Keep The Passion For Dance Alive As You Grow Your Business

IMAGE banner IMAGE is an online membership resource for owners and directors worldwide to start, grow, or take their studio business to the next level.

For nearly forty years Kathy Blake has found positive and effective ways to overcome obstacles and challenges at her performing arts studio while expanding the vibrant dance community in her local area, as well as nationally. With over 900 students, Kathy Blake Studios exemplifies the highest standards in the industry, thriving in a suburban area of southern New Hampshire.

IMAGE Kathy Blake and Suzanne Blake Gerety in the studio IMAGE

Suzanne Blake Gerety and Kathy Blake

Kathy’s daughter, Suzanne Blake Gerety, witnessed the ups and downs of dance studio ownership her entire life. In 2006, she realized that if she were to lose her mom, suddenly the wealth of knowledge and information on how Kathy maintained consistent growth in the face of changing trends, personal losses, studio splits, and financial hardships would be lost.

So together they created as a resource for new and experienced studio owners all over the world to access the latest information to help save time, become more profitable, and grow their businesses both financially and artistically.

Dance Advantage has been happy to present helpful tips and insight in a regular column by Suzanne Gerety. We are also very proud to be part of the community and of our long-standing affiliate relationship. We’ve been referring many happy customers to this smart, useful, and business-enhancing resource for nearly 4 years.

The Giveaway would like to give away a One-Year Membership to TWO Dance Advantage readers.

The quickest route to long-lasting success as a dance studio owner isn’t about figuring it out yourself. This unique learning environment is a place where each member can ask for advice and feedback and get it from other studio owners experiencing tangible success in their own businesses and who are willing to share how they’re doing it.

As a member of you’ll get to know Kathy and Suzanne personally. They are real, down to earth, people who deal with all of the non-glamorous side of studio ownership, just like you. Yet, they still hold on to their dreams. is here to support you because they know it’s never worth giving up on your dream.

They’ll be your cheerleaders and your greatest resource.

The retail value of a one-year membership is $187. Current members may still enter to win — your account will be credited.

The giveaway is open worldwide to those 18 and up and closes at Midnight EST on Sunday, February 19.

How To Enter

This giveaway is closed but learn how to become a member of this fabulous resource for studio administrators at

Sign-in with the Rafflecopter form below using Facebook or your name and email. The widget will reveal multiple ways to earn entries.

The first, commenting on this post, is mandatory for entry (as always).

In this case, you’ll be asked to comment, and share:

What’s the biggest challenge you face today when it comes to running your dance studio?

Sign in, and click on Do It and you’ll see.

Upon entering, optional tasks for earning up to 10 additional entries will be revealed.

Complete as many as you like. Come back and Tweet once every day of the Dance Studio Owner giveaway.

Just make sure after each task you return and let us know you DID IT in the Rafflecopter form (don’t worry, it’ll save your other entries).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re having trouble seeing the form, I suggest updating or trying another browser.

Winners will be announced within days of the giveaway’s close and will be contacted directly.

Please read our Giveaway Policy.

Tomorrow’s Giveaway:

Something for the hungry in all of us by Barre, the real food bar developed by professional dancers.

IMAGE Feb 12-18: LOVE Our Readers Giveaway 2012 IMAGE

More giveaways - CLICK HERE!

Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world.
Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle (owner/editor)


  1. What a great promotion. Love it and passing it on!

  2. Fantastic giveaway! I have my fingers and toes crossed!!

  3. As a new studio in there 2nd year getting our name out there is challenging.

    • Hi Sasha,
      You’re not alone! The old methods of traditional marketing (newspaper ads, expensive brochures sent through the mail, yellow pages, etc) don’t work like they used to and have essentially become obsolete. So how can you get your name out there – especially as a new studio? I’m a big believer in exhausting your low to no cost methods first. Here are a couple of articles that might be helpful for you:
      Four Ways to Make an Impact with Low Cost Marketing
      Leveraging Your Dance Studio’s Identity To Grow Your Business

      Keep up the good work and know that you’ll always be having to get your name out there – no matter how long you’re in business. Offer great instruction, excellent customer service and your referrals and reputation will grow!

  4. Finding balance between teaching, running the business, customer service, and family. There just seems to be not enough hours in the day for everything.

  5. Getting myself known to the local people is very hard as I only opened in January this year and do have competition. Although I offer different styles of dance there are some very well established dance schools in my area too. Also, as it is a new business i have to juggle it with another job to ensure I have a stable income until the school grows.

    • Your dilemma is not a new one. Many start ups begin as underfunded & partially committed. That does not mean your studio will not succeed, it may just take a bit longer. The sooner you can put away enough of a nest egg to leave your “job,” the sooner your studio will boom. Trying to spread your “work energy” across too many hours and too many demands means the possibility of losing some/all of one or both. As for getting known, don’t pass up any school activity(PTA, fund raisers, etc) that will allow you to spread the news of your great studio. As soon as you have routines rolling, see if your local mall or even supermarket will let your kids perform AND you will not even ask for payment ! They win, you win. Word of mouth referrals are amazing & usually best. Start a referral system. you could offer branded merchandise as an incentive. A new referral taking X classes per week means your referring student gets a T-shirt/jacket/hairband/whatever.

  6. My biggest challenge is running a day job a family and still trying to give as much as possible tony students and their families.

  7. While I do not have my own studio, I have assisted a friend and neighbor with their studios. It seems to me that the administrative aspect is the largest challenge.

  8. I would say one of the biggest challenges my husband and I face running our studio, is getting everyone to accept change. We purchased the an existing studio that was DYING a year and a half ago. The studio was in really bad shape, and we came in fixed it up, and brought many wonderful opportunities their way. We knew coming into this that we would have to slowly make changes, and that we would have to PROVE ourselves to them. However, a year and a half into it, it feels as though the PROVING ourselves is NEVER going to end. It takes a toll on you, especially when your business it at it’s early stages. We are extremely well educated teachers, and it seems as though no matter what we do, the kids don’t trust that we know what we are doing or talking about, even though they see how much they have improved over the past year. That is just one of the many challenges we are facing!

    • Hi Nicole,

      Congrats on changes you are making to breathe new life into the studio you purchased. Change does bring out people’s fears and while you may lose some of the ‘old’ students, the positive advancements you are making will help you to attract the right new students moving forward.

      You may have already read this guest post, but I think it will help you to access the positive side of what may be occurring.
      Equation for Growth: Recalculating Problems With Parents At Your Studio

      If you took over a business where things essentially stayed the same from year to year – be prepared to give it some time to have the new culture, mission and vision you are creating set in.

  9. is one of the best websites for dance teachers and owners pack with information of all kinds from running your business to teaching. My biggest challenge is how to advertise in these times when everything seems to be changing so quickly. How can we work together as dance educators for the good of our students and not be so worried about competition? Running the bookkeeping end of the studio. I have to work to different sets of books one for my customers Dance Works on Line and one for taxes Quickbooks all on a MAC. It would be nice if someone would come up with a software program that did both.

  10. I am a new studio owner as of August 2011 and my studio is for teens and adults. There is lots of available info on running a studio for young children, but mine is different. The biggest challenge for me is figuring out the best place/method to market the studio.

  11. Administrative side is a TON of work, and not what most studio owners enjoy about owning a studio. It’s hard to keep all the book work straight, and still have the time to be creative and teach.

  12. Michele Enthoven says:

    Amazing website would love to be a part of the experience and share in your knowledge. My greatest obstacle is myself and overcoming my own insecurities and uncertainties to make change

  13. First of all I would like you to know that you have already helped me/Center Stage Dance Academy of EDH with your wonderful web/phone seminars – thank you for the wealth of information you are sharing with us all.
    The area of my Studio is difficult to hold Saturday classes – very sports and family oriented. How to compete?? also the struggle for BOYS other than Hip Hop and Tap … partnering would really take my dancers to the next level.

    Thank you for your input, Georgina

  14. Great giveaway! My biggest challenge right now is retaining dancers who want to go off and try (way too many) new things… and then expecting to come back into their old class, which is by then levels ahead!

  15. My biggest challenge right now is getting things started. I’m currently a dance teacher, but I’m opening my own studio in a few months. There’s so much to do and I feel like there’s so much I’m forgetting!

  16. Definitely one of my biggest challenges is the administrative side of owning a studio and balancing my time at the studio with time with my family.

  17. The hardest part for me is doing everything alone. I have no one to back me up with parents, no one to bounce ideas off of, no one to encourage me when I feel like I am not good enough, etc. I am too small to afford teachers or office staff so it all falls to me.

  18. My biggest challenge is balancing the administrative side of business with the classes and creative side. Plus we are ready to grow and hire another faculty member, but need to find the right person!

  19. I do not currently own my own dance studio, but I am in the process of starting one within the next few months. Although I do not own one yet, I did help run one and found the hardest part was balancing the administrative end with teaching. Right now I am facing some hard decisions for my own studio and I just want to make sure I am doing everything correctly. This is a super exciting new journey ahead of me!!!!

  20. Quality staff are the biggest key. In the bible belt looking for dancers is tough, finding one who can be an instructor is even tougher. First want ad 12 years ago: 245 replies, 4 candidates, 2 hired; 3% unemployment in the county. Last want ad(s): 10 replies, 2 candidates, 0 hired; 11% unemployment in the county. I don’t get it….

  21. I’m feeling very overwhelmed at what to do to increase my enrollment. Ads don’t seem to bring much response but what else can Ido?
    I could use some great ideas!

    • Colleen, have tried children’s/school charity silent auctions? Great clientele & free advertising. give one package away & ask for the names of ALL the bidders. They would not bid if they did not want what you have.

  22. Greatest challenge as many others have said is finding the hours in the day to teach and be head of finance and head of marketing and artistic director and wardrobe mistress and cleaner and office junior and hr department and and and……..!! But I love it (thanks to Suzanne and Kathy) and wouldn’t change it for the world!

  23. Great responses everyone! If you are new to the site, please note that Suzanne Gerety has graced the site with many superb articles on so many of the topics being raised here. I was remiss in not highlighting this better above but enjoy the tips and insight she has to offer on advertising, organizing, low-cost marketing, and more via her author page: Suzanne Gerety

  24. I am just starting out with a new studio. I am currently in the process of purchasing. I believe my hardest struggle will be keeping the creative side and the financial side of the business equal. I am a little scared that I will be all about the creativity within classes and each dancer that I will lack on keeping the money coming in to keep the business going.

    • Nikki, you can get a mentor using SCORE.( They are retired executives from many kinds of businesses. We got a good bit of help when we opened. Marketing, taxes, accounting, formation of your entity(seems many studios operate as Sole proprietors; bad idea!), and more. Congrats on your new place & good luck!

  25. Soooo, who won?