Do Dance Studios Need A New Model?

Updated: 3 days ago

Let’s Explore A ONE Seasonal Design

A new short-term reality for dance studios begins our 2020-2021 season during this unprecedented medical and historical time. Dependent upon where a studio is located, many studio owners are holding normal registrations, hiring new teachers, and developing alternatives in case of another shutdown.

Beyond the new normal concerns about cleaning procedures, how long to close after a student tests positive for COVID, and class size occupancy, have you as the owner designed any new protocols? What about reorganizing your dance season? I have long advocated following a structure like what your local school district offers, a three-season sport concept based on a specific number of weeks. In Massachusetts where I live, 2020 fall sports are postponed until the spring FALL II is the new name for this season. Is it time to explore a new studio dance season offering a similar model? Let’s explore.

The traditional dance season is often 36 weeks to 40 weeks of a calendar year, which sometimes includes a winter presentation and of course the spring recital performance. Following the vendor created guidelines, studios register new students in August (some register current students in the spring of a dance season), costume deposits in October-November, completing the costume payment in January, technique classes during the fall season, choreography for enrichment-recreational classes begins in January, competition team season February-April, recital for all May-June, Summer Dance Intensives and Enrichment Classes July-August, repeating the cycle yearly. I am not including tuition and other payments here; I will in an additional post.

In the spring of 2020 COVID introduced Zoom, allowing studios to stay open and when safe hold outdoor recitals. Some dance studios survived and thrived, while others is for the time being closed. I salute all of you!

Studios began to announce a Two Semester, each semester twelve (12) to fourteen (14) weeks in length, one mid-September to mid-December, the second mid-March to mid-May, with a online workshop session for teams competitive and performance in an 8-week session for choreography purposes only, with of course a separate fee.

If a student enrolls, they understand that they are enrolling for two semesters at one price (usually $15 per class, with one overall enrollment fee which can be broken down into smaller payments, full payment is requested at the time of registration.) There is an addendum if the state makes the decision closing facilities from October 1 to March 1 a refund is made, parents may request a refund and a percentage refund is made.

In lieu of a traditional recital costume, there is an additional fee for a performance t-shirt with an award for each student. No costume nor competition fees for the 2020-2021 dance season.

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Next post TUITION: Traditional and COVID Structure and Choreography By Design…

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©Jann Davis 9/16/2020


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