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 Post subject: Re: Economics of Opening a Studio
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2001 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Sometimes scholarships are offered based upon the need of the <I>studio</I> - as in offering scholarships to boys/men because the studio would like to encourage them.<P>I have very mixed feelings about this. Also, sometimes a studio will offer scholarships to the more senior girls - to keep them on the studio roster.<P>What do you think of this?


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 Post subject: Re: Economics of Opening a Studio
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1128
Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
Ryebred, re: dance studios for sale, I'm not sure where to look in local papers. It's not just commercial space, but a business for sale. Classifieds in the dance publications sometimes list these, too. Sounds like a great idea, offering an alternative to New York. This has been a dream of mine, as well. I wish you luck.<P>Re: scholarships, sometimes it it difficult to recognize who is truly in need. With some of our students, it has been easy to tell -- difficult home situations, broken families, sometimes just from knowing where they live we have a clue. But some of the needy ones have tremendous dignity and are very conscientious about paying in full and on time, no excuses, no complaints. Then we have some who ask for a break, and they make you question what needy is. We agreed to give a partial scholarship to one student and then got a bit upset when her parents came to pick her up after class in their BMW. You do the best you can...<P>We do have some conditions for the scholarships. Recipients are expected to participate in our student dance company (a community service company) and their parents are expected to take on major responsibilities at Recital time. Some of them balk, but when you get responses like: "The opportunity to dance has turned my child's life around. I'll be happy to do anything I can to help you after all you've done for us" you feel it's worth it.<P>I have mixed feelings about the issue of boys and scholarships. We all know the need in this country for more men in dance. Yet somehow it bothers me that scholarships would be a gender-based decision. I'd love to be in a position to offer a really strong boys' program that people came to willingly, and then weed out the ones with need and a passion for dance.<P>As for senior girls, we certainly need some incentives for them to stay on, but I don't know if a scholarship is the best answer. I'd love to hear the solutions others have for keeping these older students involved. We're a fairly new school, and we are just beginning to face this issue. <P>It's not necessarily an economically effective decision, but how about maybe lowering rates significantly for students who take loads of classes per week, or even having a special discount for people who have been with the studio for a certain number of years. That would honor their loyalty but would not be a scholarship. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Economics of Opening a Studio
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 45
Location: NY, USA
Nancy, I can't help but wonder if you live near me... I will check out the "business for sale" listings in our local area paper and The NY Times. Just so you know, it's not me who is starting the studio...I'm just a willing participant at this point.<P>The studio my daughter dances at has a rate schedule that tops out once a student hits 4 classes a week - by allowing them to take as many classes as they want at that point for the same price.<P>It will be interesting to hear how others handle it.<P>In re the young male dancers...unfortunately there are only about 3 or so where my daughter dances and they are on the young side. C'est la vie.


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 Post subject: Re: Economics of Opening a Studio
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
In a major studio in this area (no longer in existence) where most of the students were either pre-professionals or professionals the scholarship system worked like this:<P>Men/boys - free - regardless of personal financial need.<P>Senior pre-pro girls - free or extremely low tuition. They made the studio look good at show-time.<P>Professionals - free (known as professional courtesy) - also made the studio look good to have them around, even though for the most part they came and went as their schedules dictated.<P>Young children - there were only a couple of classes for this age group and they paid in full, as far as I am aware. At least there were no blanket scholarships for them as a group.<P>The full freight - the people who really carried the financial burden for the studio - were the adult students. Almost all women.<P>Eventually these adults figured out that they were the ones paying the bills, and getting the least amount of attention, and....so, the studio went broke. <P>At one point the studio was one of the biggest and best with certainly the finest dance space in the city, that I am aware of. The adults didn't complain about the price structure so much (they were a rather altruistic lot), as the lack of attention. That spoke to them louder than the money angle. <p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited October 05, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Economics of Opening a Studio
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2001 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
No fair on either front for the adults. There has to be a better answer than having them support the studio. And regardless of their economic contribution, they deserve to be taken seriously in their classes! I'm not surprised the school went under. What a shame though.


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 Post subject: Re: Economics of Opening a Studio
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2002 7:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
I think that you may be underestimating. I know that if I open a studio-it will be professionally oriented-meaning that students will have to attend a minimum amount of classes. For example, in ballet, students wont get anywhere only taking one class a week. Ballet I would be 2 times per week (1.5 hours per class-the norm) and Ballet II would be 3 times per week and Ballet III would be 4 times per week. Also, these classes would be at 12-15 per class and the would be other one hour classes such as pointe, jazz, tap, etc. I found a warehouse that was 2400 square feet-had loft and 3 rooms for lounge, office and other. It was going at 5 dollars per sq ft-which was around 1000 per month. The key is to have a professionally oriented school (not a nursery school with only 2 yrs old as the money maker) that will follow guidelines and expect students to be dedicated. If you had only 60 students...10 in ballet I, 10 in Ballet II, 10 in Ballet III, and out of those 30-5 in Pointe I and 5 in Pointe II...as well as 10 in Jazz I and 10 in Jazz II and 10 in Tap I and 10 in Tap II (only 1 hr classes $10-12 per class)...your income potential would already be 9,120 (not including the registration fee). So, if you had double the amount of students-double the money!! You would have to pay someone to teach almost half the classes so that would be less than 1000/month, and pay the rent-1000 and utilitiesa and monthly costs-1000 . 3000 definite every month plus miscellaneous. So, with only 60 students following a normal school policy, Youd have 9,120 minus 3000= $6120 profit to you minus whatever else. And if you had 120 students-double it for $12,240 per month. I believe that as long as you hold standards and are patient with building clientel, you will be VERY successful! You just need to be patient, find something with space, in a good area, and low rent. Sorry if I offended anyone but I thought youd all like to hear a different point of view. : )


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 Post subject: Re: Economics of Opening a Studio
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2002 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Attitude22 - a lot of what you can expect depends on the demographics of the area in which you find yourself. <P>And then there is also the economic climate in which you find yourself. Generally speaking, when there is an economic downturn, or an individual family crises, often it is dance classes that are among the first items to be cut from the family's budget. Not always, of course, but often enough.<P>One of the things that I found affected the family's ability to continue dance classes both economically and emotionally was divorce and family breakup - and that happens across economic lines. Priorities change.


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 Post subject: Re: Economics of Opening a Studio
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2002 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1128
Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
Just a few things you might add to your miscellaneous expenses: taxes, accountant and attorney fees, insurance, advertising and studio maintenance. Some lease situations involve some sort of common charges in addition to the rent. Also, you'd need to take your start-up costs into consideration. Dance floors, music, sound system, barres, mirrors, etc. could cost quite a bit.<P>Do you have a following already? If so, with rent that low and assuming a good location without much local competition, you could turn a profit sooner. If not, it may take a while to achieve the numbers you give as examples. During that time, you still have to pay the rent.<P>It's obvious you've given this some thought. Just wanted to throw in a few more variables that you didn't mention, in case that helps with your planning.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Economics of Opening a Studio
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2002 3:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 244
I was talking to my ballet teacher about running a studio and she said that they really struggled for the first 5 years. The main point she made is that you really can't expect many people to START dancing with you at the higher levels until your reputation is good enough for them to leave their current school to join you (which is the stage my dance school is now at). In the beginning, your target group may have to be the babies, creative dance, combined classes, etc. By using this group to get started (going into nursery schools for an hour a week, getting your name known) you can start to build up a loyal client base. But it is much harder to attract the older, more dedicated students until you have a good reputation. Vicious circle, in many ways.


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 Post subject: Re: Economics of Opening a Studio
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 2:51 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Its good to hear from you guys about your opinions and advice. I am aware of the costs and the rent and everything involved. I am also aware of the kind of area I would like the studio in and I have researched quite a few different places with stats on family, households, percent of children, income, jobs, growth, and demand for a school. I know what you mean about it being a while before getting students so I have written a business plan but I am still cleaning it up. I dont expect to be rich from the business but there are no professionally oriented dance schools, and acutally no dance schools in the area I would like to have it in so that is to my advantage right now at least-hope someone doesnt beat me to it! hehehe I am also debating on whether or not to open the school with my best friend...it would help out a ton but I am nervous about the whole thing so I dont think I would do it legally but if she wanted some responsiblity then that would be great. Well, Im going on and on so if someone replies, I will write back! Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Economics of Opening a Studio
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 14494
Location: SF Bay Area
Here's a story, with associated background, about a new studio by Colleen Kelly-Denisco:

<a href=http://www.cumberlink.com/articles/2004/08/06/business/busi04.txt target=_blank>New Carlisle Ballet to offer classes</a>
By Christine McIlhenny, The Carlisle Sentinel

<small>[ 06 August 2004, 08:08 PM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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