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Building Strong Relationships with Competing Studio Owners

When you are at a business seminar or dance event, it can feel completely natural to connect with other studio owners who aren’t in your community … you might not think twice about sharing policy ideas or a marketing plan, or commiserating over some your recent challenges.

But what about studio owners in your own marketplace?

Just because we consider someone’s business to be our competition, doesn’t mean they are personally “against” us.  I believe we can develop friendly relationships with nearly anyone if we are intentionally positive and open to working together.

By default, we are all still human beings who want to cultivate friendships and who desire a sense of belonging.  Other studio owners are our peers, and most of the time they want the same kinds of things we do: fulfillment, happiness, success, and of course, relationships!

I’m proud to say that within my organization More Than Just Great Dancing®, we have some pretty inspirational members who have established a proactive, professional rapport with other studio owners in their communities.

I think this is clear proof that with just the right mix of positivity, effort, and mutual respect, connections with one’s competitors are not only possible, they are achievable!  Keep reading to learn how these ladies are Building Strong Relationships with Competing Studio Owners:

Here are some of my favorite inspirational examples of Building Relationships with Competing Studio Owners:

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  1. Melanie Gibbs, Co-Owner of Boca Dance Studio in Boca Raton, FL & ProAm Dance Studio in Pompano Beach, FL

Melanie became friendly with other studio owners in her South Florida community when they would see each other at competitions and other local dance events, and that camaraderie eventually turned into breakfast meetings a few times a year.  As the group got to know each other, they would share business ideas, ask each other questions about their policies, and even recommend substitute teachers to one another. Modeling this level of friendship for their students has become a powerful force in their relationship-building over the years, and they continue to stay in touch in between meetings, advising each other and sharing opportunities.

  1. Anekia Boatwright-McGhee, Artistic Director of Rebecca Padgett School of Performing Arts in Savannah, GA

In Anekia’s community, it was easy for her to feel isolated from other studio owners.  But on a recent trip to Dance Teacher Summit in New York, she began having a conversation with a fellow studio owner, only to learn that they both have studios in the same area!  It took a random conversation in a completely different city for the two owners to connect, but now they have plans to stay in touch locally and be the example in their community that competitors can coexist in a meaningful way.  It’s a dramatic shift from what Anekia was used to in the past, but she now feels empowered to emulate what she tells her dancers about having confidence in themselves. She wants them to see loud and clear that competition is ultimately with oneself, not other people.


  1. Melanie Boniszewski, Founder & Director of Tonawanda Dance Arts, Tonawanda, NY

It’s a pretty cool thing when you have an entire group of studio owners who consider themselves friends above and beyond anything else, not direct competition (even when they’re in the same area).  That’s how Melanie describes her fellow local studio owners who meet up a few times a year and remain in weekly (sometimes daily) contact through Facebook and text messages. Through the group they are able to talk about all the normal dance studio talk: pricing, staffing, programming, costuming, policies, and everything else.  Not only is their bond a special one, some of their students have even become friends with each other!


I hope you will be encouraged by these stories and choose to build strong connections within your own community.  You just never know what opportunity may lie ahead. Share in the comments below your positive experiences with other studio owners—you just might inspire someone else!


Interested in more articles about building relationships? Check out these articles from the TutuTix archive:


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