Magazine article Dance Teacher

Competing Smart

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Competing Smart

Article excerpt

The Performing Arts Center focuses on affordability and community.

In a slippery economic climate, studios need to nurture existing relationships while being inventive in building new ones. The Performing Arts Center in Van Nuys, California, has done both. Key to its effort has been a long relationship with the professional dance community in nearby Los Angeles. Co-owner Nanci Hammond, herself a former dancer, prices classes at a level that professional dancers can afford. Compared to the $15 per class that many local studios charge, PAC keeps single classes to $12. A 30-class package brings the cost down to $7.75 a class, and there are additional professional discounts.

But PAC doesn't rely only on professional students. The studio offers three programs: a youth division for 2- to 7-year olds, an upper division, designed for ages 8 to 18, and an adult program-in all, about 350 students. Besides the usual-creative movement, ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, and tap-PAC offers vocal technique and acting classes.

Since it has two locations, it has been easy to rent out space during the day to other groups. The main building, where the younger students meet, has three studios with sprung floors. And "The Annex," for the upper and adult divisions, has several studios, including one that converts into a theater. The wealth of space has also allowed the studio to work with annual dance conventions such as L.A. Dance Magic, which has raised its profile and helped to build its clientele. …

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