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Finding the right location


Studio Owner Article


Self-help and Life Enhancement Tips for the Business Owner

Location - location - location! Yes we have all heard that old saying about real estate. The same can be said when trying to find the right location for your dance studio. Whether you are starting out new, relocating or finding a second location the overriding factor in all of it is the cost. The good news is we can put a dance studio in lots of places where other business could not exist. We don't need a store front. We do need space and high ceilings, the more of both the merrier. We need some parking. Most of the business dance studios get is from people who seek us out. Not many people just stumble into a dance school and say " This is exactly what I was looking for!"

Look everywhere and be careful not to close your mind to anywhere you look. The key is to get enough space to grow into but not too much so that you are struggling to pay the rent. It is a good problem to be busting at the seams. No one wants to have lots of open space with no one there. There are online resources that can help you search for commercial space in your community. Go online and Google real estate in your town or city. Then narrow it down to commercial real estate. You should be able to find several realtors who specialize in commercial properties.

Before you look you will need to figure out how much you want to spend per month. One thing you should know about whatever space you are considering, is that you are going to have to negotiate your lease. Never accept the price or offer in the preliminary stages. Don't forget to calculate your expenses. This will include walls, flooring, mirrors and more. The reason we know first hand about this situation is from past experience. Twelve years ago we had to move from the location we were in to a new space. The worst part was that we only had two months to relocate and convert the space into a dance studio. We were informed by the landlord on September 1st that by the end of October we had to be out. The building we were in had been sold and was coming down by the first of the year! Since we already started our semester we had to act fast. We also needed three dance studios as we had three classes going on at the same time. We could not have changed our schedule at that point. We had been looking around during the summer for another spot and had seen something in town that we thought would be a possibility. Luckily, that spot was still available. We met with the owner and made a very low offer and also asked for five months of FREE rent! We were going to have to spend quite a bit of money to fix it up so we decided that we would have to start low with our negotiations and hopefully wouldn't have to go up too much. The next day the owner called us over to his office and after a few nervous laughs about how he would only consider our offer if we were part of his family, he then proceeded to tell us that he would indeed accept our offer and would have the lease agreement drawn up. He gave us the keys right there and then so we could start the fix up that same weekend. When we left his office we were doing back hand springs down the road we were so happy. Obviously, this was not the ideal way to look for a spot but it goes to show that if you have a budget in mind and stick to it you can still work it out.

No matter what the square footage price is remember, everything is negotiable! If someone says no to your offer see what the counter offer is. If they are stuck on their price and it doesn't work for you, move on to the next spot. You know your community best, so look for an area that is pretty easy to find. It might be somewhere that you wouldn't normally think about as an ideal spot, but by reviewing it further you might find that it could be a definite possibility.


Steve Sirico

Steve Sirico

Steve is co-founder of Dance Teacher Web the number one online resource for dance teachers and studio owners worldwide.He is Co-Director of the very successful D'Valda and Sirico Dance and Music Center in Fairfield, CT for the past thirty plus years. His students have gone on to very successful careers in dance, music and theater. Originally from Norwalk, Ct, Steve excelled in track and football. He attended the University of Tennessee at Martin on a sports scholarship. Deciding to switch and make his career in the world of dance, he studied initially with Mikki Williams and then in New York with Charles Kelley and Frank Hatchett. He has appeared in a number of theatre productions such as Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls and Mame in New York and around the country and in industrials and television shows. He was contracted to appear as the lead dancer in the Valerie Peters Special a television show filmed in Tampa, Florida. After meeting Angela DValda during the filming they formed the Adagio act of DValda & Sirico appearing in theatres, clubs and on television shows such as David Letterman, Star Search and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In 1982 they were contracted to Europe and appeared in a variety of shows in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Italy before going to London, England where they appeared as Guest Artists for Wayne Sleep (formerly of the Royal Ballet) in his show Dash at the Dominium Theatre. Author of his Jazz Dance syllabus and co-author of a Partner syllabus both of which are used for teacher training by Dance Educators of America, He has also co-authored two books one for dance teachers and one for studio owners in the "It's Your Turn" Book series. He is available for master classes, private business consulting and teacher training development

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