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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!

Akada’s Best Features

Posted Friday, November 5th, 2021 by Akada

Finding the right software to power your dance studio shouldn’t take a tremendous amount of time, effort, or money. The features that Akada Software offers is based on our years of expertise with studio management, which means we do the hard work, and you focus on making sure your students are nailing those pirouettes. Here are some of the features that make Akada Software the best in the industry.

Billing and Online Payments

No more spreadsheets or reminding yourself to pay bills or collect tuition payments. Akada’s billing and online payment systems make it easy to keep credit card payments up to date.

Communication, Security, and Reports

Not only is all data kept private and secure, but you can also email or text with families. When you see attendance, finance, and enrollment reports that are easy to read, you can use that data to communicate with your customers and stay on top of studio business.

Performances and Registration

Scheduling is easy with Akada. Between the studio’s class sessions and customer registration, to scheduling performances and recitals, Akada makes it simple and saves time. Also, Akada Software has built-in costume management.

Time Tracking and Scheduling

Manage your staff, timekeeping, and payroll, and track classes to ensure no conflict for rooms, instructors, and students, all in one place.

 

Dance studio owners have enough on their plate, and shouldn’t have to wade through countless apps, software, and tools to manage a dance studio. Partner with Akada Software, and simplify your administrative studio management so you can focus on what makes you happy about being a dance studio owner.

Mental Health and Dance

Posted Wednesday, August 18th, 2021 by Akada

In the past year, professional athletes have made headlines by doing one thing: taking a step back.
Tennis star Naomi Osaka pulled out of matches; and more recently, gymnast Simone Biles withdrew
from Olympic events. Both athletes cited mental health reasons for their withdrawal, and both athletes
have received praise and scorn for their decisions.
What does this have to do with dance?
The rigors of participating in local dance classes may not be on the same level as Olympic participation,
but dance studio owners notice a decline in competitive participation from teens also citing mental
health reasons. Opinions vary on whether these students are making good decisions by withdrawing
from dance classes but keep a few things in mind.

Mental health is not just a trend
Students and adults alike have been under enormous stress in the past eighteen months. This is a time
to pay attention to mental health, not ignore it. Students need understanding, not judgment because
you may not know what’s going on at home.
Rethink your message
A win-at-all-cost mindset doesn’t motivate everyone. It’s a lot of pressure. Never forget that dance is a
form of expression and mindfulness. Physical activity is beneficial for mental health. Perhaps some new
options can include recreational dance that includes mindfulness.
Care about the whole student
Sure, another trophy would be great, but not if it destroys the mental health of students. Trust
students when they tell you they need to prioritize their mental health because it demonstrates amazing
strength to draw a line between doing what they love and understanding their boundaries. Meet
students with compassion if you want to keep them.

Perhaps it’s time to recognize that right now may not be appropriate for a win-at-all-cost message, and
young people are rejecting that mindset. Meet them where they are and be the resource that they need
so that one day they will look back and see that you helped them get through some pretty hard stuff.

YPAD Scholarship Opportunity

Posted Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 by Akada

 

As many of you know, YPAD originated as the heart song of Leslie Scott Zanovitch, its founder and long-time champion—and someone I now consider a forever friend. 🙂

Leslie created YPAD to uphold a high standard of health and safety in dance. It was an answer to the industry-wide question, “How can we serve dance students in the best, healthiest way possible?”

When More Than Just Great Dancing® acquired YPAD earlier this year, it was our goal to expand on Leslie’s mission, staying true to her legacy and opening up the YPAD education and certification to more studio owners and teachers. And now here we are!

Here is more information about the educational coursework at the core of the YPAD experience. YPAD currently has two different course offerings:

#1: The YPAD SAFETY Course (which leads to Course Completion) covers the following topics:

  • Best Practices for Dance Studios
  • Abuse Awareness and Prevention
  • Injury Prevention and Response
  • Risk Management in the Dance Environment

Each of these four points represents an area of learning that we believe every studio needs to maximize student safety. It is my belief that a YPAD safety education will benefit every level of the industry, from the studio itself and its teachers to our students and their parents. At YPAD, we have gone ALL-IN on encouraging the industry to self-regulate and teach within the bounds of what’s healthy and safe for kids.

#2: The YPAD SAFETY & WELLNESS Course (which leads to YPAD Certification) covers the following topics in addition to the safety education:

  • Social Media, Media Safety & Today’s Dance Culture
  • Developmentally Appropriate Artistry
  • Body Image, Nutrition & Disordered Eating
  • Bullying & Conflict Resolution

What’s EXTRA cool about the work we’ve been doing behind the scenes is that YPAD’s educational courses are also all DIGITAL! Backed by evidence-based research, every lesson includes text and video components to optimize learning. Of course, there are a few things that can’t be done 100% digitally (like CPR training) but it’s pretty cool for each participant to be able to learn online at their own pace.

Ultimately I believe that we can serve the dance industry with the YPAD mission and leave it stronger than ever for the next generation. I hope that through YPAD, more individuals will feel empowered with the tools and resources to serve their dance students with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I am a champion for studio owners and teachers. I also want my legacy to be that of being champion for needed change in the dance world—making it safer and healthier for kids to be involved in this art we love so much.

Will YOU be a champion of change with me?

I hope you’ll say YES and visit us at ypadnow.com 🙂

Love, Misty

For more inspiration, sign up for the Misty Minute. https://morethanjustgreatdancing.com/misty-minute-signup/

 

Click Here to Apply!

Navigating Through a New World as a Dance Studio

Posted Thursday, June 18th, 2020 by Akada

The events from the pandemic crisis to standing up for human rights have set dance studios on a course into unknown waters. Everything has changed in an instant, forcing studio owners and teachers to embrace a whole new way of teaching from a distance and through an array of emotions. When everything changes and confusion and panic seem to take over, how can dance studios navigate through this abnormal time and support their audience? Here are some tips to help.

Acknowledge the emotions

Face what you are feeling, what teachers are feeling, and what students are feeling. If you are scared, no doubt others are scared too. Do not be afraid to be vulnerable. Give space for others to be vulnerable as well and use it as a time to bond and comfort one another. For students, losing their face-to-face dance classes can feel mournful and unfair – let them know they are not alone.

Dance through the chaos

Historically, the arts and social justice have been interconnected. Dance can connect individuals with community and create a sanctuary. As you listen to your teachers and students, encourage them to use their movement to heal. Share stories about how dance helps heal and listen to their stories, whether it’s racial inequality, pandemic fears, or something else entirely.

Create a safe space with open conversation

Now would be a great time for dance studio owners and staff to be educated on social injustice issues. Ensuring that your team has an open conversation about what is going on in the world helps create an environment of safety and belonging when studio doors open again. Set the goal of having a safe space in the studio.

Dance is a powerful way to connect people and express emotion. This time of uncertainty might be the catalyst needed to create a powerful space to be more open and more connected as humans. Do not underestimate the power dance has to connect us all.

COVID Related Updates

Posted Friday, May 1st, 2020 by Akada

Hang in there!

Akada’s COVID-Related Updates

 

The emergence of COVID-19 has changed everything about the way we live life over the past several weeks. While the guidelines and changes have been anxiety-inducing and scary for so many, dance studios are getting creative to give their students some sense of normalcy.  To support that creativity, Akada was right there, with updates that help dance studios withstand this pandemic.

 

Virtual Class

Using Akada’s new Virtual Class Options, studio owners and teachers can add classes with single or multiple meeting dates, share meeting links, set tuition amounts for classes, and easily share with parents. The virtual class link can be sent via email, or parents can access it from their parent account.

 

Class Materials

Materials, such as instructions, videos of routines, and even recital music, can be uploaded for parent access, and the portal is mobile-friendly. For larger files, we recommend you upload to an outside storage service and provide a sharable link.

 

Moving Forward

We aren’t done yet. We are working on updates that will help studios once your students return to the classroom. Soon, you’ll be able to take and record your student’s temperatures using the studio interface or Akada Express.

 

Akada Express

Akada is excited to release Akada Express, our free studio-facing mobile app. Teachers can log in and record class attendance, studio owners can schedule classes, and billing can be completed – all from an app in a smartphone or tablet.

 

Online dance classes may be a new experience for young students and teachers, and there can be frustration and sadness as a result. However, technology gives us a chance to continue reaching out to one another, offering camaraderie and comfort. Akada is proud to continue being a part of the solution, providing a reliable platform to help dance studios stay connected to their students.

The Benefits of Google and SEO for Dance Studios

Posted Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 by Akada

In today’s world, consumers turn to the Internet for just about everything. While word of mouth and personal recommendations are still important, having a strong web presence is essential. The dance studio industry is no exception. When a potential customer is searching for a local dance studio, dance studio owners should do everything possible to make sure their studio shows up in the search. Here are some tips to help dance studio owners boost their SEO (search engine optimization) ranking.

 

Optimize the website

Make sure the studio website is functioning the best it can. Page speeds affect how long people will wait on a website to load, and a slow website can mean lost business.

Utilize Google Maps

Google Maps is an awesome tool to find local businesses with just a general search, and dance studio owners need to make sure their studio is listed in Maps Google even makes it easy with Google My Business, a free tool that allows a business to promote their business profile and website on Google Search and Maps. This tool can be used even if a studio already has a website.

Get reviews posted online

Ask families for lots of reviews online. Websites like Yelp will help SEO. Patrons can also write reviews on a Google My Business account. Lots of positive reviews help a website stand out among others in a search.

Make sure content is relevant

A dance studio website should have everything from location and hours, to dance styles, photos, teacher bios, and anything else that will make a potential student feel welcome and excited to be a part of the studio. Don’t skimp on the information!

 

Taking the time to work on and monitor online presence will help dance studios get the online attention they need. If the studio owner does not feel comfortable handling these tasks, it may be a good idea to have a staff member or contractor help optimize dance studio websites. The investment of time and money in SEO could result in a full, well-known dance studio.

 

 

 

Akada Covid Resource Page

Posted Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 by Akada

I am writing this to create a centralized place for you to keep up with updates to our program and any additional resources that we’ve come across that we think may be helpful to your studio.

 

Program Updates:

Virtual Class Link and Class Materials – Easily link your virtual classes or youtube videos to your client’s parent account.

Uploading Large Files – A new, more efficient way to email those large video files that you may be sharing.

 

Additional Resources:

How to use Zoom to Stream Dance Classes Online by Joe Naftal, Dance Connection

Zoom Music Quality Solutions – Danielle Tucci-Juraga, Downstage Center Dance Studio

More Zoom Sound Quality (video) – courtesy of MusicWorks Unlimited

Secure Your Zoom Classes – Learn how to protect your Zoom classes from unwanted outsiders. Courtesy of Dan Goodin, Ars Technica.

Dance Studio Virtual Class Waiver – Jordan Mojzer-Brown, JMB Dance Academy**

 

Websites:

Rhee Gold – Rhee is always on top of things, and his site is adding daily content with useful tools, ideas, and links to support dance studios.

Dance Teacher Network – This is a private Facebook group just for dance studio owners, teachers, and vendors. DTN is a great place to share questions, concerns, and occasionally a good place to vent with other people in your industry.

**Akada can not guarantee the validity of this waiver. Please consult with your attorney and insurance provider before releasing it to your customer.**