Dance program adds minor to fill a program gap


Dancers performing “Dissent,” which features audio from various students, news outlets and former president, Barack Obama.
Photo by Mitchell Kraus

Kayla Drake, Editor-in-Chief

KAYLA DRAKE | Editor-in-Chief

This semester, the dance program started a new minor, studio management, to teach students the ins and outs of  the business of owning or working for a dance studio.

It’s common for current dance majors to teach in studios on the side for income.

“Our students are doing it, so why not give them the tools to do it well?” associate dance professor Tricia Zweier, who spearheaded the minor, said.

The dance faculty picked applicable courses from multiple schools such as business and health sciences and added a new course called Dance Studio Management, which will bring in current dance studio owners to share their industry perspectives.

Before, dance majors who wanted to work in studios would minor in business. Studio management is different because it supplements some financial classes with management and sports injuries courses.

Now, freshmen and sophomores, like Kerryuanna Ross, who aim to own a studio one day have the opportunity to take advantage of the new minor.

After college, Ross said she dreams of opening her own dance studio because of the one she attended as a kid. Her dance instructor not only taught her technique, but became a mentor for her.

“Some kids, they don’t have good parental guidance, so it’s always good to have somebody else to rely on,” she said.

Ross said that through a studio, she can impact a younger generation.

She said even dance majors that want to perform professionally will most likely teach in a studio setting at one point for supplemental income.

“It’s kind of the hustle of a professional dancer, you’re performing, you’re teaching,” Zweier said. 

Management professor Michael Marzano helped Zweier land on fundamental business classes to be included in the minor. 

“We wouldn’t want someone to come over here and have to spend another 70 to 80 hours learning this stuff,” Marzano said.

Marzano said people in creative industries also need business understanding. 

“You’re going to be chief cook and bottle washer starting out,” he said.

He said to stay afloat, entrepreneurs need knowledge of finance, human resources, marketing and management for a sustainable business.

Zweier acknowledged that the minor, which requires 24 credit hours, would mainly attract dance majors.