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Number of Locations in the U.S.

These Numbers in Context:

It’s worth noting that the number of dance studios in the U.S. is more than THREE TIMES the number of Starbucks yet no one person has a controlling stake of the industry. Starbucks and McDonald’s are ultimately under the direction of one CEO, public schools are under the direction of the Secretary of Education, and the Beef industry follows the directions of the Food and Drug Administration.


That means that while these industries have several thousand franchisees/principals/farmers, our industry consists of nearly 55,000 small business owners who employ other working dancers and form an important economical bedrock for a largely freelance performance industry.

*This article is based on my own research. I’m not a statistician or scientist so results from other research may vary.

Training Versus Pay

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It’s important to be aware of the fact that while these numbers have been calculated into hourly wages, most Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, Stock Brokers, and Police Officers are salaried employees with health insurance, a set yearly income, 401(k)s, and other benefits.

This is the median hourly wage of a contracted, professional dancer working for a company or on a commercial job. Non-contracted work was not figured into this number.


Have you ever wondered how many dance studios there are in the United States? 

Or how many years most professional dancers train?

What is it that determines what we’re paid? 

Is it the years we spend learning how to do our job? 

Is it the frequency with which we interact with that industry? 

A combination of both? 

What do you think should determine this?

This article seeks to shed light on the true breadth of the dance community.


Sources: Dance Studios:, McDonald’s & Starbucks:, Beef Farms:, Public Schools:

From the September 2020 Issue. Read the rest of the issue here.

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These numbers were created by dividing the “Median Hourly Wages” above by the average lowest years of training required for a career. It is the pay per hour per year of training. A higher number denotes more pay for less required training.

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