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A Complete Guide To Setting Up a Dance Studio

Vaishwi Sinha
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Considering dancing combines the best of aerobics and body weight bearing exercises, it’s no wonder that a lot of people are now looking at it as a fitness activity instead of just an art form. However, setting up a dance studio and making it profitable has a lot more to it than finding studio space and knowing how to teach dance.

Here’s a complete guide on how to set up a dance studio.

How to start a dance studio

  1. Identify your niche
  2. Start with a business plan
  3. Set up your brand
  4. Find your location
  5. Set up your space
  6. Hire the right staff
  7. Set up and automate processes
  8. Set up an online presence
  9. Begin marketing your studio
  10. Get ready for the launch

Here’s a detailed look at what it takes to open a dance studio.

Identify your niche

A recent study showed there are 94,472 dance studios in the US alone. That means there are plenty of studios for people to choose from. So instead of being just another dance studio, find out what the market needs and cater to that specific need.

For example, if the market is saturated with free style and salsa dance classes, open a dance studio that teaches Bollywood!

Start with a business plan

A business plan is the base for you to build your dance studio on. Here are the components of a business plan.

  • The executive summary is a brief summary of the entire business plan. While it features at the beginning of the plan, the executive summary is actually made once the entire plan is in place.
  • The business overview section defines the company vision, mission, goals and ownership details.
  • The next section is the market analysis takes a look at what the market currently offers. This includes identifying what the current trends in the dance studio sector are, what your competitors are doing and what your growth prospects look like. A SWOT analysis to evaluate if you ought to invest is also advisable.
  • Your business plan ought to describe in detail what services your dance studio will offer, under the “Products and Services” section.
  • The next section ought to have financial projections for at least the next three included. Included in these projections ought to be set up costs, a cash flow statement, when you will break even and a balance sheet.
  • No business plan would be complete without a description of your dance studio’s USPs, and a solid plan for promotions, as well as sales and marketing.

Set up your brand

Once you have a name for your dance studio, it is important for you to concentrate on building your brand identity. Your brand identity is what people will recognize your business by.

Here are three important things for you to consider when working on branding for your dance studio.


Your studio logo is like your brand’s unique signature. It is what people will recognize your brand by. Your logo ought to resonate with your brand values and mission.

Consider how an upward tick reminds you of Nike, or the golden arches are symbolic of McDonald’s. Your brand’s logo ought to create a similar recall value for your dance studio.

Making a logo requires expertise with graphic design, and knowledge of how to use tools like Adobe Illustrator and Canva. If you do not have this expertise, we’d advise you to hire a professional designer to do the job for you.


The next thing your branding needs is for you to decide on the colors you use. Ideally, it is advisable to choose three colors: two primary colors and one complementary color that can be used for backgrounds.

Before you choose colors, remember that each color conveys a different emotion. The colors you choose ought to represent the vibe you’d want your dance studio to stand for.


Fonts are such an integral part of branding that a lot of brands create custom fonts to represent their businesses. While you may not need to go that far, it is important for you to choose two fonts.

Once you have chosen these fonts, be sure to use the same fonts in the same order for everything brand related. Use one font for all your headers and bold text, and the other for body text.

Consistency should be maintained across your website, visiting cards, emails and marketing collateral.

Find your location

Net on our guide on how to open a dance studio is finding the correct location for your dance studio.

During the financial planning process, you ought to account for rent and set up expenses. Here are some of the factors that will affect how much the ideal space will find you.

  • How large you want the space to be. The rule of thumb is to allow approximately 25 square feet per dance student.

You will also need to decide if you want a single room or multiple rooms for batches, and what additional facilities are required.

  • Where it is located. Ideally, you’d want to find a space that is easily accessible by public transportation. Also, be sure to choose a location that has the people of the age group you’re targeting who can afford your dance studio membership.
  • How much you can afford to spend on rent every month until you start turning a profit.
  • Make sure the space you choose has ample parking for your clients, and is in an easily visible location. Not only will it make finding your dance studio easier, it will also get you free advertising.

Set up your space

Once you have decided on the space you’re leasing out for your studio, you will need to set it up. Here are some things to consider while setting up your dance studio.

  • How many rooms for batches do you need? Will a single room suffice or will you be running more than one batch at the same time?
  • How much space do you need for your office?
  • Does your dance studio need a lobby or waiting room?
  • Will you have enough space for a small retail outlet or merchandise store?
  • How many bathrooms will you have?
  • What kind of decor do you want your dance studio to have? Most studios feature mirrored walls and hardwood floors. Keep in mind that your decor ought to inspire fluidity and creativity.
  • The pandemic has shifted business dynamics to include online classes. You will need to plan for live streaming and VOD (Video on demand) classes.

Hire the right dance studio staff

Running a dance studio comes with a lot of administrative work in addition to taking classes for your members. Believe us when we say you cannot do everything by yourself.

The number of people you will need to hire will depend on the size of your business. You may need to hire dance instructors, office staff and maybe even maintenance staff. Here are some tips to help you with staffing your studio.

  • Be sure to have processes in place for every position you want to hire for, so people are aware of their responsibilities in advance.
  • It may be a good idea to have a trial period for your instructors.
  • Be sure to hire instructors who are knowledgeable in more than one dance form.
  • Define daily, weekly and monthly duties for all your staff.
  • Top notch customer service is of the utmost importance to enhance customer experiences, and should be an important part of your new hire training.

Set up and automate processes

You will need to set up business processes, and to make management easier, invest in technology to automate as many processes as possible. Let’s take a look at what this part of opening a dance studio entails.

  • Onboarding

Onboarding is an integral part of the customer experience, and the easier and more seamless you make the process, the better the customer experience will be.

Your customers ought to be able to have access to multiple payment options (cards, PayPal, net banking, etc.) to pay for their memberships, and should be able to do it remotely as well.

As soon as a new member joins your studio, you or your staff ought to understand their goals, needs and preferences, and work on designing a program that works best for them.

  • Registration and scheduling

In addition to being able to make payments online or in person, you ought to invest in a management software that makes it easy both for you and for your members to register for classes and manage schedules.

Ideally, your members ought to be able to do this themselves remotely through your website or app. This will offer them more control over their relationship with your brand.

  • Communication and experience

Another important aspect of creating a positive customer experience is how you communicate with them. Keep in mind that a lot of aspects of communication can be automated with the right dance studio management software.

The ideal tool will make it easy for you to:

  • Send schedule reminders.
  • Alerts about changes in schedules.
  • Check in with slacking or absent members.
  • Send payment reminders through push notifications.
  • Remind members about your studio’s no-show policy.
  • Celebratory messages when members achieve goals.
  • Bookee can help take this automation to the next level by building you a branded app. This app will allow members to receive notifications, make payments, handle scheduling and more without even having to visit your website.

Set up an online presence

An online presence is a must for dance studios, especially considering the amount of time people spend online. Here are two essential tips to building a strong online presence.

  • Website

Your dance studio’s website ought to be a digital extension of your brick and mortar business. Be sure your website has all the information anyone would need about your studio. Pictures of the interiors and exterior of the studio, address and contact information is a must- have.

Your website should also ideally have a payment gateway for new members to sign in and for current members to renew their membership. A section that allows for scheduling would add to creating a positive customer experience.

  • Social media

Social media platforms are where you’re most likely to connect with your target demographic. Your chosen social media platforms ought to be Instagram, Tiktok and Facebook. You can also have a YouTube channel for longer video content.

Begin marketing your studio

The only way your new dance studio is going to get noticed is if you have a strong marketing plan in place. Here are some essential elements your marketing plan ought to have.

  • Advertisements on social media ads and on Google are great ways to build brand awareness and bring in new memberships.
  • Email marketing is an old school but effective way to reach out to people. Be sure to build an email address database from people who visit your website, visit the studio and that you meet at events.

Sendinblue, Hubspot, Mailchimp and Mailgun are some service providers who have attractive packages to help businesses customize and send out bulk emails.

  • Promote your dance studio on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Reddit. Most of these platforms have local community pages on these platforms that would be ideal for you to connect with your target audience.
  • Referrals are an old school but effective way to spread the word and bring in business. The key to a successful referral program is in offering rewards that drive people to refer your dance studio to their friends and families.

Here’s a home grown example of a successful referral program. We at Bookee offered a free month’s services to our clients for every referral that converted into new revenue. We’ve seen an average increase of $44,000 year on year driven purely by referrals.

Get ready for the launch

Now that all the groundwork is done, you ought to be almost ready to launch your new dance studio.

Your studio launch is another great opportunity for you to network and market our studio. Host an event at your studio, inviting other local dance studio owners and members of the local community.

You could publicize the event on your social media handles. Look at it as a way for you to connect with the local dance community and bring in new members as well.

Your launch part is also a great opportunity to build on your email database for future promotional activities.


Now that you know what goes into setting up a dance studio, you’re all set to go out and make your mark on the world of dancing. It sure looks like a lot of work, doesn’t it?

Choosing Bookee as your dance studio management software will take the load off of your shoulders in a lot of ways. Here are just some of them.

  • We’ll build you an easy, intuitive and professional branded website, replete with a payment gateway so new members can sign up online, and existing members can renew their membership.
  • We’ll build you a branded app so your members can communicate with you and handle their accounts with ease even from their smartphones.
  • Want to live stream classes or events? We’ve got your back. We’ll even make it easy for you to offer VOD classes.
  • Our tool can handle your social media campaigns, automate messaging and a whole lot more.

Book a demo with our experts today and learn why Bookee is at the forefront of management softwares for dance studios and other fitness businesses.

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Vaishwi Sinha Bookee Writer
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Vaishwi Sinha

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