How to start a dance studio? It’s simple, create a business plan, become an entrepreneur, hire people, teach dance. Right? No.

In fact today we’re not just explaining how to start a dance studio. This is something you can find on other 2000 websites out there. We will see step by step how to start a dance studio by talking about the most important thing you need: money. Every step of this guide will be driven by strategies and ideas to save some money and earn too. Let’s see!

1. Spend on a budget to start a dance studio

It’s easy to say “you need this, this and this”. But how to get “this” without spending thousands of dollars?
To start a dance studio you need to consider:

first of all you need to figure out whether you want to lease a space or buy one for you. Buying a space is obviously the most expensive solution but on the long term it’s also the most profitable. Leasing a space is a very affordable solution but we highly recommend to find a space you can sublease so you can have an extra income covering the lease costs. If you can sublease, you can rent your space here on Dancerents and transform the earnings of your studio in pure profit instead of using them for covering the costs of the lease.

The location doesn’t necessarily need to be central as long as it’s reachable by bus or by car. Make sure the space is luminous, there are high ceilings and it’s ventilated. If the space needs a lot of renovations but it’s cheap to buy you may consider this option. Don’t lease a space who needs a lot of extra work instead.

Anyway, the best options you have for finding a space are:
1) hire a commercial real estate broker
2) Use Loopnet or Craiglist to find interesting announcements
3) Ask in dance-related Facebook groups and communities
4) Physically explore your city to see if there are commercial spaces for lease (some old-school agencies just don’t post on the Internet)
5) Dancerents

this means also thinking about the visual appearance of your dance studio (industrial, luxury, minimal, modern, vintage, neutral). Registering a studio name is something you can do at the beginning and it usually doesn’t cost you more than 150$.

this is important. You need to get covered! Instead of setting up different types of insurances who can cost you a lot (property, equipment, employees, liability), check out if you can find a Business Owner Policy (BOP) which can make you save money and includes all of the above-mentioned policies. Sometimes this policy can be more expensive instead so you may want to set up separate policies and save extra money.

You can get a quote about the cost of a BOP here. Just type “Dance Studio”.

don’t underestimate the power of Facebook groups and Facebook marketplace. You can find a lot of used stuff at a very cheap price. Also, if there’s something you don’t need anymore, sell it and get some money back!

Start a Dance Studio

2. Fill your studio with ideas

Now you need to think about:

1) ask your friends and family
2) If you find a good name, google it, someone could be already using it. If this is the case, even if it’ frustrating, try to find a unique name. Why? You don’t want people to google your studio name and find another one right?
3) Use websites who offer name ideas like Business name generator
4) Decide whether making it local or not. For example if you’re sure you want to target Chicago area, calling it “Chicago Ballet Academy” could help you with local researches but no one will find you in Oregon. If you want to transform your business into a franchise for future investments, that “Chicago” part can become a problem.

you can ask a friend to design your logo or use websites like Fiverr to ask someone to do it for you. You can find offers at just 5$ from great professional logo designers who can really create wonderful things!

if you need ideas about how to style your studio you can read this article about dance studio decor tips and tricks. This post instead will help you with dance studio colors. If you’re undecided about the color of your Marley, you may find this post about dance Marleys very interesting.
There are also some YouTube videos and DIY guides about sprung floors and Marleys. Check them out!

Check also the style your competitors adopted in your area to make sure your studio looks different from theirs. Give it your unique touch! You can google about dance studios in your area for example. This will also help you with studying your competitors. Studying competition is important. Don’t think “I’ll be the best, period”. Waybe you will be, but opening a dance studio without knowing your competition will make you fail.

Also keep in mind that your competitors are not just other dance studios. Gyms, recreational centers, even Netflix is a competitor (your potential students may think a good Netflix series is better than the activities you promote at your studio). So make sure – let’s say it again- you’re unique.

Start a Dance Studio

3. Courses

The courses you need to offer for sure are: kids courses, private classes, adult classes and teenagers classes.

– Kids will guarantee you a long term investment.
– Private classes will help you with growing your name in the community.
– Adult classes could get you also extra family members of those adults who decide to enroll.
– Teen classes are the present and the future of your school, as they will become potential future professional dancers who will talk about your studio.

If you want to save money on this step you can start teaching alone at your studio. Anyway, we recommend to find at least another teacher (maybe with your same experience) to help you with the courses. Being at least two, will make your school sound more professional.

4. Taxes and burocracy to start a dance studio

The boring part. But it must be done.

– You need to register for an EIN (Employer Identification Number). It doesn’t take a lot but it will help you for paying taxes.
Choose a business type: we recommend to start as a Sole Proprietorship (it’s more “risky” but it’s way cheaper). This the SP you won’t have liability protection but it costs nothing to set it up as in this case you = your business. You can upgrade to an LLC later in the future, once your business is more solid (less risky, way more expensive). In this case you have liability protection and you ≠ your business.
If you live in Texas, New Mexico, Florida, Delaware, Wyoming, Nevada, Ohio or North Carolina, opening an LLC can be very convenient though.
Get business licence and permit: they will make you fully and legally compliant with local regulations. You can get help with this kind of documents on websites like Mycorporation or get more information on the Government website.

5. Develop and grow your business

Start a Dance Studio

Now you need to develop your business. If you already set up your logo, there are other important things to do.

1) ask to family and friends to make a small donation or a physical gift to your studio. You can also host a small party to thank them!
2) Get Government grants (check out here)
3) Launch a funding campaign on Kickstarter, Indiegogo or GoFundMe
4) Check out funding websites like Fundable who can help you getting some extra funds

1) Use dance studio management softwares to save money and time (Jackrabbit, DANCE StudioPro or Thestudiodirector for example)
2) Launch a website as low as 30$ per year with GoDaddy, WordPress, or Wix. These websites offer starter plans who are very interesting for small businesses. Squarespace is good as well but more expensive so if you’re on a budget we don’t recommend it.
3) Get a productivity and task software like Notion
4) Use a staff communication tool (useful also for parents and meetings in general) like Hive or Slack
5) Use a dance recital ticketing platform to sell tickets for your shows. The most convenient for price and features is currently Dancefolio, which is also the most recent (we liked the fresh and innovative design and the extra services they offer compared to their competitors). You can use also the older (and more expensive) sisters Tututix or Dancerecitalticketing.

1) launch courses
2) Rent out your dance studio space on Dancerents and connect your listing to your website
3) Use a funding and donation platform like GoFundMe and connect your profile to your website
4) Create a YouTube channel and upload regularly insteresting content about your studio (if you manage to monetize it you will earn some money)
5) Create a partnership with a photographer or a PT and ask them to come to your studio to provide extra services you can get a commission from
Bonus: check out this blog post about 8 extra ways to monetize your dance studio

1) Ask your students to promote the school to their friends and families
2) Paid promotion on social media and Google Adwords
3) Open a Google MyBusiness account to get reviews on Maps
4) Print flyers and put them everywhere!
5) Get in touch with local schools (elementary, etc) and ask them to promote your dance school
6) List your dance space rental on Dancerents to get discovered (and rented) by other dancers in the area
7) Create social media accounts and regularly post content about your studio
8) Ask family and friends to spread the word
9) Make your studio visible by putting a big banner or a studio flag outside of your business
10) Get in touch with local communities and stores to let them know about your new business (email or in-person)

Now that your know how to start a dance studio on a budget we wish you the best luck for this new great experience 🙂

How useful was this post?

Click to rate it!

Sign In

If you don't have an Account,
click on Register at the end of this form. Registering takes less than 10 seconds!


Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.


An active membership is required for this action, please click on the button below to view the available plans.