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What's a good minor to accompany a dance major looking to open her own studio after college?

Hey! I am a competitive dancer and plan to major in dance. I am a 2021 high school senior and interested in getting a business or kinesiology minor as well. I also love organizing and decorating and have considered possibly minoring in interior decorating. Any advice?? Thank you!! dance college-major

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Ashley’s Answer

I recommend a business minor because of your focus on opening your own studio. To be a successful business owner, you'll need to know more than just the special service you're selling. Skills you'll need to make your studio successful:

- Basic bookkeeping and/or accounting: You need to understand the basics of costs, revenue, and profit. You will probably hire someone to handle payroll and taxes, but you need to have a sense of how much rent costs, how much you're paying instructors, how much to charge per class or student, and how much you're paying yourself.

- Marketing and sales: How will you attract students? How will you price your classes, and will you offer discounts or referrals? How will you build your reputation in the market so that students and guardians trust you? What demographic will you focus on (kids vs. adults, ballet vs. jazz vs. all styles, beginner vs. advanced vs. all levels)? Will you also sell things that help your students succeed (shoes, bags, costumes)? Questions about knowing your audience and how to reach them are central to marketing and sales.

- Operations: This includes elements like renting a space, equipment lifespan, supply chain for any physical goods that you sell, and logistics of events.

- Human Resources: This covers hiring, scheduling, harassment and compliance policies and training, disciplinary action, and performance reviews. You'll need to evaluate instructors, make sure that you create a safe environment for your workers AND your customers, and understand how to retain staff.

These are just a few of the skills that you'll need beyond dancing if you want to be a successful studio owner. While more education related to dance is good (ie: kinesiology), getting the fundamentals that come with a business degree will help you open and run your studio for the long-run.
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Marina’s Answer

Many of my friends had successful dance careers. One owns her own studio after years of being a professional dancer and she never went to college. That being said, pursue that business minor and re-read Ashley's advice. It's 100% spot on. Keep in mind: if you want to be a competitive dancer, you also have to practice really hard, take dance classes and improve your technique. I believe it's a mix of hard work, talent and luck that makes a successful dancer.

Your interest in interior design also leads me to think you have a lot of creative energy that is looking for an outlet. Offer to help friends/family reorganize a room or share inspiration boards on Pinterest. If you're able to work part-time while pursuing school and dance, I recommend looking at retail merchandising jobs. Retail merchandisers help set window displays, mannequins, table displays, seasonal/holiday features, etc in stores. Depending on the store, there is usually a lot of creative freedom to build a display for customers to shop.
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Suddhasattwa’s Answer

Hi Anna,

Very bright question and the world is waiting with ample of opportunities who can use their various dance forms to benefit people of their mental and physical health too.

If Dance is your Major so choose Kinesiology as your Minor. Don't choose business as its generic and you will automatically learn or hire who can help you with the good business outcomes, so dont include that in your Minor/study.

Many of them are Dance experts and are trying to do their own business but when you have both Dance + Kinesiology then business will automatically come to you, for your dual expertise.

Dance + Kinesiology is a deadly combination and you will be able to relate everything as they compliment each other in various ways.
Adaptation through exercise is a key principle of kinesiology that relates to improved fitness, health and wellness and so is your Dance very much does the same. So go for this and all the very best Anna.

Good luck,
Suddho

Thank you so much!!! Anna K.

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Melanie’s Answer

Hi!

If you are interested in opening your own studio, having a business management or entrepreneurship minor would be useful. Both fields focus on creating and developing your own business while finding ways to elevate the growth of the studio itself. If you are a senior, it will be difficult to add more than one minor as it can add to your graduation time, but adding one won't be bad at all. Having the foundations of business and means to obtain the studio will be difficult, but it is achievable and can be done with hard work. Good luck!

Thank you so much!! Anna K.

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Emily’s Answer

Hi Anna,

I was excited to see this question, as I too was a competitive dancer from a young age through high school. I may be biased as I was a marketing major in my university's business school, but I think business is a great complement to your dance major. Business will be applicable to so many things, and at the end of the day, when you are opening/running a dance studio, you are running a business. It will be important to have skills such as management, hiring staff, managing workplace concerns, providing pay/benefits to your staff, as well as promoting your studio to draw in customers, making your studio known, and understanding the finances of your studio.

Because so many of these are important, a general business major/minor such as business management would be a great addition. If your school does not offer a general business major/minor, anything related to entrepreneurship, marketing, human resources, finance, accounting, etc. would provide you with important resources to run a successful studio.

Good luck!

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Chris’s Answer

Hi Anna, I agree with several of the responses you have received. Taking classes in basic accounting and business will go a long way to helping you with any of your creative interests. One way to maximize your opportunities is to take some classes at a community college. Many community colleges have good foundational classes in accounting, business and associated interests. I wish you great success!
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Gloria’s Answer

I actually have considered small business to work along my creative pursuits. I do not have any insights, but I think that I would recommend taking a look at resources online. I went to one that I would consider reputable, Entrepreneur magazine. Here is the link: https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/299854 What I like about the recommendations here are that they focus on programs that don't immediately scream "business skill" and yet are just that. I think a lot about writing. I write in my job as an Instructional Designer. It is amazing to me that so many of my peers struggle with written communication. Good written communication can overcome a lot of other gaps in your education. I want to say that I like that you already know how you are going to use your talent in a real-world employment situation. Good luck in your studies and the pursuit of your studio. I studied Flamenco dancing at a local dancer-owned small business. It is one of the best experiences of my life.
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Jennifer’s Answer

I agree with Emily and Ashley's responses. I got a dance degree at University of Illinois and had planned to minor in business, with the same dream as you, but there was literally not enough time to do so as the dance program required classes and rehearsals often 7 days/week. This was just one program and my experience, but now that I'm in the corporate world I would recommend taking accounting and business classes if you can. If nothing else, they will help you wherever life may lead you.

I strongly recommend finding the right school/program for your goals and interests. I went to a program that was not aligned with what I wanted to do, and while I appreciate all that I gained from it, I wonder how different my career might be had I gone through a program that was a better fit to my goals and dreams.

Good luck!

Jennifer recommends the following next steps:

If you go to school, work in a local studio either while in school or over the summers. You can learn a lot about the business this way. Seek out different studios too, as they are all managed differently!
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Jacob’s Answer

Hi Anna,
I would look for a minor that would focus on skillsets beyond the physical aspect of dancing that you could leverage to benefit your business. Think about entrepreneurship, other more targeted aspects could be marketing or design as you could use these skills to help attract and retain clients, accounting could also be a good balance to help you understand the financial aspect of operating your studio. All of these skills could be outsourced to other individuals so I do agree with Suddho about finding a paired aspect that you could offer within the dance studio, mobility, PT, circuit classes something that your dance clients will find valuable which will make them loyal.

Best of luck!

Jacob
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Chris’s Answer

Hi Anna, I agree with several of the responses you have received. Taking classes in basic accounting and business will go a long way to helping you with any of your creative interests. One way to maximize your opportunities is to take some classes at a community college. Many community colleges have good foundational classes in accounting, business and associated interests. I wish you great success!
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