Cost of Running a Dance Studio

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

  1. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

    Not even close! How about 25 for the teacher, everything else to the studio, and at the end of the week if anything is left over that is what the owner gets. But I suppose that is another thread.
     
  2. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl New Member

    So, I just figured out, based on what Larinda wrote, that a studio with 4 instructors averaging 20 hours of teaching per week, charging $80 per lesson and paying the instuctors $25, has nearly $20,000 left over every month (and that's not including floor fees from independents, group class fees, or party admissions). Is the overhead of a studio really that much?
     
  3. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Taxes
    Rent
    Insurance
    Utitlites - Gas Electric Phone Internet
    Yellow Page Ads (HUGE expense, an ad with a picture can easily run several thousand a month)
    General Advertising
    Manager
    Receptionist
    Accountant
    Paper and Office Supplies
    Cleaners
    Chips, Snack, Soda, Candy, Hand Sanitizer (all of the little goodies spread out for the customers)
    Toilet Paper, Paper towels
    Decorations

    And that is assuming the studio is operating in the Black! During the first 5 years or so the studio is, in addition to trying to make payroll and monthly expenses listed above, moreso struggeling to pay back the loans (and interest) that initailly paid for the contractors, the mirrors, the floor, the sound system and music, furniture, computer, fax, logo design work, signage, website, general set-up.... All of the money that comes within the first 5 years is technically already spent. Try getting a studio to show you their books sometime. You will be shocked.

    The floor alone in my studio was 25k, and it is, quite frankly, a small crappy floor. It would have been 40k to put in a really nice one.
     
  4. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    I was totally off I am sure - but it was just a hypothetical case for an unrelated point. Small wonder that many coaches go independent and just pay the floor fee.

    How can top dancers exist on $25/hr?? Its amazing that there is any dancesport at all - and its also obvious why pro/am is so attractive to pros....
     
  5. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl New Member

    Yes, my pro, who has a few very active competing students (not me, alas :() told me about half his income comes from teaching, the rest from what he makes from comps (including some top teacher $).
     
  6. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    You are right, top teachers/dancers do not live on 25 an hour. They go independant.
    Young eager "dependant" teachers think 25 an hour is Excellent! And they are very very poor at the end of the week.
     
  7. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    That is if you have 4 full time instructors. And that is if they are actually booked 20 hours. It takes quite awhile for teachers to get booked up. Some girl teachers barely if ever reach 20 on a great week. Then don't forget a studio shuts down when everyone goes to competitions, teachers get sick (and sometimes still get paid) take vacation days (amd sometimes still get paid) close for holidays...

    And most studios operate with the owner as a teacher, taking no owner pay, or something very minimal if at all.
     
  8. pruthe

    pruthe Member

    I think it helps a studio to have a number of part-time instructors who are paid less (sometimes a lot less) than the full-time instructors. That's the case at our studio (and its been in existence 26 years). I think most students at our studio think instructors are making a lot more than they really are. A common misconception. I also think most students don't realize what it takes to run a studio. I was shocked to hear how much the monthly rent is for our studio. Floor was over $30K when installed years ago. I can only imagine what total of other costs are.
     
  9. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    How about dance parties? Are these typically a good studio income - I realize that this varies depending on a lot of factors (for example floor space).
     
  10. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Or if the studio even charges for the parties, since some will do it free if you've had private that week, or it's charged as part of package, and depending on how you want to split up cost of package, this may be first thing that gets chopped off price wise when you discount package price (either for paying cash, or for buying larger package, etc).

    It's definitely harder for female pros to get their schedules filled, least at studios I go to/hang out at. For the one studio at least, "quota" is 25 hrs/lessons a week. Have seen months where none of the female pros hit quota, if memory serves (though that happens less now). And that's at one of the busiest studios in FA chain. Smaller studios it can be even harder.

    And can add to Larinda's list computer services (us IT guys don't run cheap ;) ) and in case of FA or AM studios, franchise fees, at least to start.
     
  11. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Have owned 17 of em over the yrs.

    It always amazed me ,that what ever price lessons were, people for some reason think thats what we put in our pocket !! .

    The problem is not only getting business, its maintaining a constant supply of new business-- and dont even mention the problems with keeping staff .

    It, also becomes a 7 day a week job , and if you like nites at home-- good luck with that !!
     
  12. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Should add-- its still the best job around !!
     
  13. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Maybe you should post your studio name and we can all drop in when accross the puddle :)
     
  14. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    One studio I know charges $300 per day to have its teacher go to a competition, I don't know how they split this between the studio and the teacher. And they only close completely for 2 local competitions.
     
  15. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Interesting. Was curious what type of costs I might have if I want pro to go with local open comps with me. We normally only do the closed comps, so if I do this, will be something new for us.

    Anyway, back on topic. :)
     
  16. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Independent teachers do that too - to make up for lost teaching time. Just goes to show how strong the urge to dance and compete really is for the pro/amer...
     
  17. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    I rent space at this moment in time -- dont need the hassle of running a school . Just have classes , some private ,and a monthly b/room social. I also reside in a very small sized town. Not one studio anywhere. Two others teaching b/room, mainly social , and one, beside myself, teaching Salsa .
    But you would always be welcome . :banana:
     
  18. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Yes, some charge per dance, and some charge just a flat fee. However, a couple of teachers I know, if a comp is local and they know they will have a lot of students and a lot of entries, do not charge their fee, just split the expenses between everyone to encourage people to dance more. By doing so, they virtually guarantee that they will get top teacher and top studio money.
     
  19. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    That 300 goes in several directions.

    Some of it goes to cover studio expenses that aren't being met while the teach is away. Even if the studio is open they are losing money since the teacher is not burning lessons off the books and you are one day further from an emrollment or payment.

    Also the teacher needs to be able to have their travel expenses covered. Driving or flying. They need a hotel room for several nights. They need admission tickets to get into the ballrom to dance. And they need to eat. They are on a business trip and these things need to be covered by the business. So the business is going to mark-up the price to cover their expenses. Without this kind of coverage I have known teachers to sleep on the chairs in the lobby of a hotel, and change in the changing rooms, because they, or the studio, could not afford the $280 a night hotel room (x5 nights) after taking 4 days off of work, and making minimal change per dance with just a few students and entires.

    Most studios I know require that a teacher have at least 3 (or some other number) students go in order to make it not a losing proposition. This can be hinderence however for newer teacher to get a foot in the door... But at least it ensures that the cost is spread as thinly as possible over the most amount of people.
     
  20. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    A party will net anywhere from about $200 to $800. If you host them weekly, the take will probably land in the lower range. Monthly may hit the high range.
     

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