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Although the examples used in the book and descriptions below relate to the dance industry, you don't have to be in the industry to read this book. The principles will help most self-employed persons.

About you

If you are a newly graduated or about-to-graduate dance-teaching student, you might typically want to:


  • Continue your studies at postgraduate or masters level, but use your teaching qualification to supplement your studies with portfolio working, part-time, term-time, or seasonal work; or

  • Gain more teaching experience in full-time employment; or

  • Control your own time but prefer to work at a number of different dance schools and institutions, developing a portfolio of freelance work that may involve performing, management, choreography as well as teaching; or

  • Be an entrepreneur but prefer the financial security or job stability offered by a combination or portfolio of part-time employment and self‑employment; or

  • Set up a business with premises.

You might however already be in the dance profession, but want to:


  • Transition from dancing professionally to freelancing or set up a business; or

  • Move from employment to freelancing or set up a business; or

  • Expand your existing dance business (or possibly to sell); or

  • Return to employment or start a business after a career break (raising a family, illness, looking after parents, etc.); or

  • Simply refresh your knowledge.

If you already operate an existing school and want to restructure or expand, you should already be familiar with many aspects of being in business.

Questions to consider include deciding what you want to do with your skills? Whom do you want to work for, yourself or for someone else, or a combination of the two? Are you ready to be your own boss? Do you have the necessary resources and self-determination to succeed? Is there a market? How do you stay creative, be inspired and inspiring in your chosen art form, while at the same time leveraging and honing your skills to run a successful business? Where do you want to work or establish your own business, in your home country or overseas?

A dance business is not unique or original, but it is a market in which you can exploit your skills and qualifications. It may be more sensible to choose a niche market that you are familiar with than trying to introduce something new.

Dance into Business demystifies the concepts surrounding employment and self-employment and looks at the main stages of getting into business: - preparation, planning, setting up and starting out.

It is designed to be accessible and practical. It sets out the principals of business plans, budgets, costing, pricing, cash flow, break-even, finance, operations, and other issues that can be key components to a successful business. A Dance School is used as the business model for tables and calculations and contains both specific and generic hints and tips. Many can be applied to other dance businesses such as productions, conferences, workshops, and course provision, or to other products and services. as well as other forms of self-employment.

Starting out, transitioning, expanding, you can use the same tools to determine whether you can afford it, whether there is a market, what additional funding resources are required, and how you might obtain this. You may decide to be cautious and take a phased approach initially choosing or staying in employment and moving towards self-employment; or creating a portfolio of both employment and self-employment; or being more entrepreneurial and establishing your own business, setting up, buying or merging with an existing business.

Whether you are about to take up employment, become an employer, start your own dance business or are already running one and thinking of expanding or selling, and want some guidance, this book is for you.


If you are passionate about dance, teaching, hard work, are driven to succeed, motivated, resilient, committed and disciplined, this book is for you.

Dance professionals encourage, guide, inspire, nurture and educate individuals and groups of all ages and abilities in different forms of dance, whether performing, coaching, mentoring, notating, choreographing, or teaching. They can provide personal coaching and mentoring to individuals already in the performing arts, to individuals keen to pursue a career in the performing arts as professional dancers, choreographers, producers, administrators and teachers; and teach group classes to students interested in dance as a leisure activity.

“Filling a need for any dancer managing, or starting up, a dance school this sensible and easily readable book addresses the whole range of legal requirements and potential pitfalls and provides sound advice on good management from start-up to sale of the business. Well worth reading." 

Hilary Kaplan and Archibald McKenzie, Alegria Dance Studios 

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