Rochelle Clarkson opened Alliance Dance Academy four years ago, having danced for over 50 years with a career as a dancer, artist and instructor who has helped launched hundreds of careers. A mentor and professional with a passion for dance, she shares her thoughts on bridging the artistic and business worlds.
Q: What lessons have you learned in starting Alliance Dance Academy?
A: Being a good dance teacher doesn’t necessarily make you a good studio owner. That’s where most studios fail. Most people who are artistic don’t have the mindset necessary for the business side of it. Somehow I kind of have both, but I think that comes from doing this for so long. I worked at many studios before I went out on my own, so I kind of knew what was going to work for me and what wasn’t.
I think the hardest thing this time around was everyone told me I had to do it differently. Everyone said you need to do online registration and do everything through email. That’s just not me. If I’m working with a child, I want to know what parent goes with that child. I went at it kind of old school, which obviously the teachers, parents and kids appreciate, as it makes us more of a family!
It’s not just me making this studio grow! I couldn’t do this without my entire staff. And you really need to find teachers that have the same beliefs you do. It’s all about making the kids and parents com-fortable and having fun while they are dancing and learning.
39 Persimmon St. STE 404, Bluffton, SC | 843.757.8277 | www.alliancedanceacademy.com