Summary of Private Studio Interviews 1. Where and how do you advertise? Where have you found the most effective places to advertise? Most studios either use the internet or word of mouth. Using the internet includes Facebook and studio websites. One studio owner also said she uses advertisements in her local newspaper. 2. How do you draw new students to your studio? Do you host any events to bring in new students? I found these studios used a wide variety of methods to attract new students. One owner said she primarily used the internet. One said she would have a booth at local festivals. Another owner said she sends flyers to schools. Some of the owners mentioned having summer productions or summer camps to attract new students. Their basic aim was to be as visible as possible in the community. 3. What methods for communicating with students and parents/legal guardians are used by your studio? All of the owners I interviewed said they use email to communicate with parents and guardians. Some also said they use Facebook or send home handouts with the students. One mentioned using mass phone calls or mass texts. 4. When planning and starting your business, what necessary resources, such as the actual studio space, musical equipment, flooring, etc. did you have to consider? How were these items found and purchased? One studio owner said that location was one of the most important things to consider. One owner rented space until she could finally afford to build. Some of the owners mentioned how expensive flooring was for studios. Several owners said they used the internet to find their resources. A couple other owners said they used local supply stores or local contractors. 5. Do you have a specific person or team that is in charge of creating and managing the budget? All of the owners said they are involved in managing their budget. Some of them work with their office staff as well. A couple of the owners said their husbands help them, and they also receive help from accountants.
6. What criteria are needed for applying teachers? All of the owners said that a degree in dance is not necessary if the applicant has a lot of studio teaching experience. A couple of the owners specifically mentioned that teachers should be good at working with children. Some owners also said they want teachers to be professional but also friendly and personable. 7. What is your process for hiring new teachers? Several of the owners said that they first interview the applicants. All of them said they observe the applicants teach a class or two before they make the decision to hire them. One owner said after an interview she allows the applicant to teach for a trial period of time and if she does well she will be offered a job. 8. How is the salary of each employee determined, and what qualifications do you look for in an employee to determine this? All of the owners said their teachers are paid hourly wages. One owner said every teacher is paid the same amount regardless of experience. A couple of the owners said they pay their teachers more after they have been teaching longer. 9. Does your studio offer benefits such as health insurance, dental, 401K, sick/vacation leave, and retirement options to employees? None of the studios offer benefits. 10. How do you handle compensating your teachers for extra rehearsal time including competitions, time to travel to these locations, dress rehearsals, and recitals? One owner said she does not compensate her teachers for this extra time. Another owner said it is negotiated individually. One owner said she gives all her teachers bonuses at the end of the year. 11. What placement procedures does your studio follow for students? Are they placed in class strictly on age and skill level? Is there a maximum number of students you allow in one class at a time? All of the owners said they place their students primarily by age but also by skill level. Each owner said they try to keep their classes around 12 or 14 students. One owner said each specific studio has its own capacity.
12. What have you found to be the best way to set prices for tuition, registration fees, competition fees, recital fees, and costume prices? Do you believe your prices are reasonable enough for the population that occupies your studio? Some of the owners said they stay aware of the market standard for setting their fees. One owner said she marks up costumes when her students pay her, and another owner says she does not markup costumes but only charges for shipping and tax. One owner explained that her recital fees depend on rent for auditorium space and backdrops or props for the show. 13. Do you have a dress code requirement for the students and/or teachers at your dance studio? If yes, please explain what that is. Two of the owners I interviewed said their ballet students must wear black leotards, pink tights, and pink ballet shoes. The other owners were very flexible and said students could basically wear anything that was dance appropriate. Not jeans or skirts. One owner said the dancers should have black jazz or tap shoes. Another owner said her studentsâ€™ hair must be pulled back. 14. How does your studio operate during the summer months? Do you continue classes as usual or do you follow the public school schedule? What, if anything, does your studio offer during the summer? All of the studio owners said they do not have regular class schedules during the summer. They offer dance camps and a limited amount of technique classes for their students.