Despite the pandemic, people kept dancing—in the streets, online, and increasingly, back at their favorite dance studios. While 2020 was the year that changed everything, dance studios have since adapted, stayed competitive, and started seeing their numbers (and revenues) recover. This, coupled with surging interest in dance and an emphasis on access and inclusivity, hints at good things ahead.
Here are some key dance studio trends we see taking shape in 2022 and onward.
Please don’t stop the music: how dance studios are growing in 2022
The U.S. dance studio market was growing at about 3% per year before COVID forced studios to close—some temporarily, others for good. As a result, the market plunged from a healthy $4.2 billion in 2019 to $3.4 billion in 2020, the lowest level in almost a decade.
The good news is that after the 2020 crash, the industry has been on a steady incline, growing to $3.8 billion in 2022 and going up. The number of dance studios has increased as well. In 2019, there were 65,723 dance studios in the United States. That number dropped to 62,808 in 2020, but has since rebounded to 68,393 in 2022.
Now, two years later, dancers are ready to get back to class. However, with new dance studio openings slightly outpacing the market’s total growth, studio owners are facing more competition for their share of the revenues.
You spin me right, round: pandemic pivots turn into profitable moves
Despite the dizzying starts and stops of the past two years, dance studios have picked up new moves to avoid crashing. The increasing acceptance and use of virtual and online platforms have shown themselves to be a crucial key to profitability and customer engagement.
Even as students head back to the studio, virtual classes will remain an important way to supplement profits and protect against future shake-ups. In fact, for some dance studios, going virtual has brought unexpected and long-lasting rewards. When the pandemic forced Lovely Leaps to switch to online classes, for example, their monthly revenues increased tenfold within a few months!
The pandemic also spurred dance studios to find creative ways to connect with students via social platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Savvy teachers and studio owners are capitalizing on this by offering relevant classes and dance tutorials (like this one!) that build their audience as well as their street cred.
Finally, many studio owners used slower pandemic periods to streamline their businesses, investing in tools to help them ramp up once things picked up again. (The Studio Director, which handles everything from scheduling to payments to billing, is a great option for this).
Everybody dance, now: the future is about access and inclusivity
As virtual classes lowered barriers to entry, a new world opened up to people who never had access to dance before. Suddenly, dance was everywhere, and it was the antidote we needed: a way to reconnect with ourselves, our bodies, and each other.
Today, teachers like Angela Trimbur are “burying the bar” to bring dance to everyone, pulling in people who may not have seen themselves as dancers before. This sort of openness and inclusivity in dance has spilled into other areas, with offerings like Dance Church gaining traction by asserting that “everyone is a dancer, and dance is for everyone.”
Dance studios can join that energy by making classes more accessible to those who haven’t traditionally been included in the dance space. Stopgap Dance Company in the UK, for instance, is removing barriers to dance and “nurturing the talents of dancers born into any body and any mind.” During the pandemic, they tackled the challenges of inclusivity head-on, finding new ways to offer classes to people with a variety of abilities. (See how they did it, and how you can, too.)