The same way certain scents evoke certain memories, certain places that we spend a lot of time in become laced with a lot of emotional significance. The space where we train, learn, grow, and foster relationships- these spaces are rarely given due appreciation. But most dancers outside of the community don't have the luxury of practicing in an actual studio, let alone having a set class schedule. OPTIONS to learn? It's a crazy and enviable concept to the majority of hungry dancers around the world! Only when a studio closes, or you get kicked out of all the spots ever at UCI, do we realize that the space where we dance is actually quite important.
Here are a few points in the process that goes into opening and maintaining a studio, as well as a more in-depth peek into the much-buzzed about new facility: Snowglobe Perspective.
Snowglobe Perspective, whose name you might recognize from the workshop series that swept the SoCal dance community this past year, is opening their studio on Monday, April 27th.
The day before, (Sunday, April 26th) will be their promotion workshops, similar to how Snowglobe Perspective has been hosting so far.
Isaiah Masters, the man behind the camera, flyers, videos- is the proud and ambitious owner of Snowglobe, and also one of my good friends. I've watched this process from the beginning, so I'm even more invested and excited about its success.
Here are some guidelines in opening a studio, and how Isaiah + Co. did it!
As in any new business venture, the preparation before you begin is essential. You need to think about:
During all the hype about the Snowglobe Workshops, plans for the Snowglobe Studio were being quietly set in motion. Isaiah had been working on his dream, while juggling hosting the classes that many of us have partaken in.
Where you choose the location for your facility is key- you want to draw in the right number and demographic of dancers. You want to be in an area where there aren't 10 other studios within a block, but you don't want to be in the middle of nowhere and have 3 students in each class because the commute is too long.
Snowglobe is located in Whittier, CA, right off the 605 and 60 freeways. It's in between LA and OC, in an industrial and low-key area. There is plenty of parking, because all the neighboring businesses around the studio close before classes start (in the evening). Its location is central and convenient.
The aesthetics and functionality of the studio itself is probably the most important thing to dancers.
So in its making, you need to have a clear vision for how you want it to look (Cool-toned color scheme? Modern? Funky and old-school?) And create it according to that design. Every little detail counts!
Snowglobe is in a 6500 square foot warehouse, boasting a one of the biggest ballroom dance floors in SoCal, measuring a whopping 65 x 56 feet (3640 square feet.)
Things to think about/decide:
Those involved in the building of Snowglobe spent half their days at Home Depot and the other half using those supplies at the studio. In the beginning stages, the space was always filled with boxes and bags and pipes. I'd be tripping over tape measures cans of paint. BUT! I did make a fort from all the boxes that the lights came in:
"Fort Box," by Jessie Ma and Jerould Jorge
What I appreciated the most was how organic and hands-on the process was for Snowglobe. Close friends would come by to visit and help out, because they believed and supported the mission with Isaiah.
My favorite part of the studio, aside from the GIGANTIC and smooth dance floor (with mirrors on 2 sides), is the lounge area. With couches, a table, fridge, and a beautiful chandelier, next to the giant garage door, it has a laid-back and welcoming vibe. I feel like other dancers would enjoy this welcoming and open space to meet, bond, or observe classes.
Having reliable, qualified instructors is of course, extremely important. Use your resources- reach out to your friends, friends of friends, to help you contact well-known choreographers in the area. Make sure you present your plan in a concise and professional way, including important logistical information, such as
Snowglobe plans on running a regular class schedule, with weekly, bi-weekly (every other week), and monthly choreographers. Reason being, that, it is unrealistic for instructors who live hours away (San Diego, mostly), to drive 2-3 hours every week for class. Instead of promising a certain class and always having substitutes, the bi-weekly and monthly choreographers are sure to deliver their best work each time they teach.
Branding, in any business, is undeniably important. "Snowglobe Perspective" rings in most of our minds as the workshop series. So making that connection as a physical space where you can get that same training experience makes complete sense.
Jerould Jorge, who designed the graphics for the studio promotion, t-shirts, logos, and flyers, goes for a playful yet clean aesthetic, while keeping the color scheme black, white, and blue, in accordance with Isaiah's cool-toned preference.
Make sure there is continuity in all your social media channels, as you can see:
And, think of creative ways to advertise! Isaiah got his friends, and some of the choreographers who will be teaching there, to make a fun lip dub to "Funky Town."
In terms of every day logistics, there is a lot of work that goes into running the studio, (after setting it up) that we overlook. Front desk, registration, scheduling, merchandise- they all need housekeeping on a regular basis.
Snowglobe has a bit of an advantage in this area, because Isaiah has Paul and Jerould who are his partners in crime, to rely on.
Classes will be priced at $12, with package deals of:
Here are some "after" photos of the studio, now!
Excited to train? We are excited to watch and help you grow! Swing by Snowglobe Perspective on April 19th for a "housewarming party" (details to be posted), and on April 26th for a Snowglobe Promo Workshop! Classes will start on Monday, the 27th.
Anyone & everyone is welcome- it's a safe space to dance and have fun and bond. Hope to see you soon!
2650 Pacific Park Dr., Whittier, CA 90601