It’s a common question for dance studio owners: how much do dance classes cost? Or more importantly, how much should you charge to remain competitive yet profitable? The answer can make or break you as a business. If you get your dance class rates right, you’ll have happy customers and enough revenue to pay your bills on time. On the other hand, getting it wrong could put your studio in jeopardy.
At Studio Director, we empower studio owners to run their day-to-day operations seamlessly and with ease. Because of that, we have an expert take on how studios across the country determine dance class rates successfully. From average rates across the U.S. to factors to consider, here’s what you should know.
How Much Do Dance Classes Cost?
Everyday Health found that, on average, large group dance classes can cost students between $40 and $160 per month for one dance class per week. But, as you already know, this will vary greatly from studio to studio due to several different factors.
First, geographical location has an impact on the average cost of products and services. Dance classes in New York City are bound to be much more expensive than they are in a small town in Wisconsin. This principle applies to nearly everything, as the cost of living is drastically different in each location.
Because of this, it’s important to look at your local community and the average rates it will support. Find dance class rates for all of your close competitors. Look at the average. Look at the outliers. Depending on your studio’s approach, you may charge slightly more for premium lessons or you may decide to offer more affordable classes for larger groups of students.
Likewise, the types of classes you offer will have an impact on your average dance class rates. For example, ballet classes for toddlers are usually cheaper due to the length of the class. At that age, most children can only tolerate a 30-minute class. It will make the price look a lot different than a 60-minute ballet class for teenagers with several years of experience.
At this point, get a general idea of how much you could charge before plugging into your current expenses.
How to Calculate Your Monthly Dance Studio Costs
Before you start finalizing dance class fees for your studio, it’s essential to know your numbers. You must have a clear view of all the costs related to running your dance studio.
Start by adding up every expense, including:
- Monthly mortgage or rent of your studio
- Utilities such as water, electric, heating, and air conditioning
- Staff salaries
- Marketing activities and materials
- Professional subscriptions and dues
- Software fees
- Janitorial expenses, such as a cleaning crew, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper
- Office supplies, such as pens and paper
- Maintenance and upkeep
In short, you can’t determine the amount of money you need to bring in until you know what you’re spending. You should always be able to stay afloat despite the inevitable ups and downs of registration numbers.
Once you have that number, it’s time to start finalizing fees for each different type of class.
The reasons a student may choose to take a private class could be:
- They need specialized attention to break down the material
- Embarrassment over their technique
- The student desires to learn at a faster pace, and learn their strengths and weaknesses quicker as well
- The student doesn’t want to socialize with other people
Because of the fact, one-on-one instruction is so constricting (i.e. the dance instructor can’t earn from other students during this time), private classes are typically more expensive per class than other class types. As such, it’s not unreasonable to charge between $85 and $95 per private class.
Where to Start With Different Dance Class Fees
Consider the various types of classes you currently offer and those that you want to offer. Differences in class size, age ranges, and length of classes will all have an impact on dance class rates.
Here are the most common types of classes and the value they provide.
Large group classes
Large group classes usually consist of a dozen or so dancers to one teacher. If you have more than this, it’s generally a good idea to bring in a second instructor. However, this will depend on the age and skill level of your dancers. These large group classes are most popular with students because they’re a cost-effective way to learn how to dance.
As noted, large weekly group dance classes rates range from $40 and $160 per month for students. Some dance studios also charge a registration fee. We’ll dive deeper into the topic of registration fees later in this post.
For those looking for a group setting that is a bit smaller, semi-private classes are a great option. Because there are only a few students, the teacher will be able to closely monitor technique and form for more personalized instruction.
It’s not abnormal for a small group class of three students to cost around $50 per lesson per student.
Students who want to perfect their technique may prefer private dance lessons. This allows for one-on-one specialized coaching to focus on their strengths and weaknesses.
As expected, these classes are more expensive than other class types because the teacher is limited in how much they can make during that time slot. This one also varies depending on the teacher’s skill—expect students to pay at least $50 for a one-hour lesson, if not substantially more.
Additional Factors for Calculating Dance Class Rates
Beyond your dance class rates and average dance class rates in your community, there are other fees or payment structures to factor in.
Registration fees aren’t unusual for new students, but waiving them can be a selling tactic. For example, your studio can run occasional specials that allow sign-ups without a registration fee during certain dates.
This provides saving opportunities to entice students, but still gives you a profit boost outside of these promotional windows. Much like other dance class fees, studios vary on this price tag. While some are as low as $25 per family, others may charge $100 or more.
Cancellation or no-show fees
There are always cases when a student will have to cancel or reschedule their class. It’s important to provide some level of flexibility. From unexpected illness to family vacations, life happens!
However, some studios implement fees for last minute cancellations or no-shows to make up for the loss of income. While this is certainly normal at many studios, it’s important to keep your cancellation fee within reason to avoid losing students.
Dance packages are a great way to encourage sign-ups and gain a predictable stream of revenue. Instead of paying per class, your students have the option to pay up front for a certain number of classes. This fee usually amounts to a lower cost per class than paying for just one class at a time.
Some studios prefer to only offer these types of dance packages, while others prefer a la carte options. To determine what would work best for your studio, consider conducting a survey or poll with your current students.
Maximize Your Revenue With Dance Studio Software
Once you have this information gathered, you’ll have a good idea of what rates you should charge in your community for the types of classes you offer.
Even with the perfect dance class rates structure, though, it’s important to save where you can. One tool that can help you decrease expenses and boost productivity across your business is dance studio software.
From online registration to credit card processing, Studio Director is your go-to partner for streamlining your administrative tasks. Plus, revenue reporting makes it easy to maintain a bird’s eye view of your finances, so you know when your rates are too low or when there are opportunities to raise them successfully.
Ready to get a feel for what we do at Studio Director? Check out our interactive product demo!