Baltimore Regional Dance Services Supply

Outside the Student-Performer-Teacher tracks within the survey, we also asked respondents if they also provide services to dancers. Given then relatively small sample size, I am a bit surprised that every service category provided was covered by someone in the survey. A reminder of those categories:

Performance recording
Performance broadcast
Co-working and meeting space
Costume services
Marketing services/assistance
Health and wellness
Accounting/Business services
Non-dance classes (e.g., Marketing, Audio production)
Physical therapy
Music creation and editing
Job placement/Career information
Financial assistance
Housing information/Referrals

Only 25 respondents completed this track through the survey. Here’s what that looks like:

2017 BRDS - Services Supplied

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Baltimore Regional Dance Services Demand

Divided into four sections, each with 13 defined categories and an open-ended “other,” the Baltimore Regional Dance Survey sought to understand the kinds of services demanded by respondents in the region. Services specified in the question were:

Performance recording
Performance broadcast
Co-working and meeting space
Costume services
Marketing services/assistance
Health and wellness
Accounting/Business services
Non-dance classes (e.g., Marketing, Audio production)
Physical therapy
Music creation and editing
Job placement/Career information
Financial assistance
Housing information/Referrals

For each dimension of a respondent’s dance career (Student, Instructor, Performer) respondents were asked to indicate which of these services they “are likely to use to advance your dance career.” 66 different respondents engaged this question in at least one dimension of their dance career. The response summary across all career dimensions looks like this:

2017 BRDS - Services Likely To Use, All Career Dimensions Combined

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Ideal Baltimore Dance Venue Capacity

Sticking with the performance dimension for a little while longer, respondents were asked “What is the ideal seating capacity needed for your performances?” 54 respondents provided responses ranging from 35 to 1000. There were no responses higher than 1000, which apparently makes spaces like the Hippodrome and Lyric less than ideal. This question is only about capacity, which keeps things fairly simple. There might be enough here to do some future commentary about capacity and capabilities… we’ll see.

2017 BRDS - Ideal Venue Size

Average for all respondents is 270 seats. The most popular response (mode), with 11 respondents, is 200. Having said that, there are three ranges that look interesting – the 35-200 range (effectively 0 to 250), the 300 to 500 seat range (effectively 251 to 500), and the 1000 seat range (let’s call that 501 to 3 billion). Conveniently (because we made it that way), the size in each range doubles, so that’s nice and geometric. Those ranges are indicated in the charts with the pale separators.

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Satisfaction with Baltimore Dance Performance Spaces

Different dance forms make dramatically different demands of their performance space. Understanding that it is essentially impossible for any space to be all things to all dancers, the Baltimore Regional Dance Survey separated satisfaction questions about performance space into 10 different categories of technical or physical attributes:

Sprung floors
Floor surface specific to your dance form
Audio equipment
High ceilings
Open spaces without obstructions (e.g., columns)
Dressing rooms
Theatrical lighting
Motion capture equipment

Respondents were asked to indicate their satisfaction in each category on a 5-step scale from “Extremely Satisfied” to “Extremely Dissatisfied.” This question has a known structural problem, because all respondents were asked to indicate their satisfaction in all categories, even if that category didn’t apply to that particular respondent – so that’s room for improvement in the future. I won’t be able to distinguish between “very satisfied because this doesn’t apply” and “very satisfied because it is critical to my performance and did everything I could possibly hope.” In many cases, it looks like many respondents simply picked “neither satisfied nor dissatisfied” for categories that did not apply. 54 respondents engaged this question. Results follow:

About floors:

2017BRDS - Performer Satisfaction with Sprung Floors

In this category, the responses were amazingly similar in all categories – with a slight bias toward satisfaction.

2017 BRDS - Performer Satisfaction with Floor Surface

Fairly neutral responses when it comes to the floors in performance spaces.

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BRDS Opinions On Performance Space in Baltimore

In the section for performers, respondents were presented with a 4-part degree-of-agreement matrix. For each of these statements, they were asked to rank their agreement from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” (in 7 increments). The six statements:

Performance spaces are readily available in Baltimore
Performance spaces are affordable in Baltimore
Performance spaces are suitable (features) in Baltimore
There is a need for performance spaces in Baltimore

54 respondents made it to this question. Here’s the breakdown for each question (average marked by the big red bar):

2017 BRDS - Performance Spaces Are Readily Available in Baltimore

While the overall results are neutral (Average = 3.81 where 4.00 = “Neither Agree nor Disagree”. σ = 2.10), there is an immediate takeaway – out of 54 respondents (still a small sample), none of them Strongly Agree with the sentiment that performance space is readily available in Baltimore.

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Baltimore’s Dance Performance Spaces

After a bit of a break to actually make some dance performance stuff happen, it’s time to get back to the BRDS data. Having spent some time exploring learning and teaching, I finally get to dive into the performance dimension of dance in Baltimore.

We start with some simple questions… How often did you perform in 2016 and where?

61 Respondents submitted a number of performances for 2016 (some of them 0), adding up to a total of 553, or just about 9 (9.07) per respondent. That makes once every 40 days or so. Of course, this is not evenly distributed among the dancers of the region –

2017 BRDS - Number of Performances in 2016 by Respondent

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Baltimore Dance Instructors On Their Available Studios

Having completed the student-oriented portion of the BRDS, the instructors are next. First, the perpetual reminder that the respondent pool for this survey is biased toward instructors with significant experience.

Respondents that indicated they did teach dance classes were presented with a satisfaction matrix. “Please indicate your satisfaction with your current instruction venue for each of the following” and given a range of 5 options (Ranked 0 to 4 – Extremely dissatisfied, Somewhat dissatisfied, Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, Somewhat satisfied, Extremely satisfied). Five categories were presented:

Cost (e.g., Rental fees, Extra charges)
Availability (e.g., Operating hours, Scheduling conflicts)
Quality (e.g., Cleanliness, Staff, Facility)
Amenities (e.g., Sound system, Dressing area)
Access to services (e.g., Wellness, Food)

55 Respondents completed this question. Let’s bang these out in order:

2017 BRDS - Instructor Satisfaction with Studio Cost

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Economics of Baltimore Dance Classes

Eventually, looking through the data from dance students in the Baltimore region, we get to what is probably the most uncomfortable set of questions – money. Several questions in the BRDS were about money spent on dance training in some form. First, an exploration of how much money gets spent on class. For this, a free-form numerical response was requested in each of the four survey-established class levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Masterclass). As a refresher, here’s what we learned about these categories already. Of BRDS respondents, this many took classes at each level during 2016:

2017 BRDS Respondents with any class time at each level

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Travel for Dance Classes

Having spent some time on the classes available in Baltimore, another question asked of dance students in the Baltimore Regional Dance Survey was about travel for classes. Respondents were asked, “How far did you travel in 2016 to take a class?” and given 7 choices:

Less than 10 miles (Baltimore metro)
11-50 miles (Washington D.C., Frederick)
51-100 miles (Philadelphia, Harrisburg)
101-250 miles (New York City, Pittsburgh, Richmond)
251-1000 miles (Upstate New York, Massachusetts, Carolinas, Ohio)
1001-2500 miles (United States)

Respondents could select as many as appropriate. Some bias is introduced by providing sample destinations, but I figured that was less troublesome than asking each person to decide if New York City fit in the 101-250 mile range or in the 251-1000 mile range (because it depends on which part of Baltimore Metro and which part of New York City metro you connect…). 55 Respondents made it through this question.

2017 BRDS Travel Distance for Dance Classes

No surprise, given the opinion that there are quality dance instructors in the Baltimore Region, the majority of respondents took classes in the less-than-10-mile range. Economically, the next (11-50 mile range) is also quite understandable, and the common trip to New York shows up in the 101-250 mile option.

As a check within the survey, recall a previously-discussed question –

2017 BRDS Respondents with any class time at each level

34 Respondents spent some time in Masterclasses during 2016, and we have 21 respondents traveling 101 miles or more for classes. That seems reasonable.