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Thinking bigger: Dance Dynamics laid the groundwork for expanding long before moving.

When Nina Koch purchased Dance Dynamics in Brentwood, CA, five years ago, there were 80 students enrolled. Now there are nearly 400. Last September the studio opened its doors at a new 4,500 sq.-ft, facility, more than double the size of the old one.

Before expanding, Koch laid the groundwork carefully. Seeing a lack of professional opportunities for her dancers, Koch developed the Brentwood Children's Ballet Theater. The company not only gives students the experience of formal auditions and full-scale performances, but is open to dancers from the entire community, even those that attend other studios. It's a way for them to get a taste of what Dance Dynamics has to often.

Koch has learned a few lessons about growth:

IT'S A BUSINESS. When other studio owners say "I'm not in it for the money," Koch is taken aback. A teacher before purchasing the studio, Koch says, "If you want to teach dance classes don't open up a dance studio.

Running the business side takes away from the time that you get to be creative and work with the kids."

TEACHERS ARE YOUR BIGGEST ASSET. Finding qualified instructors has been the greatest challenge. Koch took out newspaper ads and searched craigslist.org. But in the end, she notes, "My best instructors found me."

THE NAME COUNTS. This fall, Dance Dynamics will be renamed East County Performing Arts Center to reflect the school's professional focus. Its rapid growth has led to plans for a second location by next year.
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Title Annotation:STARTING OUT
Author:Watts, Cherilyn
Publication:Dance Magazine
Date:Jun 1, 2007
Words:250
Previous Article:Attitudes.
Next Article:Fun finds: great fundraising items for students of all ages.


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