Dance Studio Owner

10 things that you might not have thought of: Planning a seamless NYC studio trip 

Photo courtesy of 42nd Street Tours.
Photo courtesy of 42nd Street Tours.

Trains, planes, automobiles; hotels, subway, restaurant reservations; classes, shows, educational tours…the details involved with an NYC studio trip can go on and on and on. It’s enough to make any studio director – already juggling everything from costume orders to updating studio curricula to managing teaching faculty – feel just about ready to pull their hair out. That’s even without all of the details that they might not have even considered! 

Yet, with the right know-how, thoughtful planning and professional support, it doesn’t have to be a tangled jumble of hassle and stress. Foreseeing challenges before they come up, and attentively preparing for those challenges, can make the NYC travel experience all that you imagined it could be – and maybe more! 

Alexander Graham Bell once quipped that “preparation is the key to success.” (Dancers would agree, this writer would say…we work hard at the barre and run choreography over and over for a reason!) To help studio directors prepare for NYC trips, we’ll hear from Melise Harris of 42nd Street Tours about trip planning in ways that you might not have even thought of. 42nd Street Tours has over 20 years of experience in the industry, but also remains focused on families and studios they serve – so she has just the right expertise and perspective to guide studio directors here. 

Photo courtesy of 42nd Street Tours.
Photo courtesy of 42nd Street Tours.

#1. It’s all in the timing.

Why is timing important? “Even within a week, rates can change,” Harris notes. She recommends working with a travel professional to ensure that “you have the best options.”

#2. Experience matters.

Speaking of travel professionals, be sure to pick one with “10+ years of experience,” Harris suggests. A trip to NYC can be incredibly detailed – more than one might expect, she says. You can trust an experienced company to have a handle on that kind of intricacy. Then you can enjoy a smooth, stress-free trip. 

#3. Don’t forget a tour escort.

The services of a tour escort are also “more important than you think,” says Harris. 42nd Street Tours provides tour escorts who are local residents, and thus “well-versed in how to maneuver crowds of people around the city and into reservations.” They can help tours feel more cohesive, and also strike a good balance when it comes to activity level and pace of action.

#4. Choose lodging wisely.

Simply put, “hotel choice matters,” says Harris. Yes, staying outside of Times Square can save on lodging costs – but “being within walking distance” of central Broadway activities is crucial, she explains. “Not to mention having that classic NYC feel!” All 42nd Street Tours hotel options are located inside the Times Square area. 

#5. Flexibility counts.

Not the dancer kind of flexibility…Harris is talking about the ability to modify reservations and activities. 42nd Street Tours has “tried and true” itineraries at the ready – but studio directors are “at the wheel…we’re here to give you the experience you’re looking for,” she says. 

#6. Breaking bread together

“Be sure to plan plenty of group meals,” Harris suggests. Dancers need lots of fuel, after all! Well-timed restaurant reservations are vital – because “it can be hard to find reservations for large groups in NYC,” she warns. 42nd Street Tours can make those reservations hassle-free.

#7. Performing is optional.

Some studios directors might feel pressure to offer their students the experience of performing in NYC – but “you don’t have to spend a year in choreography to make a dance tour successful,” Harris affirms. “Some clients just want a dance education opportunity, and that’s no sweat,” she notes. 42nd Street Tours “can stack in education opportunities, tours, classes, museums, et cetera.”  

#8. Make it a family affair.

…including grandparents, aunts, uncles — anyone who wants to come! Family members “don’t have to look at photos after the trip,” Harris notes; they can experience it themselves. 42nd Street Tours makes it feasible to invite family members to join, and from that have “a lifetime of memories” right along with students and teaching artists. 

#9. Individual billing makes life easier.

Individual billing eliminates the hassles of Venmo-ing or PayPal-ing after the fact, or studio directors having to foot the bill up front before families pay in the next studio billing cycle. Harris notes how 42nd Street Tours offers “multiple options for payment collection” – yet, when you let the company handle the billing for each family, “you can focus on the most important thing….dance!” 

Photo courtesy of 42nd Street Tours.
Photo courtesy of 42nd Street Tours.

#10. Don’t forget to have fun!

It’s not only okay for young dancers to enjoy non-dance activities, it can be beneficial — such as in deepening their artistry and enhancing their whole-person wellness. Bring that principle into your NYC trips! Harris recommends balancing “dance and fun” through alternate activities, those that are dance-related as well as those for the whole family. 

Considering all of these things can make “all the difference,” Harris believes. With seamless and hassle-free travel, studio groups can truly savor special experiences and form unparalleled memories – such as learning choreography from a Broadway show ensemble member and then seeing that choreography performed on a Broadway stage that night, or glimpsing a famous actor at the stage door (that happened on one studio trip, Harris recounts). 

With such an extraordinary, memory-packed experience, Harris jokes that “you’ll want to call your travel planner for your next dance adventure the second you get home. Well, maybe after you unpack, at least!” 

For more information on 42nd Street Tours and how to book a NYC trip for your dance studio, visit

By Kathryn Boland of Dance Informa.

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