As a nonprofit, the dance studio has a number of areas that can cause stress for the director. First, as a nonprofit, you rely a great deal on funding sources from a wide variety of entities. These sources range from government grants to donations from within the community at large. Depending upon the success of your outreach each year, your ability to run the studio smoothly could be in jeopardy. 

As Smith discusses in Raising the barre: The geographic, financial, and economic trends of nonprofit dance companies: A study, another way to fund sources is by utilizing online donations through Crowdfunding or GoFundMe. “You can expand your reach well beyond the local community and get your message out for others to see,” (Smith 23). SVRDC uses business advertisements and sponsorships to generate extra money. On their website they have a fundraising page where they have a direct link for donations. They have a site called Goodsearch set up, where you can shop at various stores and part of the proceeds go directly to the nonprofit. SVRDC has its dancers fundraise with a chocolate and charm bracelet fundraiser.

The costs are relatively high for dance nonprofits as you are paying for the performance space/theater, dancers and choreographers just to name a few. Barrio‐Tellado cites Brooks in her journal stating that, “labor costs per product unit continue to rise over time, leading to an inevitable gap with potential revenue and, therefore, to the possible financial collapse of arts companies,” (Barrio‐Tellado). Dance companies tend to go under due to the fact that their revenue does not equal nor exceed their costs. Dance nonprofits tend to have larger costs so making sure revenue is met is crucial. For dance companies this revenue is typically generated through ticket sales and refreshments. I was able to look at numerical data to see the budget of small and large dance companies’ and how they manage their revenue streams through fundraising.

For my portfolio I wanted to take a deeper look into dance organizations specifically in Pennsylvania. This is due to my involvement in the arts in this geography as well as the location of my potential job market. In this dataset I was able to find 27 dance organizations in the state of PA. In figure 4 I included information on the city and name of each organization in order for me to recognize those I have seen perform. Philadelphia has a strong performing arts scene and I was curious to see if the net income of dance organizations in PA are greater in the city compared to the suburb ones. I was correct in this hypothesis as Pennsylvania Ballet located in Philadelphia makes the most net income out of all 27 organizations, representing the maximum value of $1.4 million. The other two dance organizations in Philly made about $300,000 in income which were the next two highest values in my data. Looking at how long these companies have been around, I was intrigued how BalletX, the organization with the second largest net-income value has only been around for eighteen years compared to Pennsylvania Ballet which has been around for 56 years. BalletX is already so successful in less than half the amount of time PA Ballet has been around. I am impressed initially due to the fact that this is a smaller dance company and can attest as a fellow audience member that their work is truly professional and unique.


Smith, T. M., Nichols, B., Ott, J., & Ball, D. (2003). Raising the barre: The geographic, financial, and economic trends of nonprofit dance companies: A study. Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Arts.

Barrio‐Tellado, M. J., Herrero‐Prieto, L. C., & Murray, C. (2020). Audience success or art for art’s sake ? Efficiency evaluation of dance companies in the United States. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 31(1), 129-152. doi:10.1002/nml.21411.