4 Things to Consider When Becoming a Dance Teacher

Most dance teachers initially got their start for one similar reason—they love to dance. However, we all know that starting a business requires much more than a passion for your trade; you have some questions to ask yourself as you start setting up your business.

You’ll primarily need to think about (1) the format of your studio, (2) the structure of your programs, (3) how your program will make money while keeping clients happy, and (4) how you can keep your business protected from liability—hint: it’s with dance instructor insurance, but we’ll cover that below.

1. What Type of Studio Will You Have?

Every personal trainer needs to be mindful of the potential liability they face. Depending on your current situation, coverage may or may not already be in place.

Some things to consider:

You’ll first need to decide what purpose you want your studio to serve. You likely have an idea of what type of dance you’ll teach, but you can go about teaching in different ways. Your studio will likely fit into one of two types:

Traditional Studios

Traditional studios offer private and group lessons in an educational setting. These classes generally lead to some sort of performance or showcase.

Active Lifestyle/Non-Traditional Studios

These studios still teach dance, but with a goal of fitness in mind. This is where you’ll find Zumba or Barre; however, traditional styles can still be taught in this setting. These classes are often offered as aerobic exercise for those who enjoy dance -style workouts.

Fitness wrist injury
2. How Will Your Business Be Structured?

Once you know what type of studio you want to run, you’ll need to decide how you’ll structure your program. You’ll want to figure out the following:

  • What do you want a typical day to look like?
  • How many classes can you teach?
  • How many students will be in a class?
  • Will you need to bring other teachers in?
  • How will you keep your clients happy and returning?

The way you structure your program is your opportunity to present how you think dance should be taught. It’s your chance to inject your individuality and philosophy into the teaching process, so make sure to put together a solid and well thought-out plan.

Fitness wrist injury
3. How Will Your Business Make Money?

This is the big question. Once you know what and how you want to teach, you’ll have to determine how you can make your program profitable.

Start by taking these steps:

  • Take note of all your expenses. Look at rent, transportation, equipment, employees, or maintenance, and set prices accordingly.
  • Scout out the competition in the area and see what their programs cost. Also pay attention to how they market themselves and what their social media presence is like.
  • Use this information and your own research to develop your own marketing and social media strategy. (Canopy can help you with this. Find resources here.)
  • Determine who your target audience is. This will require you to honestly evaluate your abilities and interests. Who are you capable of teaching, and who will be most drawn to your teaching style.
  • Take your studio into account. Are you the owner? If so, you may be able to rent out rooms in the off-hours to independent teachers or other community groups.
  • Does the community know who you are? If you’ve taught at an academy in the past and are now branching out on your own, it’s likely current and former students would like to continue working with you.
4) How Can You Protect Your Business Financially?

Once you’ve made money, you need to make sure it’s safe. Unfortunately, teaching dance carries quite a few risks. Primary among these risks is injury.

If you’ve grown up dancing, odds are, you’ve experienced an injury of some sort. From losing toenails to pulling muscles to breaking bones, a lot can happen to a dancer, even in the most controlled environment.

Fitness wrist injury

As a teacher, you’re surely taking every possible measure to prevent these injuries. As a dancer, you know that they’ll still happen eventually. When they do, you can end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Injury-related lawsuits can range from thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even if you're not found negligent, defense costs alone can rack up.

Avoid putting that financial strain on your business by purchasing dance teacher insurance. Canopy’s dance instructor insurance plan, for example, provides up to $3 million in liability coverage over the course of a year.

In addition to injury risks, you also run the risk of property damage. Walls, mirrors, fans, and props are all common targets of flying dancer feet. If you’re renting a space or equipment, you can be held liable if it gets damaged. Canopy protects you in this case as well.

Purchase a Policy Today!

Canopy personal trainer insurance policies start at $129 and are available for purchase online. You can get covered today in 10 minutes or less. As soon as you've purchased your policy, your documents will be available and you'll be ready to get to work!