Forums Discussions Help!!Opening Pole Studio

  • Help!!Opening Pole Studio

    Posted by MochaKat on August 24, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Hello SVF I am so excited that I think I have found a sound investor for my studio Now all I have to do is get a business plan together to show what will be needed to get started. I am reaching out to all you wonderful instructors and owners for ideas and advice. I think for example these are the things I have thought about

    1.Poles 2. Sound system 3. Insurance 4. Types of classes 5. client managment software 6.Instructors 7. website

    I know there is other stuff that hasn’t came to me yet. I have a few concerns though. Mainly about instructors and client software. The city that I live in does not have any gentlemans clubs or clubs period that employ dancers. So I am kinda concerned about where and how to find instructors. I know that the city’s women are interested because a month or so ago the news shot a story about pole dancing. Actually a local adult novelty store was interviewed and was offering classes. It was a bunch of ladies that showed up for the class. But check this out they only had one pole and it was at the back of the store. So of course that was not a very good class. But I know the interest is here. Its just up to me to present it better. So any suggestions would be highly appreciated. These are my questions:

    1. How are the instructors paid? Is it per class, hourly, or what? Are they independant contractors or employees? How to go about looking for instructors.

    2. What client/retention software do you use? Where can I find more information?

    3. Is there anything else you would like to share? I am totally open for ideas.

    Thank you in advance for any ideas, comments, answers, etc……..

    symonesal replied 14 years, 9 months ago 11 Members · 26 Replies
  • 26 Replies
  • PhillyPoleJess

    August 24, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Contracts… you will need them for everything waiver, pole parties, packages, private lesson. It should have what they receive. how much they pay dates. limitations, cancellation policy, etc

    When you first start you will MOST likely not have enough business to have other instructors. You will have to be the main instructor (unless your backer has that much money)

    if you are going to have other instructors make sure they are not just good at tricks and/or dancing but that they can actually explain the move adequately several different ways even if you understand them the first time. Just because there are no strip clubs in your area does not mean there are not former strippers in your area or women who have been learning pole dance in their homes also.

    I am paid by direct deposit and like it that way since it is easy to keep track how much money i make and how much to put aside. Most of the studios in this area the instructors are independent contractors. For class i get paid the same whether i show up a half hour before or 10 minutes and for parties i am paid by the hour.

    You should ask the lingerie store to be your backer sensual fitness in stroudsburg pa did that and it is a fantastic studio.

    As an instructor some of the topics i dont know enough about. (ie: software and insurance) Hope this was helpful

    Question for you. Have you ever been to a pole dance studio?

  • MochaKat

    August 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you phillypolejess for commenting. I have attended a studio thats about 1hr 30min from me I was going once a week for 3 months. I picked up a few things I would mimic and some I would not. It was a nice studioit had a pole room and then a bigger room for other classes like aerobics and things, lobby and a small section where it sold shoes,and other dance clothes, also a counter for smoothies and drinks and stuff. My backer does have the money for payroll for instrutors I just need a round about figure what most instructors would expect and what would be reasonable to pay.I am in southern GA. Your totally right about the contracts everything has to be in writing.
    Thanks again for commenting

  • yogabeachbabe

    August 24, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    How much you pay your instructors may depend on a few factors: You can pay them by student ($10 per head here) which may make the instructor more responsible for bringing business to the studio, or flat rate ($25-$40 per class). But that would also depend on how many poles you have–if you have 10 poles, obviously it’s better for the studio if you pay a flat rate. And it would also depend on whether you think it’s ok for students to share a pole, and how long classtime is. And of course, you’ve got to figure out how much you’re going to charge for classes: single drop-in class, or packages of 10, etc. I believe most instructors are independent contractors, but check with your accountant to see what the advantages/disdvantages are in terms of taxes. As for hiring teachers, I agree with Phillypolejess about finding people who can approach a move from many different angles. Make sure they have fitness insurance unless the studio insurance umbrellas them as well. This is great: I’m really excited for you!

  • MochaKat

    August 25, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Thank you yogabeachbabe for sharing your info. Am working on getting all that together. Prices and classes and things. I know for certain that I want each person to have their own pole. The facility I am looking at will prob only house 6 or 8 poles and the bigger area for the other classes. The dollar amount was what I had kinda thought of to for the flat rate. Thanks for your encouragement.

  • miss fern

    August 26, 2009 at 2:53 am

    I think it’s better for students to share poles because they can help eachother out, spot eachother and encourage eachother. Plus, 1 hour on the pole constantly is TOO much, everyone needs a rest for a few mins now an then – so why waste a good pole by just standing next to it?

    Where I teach we have 1-3 students per pole. 3 is very rare, that’s usually on the free "come n try" classes.

    When students are more advanced of course they want to hog the pole all to themselves so perhaps higher level classes could have a smaller limit on number of students.

    You’ll also want to think about whether to offer only packages (eg 6 week courses ect) or casual classes. Each has their pros and cons. I was put off starting pole dancing for 2 YEARS because all the local studios only taught in blocks. I was just not prepared to part with several hundred $$ for something I might not like or be good at. (That’s the normal beginner mentality anyway.) On the other hand, casual classes can bite the instructor in the ass if hardly anyone turns up and you lose money. Also, block lessons give you the opportunity to ‘graduate’ students before they move to the next level, so you don’t have people trying things they’re not ready for yet. In casual classes you can have mixed levels (all the classes I teach have beginners and advanced in the same room, so I;m a busy little bunny! Hahaha!) Another option is to offer casual classes that you have to ring ahead for (eg "book in" the morning or day before).

  • PhillyPoleJess

    August 26, 2009 at 5:00 am

    $25 to $40 a class? All of the studios in philly pay at least $50 a class (we get $5 per head for anyone paying cash over 10 girls), but all of the studios are large and can fit 20-28 girls comfortably with 10 poles in one studio and 14 in the other. agreed with georgiamarie most girls are better off sharing a pole especially in beginner’s classes vry few women are fit enough to sustain for a whole hour or more without breaks

  • miss fern

    August 26, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Post removed – I put it in the wrong place – sorry!

  • London

    August 26, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I have a question too regarding this thread! Do instructors have to be certified, or have any other requirements like that? And what’s a good organization to get certified through? Thanks!

  • yogabeachbabe

    August 26, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    $25 to $40 a class? All of the studios in philly pay at least $50 a class

    Hell, I’m going to have to move to Philly!!!!
    One of the studios where I teach only has 3 poles so we max out at 6. I can’t imagine teaching 20-28 girls! Wow!

  • miss fern

    August 27, 2009 at 12:09 am

    I have a question too regarding this thread! Do instructors have to be certified, or have any other requirements like that? And what’s a good organization to get certified through? Thanks!

    Well since pole is a ‘new sport’ there are no official certifications. However, getting a personal fitness trainer certification is the next best thing. Also you will DEFINITELY need insurance for every instructor, in case a student injures themselves. I don’t know how you go about doing that though – whether it’s through your personal trainer qualification or through another medical corporation. But if you don’t, the teacher are liable to pay out of their own pockets for medical bills of injured students.

    The price of getting certified/insured could be deducted gradually from their pay packets if you like. That’s a pretty common thing to in many (completely unrelated) industries – for uniforms etc.

  • New_Dancer

    August 27, 2009 at 1:50 am


    There are some organizations that do certify – one is mentioned on poleskivvies website. Certification isn’t a "must" but it is probably worth considering as a studio owner.

    As a student I wouldn’t consider going to a studio that had pole sharing. I’m a beginner. I get tired but I learn by watching my instructor and doing the move at the same time. If I am going to take a break I want to do it because I’m tired not because it is someone else’s turn. I’m taking my time and spending my money to go to a studio. I want to learn at my pace. I used to figure skate. Sure I’d take breaks when tired, but I wouldn’t want to be told I had to skate for 5 minutes and then rest for 5 mintues because they’d allowed twice the number of skaters that is safe on the surface!

    I would say unless your classes are totally full with every pole used every class that you are best to advertise no pole sharing. IF you find your clasess are super full then I would consider trying some beginner classes at a cheaper rate with sharing.

    My experience with classes that I have taken is that the studios that advertise pole sharing are also the ones that have like 3 people in their class because students don’t want to go to a studio that may have pole sharing.

    New Dancer

  • MochaKat

    August 27, 2009 at 2:10 am

    Thank u guys for sharing all ur ideas. I see the advantages both ways when it comes to sharing poles. Being on the student side I myself wouldnt want to share a pole either if I was paying to come to a studio. I see the benefit to having spotters in advance classes more so then beginner

    The studio I went to did not share poles and everyone seemed to like it better. Out of the hour we only really spent 30 mins or so on the pole for spins, dance, pose and stuff. The other time was spent warming up and cooling down. No one seemed to be tired. And at some points the instructor actually told us to buddy up for some things but we still had our own pole to go back to.

    So for advertising sake I am zoning in on everyone has there own pole. Also ideally I would want the instructors to have group fitness certification or pt because we will also have other classes besides pole kinda cardio aerobic like. Great ideas…. please keep them coming.

    Ive narrowed down to possible spots both have pros and cons…think I may blog about it to get it out of my head.

    Thanks again for all the posts

  • yogabeachbabe

    August 27, 2009 at 4:05 am

    I LOVE the idea of building community within the class so that the students really look forward to not just taking pole class, but also to seeing the other girls. But I would never, ever allow a student to spot or teach another student unless she was a pole instructor that I knew personally and trusted. Just because you might be an amazing dancer, doesn’t mean you necessarily have the knowledge to spot another student. Hell, there are a lot of pole instructors out there who can teach moves, but really have no clue as to how to spot or cue the body–believe me, I’ve been to their classes! There are also liability issues there–if a student gets injured in class while another student is teacher them or spotting them, it’s still upon the teacher present and the studio itself.

  • MochaKat

    August 27, 2009 at 4:13 am

    Gotcha yogabeachbabe.

  • miss fern

    August 27, 2009 at 4:14 am

    I LOVE the idea of building community within the class so that the students really look forward to not just taking pole class, but also to seeing the other girls. But I would never, ever allow a student to spot or teach another student unless she was a pole instructor that I knew personally and trusted. Just because you might be an amazing dancer, doesn’t mean you necessarily have the knowledge to spot another student.
    In most classes students will teach/help eachother anyway. (Unless you have one of those scary boot camp classes where every is facing the front and is quiet as a mouse and acting like a robot just copying the teacher. No fun at all! LOl!) In most environments, when the teacher is walking round checking people’s technique, friends who have come together will look at other’s attempts and say "yea that’s good! wow!" or "she said to hold your hand above your head remember?"

    These kinds of encouragements and corrections are very helpful for students. And yes, it is the teacher’s liability if anyone is injured whether they are following your instructions, someone elses or their own ideas.

    Spotting is different though, because not many people can catch or hold the body correctly. In advanced classes where I used to go though, they teach spotting technique as well because they know people will go home and try it themselves – on street signs or their washing lines – whatever! So it’s like the ‘safe sex’ approach to sex ed, instead of the abstinence one. Better to teach them how to do it right than to say "don’t do it without me!" – coz they will anyway. (Of course, what they do at home is NOT your legal liability)

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