How to start a Successful Mobile Dance Studio in a Community Center!

  1. First, research community centers in your area, contact them. Ask who you may talk to about becoming a vendor or contracted instructor.
  2. Second, fill out their vendor application. This is usually done 4-6 months before the upcoming quarter. For example, if you want to provide classes for their summer session, you would be submitting a vendor application in November of the year prior.
  3. Third, be prepared to provide proof of liability insurance, a description of the classes you would teach, price, and a timeframe for your session. 
  4. Fourth, create a system. As you will need to complete this vendor process quarterly. 

Here are some tips and things to keep in mind.

Tip #1 Prior to contacting any City Recreation Department, make sure you are not offering something they already have because they will most likely deny your application. It doesn't hurt to call and ask to speak to the recreation manager or contract specialist.

Example: I teach ballet classes, but I also offer an inclusive dance class. Often community centers will reject my ballet classes due to already having an established program, but will welcome me in through my inclusive classes. Once, I am in their system for a quarter, then I am able to build rapport to add more classes.

Tip#2 Make sure the names and descriptions of your classes express the feeling of fun. Also, be prepared to run classes for 6-12 weeks at a time. You would run the same class multiple times a year. 

Remember, community recreational departments, give people the idea of fun, introductory and enrichment based.

Tip#3 Be prepared to shop around for liability insurance which can run from $150-$600 a year. They will most likely ask you for this in order to teach as a contractor.

Tip #4 Have an idea of the pricing and amount of kids you will need in each class to break even and make a profit. Keep in mind you, will most likely be asked to agree to give around 40% of profit to the City department. While this is customary, don't be afraid to negotiate.

Tip#5  Ask, them what they will be providing you for taking the percentage described above.

For example, most places provide space, class advertising in their brochure and online/point of sale transaction handling of classes.

Now, that you have more information on this type of business, you can see it is not as easy as it looks. The class setup, sessions, performances, billing, and business takes a specific type of organization. 

This is why I created a 12-week course to help aspiring dance teachers learn how to successfully run this mobile business at a community center. Catch us before our next 12-week online course starts. Check our site for upcoming enrollment.

 

by Veronica Vasquez-DanceMind

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