Dance studio

Rowan Launches New Dance Studio Management Certificate Program | rowan today

With a future dance studio on campus, the opportunity to learn how to run your own professional studio is the final step in advancing the academic study of dance at Rowan.

A new hybrid certificate program in dance studio management is welcoming its first students this summer. The program is designed to teach skills related to managing all aspects of business in three-week sessions spread over three levels.

Kim O’Connor Sparks, a 1993 Rowan graduate with a BA in speech/drama/dance and a major in dance (plus an MA in social work from Temple University), is an affiliate instructor for the program and runs her own studio. dance for over 20 years. She notes that the idea is something she and Melanie Stewart, a member of the dance faculty and associate dean of the College of Performing Arts, have pondered for a long time. “We’ve always talked about the need for this type of program,” she said, adding that it puts Rowan in a unique position. “There aren’t many such programs at many universities across the country.”

At the first level of the program scheduled for this summer and fall, a series of three online modules address the concepts of studio ownership, business growth and production, teams, touring and travel and service. community. Additionally, there are weekly Zoom meetings with Sparks and regular email check-ins.

“A lot of our alumni have gone on to become dance studio owners or teachers,” noted Stewart. “It seemed important to give them the knowledge to start a small business.”

Sparks, referencing her own experience, recalled that she and her contemporaries would go out into the world after college and find “we didn’t know we needed to know those business details”.

This business is now more than just an opportunity for an aspiring student. The program can also benefit an established studio owner looking to improve their skills and develop a support network, or anyone interested in learning the ins and outs of running a similar type of small business. What is taught can apply to more than dance; this skill set applies just as much to commercial studios that offer gymnastics, music/voice/drama, yoga, cheerleading, or even karate.

“You’ll get a taste of what your job as an owner will be like,” Sparks said, adding that the program can help answer the question, “how can I make a living doing what I love to do?”

Sparks, who learned many of these lessons on the job, added that another benefit will be the connections made with those with similar goals in similar fields. “It allows you to build community,” she said of the opportunity to network and build relationships with other students. “Support is always important for success.”

A second and a third level will be added next year. Each level will have its own separate certificate upon completion. Stewart is thrilled to offer something that is part of what she calls “future education” in dance.

“We care about our students and want to help them achieve their dreams,” Stewart said.

This new program is now being registered. The next Level 1 session runs August 2-20, with fall sessions September 13-October 1 and November 1-19. For more details and a link to the registration process, visit