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Dance & Dancing/opening and leaving


Hi Suzanne,
I am currently employed by a dance studio and have been there for the past 3 years. I will not be going back to teach next year since I am not able to fill the complete commitment required due to proceeding with opening my own studio during their regular season. My studio will not be in the same town as the one I work in but is in comfortable driving distance if people from the neighboring city want to attend. I am battling with two things:
1. I would like to offer to teach competition classes at the studio I am currently at for next year since I would be able to fulfill that commitment.
2. When do I tell my current studio owner of my plan?

I do not want to burn any bridges I am hoping we can remain professional and possibly help eachother in the future.
Thank you for you advice and suggestions!

Hi BK,

It sounds like you have some exciting options ahead!

First, congratulations on the news of your new studio.  With that endeavor comes an incredible amount of time and focus needed to generate the students and income to keep it running.  While I applaud your interest in wanting to offer to teach competition classes at the current studio - I do not think that is in your best interest both time wise and business wise.  No matter how 'amicable' a split  you make, you're still leaving to open your own studio and that would naturally be challenging for your current studio owner to overcome.  However, I cannot speak for that person so it's possible if it is that far out of their current zone of students there could be a chance it would work.  I honestly would recommend you look at investing that time into your own students now and your own business - it will need your 100% focus.

If you plan on completing your teaching role after this school year/recital (say May or June) I would recommend you let this studio owner know before he/she makes any plans regarding either a summer teaching schedule or the fall schedule.  The more time they have to find your replacement the better.  Be prepared for whatever the reaction may be - I realize you are trying to not burn bridges.  But as many studio owners who have been through it, it can put that person on the defensive and they can get weird about how the rest of the year will go.  

Ultimately, I hope this studio owner wishes you the very best and sees this as a great opportunity for you to expand your own personal reach in your own community.  Try to stay positive and it sounds like you will be on the right track.  But once you say you're not coming back, I think it would be a conflict of interest to suggest you'd come back to work with competition teams.  Now is the time for you to 100% focus on your new endeavor and give it your all as it will need you!

Suzanne Blake Gerety

Dance & Dancing

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Suzanne Blake Gerety


I can help answer questions about dance studio ownership, staffing, hiring teachers, recital and performance planning and production, marketing, and all topics related to the business side of owning a school of dance.


I am the Vice President of one of the largest performing arts dance studios in New England, I am the founder of the online magazine and have over 10 years of experience in the publishing and entertainment world.


B.A. Psychology, B.S. Child Developement

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