by Jared Lewis
Becoming a dance instructor and opening a dance instruction business can be a profitable venture. Dance studio owners typically have little overhead cost, aside from what they may pay for their facility and its associated costs, such as utilities. Starting a business as a dance instructor can be done on either a part- or full-time basis and requires a combination of dance training and business acumen.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies dance instructors as self-enrichment teachers. These are teachers who provide training in non-academic subjects. Those wanting to open a dance instruction business need not necessarily be dance instructors, but many who open these types of businesses have a strong knowledge of dance and may work as instructors themselves. The bureau notes that the only requirement for dance and other self-enrichment teachers is that they need to be experts in their field. Having additional training in specialized areas of dance, such as Salsa, can help to attract more paying students and give credibility to the instruction you provide. A bachelor’s or master’s degree can also go far in this respect.
Although not necessarily required to get started in the dance instruction business, having your own dance studio location in which to provide instruction will provide your business with credibility. Dance studios can be fairly simple to prepare for instruction. These typically need a reception area and a large open space for providing instruction, although having additional space for an office can also be helpful. You can get your business started by providing instruction in other locations, such as schools, gyms or community centers, until you build a significant list of clientele. Having a dance studio will also require that you obtain licenses and permits required by your local community.
A marketing plan is probably one of the biggest keys to having success in this industry, especially if you are planning to wait to open your studio. Dance students will need to be aware of your services so that you can establish a steady stream of income. You can market your instructional services in a variety of different places, such as local classified advertisements, online classifieds sites, and online social networks. Networking with other professionals in related fields can be a fruitful source of possible clients, and good word of mouth is always the best advertising possible.
Unless you plan on opening your dance instruction business outside of a studio setting, you will need some start-up capital to get going. Realistically, you should do some research to determine how much your rent, utilities and other expenses will be for an entire year. You also need to check on the cost of licensing and permits. If you plan on opening a specific dance franchise, you will also need to obtain enough money for franchising fees, and will need to be able to meet any other requirements laid out by the franchise. Getting a small business loan to get you off the ground may be the fastest way to raise the capital you need to get started.