Forum: Ask a Teacher

Starting My Own Dance Class?
By sydchris
On Tue Nov 21, 2017 07:09 PM

Hey all! I recently moved to a new state after being a dance teacher for 4 years. I also received my Associates Degree in dance. I love the studio I worked at and find it hard to come across a new studio that I like working at just as much. My goal in the end is to own my own dance studio! I decided that it is time to start working towards that goal instead of waiting around. But I want to start small. Very small. Especially because I have a job already taking up most of my time.

I would like to start up a small dance class that focuses on keeping things low-key and fun geared towards parents/kids that arent ready/do not want the big studio life yet. I just want it to be easy and fun! I love teaching dance so it will be a fun side thing for me!

This would be a tap/ballet class for the ages of 3-6, may change that but this is what I am thinking. I have only done one thing so far and that was to ask a studio about studio rental and rates. Now that I have done that, I am not sure where to go from here. What are some things I should know? Or do you have any advice?

Some things I may need help/ideas with are:

How will parents pay? (checks, cash? My old studio used the site jackrabbit but I don't think I would be big enough for that).

What type of performance should I do at the end of the year if it is just once dance class? I know parents want to see what their kids have been working on. But I can't really create much of an event with one dance class.

Is there any business side of this that I should know about? Do I need some sort of license or something special that I may not know about?

How do I get people interested in a small, for fun dance class?

Any other tips? I really have no idea where to go from here or how to do it! I want to make sure I do it right. Remember; I want to keep things small and easy going.

2 Replies to Starting My Own Dance Class?

re: Starting My Own Dance Class?
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Dec 13, 2017 06:52 AM
I have doubts that you’ll be able to find a dance studio that is willing to rent you space to teach classes that they presumably already have in their studio.

I would try and find a community center in the area or contact your city’s parks and recreation department. Many times places like this are already looking for activities for kids and will pay you to do it rather than you having to rent a space. If you work out of a community center or parks and rec, you could choreograph a few dances and at the end of your “season” put on a mini-show for the parents. Have the kids all dress the same (black pants with a colored shirt, for instance) and do a small showcase to show what they’ve learned.

This way, if you do eventually open your own studio— a community center type place won’t be worried about you “stealing clients” when your students eventually follow you to a more normal studio atmosphere.

I work over the summers with our parks and rec summer day camps. I go in to each camp site for an hour once/twice a week and we do hip-hop/jazz classes. The great thing about this was the kids didn’t sign up for dance. They signed up for summer camp. And many of the kids attended this summer camp for free because they’re low income. There were kids who absolutely did NOT want to dance with me. But there were so many more that never had the opportunity to take a dance class and they LOVED it. If our parks and rec department had their own facility, I absolutely would have taught for them year round.

Other places to check are your local YMCA or Boys and Girls Club. They usually have facilities for dance and many are constantly looking for qualified teachers!

Good luck!
re: Starting My Own Dance Class?
By WantJazz
On Fri Jun 08, 2018 09:31 AM
Great suggestions!

Hear are more:
1. Churches - they have lots of space on weekdays.
2. Get in touch with local elem school Parents Teacher Organization. They often work with vendors and run afterschool classes.
3. Small fitness studios in the area. They often have 9-11am or some evenings open.
4. Private academic schools. Those may be interested in letting you use their facilities for pre-ballet/ballet type of classes.

Good Luck,
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