Entertainment Oct, 07 2011

Dance to the franchise tune

Growing success of talent shows and dance competitions on television channels have increased the demand for professional dance academies. Following the trend dance experts have started their dance academies and opted for franchise route for expansion. The

By Neha Gohil
Feature Writer
Dance to the franchise tune

Turning your passion into profession can prove to be a rewarding business opportunity. Opening a dance academy is one such business, where one can earn profits from one’s hobby and profession.

Terence Lewis, Founder and Choreographer, Terence Lewis Academy (TLA) shares: “Dance is my passion. I never started with it being a lucrative career option for me. I wanted to spread dance training to as many lovers of dance there were, who looked at dance as something they could not do without (like breathing air). I found my team and slowly, the team took onus of teaching many more for recreational and serious career option purposes under TLA banner. All this is imparted with very strict quality control.”

Factors for growth

Dance academies are becoming more and more popular in the country. Let us have a look at the various encouraging factors:

Craze of reality shows: Reality shows have gained lot of popularity in recent times. It has become a win-win situation for everyone, be it contestants, viewers or the channels. By exploring small cities these shows have provided a platform to the untapped talent to showcase their caliber. Terence shares, “Reality shows have opened up the possibilities for young dancers to explore dance as a career accepted by their family and peers.” An opportunity to showcase their talent on such a big platform and in front of esteemed judges is an honour for any contestant.

Versatility: As times have changed, nowadays the film industry demands versatility. As said by Terence: “Earlier dancers trained in styles that they were most fond or passionate about, however these days everyone has to be equally proficient in all dance styles.” Every organised dance academy offer training for diverse dance forms be it jazz, rap, kathak or contemporary. This helps dancers to be versatile.

Sharing stage with celebs/stars: Dance academies offer a stage for contestants to meet their idol and other celebrities. They get the chance to learn from acclaimed choreographers. Terrence said, “The fact that celebrities endorse these academies is a sign of approval of dance as a career in society. This is a very good sign for me.”

Item numbers and movies craze: The growing trend of item songs has inspired many dance lovers to come out with their talent whereas movies are all time inspiration for youngsters for becoming a star.

Jack of all traits: Nowadays parents want their child to excel in every extra-curricular activity. They understand their child’s talent and encourage them and send them to the specialised school. Besides this both the parents these days are working and have disposable amount of money to fulfill their child’s dream.

Key players

Owning a dance academy is undoubtedly a profitable venture but the field is still dominated by unorganised players. However with the emergence of franchising, many players have entered and expanded via this model. Few of these are:

Remo’s Dance Institute (RDI): RDI provide quality dance training to kids and adults of all age. Presently the brand has seven franchisees in Ludhiana, Panchkula, Jalandhar, Raipur, Rajkot, Gandhidham and Kolkata. For a franchisee an initial investment is of 10-15 lakh with an area requirement of 1200 sq ft.

Thump Dance Studio: Thump emerged as a novel concept to improve health and happiness with entertainment. Presently the dance studio runs seven franchise studios.  Thump provides a low cost franchise model with an investment of six to eight lakh with an area of 600 sq ft.

Terence Lewis Academy (T.L.A):  T.L.A established in 1999 by the renowned choreographer Terence Lewis providing dance instruction through a variety of classes.

Jazz up the franchise dance sector

Starting a dance studio that provides formal training for the dance lovers can be a wonderful business venture. Dance schools have proven financially sound. Ankur Sethi, CEO, Thump Dance Studio shares, “Dance Academies are making good profits since late 90’s indeed. Margin of profit is so high that Delhi in itself holds 900 dance academies listed on the Internet; assume what it would be including the non-listed ones.”

Remo Desouza, Choreographer and Founder, Remo Dance Institute shares, “It’s a most promising business as of now. We can see a tremendous growth in the next five years as there are lots of realty shows taking place. However, franchisee should have interests in dance and financially little sound and should have good reputation in his area.”

Franchising of dance school can prove to be 100 per cent lucrative venture as there are so many renowned choreographers’ running franchise dance school. Sethi shares, “Advantages in picking up a dance academy franchisee are plenty. Primarily, a non-dancer or a gentleman from non-entertainment background does not understand the techniques in this creative field of dancing (which essentially is the most important thing for being a part of this). What Thump brings on board is a homogenous creative technique across the nation at all its outlets. On the other side, assuring that quality is delivered constantly there are some manuals given to franchisee also to understand if his creative team is going in the right direction or not.”

Franchising expands the business systematically, as shared by Terrence, “Franchise advantages are strictly monetary besides spreading your systematic dance training over a larger target audience.”

Dance with its high’s and low’s

It is mostly seen that dance academies lack in experienced staff and choreographers. It is not possible for the owner to teach everything himself. However, the staff kept is not usually as good as the owner. As Remo said, “Students are eager to join branded dance class and learn the best from the best available faculties. So branded dance academies with a promise of good teachings and faculties will always do well.”

Despite lot of awareness among parents to get their children involved in extra curricular activities there are a few who still give preference to academics and do not want even their talented children to participate. To convince them is a great challenge.

To conclude it can be said that dance academy franchising is a promising opportunity for budding aspirants. It is a glamorous business and you require passion for dance as said by Terrence, “Dance enthusiasts with good business acumen can take dance training to the next level. However, it requires passion on take priority.”

Related: Inculcating healthy habits in kids

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