How 'bout... No.
When I opened the BeatHunter Dance HQ (our studio space in Virginia Beach), I decided to hold classes thoughout the whole year instead of by semesters. Each season (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) is broken up into two 8-week sessions of classes separated by a 2-week session of master classes, guest teachers, and family-center workshops.
Why? Because I saw all the "normal" things that studios do and decided... "Naw fam."
Let Me Count The Ways...
Here are the three most common services that studios format their classes around but don't make sense if you question them for a moment:
The end of the year performance that strikes fear and anxiety into the hearts of dance teachers everywhere! *Insert ominous music here* But not only is it bad for us as teachers, it is also bad for our students and parents. Think about this: Only the first semester is spent training the kids in dance. The second half is spent painstakingly getting all the details of recital together. So the kids are only getting half a year of dance training when their parents are paying for a full year.
I have no problem with learning choreography and showing the parents, but it's really about the growth of the student and their parents being proud of that growth - not the costumes, lights, and makeup.
Ahh, competition. The time when everyone says that it's not about winning and then gets mad when they lose. When studios do competition, it's like recital on steroids: Every year, for several competitions, they do one dance they have perfected to beat other studios at competition. So dance studios hire choreographers, but they don't pay them to create a piece that grows their dancers' artistry; they pay them to create a dance that the judges will like.
BeatHunter HQ will do competition much differently: a handful of kids who could learn from a competition experience will do just that: learn from a competition experience. We will compete if and when the students benefit from it.
3. Industry Training
I could talk about this for days but I'll just say that LA and New York is what they have in mind when studios say "industry" and they are not the only options if you want to be a professional dancer. Industry training will teach dancer to do what the industry wants from them in order for them to "make it" (whatever that means). In short, they learn to be the cropped and edited version of themselves that the industry may like, not the fullness of their "dance-self". I've trained industry-level dancers but I push them to be the best them they can be and be creative in where they take their style of dance instead of following the crowds.
The Choice Is Yours
I am not saying that every studio who does these things is malicious and money-hungry, or that they don't care about their students. What I AM saying is that studios do these things because "That's what studios do," and that's unacceptable. If you are a dance studio owner, your business should be just as unique as you are! Create a new format!
Live In Motion,