When you opened your own dance studio, you probably had an idea of how you would fill the space: there would be a mirror, a dance floor, a barre, a sound system or piano, and perhaps even a fan or two to keep the room cool. These are all examples of essential dance studio equipment, but what about other useful dance studio tools?
We’re talking about the less obvious but just-as-important dance studio tools that make it possible to run your business and have fun while doing it: tools for scheduling, accepting payments, putting together great dance routines, and more. If you’re a dance studio owner, we believe that a few well-chosen dance studio tools can optimize your time and make everything you do easier, faster, and more fun. Here’s what we recommend.
Check Out These Helpful Dance Studio Tools
Dance studio management software
Dance studio management software like The Studio Director can significantly cut down on administrative work and allow you to run a dance studio with smaller staff and lower costs. A great studio management solution will streamline your to-do list so you can spend more time doing the things you love—like being with students on the dance floor, mentoring dancers and teachers, selecting music for interesting new dance routines, or simply enjoying the community atmosphere you’ve created in your studio!
Your dance studio management software should make it easy to:
- Enroll students in dance classes
- Manage class schedules and teaching staff
- Process debit card and credit card payments
- Set up one-time or recurring billing
- Track your dance studio’s financial health
- …all in one place!
Imagine how nice it would be to have all of your business admin in one place, from class enrollment to managing schedules and payments. We suggest giving The Studio Director a try to see the benefits of streamlining your dance studio admin and making your day-to-day business operations that much easier.
Music & licensing tools for dance studios
Of course a dance studio needs access to great music, and we’re lucky to live in a world of many choices and music subscriptions, like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal—a streaming service for extremely high-quality music tracks.
In addition to these streaming options, there are also fun tools that let you mix your own, gapless dance tracks at the right tempo. Although they’re used mainly by fitness studio instructors, U-Mixit and 32CountFitness may inspire you to get creative with your own dance routines, or even come up with fun mixes to use for warmups! Finally, if you already have your music on iTunes, you can use an app like BarreNotes and AnyTune to slow down or speed up the tempo of existing songs at will.
Just remember that any music you play in your studio during recitals, performances, practices, and even in the changing room area is considered “public” and therefore falls under strict licensing laws. If you’d like to be free to choose music for your students’ dance routines and practices, then be sure to obtain a blanket license from one or more of the major U.S. licensing organizations: ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.
Dance studio online teaching tools
The pandemic highlighted the need for local dance studios to stay flexible as health restrictions sent much of their in-person business online. Online teaching tools remain a great option to have in your toolkit in case physical classes are disrupted for any reason in the future—or even if you decide to grow and offer some classes online to a geographically wider audience!
Zoom and Google Meets are perhaps the most well-known options for taking your classes online, but be sure you’re familiar with the software before launching classes virtually. Check out these tips for teaching dance class via Zoom, courtesy of dancer and tech leader Tyria Saul.
Choreography apps for dancers
Online dance studio tools can help you choreograph routines and see how a dance performance will come together before presenting it to your dancers. For a high-powered choreography app that syncs your formations to music, check out StageKeep. Or try NoteTracks, which lets you jot down notes and add comments to different parts of a music track. Although originally developed for producers and DJs who needed to collaborate on tracks, NoteTracks is also a useful note-taking tool for dance teachers who want to note their choreography ideas along the waveform.
Finally, for a fun way to introduce students to choreography or simply shake up your routine, we recommend the DanceMaker app from the Dance Education Laboratory at the 92nd Street Y. DanceMaker lets you create and experiment with “movement sentences” inspired by different themes, so you can play with different movement ideas to add variety to your choreography.
Coaching tools for dance teachers
Coach’s Eye was developed to give athletes feedback to improve their performance, and that’s why we think it’s a perfect dance studio tool. You can use the Coach’s Eye app to record dancers and play back their performance in slow motion so they can see exactly where to improve their moves. In addition to being able to mark up the video to illustrate corrections, you can use the zoom/pan feature to focus on a specific movement or compare side-by-side videos to see improvement. You can then share videos with your dancers to help them study and improve their form.