Dance School Owners and Managers


Exploring this Job

There are many ways to learn about careers in dance school ownership and management. If you’re a skilled dancer, start and manage an informal dance group at your school. Putting on a short dance production for your friends, classmates, and family will give you a basic idea of what it’s like to be a dance school owner or manager.   

DanceStudioOwner.com is a fee-based, membership community that offers advice on starting, owning, and growing a successful dance studio business. Although many site features are only available to paid members, a blog (https://www.dancestudioowner.com/public/blog.cfm) providers articles about common issues faced by dance school owners and managers. By reading some of these articles, you’ll get a deeper understanding of the many steps it takes to launch and operate a successful dance school. Here are a few other useful resources:

  • Dance Studio Life: https://rheegold.com/dance-studio-life
  • Dance Education in Practice: http://www.ndeo.org
  • Journal of Dance Education: http://www.ndeo.org

Talk with dance school owners and managers about their careers. Perhaps a few will allow you to shadow them as they go about their work. 

The Job

“Some people seem to think that good dancers are born,” the dance great Fred Astaire once observed. “All the good dancers I’ve known have been taught or trained.” Dance schools provide this training to people of all ages and skill levels—whether they want to learn to dance for fun or as a career. Dance school owners are typically dancers or dance instructors who have decided to become entrepreneurs. Dance school managers, who also have backgrounds in dance or dance education, assist owners in the operation of dance schools. Owners and managers do everything necessary to ensure the successful operation of the dance school. They perform a wide range of duties, including:

  • Handling tasks such as data entry and bookkeeping (including paying bills, sending bills to customers, processing payments, tracking outstanding balances, and contacting customers regarding payment issues)
  • Creating and executing marketing plans
  • Designing and updating the school’s Web site and its social media pages
  • Interviewing, hiring, and managing dance instructors
  • Answering customer questions and addressing customer service issues by communicating with customers by phone or via e-mail, or by talking with them in person
  • Preparing schedules and allocating studio space for lessons
  • Planning dance competitions and recitals 
  • Choosing the music or sound effects that accompany dance lessons
  • Teaching dance moves and techniques to students and providing them with feedback on their performance
  • Choreographing dance sequences or performances
  • Keeping records of students’ performance and progress
  • Selecting and purchasing dance-related products (e.g., costumes, casual workout clothing, shoes, DVDs, books, etc.) that can be sold in their school’s retail shop