Cost of Running a Dance Studio

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Larinda McRaven, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Actually, I think it would be an interesting thread.

    NTM, it sounds like you have a clear picture in your own head of "how things ought to be". I think it would be interesting if a thread were started that laid out all the details very clearly, including facility ownership, teacher training, business models, expectations of students, marketing, competitions, levels of student achievement, etc., etc. -- and then the ensuing discussion worked out how and whether it might be possible to get from "the world as it exists today" to "the world as you envision it.

    I think it would ease frustration on all sides if that conversation were separate from existing ones.
     
  2. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    I agree it would be an interesting thread, but it seems like the moderators would like me to leave the forums entirely, so i will probably be doing so.
     
  3. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    I think it would ease frustration if instead of rambling on about how everyone in the industry is wrong, he actually proved them wrong by going and doing all these lofty things that he thinks will work better. But then he'd have to put his money where his mouth is, and that actually requires more effort (and talent) than changing a screen name.
     
  4. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    You have been asked to stop creating multiple usernames and identities.
    You have been asked to play nice.
    You have been asked to follow the rules.

    (these are very basic life lessons... actually)

    If ANYONE cannot do these simple things, yes, we ask that they leave.
     
  5. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Moderator

    I very much agree that you should start it. I rather think it would be a fascinating read/discussion. :)
     
  6. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    You know what is interesting... I had a student a few years back say to me something like this....

    If you could run a studio anyway you wanted that would provide the best possible environment and structure your teaching to achieve the best possible dancing ... what would you do?

    I said... "I am! What, you think I am intentionally running my business in a way that I think is bad?"

    He thought I was going to come up with this grand blueprint to revolutionize the industry and change dancing forever. He thought we were all doing something so terribly wrong and he wanted to turn pro and go open his own place and do everything "right". He wanted to know the exact answer to every question that would teach perfectly every situation.

    Conversations in lessons would go something like this.

    me: I need you to X
    him: I don't get it
    me: I need you to Y
    him: I don't get it
    me: I need you to Z
    him: I don't get it
    me: I need you to Q
    him: Oh, so if you were a better teacher you would tell your students to Q from the very start. When I teach I am just going to say Q from the very beginning and everyone will get it the first time around.
     
  7. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    personally, I dont think you should.. in all fairness, you have made some very good contributions over time.. but.. thats your choice ( I think ?)
     
  8. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    It is his choice.... he is not banned. My pm to him simply invited him to follow the rules.

    If he feels he doesn't feel that he can stay, follow the rules but instead needs to leave to avoid further conflict, that is certainly not up to us, it is his choice. If he stays and does not follow the rules, we have made very clear the consequences.
     
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    okay, the merits of chris are not the topic of this thread and I am going to have to step in and ask that debate to stop immediately...he has made contributions and I appreciate how that enhances discourse, he has also been a phenomenal pain in public and in private the extent to which I will not elaborate upon ...we are not going to discuss that further...he, like everyone else, will be fine as long as he follows the rules, among which are that you get to have one username...one...that is it...if you have two and we find out..one will be terminated...as with everyone else, we don't ban people for being annoying ...now....let's get back on topic...end of this on a thread where it doesn't belong...any further venting on this will go to the staff mailbox (see private messages to staff forum) or be seen as disregard of moderation and be actionable....
     
  10. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Didn't mean to be argumentative, the overall point, for the benefit of those that think dance teachers charge too much, is that like most small businesses they are operating on low margins, and if market prices drop any lower, many might be looking for another way to pay the bills, which means fewer choices for dance students.
     
  11. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I think that if you are chronically overbooked, then your rates are indeed below market value for your lessons. And there's the other trick of it. There will be the overall market rate for private lessons, there will be teachers who can charge more, because of perceived added value, and there will be those who charge bargain rates. That's the market at work. I suppose you could address the concern around beginning teachers having the same private lesson rates as highly skilled teachers in the same studio through some kind of bidding system, but that would probably put off a lot of potential students.

    And now, tangentially ;-). If you had different rates for teachers in the same studio, maybe you would end up with the college effect, wherein the most expensive become the most in-demand.
     
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Oh. Not at all. I didn't see you as argumentative and hope I didn't come across that way, either. My comments were unclear and I'm glad you gave me a chance to clarify. :-D
     
  13. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    See, that is one of the things I LIKE about NP--he has done almost that exact conversation with me as the "Huh?" student. Difference is, I don't expect him to have reached "Q" the first time, because he cannot magically read my mind and know exactly how to phrase something so I get it. I'd prefer he keep trying rather than go "I said X!" over and over. (I've only taken lessons from one person who took that attitude, and he wasn't very good.)

    MDG, I'll reply in a bit to your hypothetical, but as I said in PM I'm not sure I can comment on a franchise's numbers as I don't know how a franchise operates. I've never been in a franchise studio and don't know what reasonable costs are--to ME, that sounds high, but I have no idea what dancing one of their competitions costs.
     
  14. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I understand your point. But my answer to him was I want to make this as accessible for everyone and not send people away. Boston had almost no smooth to speak of and in the last 5 years I have been here all I have done is push and push and teach smooth... to as many people as possible.

    SO if a student now does not get my entire schedule as his personal whim and actually has to ask for lessons a week in advance and maybe doesn't get his first pick of times... well I don't see that as a bad thing. I see it as a full and active schedule. (that I could honestly use a personal assistant to keep track of sometimes).

    I don't want to raise my prices and teach less. I want to teach as much as I can to as many people as I can... and make smooth not only as desirable but also as respected as Standard.
     
  15. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    Like!
     
  16. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    ...for whom you could pay by raising your rates. :p

    However, I respect the dedication: you're essentially saying that you'll forgo a certain amount of money in order to pursue a passion.

    Just to be a troublemaker: If you would free up more time to teach by having a PA....
     
  17. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Which really is like hiring a receptionist at a studio. You eventually have to hire someone to sit at the desk and wait for a phone call or a walk-in. This person is technically a non-income generating employee yet their very work allows the business to run more efficiently and thus the teachers are freer to teach and make more money.

    Other non-income generating positions that lead to an overall better business (in most cases) would be an accountant and janitorial services. Studios usually forgo these positions as they don't have enough cash flow to afford them. But once a studio gets up and running these people are indispensable.
     
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    This is not strictly on-topic, but have you ever read The Four-Hour Work Week (or a bunch of other, similar entrepreneurship books?) Virtual assistants (in other countries, usually) can be affordable and can do wonders.

    And, re: earlier posts. Larinda McRavin. I've known for a long that you love dance. How many professional dance champions at the top of their game would spend so much time in a place like DF advancing dance for the sake of dance? (My thoughts only.)

    I'm not at all surprised to hear that you resist raising your prices to make dance accessible to more people.

    Just want to say thank you.:-D
     
  19. musicchica86

    musicchica86 Active Member

    Speaking as someone who's both a receptionist and works for accountants, all of you business owners or potential business owners take my advice here--cough up the money and hire the accountant unless you have a *very thorough* working knowledge of bookkeeping. It will pay off in the long run. Not only will you have a MUCH better idea of where all your money is located and is going, but if you're as pitiful at bookkeeping as a lot of our clients are, you'll be in deep doo-doo if you get audited. Ironically, my boss and one of my coworkers were chatting one day and mentioned what bad shape one of our tax clients who does his own books would be in if he got audited. I kid you not, the very next week we got a call from that guy saying the IRS had contacted him and he was getting audited. We managed to help him out quite a bit and relieved him of a lot of liability, but if he hadn't hired us to help with the audit, it likely would have ruined him and the business financially.

    Sure, it might cost you a little bit in the short-term, but you'll have much better peace of mind.

    Okay, I'm off my soapbox now. Just had to say it!
     
  20. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Then all you need is a CFO to be at the top of the reporting structure for all the cost centers. :)
     

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