for opening your studio. This way, you can join the city’s or town’s business bureau or local business club and get to know the people who can help you put together a business plan, find funding, and get your business off of the ground. Networking is crucial! It’s important to know people – because they will not only help with the business part of things, but they also may enroll their children in your school.

Put Together a Business Plan

After you’ve networked with the right people, it’s time to put together a business plan. Spend some time thinking about what you’d like to teach: will you specialize in a certain style of dance or teach a range of general dance classes? Then ask yourself questions like:

  • How many students are you planning on teaching in your dance studio?
  • What is the overall market in the area like?
  • What are the demographics of the students who will attend?
  • What’s the name and mission of your dance studio?
  • How many people do you think you’ll hire?
  • How will you market your dance studio?
  • How much will you charge for lessons?

To open a dance studio you’ll likely need funding, and to get that funding you’ll need a detailed business plan to get things off of the ground.

Get Funding

Now it’s time to seek out the funding you’ll need to open a dance studio. You have several choices here. You can either go to a bank and take out a small business loan or find private funding from investors who will then receive a percentage of your business in exchange. Note that at this point, you need to have a business tax ID number and be registered with the state in which your dance studio is doing business. All of the legal things need to be in place before you can proceed.

Choose a Location for Your Dance Studio

After your funding has been obtained, you need to find a place for your dance studio. Depending on the general area, you have a choice of a freestanding building, a storefront in a shopping center or business park, or something similar in a business-zoned area of your town. Keep in mind things like parking, traffic, and the ease of getting to and from your chosen building, in order to make it simple for your clientele to get to and from your building. Once you choose a location, it’s time to outfit the space to suit your needs, including a front desk area, an office, some studio flooring, a mirrored wall, and more.

Hire Employees and Start Marketing

Of course, you’ll need to do two important things before you open the doors to your dance studio: hire a team and begin your marketing efforts. Both of these are crucial to making things run. Your staff should be able to help at the front desk, teach classes, and take on a variety of tasks to help run the studio. As far as marketing is concerned, you’ll need to build a brand and a website, place ads in local media, open some social media accounts, and publicize your business both locally and online in order to reach students and fill your classes.

Open Your Doors

After all your planning and preparation, the time will come to finally open your doors. Hopefully everything that you’ve done, from getting that degree to taking all of the other necessary steps, has gone smoothly and you have plenty of students lined up. And even if not, remember that every business experiences “bumps in the road” and opening a dance studio may come with some unique challenges. Be prepared to pivot, to be flexible, and to get creative as you find your footing and get your business off the ground. Now, it’s just time instill the love of dance into the next generation!