Dance is a form of self-expression that communicates without words. This art form is not just a form of entertainment; it is a way of life for some individuals. According to IBIS World, the dance studio industry is worth $4 billion US dollars and employs 73,142 people. A dance school is an excellent business idea for individuals passionate about dance. Starting a dance school is a thrilling and challenging venture that requires proper planning and organization. In this blog post, we will explore the 10 Steps Checklist for starting a dance school business. This article aims to guide aspiring dance school owners on the essentials of opening a successful dance school. Let us dive into the 10 steps in detail.

1. Clarify The Purpose

Before anything else, you need to clearly define the purpose of your dance school business. What is your mission? What problem are you solving? Who are your target customers? What is your unique value proposition?

Take time to reflect and gather insights on what kind of dance school you want to establish. Is it a recreational dance school, or do you want to focus on competitive training? Do you want to specialize in a certain dance genre or cater to a variety of styles?

  • Tip #1: Conduct market research to know your target customers better. Look into the local competition and see how you can differentiate yourself from them.
  • Tip #2: Develop a business plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections. Use it as a roadmap for your business.
  • Tip #3: Stay true to your purpose but remain flexible. Your vision may evolve over time, and you need to be adaptable to changes.

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2. Secure Start-Up Funds

One of the most crucial aspects of starting a dance school business is securing start-up funds. A dance school requires a significant investment, and without sufficient funding, the business may not be sustainable. As a pro business consultant, I have helped many entrepreneurs secure funding for their start-ups. In this chapter, I will share my insights on how to secure start-up funds for your dance school.

  • Prepare a comprehensive business plan: This is the first and most important step in securing start-up funds for your dance school. A well-crafted business plan will not only help you clarify your vision and goals for the business, but it will also provide potential investors with a clear understanding of your strategies and financial projections. Your business plan should include details about the nature of your dance school business, target market, competition, marketing strategies, financial projections, and funding requirements.
  • Identify funding sources: There are several funding sources that you can explore for your dance school business, including traditional bank loans, grants, crowdfunding, angel investors, and venture capitalists. Each funding source has its pros and cons, and you should carefully evaluate each option before making a decision. Research and apply for grants that are specifically available for dance schools.
  • Build your network: Networking is a crucial element in securing start-up funds for your dance school business. Attend industry events, conferences, and trade shows to meet potential investors and build relationships with them. Join dance associations, clubs, and organizations to connect with other business owners and professionals in the industry.
  • Understand your financial responsibilities: Before you secure funding for your dance school business, it is essential to have a solid understanding of your financial responsibilities. You should be aware of the interest rates, repayment terms, collateral requirements, and other financial obligations associated with your chosen funding source.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Only borrow what you need to start/launch your school.
  • If you think that you cannot handle the financial aspects of the business, you can assign a business consultant or CPA to help you out.
  • Research your competitors and try to assess their financial success in the market.

By following these steps, you will be able to secure start-up funds for your dance school business and set the foundation for a successful venture. Remember, a well-funded business is a strong business, so invest the time and effort to secure the funds you need.

3. Develop A Business Plan And Financial Model

Starting a dance school can be an exciting venture. However, before you open your doors to dance enthusiasts, it’s crucial to have a solid business plan and financial model in place. A business plan helps you define your business goals, analyze the market and competition, identify your target audience, and determine how you’ll make money and grow your business.

When creating your dance school business plan, include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary: This section should provide an overview of your business, including your mission statement, products and services, and goals.
  • Market Analysis: Analyze the dance industry, your target market, customer needs, and competition.
  • Products and Services: Describe your dance classes or programs, how you’ll structure them, and any additional products or services you’ll offer, such as dancewear or costume rentals.
  • Sales and Marketing: Explain how you’ll promote your dance school and attract customers, including your pricing, advertising, and sales strategy.
  • Financial Projections: Provide a detailed financial forecast, including your start-up costs, revenue projections, and profitability.

Once you’ve created your business plan, you’ll need to develop a financial model that supports it. A financial model is a tool that helps you project your future financial performance and evaluate your business’s viability.

Your financial model should include:

  • Start-up Expenses: This includes your initial costs, such as rent, equipment, supplies, insurance, and legal fees.
  • Operating Expenses: These are the ongoing costs that you’ll incur to run your dance school, such as rent, utilities, salaries, and marketing expenses.
  • Revenue Projections: Estimate your potential revenue based on your price per class or program, number of customers, and projected enrollment rates.
  • Profit and Loss Statement: This statement shows your projected income, expenses, and profitability for each month or quarter of your first year.

By developing a comprehensive business plan and financial model, you’ll be well-equipped to launch and grow your dance school successfully.

Tips & Tricks

  • Be realistic: make sure your projections are reasonable and based on sound market analysis.
  • Consider multiple revenue streams: in addition to dance classes, you can generate revenue through dance recitals, camps, and workshops.
  • Get help if needed: consulting with a business advisor, accountant, or lawyer can help ensure your business plan and financial model are as solid as possible.

4. Locate Your Business

Once you have a solid business plan in place, it's time to start thinking about where your dance school will operate. Location is key when it comes to running a successful business. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Demographics: Consider the age range, income level, and interests of the people in the area. You want to make sure that there is a demand for a dance school in your chosen location.
  • Competition: Look at the other dance schools in the area and consider their strengths and weaknesses. Are there any gaps in the market that you can fill? Is there a way you can differentiate yourself from the competition?
  • Accessibility: Make sure your dance school is easily accessible and has ample parking. You want to make it as easy as possible for students to get to your school.
  • Rent: Consider the cost of rent in your chosen location. You want to make sure that it fits within your budget and doesn't cut into your profits too much.

It's also important to think about the layout of your dance school. You'll need a studio space, a waiting area for parents, and perhaps a changing room. Here are some things to consider:

  • Size: Your dance studio should be large enough for your students to move around without bumping into each other. Make sure there's enough room for everyone to stretch and practice their dance routines.
  • Lighting: You'll need plenty of natural light or well-placed artificial lighting to ensure your students can see what they're doing.
  • Flooring: Your dance studio should have sprung floors or vinyl flooring to prevent injuries to your dancers.
  • Mirrors: Mirrors will be essential for your students to check their posture and technique.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider offering classes in more than one location to increase your reach.
  • Look for a location that has other businesses nearby. This will bring in foot traffic and increase your visibility.
  • Be sure to check local zoning laws and regulations to ensure you are following all requirements.

Once you've found the perfect location for your dance school, it's time to start furnishing and decorating it to attract new students.

5. Determine Legal Structure

Before starting a dance school business, you need to determine the legal structure that it will operate under. This is important because it will affect how you file taxes and your personal liability. There are four common types of legal structures for small businesses:

  • Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest and most common legal structure. The business is owned and operated by one person, and the owner is personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
  • Partnership: This is another common legal structure. The business is owned and operated by two or more people, and each partner is personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): This legal structure provides the owners with limited liability protection, meaning that their personal assets are protected from the debts and obligations of the business. LLCs are simple to set up and maintain, and they offer flexibility in terms of taxation.
  • Corporation: This legal structure provides the owners with limited liability protection, but corporations are more complex to set up and maintain. They also have more formal requirements and are subject to double taxation.

It's important to choose the legal structure that makes the most sense for your dance school business. If you're not sure which legal structure to choose, it's best to consult with a lawyer or accountant.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider the long-term goals for your business when choosing a legal structure.
  • Think about the risks involved in operating your business and how much personal liability protection you need.
  • Don't forget to consider the tax implications of each legal structure.

6. Obtain Permits & Licences

Before starting your dance school business, it is crucial to obtain all the necessary permits and licenses required by your state or province. This will ensure that you are operating legally and prevent any potential fines or legal issues.

  • Business License: This is a standard license required for all businesses. You can obtain it from your local city hall or county clerk's office. It is essential to check with them to see what the requirements are in your area.
  • Dance Studio License & Permit: If you plan to open a dance studio, you may need a separate license or permit. In some cases, you may also need to meet specific requirements such as fire safety codes or building codes.
  • Music Licenses: If you plan to play music in your dance classes or performances, you will need to obtain a license from a music licensing agency. This includes public performances and the use of copyrighted music in videos or recordings.
  • Insurance: Liability Insurance is essential for dance schools to protect against potential lawsuits or accidents that may happen during classes or performances.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Research what licenses and permits you need before starting your business.
  • Keep your licenses up to date to prevent any legal issues in the future.
  • Consult with an attorney to ensure that you have covered all legal requirements for your specific type of business.

It may take some time to obtain all the necessary permits and licenses, but it is essential to ensure that you are legally operating your business. Check with your local government offices and regulatory bodies to ensure you meet all necessary legal requirements.

7. Secure Liability Insurance

As a dance school owner, you're responsible for providing a safe environment for your students to learn and dance in. Unfortunately, accidents can happen leading to injuries, and if you don't have liability insurance, you'll be liable for all the damages. Liability insurance provides protection in case a student or third-party is hurt while on your premises or as a result of your dance school's activities.

  • Research Liability Insurance Options: There are many insurance providers specializing in liability insurance for businesses. Consider getting quotes from multiple providers, so you can compare rates and coverage options.
  • Determine the Right Coverage: Not all liability insurance policies are created equal. Make sure the policy you choose covers the specific risks that apply to your dance school. If you're unsure what types of coverage you need, consult with an insurance professional.
  • Buy Sufficient Coverage: It's always better to be over-insured than under-insured. Don't skimp on coverage just to save a few dollars. Insufficient coverage can leave you responsible for paying costly damages out of pocket.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider getting liability insurance in conjunction with other types of insurance, like property insurance. Many insurance companies offer discounted rates for buying coverage bundles.
  • Shop around for insurance annually to make sure you're still getting the best rates and coverage for your dance school.
  • Keep records of all accidents that happen on your premises, even if they don't lead to injury. These records can help you identify areas where you need to make improvements to prevent future accidents.

Ultimately, liability insurance provides essential protection for your dance school. By investing in adequate coverage, you'll have peace of mind knowing that you're financially protected in case of an accident.

8. Invest in Equipment and Supplies

To ensure that your dance school business runs smoothly, it is essential to have the right equipment and supplies.


  • Dance Floors - Invest in high-quality dance floors that provide a smooth and stable surface for dancers to perform on. Consider installing portable floors to enable you to move them easily if you ever need to change locations.
  • Mirrors - Mirrors are essential in dance studios as they help dancers to see and correct their form. Invest in large mirrors for your studio walls.
  • Sound System - A high-quality sound system is essential for playing music during dance classes and performances. Choose a system that has good sound quality and is easy to operate.
  • Furniture and Storage - Invest in good quality chairs, tables, and storage cabinets to keep your dance studio organized and tidy.


  • Dance Clothing and Shoes - Stock up on dance clothing and shoes for your students. Consider partnering with local dancewear stores to offer discounts to your students and to provide their inventory.
  • Cleaning Supplies - Keep your dance studio clean and hygienic by investing in cleaning supplies like mops, brooms, and disinfectants.
  • Office Supplies - You will need standard office supplies like pens, paper, and printer ink to operate your dance school business smoothly.
  • First Aid Kit - A first aid kit is important for handling minor injuries that may occur during dance classes. Invest in a complete kit that has all the necessary supplies.

Tips & Tricks

  • Quality over Quantity: While investing in equipment and supplies, it's important to choose quality over quantity. Invest in high-quality equipment and supplies that will last longer and require less frequent replacement.
  • Buy in Bulk: Consider buying your supplies in bulk to save money. You can negotiate discounts with your suppliers, and the savings you make can be passed on to your customers.
  • Research and Compare: Do some research and compare prices from different suppliers to find the best deals. Always read reviews and compare the features to make an informed decision.

9. Market And Advertise Your Business

Marketing and advertising are essential components of starting and running a successful dance school business. To attract customers and grow your business, you need to create a strong brand image and market your services effectively. Here are some steps you can take to market and advertise your dance school business.

  • Create a brand: To stand out in a competitive market, you need to create a unique and memorable brand. This includes developing a catchy name, logo, and tagline that reflects your business's mission and values. Your brand should also be consistent across all your marketing materials, including your website, social media, and advertisements.
  • Build a website: Your website should be the central hub of your business's online presence. It should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and contain all the essential information your customers need to know, such as your class schedule, pricing, and contact information. You can also use your website to blog about dance-related topics to attract potential customers.
  • Use social media: Social media is a powerful marketing tool that can help you reach a wider audience and connect with potential customers. You can use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share photos and videos of your classes, offer promotions, and engage with your followers. You can also use social media to run targeted advertisements to reach people who are interested in dance.
  • Offer promotions: Offering promotions and discounts is a great way to attract new customers and retain existing ones. You can offer things like a free trial class, a discounted package deal, or a referral bonus to incentivize people to sign up for your classes. Make sure your promotions are clearly advertised on your website, social media, and in your studio.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Partner with local businesses to cross-promote each other's services.
  • Host a dance party or event to generate buzz and attract potential customers.
  • Collect customer testimonials and use them in your marketing materials to build credibility.

By following these steps, you can effectively market and advertise your dance school business and attract a steady stream of customers. Remember, creating a strong brand image, building a professional website, leveraging social media, and offering promotions are all important components of a successful marketing strategy.

10. Monitor Business Performance And Adjust

Congratulations on successfully launching your dance school business! You have accomplished a lot already, but the journey to success doesn't end here. To ensure that your business continues to grow and reach its full potential, it's important to regularly monitor its performance and make adjustments as needed. Here are some key tools and strategies you can use for monitoring and adjusting your business performance:

  • Financial reporting: One of the most important tools for monitoring your business performance is financial reporting. By keeping track of your income, expenses, profits, and cash flow, you can gain valuable insights into how your business is performing financially. Use a software or accountant to maintain accurate financial reports.
  • Performance metrics: Another important tool for monitoring your business performance is performance metrics. This can include anything from customer satisfaction surveys to employee productivity reports to website traffic analytics. By tracking and analyzing these metrics, you can better understand how your business is doing in different areas and identify areas for improvement.
  • Data analysis: A third tool for monitoring your business performance is data analysis. This involves using statistical or other analytical tools to uncover patterns and trends in your business data. By analyzing your data regularly, you can gain insights into what's working and what's not, and make informed decisions about how to adjust your business strategy.

Once you have begun monitoring your business performance, it's important to make adjustments as needed. Here are some key strategies you can use to make adjustments to your business:

  • Stay flexible: One of the key benefits of owning a small business is the ability to quickly make changes to your operations as needed. By staying flexible and open to new ideas, you can quickly adapt to changes in the market or shifts in customer demands.
  • Regularly review your business plan: Your business plan is your roadmap for success, but it's important to regularly review and update it as needed. This will help you stay focused on your goals and objectives, and make informed decisions about how to adjust your strategy based on changes in your business environment.
  • Listen to feedback: Your customers, employees, and other stakeholders can provide valuable feedback on how your business is performing. By listening to this feedback and taking action on it, you can make meaningful improvements to your business that will help drive growth and success.

Tips & Tricks for Monitoring and Adjusting Your Business Performance

  • Set specific benchmarks and targets for each of your metrics and track your progress over time. This will help you better understand how your business is performing and where you need to make adjustments.
  • Use automation and technology to streamline your data collection and analysis. This will help you save time and get more accurate insights into your business performance.
  • Regularly review and adjust your marketing strategy based on your performance metrics. This will help you better reach and engage with your target audience, and drive more leads and sales for your business.

In conclusion, opening a dance school requires a passion for dance, dedication, and hard work. It is not an easy task, but it can be a successful and fulfilling business venture. As we have explored in this blog post, the 10 Steps Checklist for starting a dance school involves clarifying the purpose, securing start-up funds, developing a business plan, locating your business, determining legal structure, obtaining permits and licenses, securing liability insurance, investing in equipment and supplies, marketing and advertising your business, and monitoring business performance and adjusting. Remember, the dance studio industry is worth $4 billion US dollars with over 73,000 employees. With perseverance and proper planning and organization, you can successfully start and run a dance school.

Excel financial model

Dance School Financial Model
  • 5-Year Financial Projection
  • 40+ Charts & Metrics
  • DCF & Multiple Valuation
  • Free Email Support