Are you about hiring a dance teacher and need to draw up an agreement? If YES, here are 12 components of a dance studio contract agreement. If you are looking to work as a dance teacher and have never really used a contract before, it can be quite challenging to understand how they work and why they are important. Typically, a contract is very necessary because it states the precise terms of your job.

Why Draw Up a Contract Agreement?

A contract will explicitly state what a teacher’s responsibilities are and what the dance studio owner owes the teacher. A good contract will also help each party understand how to do their job to the satisfaction of each party, and it also stands in as a legal document in case anything goes wrong.

The business side of dance can often fall second to the art. Contracts, which usually appear after a verbal agreement has been reached, can seem like an inconsequential afterthought. You might decide to simply sign without reading the terms—or be understandably confused by all the legalese.

As a dance studio owner hiring a dance teacher, you may be trying to understand what exactly a dance teacher contract should contain. These contracts can be unusual especially since many dance teachers work part – time and their work may vary from one time to the next. As you begin drafting a professional dance studio contract, here are components to watch out for.

Components of a Contract Agreement Between a Dance Studio Owner and a Dance Teacher

1. Non – compete clauses

Just like most businesses in the United States, dance studios tend to compete against each other in one way or another. Owing to this reason, a non – compete clause may be of immense benefit to your studio. If appropriate, a non – compete clause can limit your teachers to several different situations.

For instance, it might prohibit them from choreographing for a studio within “x” amount of miles of your studio or starting a studio within “x” amount of miles. This usually includes a timeline for how long the non – compete is in place, generally anywhere from a few months up to a year.

2. Confidentiality clauses

Confidentiality clauses are more or less centred on private information. Remember to include this in your contract to ensure that your teachers don’t disclose important and private details about your studio, as well as the private information of your students (and their parents).

3. Dress code

Have it in mind that some studios maintain a strict dress code. This may be for every class or just for specific classes, such as ballet. If you require a particular colour, cut, or style of dance wear for your studio, be sure to include this information in your contract.

4. Compensation

Note that a well stated plan for compensation is one of the most crucial parts of a contract. This includes hourly wages, as well as rates for overtime and substitute teaching. Some studios also like to include bonuses or perks for recruiting new students. Also note that compensation portion of a contract will mainly discuss how much the teacher will be paid. It is advisable you ensure it is clear, for all parties involved.

5. Leave policies

Leave is more or less classified under vacation or sick time. If any of your teachers work full – time, then it is imperative to consider whether you’ll provide paid time off in the form of vacation days. If so, how much advance notice will you need for requests? Will you also offer unpaid vacation time for part – time teachers?

Sick days are another very critical aspect of leave policies. Many states require you to provide a certain amount of paid sick days for full – time employees. Also remember to include standard guidelines or main point of contact for calling in sick. This will ensure that you have enough time to find a substitute for your classes.

6. Service expectations

This is expected to extensively clarify overall expectations. Strive to provide as much detail as possible about the number of classes per week or month they’ll teach, as well as any other engagements. Note that this may include recitals, competitions, and other studio related events.

Note how you and the teacher will agree on increasing or modifying their class schedule. Service expectations are expected to also include any specifications about methods of teaching. This may be based on a specific curriculum or class format. It can also cover conduct guidelines regarding professionalism.

7. Credit

This clause is about how your name, image and biographical information appear in programs, photographs, videos and other marketing material. Since this information likely will make its way to the internet, make sure that you have the opportunity to approve any photograph or biographical material before it is published.

8. Early termination

Whether the early termination of a contract is prompted by you or the teacher, it is imperative you include the terms so the appropriate course of action is clear to all parties from the beginning. Also note that most dance studio owners include language about the right to terminate a teacher at any time for a variety of reasons.

Note that this normally has to do with misconduct or refusing to follow the contract that has been agreed upon. On the other hand, if a teacher decides to terminate a contract early, you may want to include certain provisions. This could be a fee to compensate for the inconvenience of searching for a replacement.

9. Reimbursements

Additionally, if you feel teachers may have to provide up – front costs at any time, you should have a method for providing reimbursements. This may be for costumes or other competition fees and necessities. Irrespective of the reason, provide detailed instructions for submitting a reimbursement request, as well as a timeline and manner in which they’ll receive their money.

Note that this process will not only eliminate a run around in the time of the event, but also reassures teachers that they will be taken care of for any expenses they may need to cover at first.

10. Copyright Ownership

Also note that many dance contracts will clearly state who owns the copyrights to the choreography or the production as a whole. The owner might have the right to perform the work, to allow others to perform the work and to create new works based on the original.

Even though most dance contracts often assume that choreographers will own the relevant copyrights, if you expect to make significant creative contributions, it might be time to advocate for rights of your own.

11. Mandatory Arbitration & Mediation

Contracts tend to contain clauses that require the dance teacher and the dance studio owner to engage in mandatory arbitration or mediation if they have a disagreement they cannot resolve.

A mandatory arbitration clause generally means that the parties must have the dispute decided by a panel of lawyers instead of filing a lawsuit. A mandatory mediation clause usually requires a Dance Teacher to try to resolve any issues through a conference with a neutral party before you file a lawsuit.

12. Indemnification

This clause is basically an agreement to cover costs if any party breaches the contract and cause the dance studio owner to incur additional expenses. This might mean that if a teacher doesn’t show up for performances, they have to reimburse the dance studio owner for the cost of hiring and teaching a new dancer.

Conclusion

Indeed hiring is an important part of growing any dance studio. Finding great instructors can be the catalyst that sets a studio apart and help attract new students. Howbeit, getting off on the right foot with your new dance teachers is important. A dance studio teacher contract can help you establish a positive working relationship from the start.

Solomon. O'Chucks