How to Become a Dance Studio Owner


You have passion for dance and desire to pass on your love for this art form. A great start, but on its own, passion won't be enough to make your studio a success.


But don't worry; below we've outlined how you can turn your dream of owning a dance studio into a reality...and below that, we've thrown in some extras about this career, such as what kind of hours you would work, and what functions you'd be responsible for.



1. Get a College or University Education

Generally, you don't need a college or university education to become a dance studio owner, as being your own boss allows you to determine what is a sufficient amount of education for you to have. Having said that, pursuing education in certain fields can be a great way to pick up certain skills, knowledge and competencies.


For example, a degree in business can provide you with knowledge related to starting, operating, promoting and managing your business. A degree in dance, as another example, can help you develop self-discipline, devotion, adherence to a schedule, and of course, competence and expertise in your industry: dance.





2. Gain Experience

Once again, there’s no hiring manager to dictate experience requirements to you. But don’t let that fool you; having relevant work experience can pay enormous dividends in terms of getting your business off the ground.


Working at a Studio: Arguably the best way to learn about running a studio business is to work at one, preferably in different roles or jobs and over the yearlong cycle. This way, you’ll learn valuable lessons from people who have done what you hope to do.


Working at a studio will give you a first hand look at the ups and downs of running a dance studio. You’ll learn general functions, such as what day-to-day and long-term problems you can expect to run into, and how they’re solved. You’ll also lean administrative functions, such as how cash flows in and out of the business, and how to recruit, train and motivate staff.


Working as a Dance Instructor: A great way to and get valuable experience is to teach dance independently. Simply offer your dance instruction services to local after-school programs, gyms and churches. There you have it, money to save for a proper studio space, experience teaching, and a ready-made client base!



3. Create a Business Plan

Becoming a dance studio owner involves starting or buying a business, and to do either of these things, you will need to prepare a business plan. The process of writing down your plans for the business will help you refine your thinking and will focus your efforts by outlining the following elements of starting your business.


Identifying Your Business Opportunity: Look for unmet market needs you could address by introducing a studio to a new area, a new type of studio to an existing market, or improving upon an existing studio in an existing market.


Market Research: Use market research to determine if the opportunity is feasible, what the current competition level is like, what their pricing is, etc.


Financing: One of the biggest challenges for a starting a studio or purchasing one is obtaining the necessary capital. Among the possible sources of funding are your savings, friends and family, banks, credit unions, vendor take-back loans (for buying an existing business) and working a second job.


Business Objectives: Defining realistic goals for the studio on paper will help you determine what it will take to get there. It will also give banks and other potential sources of funding an idea of what the business’s potential could be if they invest in it.


Operational Decisions: There are many small decisions you must make that will help shape your business, such as what equipment and supplies to buy, who your suppliers will be, how many staff members you will need, where to locate your studio, what stationery to use, what policies and procedures to implement, et cetera.




To increase your chances of success, learn as much as you can about dance studio ownership before you jump in head first. Pursuing relevant education, getting some hands-on experience, and outlining your future operating using a business plan are great ways to get started in this exciting field. 





How Much Money Do Dance Studio Owners Make?

It is nearly impossible to present one single blanket figure for the average earnings of dance studio owners. Some have earnings in the millions, whereas others may lose substantially amounts of money in operating their businesses.


If sales are good and profit margins are high, an owner can make a great living. However, if sales are slow and there are high operating costs, financial losses will be the result.


Some dance studio owners may own and operate their businesses part-time, as a secondary source of income, and may earn (or lose) a modest amount of money.


Factors that determine how much money a you (and your business) can make include:


• If you operate your business on a part or full-time basis

• The amount of sales you generate

• Your operating costs

• How much competition there is in their market

• How customers view the business and the brand versus competitors

• Whether or not you are part of a franchise



Hours of Work

You will probably not stop working, depending on how invested you are in the success of your business. As a dance studio owner, there will be no shortage of work to build and run your business, so the amount of time you put in will be up to you.


In addition to teaching classes (or recruiting and training others to do it), you would spend a lot of time answering e-mails; marketing/social media; processing recital invoices; looking for costumes, competitions, conventions and shows; composing and sending out press releases; choreographing and writing lesson plans.



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Dance Studio Owner: General Job Functions

So, what would you actually be doing as a dance studio owner? Although your specific duties could vary based on a number of factors, such as what duties are to be performed by staff (if any), you would generally be responsible for the following:


• Instructing dance classes (or overseeing the instruction thereof)

• Recruiting, hiring, training, supervising and supporting staff and dance instructors

• Developing interest in the studio by undertaking marketing campaigns

• Responding to inquiries from prospective patrons

• Performing dance demonstrations for prospective patrons

• Administering sales contracts

• Negotiating lease or purchase of dance studio space

• Monitoring expenditures and operating within budgetary restrictions

• Developing, implementing and evaluating marketing plans

• Maintaining patron records

• Overseeing the creative direction of the studio

• Organizing, promoting and overseeing dance recitals 

• Ensuring you have all of the proper licenses, insurance, etc.



Similar Occupations in Our Database

Listed below are occupations in our database that have similar responsibilities, and/or require similar skills, or be in the same sector of industry, as this one:


• Dance Company Director

• Dance Instructor

• Entrepreneur

• Operations Manager

• Restaurateur

• Small Business Owner




Please consult the following resources to learn more about what these entrepreneurs do for a living, and how you can become one:


Article:So You Think You Want to Own a Dance Studio?” Rachel Rizzuto (September 12, 2017). DanceTeach website. Retrieved November 9, 2019.

Articles:What it Takes to be a Dance Studio Owner.” (October 27, 2008). DanceSpirit website. Retrieved November 9, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Dance Studio Owner

The “Applicable Majors” section below shows fields of study that are relevant for this profession. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on the following pages:


Business Administration Scholarships

Dance Scholarships

Management Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors

Studying one of the college/university majors listed below can be helpful for becoming a dance studio owner. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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