General Dance Discussion > Cost of Running a Dance Studio

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

  1. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    another way to go about it is to not hire instructors as employees but just have them pay the studio a floor fee... minimizes a lot of overhead to go that route. and when charging a lesson themselves, they can make it clear which portion is for the lesson (even when given by the owners) and which part is the floor fee to pay for the studio.

    not that i'm an expert on this. just observing another approach i've seen...
  2. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    This a very common practice in most major cities .

    The structure of the business, needs to be clearly defined ( the tax thing ) in as much as to whom is supplying the clientele-- independant contractors, by name-- are supposed to " bring " their own students .
  3. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    We had differing rates for ICs who brought their own students, and ICs for whom we recruited the students. It wasn't difficult to do, and it worked fine.
  4. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    One way is that when an IC that is "given" a student by the studio IC pays a larger floor fee, for that lesson. Or perhaps is even "employed" for the first 20 (or whatever) lessons and then there after said student "belongs" to the IC.
  5. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Our local studio apparently takes a bigger cut from its own lesson price than a floor fee for an independent teacher. I don't know what it is, but the owner once mentioned that if all her teachers were independents, and she only got $15 from each lesson booked at the studio, she wouldn't be able to make it.
  6. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    That is average. Altough one studio I frequent charges me $20. It is over the top, but I pay it anyway because I like the owner and the studio. Although $15 is normal.

    But studios in non-major cities (as in NYC and LA) cannot exist from floor fees alone. They employee teachers and then have the occassional IC that they let in and collect some extra cash from.
  7. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    I know my studio gives independents a discount on floor fees if they routinely teach over a certain number of hours per week (10, I think).
  8. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    That's what the owner here said - that they can't make it on floor fees alone. So apparently the employees get paid less and the studio takes a bigger share of the lesson price.
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Like, almost exactly opposite of the exchange from an IC.
  10. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    So you're saying employees could be making just $15 per hour?
  11. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    yup. have talked to some who get about that...
  12. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    What does the typical ballroom floor cost per square foot (materials and labor)? Is there a company known for their specialization in ballrom floors? Was the $40k floor for a sprung maple floor?

    I'm interested in putting down a floor, but know nothing about it.
  13. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I don't know the exact numbers, but yes it seems the split for studio students is sometimes the opposite of the split for the teacher's students at the same studio.

    Technically, I cannot think of any NYC studio that survives on floor fees alone. Even the one most known for that has wedding couples as studio students, though of course the teachers are also welcome to bring a couple who approached them directly for such help.
  14. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    What other income is there at indie studios, aside from parties and group classes?
  15. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

  16. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    What I mean is that I don't know of any studios that survive entirely on the $15-20/hr floor fee cut of independent teacher's lesson fees, instead I think they all have some studio students where the student pays the studio and the teacher hires or independent-contractors someone to teach them. The studio tends to make substantially more on these lessons, the premise being that it's either the studio's literal advertising, or the advertising potential of its name/reputation rather than the teacher's, that brings in those students.
  17. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Parquet, or board ?-- Always installed my own floors in my studios of the past .

    Again--- on to a hard surface ? or sprung ?--- either are not that difficult to lay, mainly labor intensive .

    First step, calculate floor size-- call any timber yard and ask how much per linear and or sq ft,for the types of timber you are considering ( sprung, you will need joist supports as cross members .Wont go into detail how to instal. A lot depends on the surface in both cases , and the quality of the finished product .

    If parquet-- again floor size-- the store will advise your quantity needs and the adhesive required .This will need a pretty even surface .As a rule, you can cut a deal on large quantities (1000 sq ft plus )
  18. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I don't know what kind of sprung dance floor uses plain lumber. It's tongue-and-groove, which is significantly more expensive than plain lumber.

    Parquet is pretty cheap, but of course you end up with a pretty cheap floor.
  19. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Joe the term " lumber " is generic ( as in timber/lumber yard ) . Also it is quite possible to lay floors with non grooved wood-- its all a matter of cost .

    As for parquet being cheap-- have you priced it lately ?-- also more practical for small in house floors .-- have done all 3 different types
  20. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    If you want a working number, I'd call Dancevision and ask for pricing on their flooring systems. You might end up going with some local alternative, but at least you'd have an idea of what doing a known-good-for-dancing floor would run.

    The issue with non tongue-and-groove boards is that the edges are much less likely to stay in even with humidity changes. Tongue and groove boards can still warp, but they have to warp a lot before the edges form a "cliff" rather than a small "hill".

    Traditional multilayer cross members sprung floors are of course still popular, but a lot of today's are based on 'squishy pads' that go underneath.

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