How to Set Up Your Own Dance Studio

Starting your own business is a challenging and exciting undertaking, especially if it involves something you’re passionate about. For seasoned dancers or dance teachers that have a dream of being an entrepreneur, below are some tips on how to set up a dance studio.

Shadow a Studio Owner

Before you start planning the set-up of your studio, it can pay to shadow a studio owner that you admire and respect. This will give you a good idea of how to run things and allow you to gather tips along the way. You could even volunteer while you’re there and gain first-hand knowledge about things such as:

  • What problems may arise and how to solve them
  • How the marketing is done
  • How money goes in and out of the business
  • The number of staff and what their roles are

One other benefit of shadowing a studio you admire is you can determine whether you will enjoy the work. Running a studio is no small feat, and it will take a lot of hard work and passion.

Create a Business Plan

The next crucial step is to create a business plan for your studio. It will need to run like any other business, so it’s important to lay out the foundations for your vision. A decent business plan will include details such as your budget, your revenue plan, competition, market analysis, your products and services, and how you will set up the business’s infrastructure. 

Build a Name for Yourself

While you’re creating your business plan, it’s also a good idea to build a name for yourself. Starting from scratch without any potential students is possible, but it is a lot more work. Try to build up a list of students in advance by marketing your services to local areas, providing discounts or packages, and getting the word out about what you do. This stage takes time, so start as early as possible and gradually build your reputation before you get to work on the bricks-and-mortar aspects of your studio.

Decide on Your Location

Location matters a great deal when it comes to a dance studio. This includes everything from space requirements to ease of access. When deciding on the location, consider the following:

  • Parking options: Is there enough parking to accommodate your desired class numbers?
  • Good visibility: Will the studio be visible enough so that you can attract new students?
  • Accessibility: Is the studio easy to gain access to? Will it be on the ground floor, or are stairs and elevators required?
  • Safety: Certain areas of the town or city might be more affordable, but is it in a safe area?

When it comes to location, you’ll also want to consider other studio features like whether you want:

  • A lobby
  • A back office
  • A waiting room
  • Changing rooms
  • Hallways
  • Retail space

Identify Your Market & Niche

Like any business, it’s important that you narrow down your niche. Specializing will enable you to refine your marketing strategy and target the right audience. For example, will you specialize in one or two traditional dance types like ballet? Or will you focus on ethnic dance styles like flamenco or salsa? It’s also important to decide on the age range. Will you offer couples and singles classes? And will it be adults only?

Establishing your niche will go a long way towards helping your business succeed. If people know you provide a specific type of dance service, they are more likely to remember you. Otherwise, if you try to be too many things at once, it can water down your branding and prevent you from being a specialist in your area.

Develop Your Systems

Once you’ve established your location, market, and niche, you’ll want to get going on developing your systems. This includes everything from reception to payments to scheduling classes. Successful dance studios will have seamless and efficient systems that provide optimal customer service.

Automating your administrative tasks with dance studio software like is a good place to start as this technology enables you to centralize your bookings, to-do lists, timetables, payments, invoicing, and more. Ensuring you’re as digital as possible will go a long way if students can manage their bookings online and communicate without much fuss.

Get the Word Out

Last, but not least, you’ll need to get the word out! Before you’re ready to launch, be sure to develop a sound marketing plan so that people know who you are and how to find you. This includes setting up your website, social media profiles, advertising in local media, sharing the news with your network, and implementing a solid SEO strategy. Good luck!


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