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2022 Scholarship Recipients

Posted Thursday, December 15th, 2022 by Akada

This year, we received more applications than ever, and it was harder for our staff to narrow down and choose only ten. If we could give a hundred of these scholarships, we would. Congratulations to this year’s recipients of this year’s Akada scholarship!

Dance Impressions, Farmington, UT – We have a very talented young man who is currently a Jr in High School. He was removed from a severely abusive home and was in the Foster Care system. He now has a safe home and finds refuge at the dance studio. This student came to dance with us (on a full tuition scholarship) 5 years ago. He is not only talented and hard-working but the kindest boy. He challenges himself in every class to do his best, which drives him to excellence. We have worked to foster an environment of love, support, and encouragement for him, and he has just blossomed.

If he were awarded this scholarship, it would be used to allow him to audition for University dance programs where he could continue his training. We want to take him to New York this summer to audition for NYCDA foundation college scholarships as well as an audition at their college placement for over 30 Universities present at once. He is so talented, and with this financial support, he would be able to explore so many more educational opportunities. $1000 would buy his airfare, pay his university application, and audition fees. This money would be for such a great cause. As a studio, we are doing all we can to support and allow him to grow as a dancer. This scholarship would allow him to open doors that would not be possible without help.

Long Island City School of Ballet, Long Island City, NY – We have a special needs dancer who has made significant improvement since beginning to take classes one year ago. The focus and self-discipline of ballet have helped him in other aspects of his education. His mother has told us that he has been more focused and calmer since starting dance. However, the cost of dance education is a hardship for his single mom. We would love to take that burden off her and keep her son dancing.

Creative Expression Dance Studio, Flint, MI – Thank you so much for the opportunity to apply for this scholarship opportunity. Our studio Creative Expressions Dance Studio, is a non-profit that caters to low-income families in Flint, Michigan. We want to use these funds for a phenomenal young mom and aunt who has been with our studio for about seven years. She has two students that attend our studio, one an autistic son who is absolutely phenomenal in class, loves to dance, and be amongst his friends. The other is her great-niece, who has lost all the family she has ever known. Each year, they struggle to make ends meet to afford costumes and participate financially. They have often received financial donations from our building executive director. However, just days ago, literally last week, he passed away unexpectantly but due to natural causes. This man helped financially, stepped in, and danced with her every year for our father-daughter dance. He was the only father figure she had ever known. We will continue trying to find any means to help this family, but this scholarship would really help this family tremendously. We love this family and want to continue to see them flourish at doing what they both love, celebrating life through the gift of dance.

DanceScapes, Endicott, NY – I have a 13-year-old student who dances four times a week. She is being raised by her mother only, and her mother was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Her mother is self-employed and unable to work due to her illness. The prognosis is grim. She has arranged for her daughter to be legally adopted by a family in case the horrible disease takes her life. I believe this student would benefit from this scholarship to help fund the one thing she truly enjoys and ease the burden of overwhelming bills for the mother.

Breaking Ground Dance Center, Pleasantville, NY – These funds will be used for a student whose mother, unfortunately, passed away in March of 2021 due to complications from Covid. It was very sudden. The student was only eight years old when this occurred, and she is sorely missed by her family and everyone here at the studio. She has been a student of ours for several years, and now that her mom is gone, her family cannot afford all of her classes, competitions, etc. I, as the owner, have been discounting her tuition as much as I can for her. This would be a massive help for her competition fees and costumes. Thank you in advance for considering her. She is such a joy, and we can tell that it is really helping her through this difficult time.

Walh Performing Arts Studios, Orchard Park, NY – We have a student who has been a part of our studio family since she was little. Now a teenager, her family has battled many hardships in the last several years, which have challenged their ability to afford classes. Her father had a heart attack and has been unable to work. The mother became the sole breadwinner. She recently had surgery and has been out of work and on workers’ compensation due to complications from her surgery. The most recent family trauma was the death of her older brother this fall. This family has been through so much. Our studio is the ‘happy place’ for this student who has faced so much trauma over the last five years. She hides these hardships with her glowing smile and truly lives and shines bright in the classroom. If we were to receive an akada scholarship, it would be used to help continue with lessons for this student.

Liz Trahan Dance Studio, Cecilia, LA – We have a child who lost her mother to a drunk driver. We would use the money to pay for the rest of the dance year and revue for her.

DuHadway Dance Dimensions, Alma, MI – We have a student who lives with her single mom and her brother. Like many single-family households, the mom has to take care of everything since the father is out of the picture. This dancer is spectacular, and she is at risk of having to leave our program. She is a high school senior and has been invited to dance with The Joffrey School in New York after they saw her and offered a scholarship to their summer program. Since then, she has been struggling with the fear of leaving home since her mom has a difficult relationship to deal with on top of the financial stress. We absolutely adore this dancer, but our family-owned studio can no longer afford to scholarship everything for her. So, this scholarship will serve two purposes. It will help her keep dancing and offset some of the debt we are currently facing since we want to celebrate her senior year. 

Contempo School of Dance, Lutz, FL – These funds would be used for a family who has been a loyal Contempo family for 15 years. Their three girls have all danced with us on our competitive team. One has graduated, but the other two are still on our team. I know this scholarship would bring some hope for them, and I am willing to match it to help them even more. 

Movement House Dance Collaborative, Stoneham, MA – One of my families have experienced extreme financial hardship this year. Their apartment complex was declared uninhabitable, and they’ve been trying to find a place to live in other towns while attending local schools. They have been bouncing between living with family (a situation that was not ideal, sleeping on a cold porch or on the floor, and the family that they were living with suffers from substance abuse addiction) to hotels. They have not been able to pay their dance bill. While I’d love to offer them free tuition, I can’t afford to not take in income (I’m in my third year of owning the studio and am humble and happy, but I still need all the income possible as well). I would use these funds toward their bill, which is just over $1000. This would be amazing news for them with the holidays coming up. 


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Interested in checking out the Akada Software? Click here to create a free account! (monthly fees after you reach 100 students)

How to run your recital schedule in Akada’s Software

Posted Monday, November 28th, 2022 by Akada

Tis the season! Prepping for a Christmas Recital is no small task and we want to take a load off of your shoulders!

With our software you can make sure that your dancers have enough time between each dance to change costumes and ensure that there are no “back-to-back” mistakes in the lineup.

With our Recital Management feature you add each class that is in the recital, add the song for each class, test the schedule and voila… you find out if there are conflicts or not!

Here is a visual of how to do it: (since we know that most of us creatives need a visual to learn)

#1 – Navigate to the Performances Tab and click “Manage recitals”


#2 – Click “Add a Recital” to add one or multiple recitals depending on the size of your studio

#3 – Add a song and time for each class by clicking “Edit Song”


#4 – Add each class to the recital by clicking “Add to Recital”


#5 – Choose how many songs is desirable for costume changes for students in multiple dances in the recital


#6 – Once the above is accomplished, click “Test Schedule” and it will let you know if there are conflicts or not!


We hope this helps you in your recital planning! 

If you need any assistance in setting this up or have any questions, please reach out.

Happy Holidays,

The Akada Team


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Interested in checking out the Akada Software? Click here to create a free account! (monthly fees after you reach 100 students)


3 Tips on How to Engage Your Audience in 2022

Posted Tuesday, October 25th, 2022 by Akada

Do you ever wonder why people don’t stop to engage with your posts or respond to your emails?

There is so much content out there that we are essentially facing an epidemic of content binging. We have to be creative to break through the noise and get the right audience to engage with us!

Here are our 3 tips to do just that…

#1 – Solidify your voice on social media.

Social media is increasingly becoming a place for entertainment, based heavily on short form video. Creating content that has a specific voice or message that you are passionate about is going to help bring out more emotion in your audience, which will help create a deeper connection and lasting impact with your brand, product or store. 

We suggest that you lean into:

  • Humor
  • Authenticity
  • Case Studies
  • User Generated Content/Testimonials
  • Before and After
  • Mental Health Awareness

#2 – Utilize email as a conversation tool.

Email started as a way to communicate between friends and now it has become a mass marketing tool that makes inboxes too overloaded. The problem is, we cannot give up on email because it is such a powerful tool to engage in conversations.

What needs to change is how we view the emails that we send. It should sound like we are talking to a friend. Would you email a friend a lengthy message of over 300 words? No! 

We suggest that you start to treat email as a conversation starter. Here is how you do that:

  • Create a segmented list of your contacts based on their interactions/transactions with you
  • Write different messages for each group
  • Keep messages short enough that it fits on a cell phone screen from start to finish (50-125 words)
  • Ask a question at the end that elicits a response 
  • If they respond, begin a conversation like you would have with a friend. Don’t be salesy, just be authentic

#3 – Go to networking events in your community and talk to real people! 

Whether you are an online business or not, networking and engaging in real life conversations is the most important thing you can do! Not only will it help you hone your message of what you do and why you do it, but it allows you to create meaningful connections with people in your community. 

Where to find networking opportunities:

  • Rotary Club
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Colleges with Business Divisions
  • Google “business networking near me”

Now it’s time for you to go and come up with a plan of action! Stay authentic, be conversational and go talk to real people!


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Interested in checking out the Akada Software? Click here to create a free account! (monthly fees after you reach 100 students)

The 3 numbers every dance studio owner should track!

Posted Saturday, September 24th, 2022 by Akada


Is my social media doing anything? Does anyone visit my website? Why aren’t people signing up their kids for dance classes at my studio?

Do you find yourself asking these questions, but don’t even know where to start when figuring out what the problem is? Let’s take a look at the 3 easiest numbers you need to be tracking in order to figure out what needs attention!

#1 : Track engagement rate on social media posts.

Social media is often the first place most customers find out about your business or check to see what you are about. You can post on social media every day, but if it isn’t engaging then it might be a huge waste of your time! 

To see if your social media is helping you to get new customers, you need to determine the engagement rate on your posts. This will tell you how many of the people who saw your post has engaged with it (likes, comments, shares, etc.).

This is how you do it:

Divide the total number of engagements on a post by the reach per post. Multiply the result by 100. You can find the engagement and reach numbers on your Meta Business Suite.

The ideal engagement rate is 1-5%. Once you start to look deeper into each post and how they are performing, you might determine you need to improve your content or you might be surprised that it is doing just fine!


Our suggestions to improve your engagement on social media:

Video Content: always performs higher than a static image

Testimonials: make sure to tag your happy clients so they can re-share the post

Be Personable: ask questions, do polls, create conversations


#2 : Track web page bounce rate.

The next place most potential customers are going to visit is your website! So let’s look at that and see what is going on! 

Looking at the bounce rate is going to tell you whether your visitors are leaving a page rapidly or staying to read the content. This will give you a great indication as to whether you need to update the look, simplify the page, or leave it as is.

This is how you do it:

Go to Google Analytics (set this up if you don’t have it connected to your website) and on the left side, go to the section “Behavior – Site Content – All Pages”. Make sure to set the time frame at the top right to the previous month and in the columns you will be able to see the bounce rate for each page. 

Bounce rate breakdown:

  • 26 to 40 percent is excellent
  • 41 to 55 percent is roughly average
  • 56 to 70 percent is higher than average
  • Anything over 70 percent is not good and needs to be addressed


Our suggestions to decrease the bounce rate:

Keep your web pages short and simple with a button to register on every page

Post your class schedule on your website organized by age

Include testimonials of happy customers

Focus your messaging on the benefits of dancing at your studio


#3 : Track accounts that did not register for classes. 

The last place we get to on the journey of signing up for dance classes, is when the customer creates an account in the software you are using. Keeping a close eye on how many “new accounts” were created and how many of those ended up registering for classes is highly important so that no one falls through the cracks! 

Within the Akada software, accounts can be sorted in multiple ways:

  • Active: enrolled in dance classes
  • Inactive: previously was enrolled, but no longer are
  • Prospects: new accounts that haven’t registered for classes

Tracking the numbers of those 3 groups are going to help you see if you are growing and if your efforts to convert those prospects or inactive customers to become active is working. It is so rewarding to look back and see the numbers change over time!


Our suggestions to increase class registration:

Send all prospects a text message (free with Akada software) or email to see if they need help with registration and provide a phone number they could call for assistance! 

Send all previous customers a text message (free with Akada software) or email to let them know you miss them and are checking in to make sure they didn’t forget to register for classes! (because life is busy!)


There are SO many numbers you could track, but these 3 are a great starting point! These numbers are going to tell you the most important information you need to figure out WHY someone might not be registering for classes and where they might be dropping off or getting “stuck”.

Now, I’m sure you are wondering how often you should look at these numbers? Well, that is completely up to you and what you can handle! If you have an employee dedicated to marketing, they could look at these numbers once a week to continue to improve your messaging and the look. If you do not have that luxury, we suggest looking at the numbers once a month, decide what changes need to be made and make a goal for where you want to see those numbers next month!

Now it’s time to get tracking! We are rooting for you here at Akada!


Did you like today’s blog content? Spread the word and share this link with your friends!

Interested in checking out the Akada Software? Click here to create a free account! (monthly fees after you reach 100 students)

Boosting Summer Enrollment For Your Dance Studio: 5 Tips

Posted Tuesday, July 12th, 2022 by Akada

Running a successful dance studio can be rewarding, but it’s not easy. Summer enrollment is always one of the most challenging times to draw in new students, and parents can be challenging to convince in the summer months. Here are five tips to help you get through the summer successfully and boost enrollment for next fall!


1) Reach Out To Parents Early

It’s important to start marketing your summer dance camp early – send out emails as soon as you have the camp dates finalized. This will give parents plenty of time to plan and budget for the camp. You can also offer early bird pricing to incentivize signing up early. 


2) Don’t Let The Competition Scare You

It can be easy to get discouraged when you see other dance studios with higher summer enrollment numbers than yours. But don’t let the competition scare you! Instead, use it as motivation to step up your game and attract more students to your studio.


3) Get Creative With Marketing

Traditional advertising, like flyers and posters are great, but to get people in the door, you need to get creative. Think about what kind of marketing would appeal to your target demographic and get their attention. You could hold a free dance class, create a social media campaign, or partner with a local business for a cross-promotion.


4) Create A Fun, Rewarding Experience For Students

The first step to boosting summer enrollment for your dance studio is to create a fun, rewarding experience for students. This means offering enjoyable and challenging classes and opportunities for students to show off their skills. Offering incentives, such as discounts or free classes, can also help attract new students. 


5) Offer An Affordable Option

Many families are on a tight budget during the summer, so offer an affordable option for those who want to enroll their child in dance classes. You can do this by providing a lower-cost class or by giving a discount for multiple classes.

Benefits of Running Social Media Ads for Your Dance Studio

Posted Tuesday, July 12th, 2022 by Akada

If you’re running a dance studio, it can be highly beneficial to run Facebook ads. However, as with any form of marketing, not all methods work across all businesses and audiences—which is why we recommend getting professional help when running social media campaigns to ensure they have a positive ROI.


What kind of content to put in your Facebook ad campaign

Facebook has introduced many changes to its advertising platform in recent years. This can make ad creation intimidating, but it’s a relatively easy task as long as you know your target audience and put some effort into planning. Make sure that your visuals are not only appealing to your audience but also relevant to them. If you want to drive traffic to your dance studio website from Facebook, try targeting people who live within 20 miles of your studio and are interested in dance schools or dance studios. 


Best practices for driving traffic from Facebook advertisements

Facebook advertising offers an array of targeting options. Using these, you can focus your ads on specific demographics and age groups, which is an excellent way to start driving traffic to your dance studio. If you’re new to Facebook ads, try out some retargeting ads—these display adverts from websites you’ve visited in the past. The goal is to entice visitors who may already be familiar with your dance studio and get them to visit your website or sign up for a class.


How to track the success of your Facebook advertisement campaign

 An excellent way to track the success of your Facebook campaign is by using one landing page per campaign so that with every click, you get leads back to a dedicated page. You’ll see exactly how many people have clicked through from Facebook, what they looked at on your site, and how much time they spent there. This way, you can keep an eye on engagement and conversions—and adjust your strategy accordingly.


Social media ads, when utilized correctly, can help your dance studio in a significant way. By creating a worthwhile marketing strategy with these helpful tools, you will be preparing your dance studio for major success.

5 Ways to Set Your Dance Studio Up for Success

Posted Thursday, July 7th, 2022 by Akada

To succeed as a dance studio owner, you have to go above and beyond in everything you do. From the moment your customers step inside your studio to the time they leave, you have to ensure that their experience with your business leaves them wanting to return again and again.

 Here are five simple ways to improve your dance studio that anyone can follow, no matter their level of experience running a dance studio.


1) Take Time to Create an Amazing Atmosphere

When you walk into a dance studio, what’s your first impression? Is it relaxed and inviting? Do you get that it’s going to be a great day feeling? How is the lighting set up so dancers can see each other as they learn new steps and routines? Ask yourself these questions when designing or redesigning your dance space. Create an atmosphere that people want to be in.


2) Prepare Your Teachers

 A good leadership team will lead by example, but you need to instill a certain amount of discipline in your teachers to take their role seriously. If you do not have an established routine, consider starting small and taking it from there. For example, sign up some new teachers and assign one person who has been with you a while as their mentor. The first thing they should work on together is creating a schedule for when classes are held and what days/times they’ll be teaching. The more structure you give your teachers, the better they’ll be able to run your studio successfully.


3) Offer Fun Classes that Provide Amazing Benefits

Find a niche that resonates with your audience and develop a program around it. Learn more about your students’ wants and needs, and turn those into unique lessons that will keep them coming back for more. For example, if you’re teaching kids hip-hop dance, incorporate as much fun and imagination into their lessons. Creativity is essential with any form of dance, from ballroom to ballet!


4) Promote on Social Media

Developing a social media presence and posting relevant content will help you gain exposure, build your brand, and bring in new students. Start using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+! The more consistently you post quality content that gets engagement from your target audience online, the more referrals you’ll be getting offline.


5} Community Involvement

Engage with your local community and build a network of potential students to increase your studio’s reach. Whether you’re teaching young children or adults, organizing a dance showcase is a great way to increase awareness about your dance studio and attract new students. Keep an eye out for fundraisers, conferences, festivals, and other events that might bring like-min

Are you getting the business you deserve?

Posted Tuesday, March 1st, 2022 by Akada

Many businesses offer white-glove service, but there’s one thing about your company that sets it apart from all the rest- the way you treat your customers.

When you’re providing white-glove treatment to your clients, you should expect the same level of dedication from your vendors and suppliers. Through years of experience, Akada has worked to perfect this practice building great partnerships with dance studios nationwide.

From day one, Payscout has always put clients first – forging solid relationships with them based on trust and fairness. For this reason, Akada is proud to add Payscout as an additional credit card processing partner. With Payscout merchants are assigned a dedicated Relationship Manager who will promptly answer inquiries and provide access to relevant information at all times. Relationships between the two sides aren’t limited by distance either. Both merchants and Payscout representatives can communicate through an open messaging line anytime they want – no holdups or busy signals necessary!

These days, time is the key ingredient to a company’s success; if you can’t serve your customers quickly, they’ll go elsewhere. If your current payment processor isn’t delivering quality customer service, you need something else – and fast!

For more information about the Akada + Payscout partnership, and to receive a “Free Cost-Savings Analysis,” visit www.payscout.com/akada-payment-processing.

How to Market Your Dance Studio In 2022

Posted Friday, February 4th, 2022 by Akada

How do you get more students in your dance studio? A vital part of growing your business, this question comes up in most dance studio owners’ minds at some point. Whether you’re just starting and trying to attract that first batch of dancers or you’re looking to expand your business and reach a new crowd, here are some tips to help your marketing efforts thrive in the upcoming year.


Facebook and Instagram make it easier for small businesses like dance studios to reach their audiences. Using social media, you can create a marketing campaign that promotes your studio’s services and classes while building rapport with current and potential customers. While there are numerous social media platforms to choose from, Facebook and Instagram have proven most effective because they have an active user base that includes prospective dancers.


Whether you’re a fitness studio, yoga studio, dance studio, or another studio that offers physical classes, offering a free trial class is an excellent way to market your business. It allows potential students to try out your classes without any commitment—and if they come for one class and love it (as most do), then they’ll likely be back for more.



Setting up an easy-to-use, easy-to-find website (that’s also mobile-friendly) can be a huge factor in getting new clients for your dance studio. In your FAQ, include information on how students can sign up and what their first class will be like. Also, encourage parents to ask questions they might have through email or contact forms on your site. Let everyone know that you are easily accessible, so they don’t feel nervous about signing up for classes with you!


If you’re looking to improve business at your dance studio or create new opportunities within the market, then following these helpful tips will hopefully make it happen.

Happy New Year!

Posted Monday, January 10th, 2022 by Akada

Thank you for all your trust and partnership in 2021. We’ve made it our mission to ensure we offer the best tools and services to help make your studio a success. Our goal is to see you thrive – so we’re happy to see how far we’ve come together.

Celebrate Our Achievements

We hope your studio had a fantastic year with many achievements to celebrate. It’s important to remember that there is still progress even if not everything went according to plan. Every step towards reaching your goal matters – no matter how small it might seem. 

We’re here to support your studio through the trenches.

Keep Track

You learn pretty quickly when running a dance studio; there are always hurdles ahead. There are many lessons to be remembered for any error that you make. The best course of action is to note these past hardships and implement what you learned–your studio will be rewarded in the end.

Looking Forward: What to Expect

2022 is a brand new year where we are starting with a clean slate. 

Regardless of the number of students your studio has, you can count on Akada to do the heavy lifting, freeing up your time for things that matter. Trust your administrative needs to us to not only simplify your studio management but keep it running efficiently. 

We are here to support and manage your studio efficiently while celebrating and cheering you on to success.


Happy New Year!