Today’s constant flow of young, middle-aged, and elderly Americans to their local dance studio is no misstep. Many see dancing as an appealing route to physical fitness, and millions more have been drawn to the flash, dash, and fun of it by such television shows as “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”
New Cast of Stars
No longer is dancing on TV reduced to remnants of the Lawrence Welk show. The faces of contemporary dancing performers are those of Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Julianne Hough, and Karina Smirnoff, among others. The impression they’ve made is that viewers, too, can learn how to dance – and do so with a strut, flair, and pride.
Trends for the Future
Dancing studios that offer Latin-inspired, ballroom, and fusion classes, in particular, have benefited from the trend. Furthermore, baby boomers are expected to fuel it for at least the next five years, especially in classes for ballroom dancing.
According to Angela Prince, director of public relations for USA Dance, the popularity of ballroom and Latin dancing has been growing since about 2000. Television shows have boosted, not created, the trend, she said.
“Dancing With the Stars” is said to have done for ballroom dancing what “Saturday Night Fever” did for disco decades ago.
All this, plus dancing makes people feel good – even during tough times. By reducing tension and stress, dancing naturally produces an overall sense of well-being. Moreover, dancing as a social endeavor provides opportunities to meet other people, enhance an individual’s social skills, and increase self-confidence.
Most forms of dancing require stretching, bending, starting, and stopping, all of which enhance flexibility. Dancing forces muscles to resist and control body weight, and virtually all forms of it, from ballet to ballroom, makes the dancer stronger.
Like tennis, jogging, or weight lifting, dancing builds one’s endurance by forcing the heart, lungs, and muscles to work harder and longer without fatigue.
Survival and Future Expansion
Although many industries suffered in the wake of the 2008 recession, the dance studio industry not only survived but also expanded in the last five years. According to the IBIS World report of January 2015, the annual revenue of dancing studios since 2010 grew by 2.9 percent, with more than 8,500 businesses now employing more than 50,000 people.
The report estimates that these studios will generate $2 billion in revenue this year. In the next five, improving economic conditions and increased consumer spending on recreational activities is expected to expand the industry even further.
No Dominant Company or Companies
The dance studio industry is highly fragmented. According to the latest Economic Census, 98.9 percent of its studios operate from a single location. Each caters to and serves its local market, leaving national franchises with less than 3 percent of the national marketplace.
In 2015, almost 75 percent of the industry’s revenue income is expected to come from tuition for general dancing classes, and nonprofit organizations will bring another 5.2 percent.
No longer are Americans content to watch dancing on TV, or from the edge of a ballroom floor. As the numbers reveal, more people than ever want to dance, or at least try.