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Ballet Talk for Dancers

owning or m anaging a studio


Guest LilacGirl

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Guest LilacGirl

What do you need to know to own or manage a studio. Do you need a dance degree or business or arts management or what? I would like to do this someday and I already have ideas on how I want the studio to be, what type of classes etc... Do I have to have a teaching degree or have taught or dance professionaly to do this? I would not mind teaching but I have never done so, so I don't know if i'd be really good at it. If I was to do so would it be ok to concentrate on just teaching one type of dance or for one certain age group?

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Lily, I love it when people are truly interested in teaching, however I really do feel that it is extremely important for you first to become as well trained as possible and preferably to have some professional experience. If not professional, at least as much regional or college level performing as you can. Some teacher training work is also extremely important, especially if you have not been a professional dancer.

 

To own or run a studio, naturally knowledge of business and arts management would be very important.

 

There are, unfortunately, no degree or licensing requirements for teachers of ballet. I say unfortunately, because we have hundreds, maybe thousands of dance schools around the country where there are people calling themselves ballet teachers who have absolutely no qualifications to do this. They too often do far more harm than good. The students do not know any better and do not realize that they are not receiving professional level training, or at least training that will take them into that level. There are recital schools and competition schools, most of which teach ballet (often very poorly), tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, hip hop, and heaven knows what else. These are commercial schools, which cater to what people want, and not to making ballet dancers, which is very hard to do and which does not make money. This would be fine if people recognized them as such, and realized that they are not teaching ballet at a professional level. If they want fun and performing experience, and just to learn all forms of dance, great! But when some of them think they are learning ballet, and then audition for a serious school or SI, if they get accepted at all it will be at a very low level for their age. The sad thing is that many of them are the best dancers in their school, but they have spent all their time in learning "numbers" for shows and competitions, and very, very little time in learning technique. I'm not saying there are no good teachers in these kinds of schools, as I'm sure there are some who are capable, but that even if they are good, they cannot teach ballet enough in that atmosphere to properly train anyone.

 

There is a place for these schools I guess, but I just find it very hard to see the results when those students try to attend a different kind of school. So many of them audition for us every year, and even those we accept have a long uphill battle to arrive at a reasonable level of ballet technique for their age and years of dance. Normally they have to start at a much lower level, and it's sad because some have very nice potential. But they have so many bad habits built in that it takes years to correct them, if it can even be done. Retraining a dancer takes longer than training one fromt he start.

 

I'm sure this is more information than you wanted at this point in time, but you opened a door that I had to go through. This has all been said before, but it's been a long time, so I welcome the chance to put it up again.

 

The down side of owning a school (IF you want to teach ballet, that is) is that to do it right takes a kind of devotion that is truly unique, because you won't make any money. frown.gif To do it right takes too many hours a week devoted to the ballet program. You can't train a ballet dancer in once or twice a week classes. The more classes a student takes per week, the less they pay per class. Therefore, studios make a lot more money filling the studios with once or twice a week jazz and hip hop students and running lots of those classes.

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Guest dncrgrrl

My Dream is very close to yours, I want to teach as well, but not own my own studio, not to begin with anyway. I hope to someday teach at a college level, and get my TCRG. Next year I'm going to college as a dance major with a minor in education, so I can get my secondary teaching license as well. Hopefully I can get my masters and then I'll see where it goes from there, as for now, I'm trying to get experience by teaching a few of the younger kids' classes at my school.

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