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Goal-Setting Questions For Dance Studio Owners





As we set out to start another season and enjoy the last bits of summer, now is a great time to sit back and reflect on what your studio goals are for the upcoming year. Whether you are a brand new studio owner or one that’s been around for years, it never hurts to reassess current needs and projected goals for your students and business. Below are five questions to ask yourself to help get you started towards a successful dance season and many more down the road.

1.      What are your goals for your students this year? Separate specific goals for each level/age. i.e. babies, recreational, company, performance groups, etc. What are some new lesson plans and curriculum you’d like to implement? Are there assessment measure you’d like to put forth? Where would you like to see your students by the end of the season?

2.      What are your goals for maintaining an organized office and administrative information? Do you have software set up? Are all your staff on the same page in terms of understanding how billing and accepting tuition works? What about schedules, filing, handling messages, setting up meetings, dealing with parent questions, etc.? Make a plan that is clear and concise so that studio business is smooth sailing. 

3.      What are your goals as a teacher and choreographer? Think about what you personally wish to achieve creatively and artistically with your dancers. What are your individual artistic pursuits? Are there areas you wish to expand on for yourself in terms of teaching and lesson planning?

4.      What are your goals as a studio owner? In terms of the business side, where do you hope to progress things? Will you increase marketing to increase enrollment? How? What new aspects of the business would you like to take on to increase revenue and grow your studio?

5.      What are your goals for increasing personal relationships with parents, students and faculty? How will you keep the lines of communication open and be on the pulse of the on-goings of the studio? How do you plan to implement a diplomatic and fair relationship which is still mindful of your business as a priority? How will you keep camaraderie up and build your studio spirit? What are your plans for fundraising, family days and parent/student meetings? For offering new experiences to everyone to keep them excited?


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Jessica Rizzo Stafford

Jessica Rizzo Stafford

Jessica Rizzo Stafford is a native New Yorker and graduate of NYU Steinhardt's Dance Education Master’s Program; with a PK-12 New York State Teaching Certification. Her double-concentration Master’s Degree includes PK-12 pedagogy and dance education within the higher-education discipline. She also holds a BFA in dance performance from the UMASS Amherst 5 College Dance Program where she was a Chancellor's Talent Award recipient. Jess now works extensively with children, adolescents and professionals as choreographer and teacher and conducts national and international master-classes specializing in the genres of modern, contemporary, musical theatre and choreography-composition. Jess’ national and international performance career includes works such as: The National Tour of Guys & Dolls, The European Tour of Grease, West Side Story, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, Salute to Dudley Moore at Carnegie Hall, guest-dancer with the World Famous Pontani Sisters and IMPULSE Modern Dance Company. Jess has been a faculty member for the Perichild Program & Peridance Youth Ensemble & taught contemporary and jazz at the historic New Dance Group and 92nd Street Y in NYC. She was Company Director at the historic Steffi Nossen School of Dance/Dance in Education Fund and in 2008 traveled to Uganda where she taught creative-movement to misplaced children. The experience culminated with Jess being selected as a featured instructor at the Queen's Kampala Ballet & Modern Dance School. She has conducted workshops for the cast of LA REVE at the Wynn, Las Vegas and recently taught at the 2011 IDS International Dance Teacher Conference at The Royal Ballet in London, UK. She is also on faculty for the annual Dance Teacher Web Conferences in Las Vegas, NV. Currently, Jess is a faculty member at the D'Valda & Sirico Dance & Music Centre and master teacher & adjudicator for various national and international dance competitions. Recently, she has finished her NYU Master’s thesis research on the choreographic process of technically advanced adolescent dancers and is the creator of “PROJECT C;” a choreography-composition curriculum for the private studio sector. Jess is also faculty member, contributing writer and presenter in the choreography and “how to” teaching segments on the celebrated For more info, visit her website at

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