Posted Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 by Akada
Keeping Recital Planning on Track
by Joe Naftal
For many studios across North America, our spring recitals are just a few months away. While that may be an unwelcome reminder or sound like a cause for alarm, it is the perfect time to review your recital checklist and make sure everything is on track for another perfect recital this year.
- Make sure all of your dance families are on the same pageYou’ve sent out what seems like hundreds of email reminders about dress rehearsal dates, tights colors, ticket sales, recital arrival times and more, but without fail, you know a parent will arrive to the recital clueless about the dozens of newsletters you’ve sent out. Boil down your newsletters to the top five or ten things your parents must know before the recital – if they read nothing else all year. What do they have to know? Mail this out as a postcard right before the recital. With the numerous emails parents receive daily, receiving something in the mail seems novel. You can also include a flyer with the “must have” information in each costume. They must have the flyer with them if they brought their costume to the recital (and hopefully they will!)
- Figure out what tasks you can delegate to other trusted peopleThe studio director is the captain of the recital ship. But the captain can’t steer the ship if they’re pre-occupied with raising the sails, mopping the deck, cooking in the galley, and supervising the brig. The same goes for the recital – if the director is pre-occupied with setting up the lobby, organizing the dressing rooms, running check-in, and calling cues for the show, then the recital will steer off course. Like any good captain, find your first-mate and other trusted ship officers. Delegate a dependable leader to each area so you feel comfortable that the show is moving smoothly and can manage the big picture – directing an entertaining recital.
- Think through some of the finer detailsA recital works like a machine. There are dozens of moving pieces, and each gear needs to move correctly to avoid a jam, which could affect other parts of the machine down the line. Take some time to think through some of the details (gears) that are prone to cause issues and added stress at showtime. Review your recital check-in procedure to make sure you can check in all of your students in a timely fashion so that the show may begin on time. Ensure you have enough ushers and lobby staff to accommodate the number of audience members you anticipate. And most importantly, double-check to make sure you have enough time between songs for dancer’s costume changes, and you have volunteers in place to help with quick costume changes. (Tip: utilize your studio management software’s costume conflict manager to get a listing of all quick changes and anticipate what your needs will be).
- Explore recital revenue enhancers
The recital can be a huge revenue driver for studios. It can be the difference between a studio breaking even and making a profit for the year. It can float a studio through the cash-less summer months. It can even afford a studio owner the opportunity to take a well-deserved family vacation. Because of the profit potential, it’s important to leave no stone unturned when it comes to increasing revenue at the recital. Take some time to look into selling snacks and drinks, flowers, toys and novelty items, t-shirts, dancewear, program ads, raffles, and more at your recital. Parents will appreciate the convenience and thought put into enhancing their overall recital experience, and your accountant will appreciate the added income.
The recital is an important event for every dance studio. Besides being a year-end focus of classes and a central revenue source, it is an opportunity for studios to showcase the talent and hard work of their students as well as the dedication and experience of their teachers and staff. Following these tips will help your studio stay on track to have another great (and hopefully, less stressful) recital this season.
Growing up in the studio family business, Joe Naftal is the marketing director for Dance Connection in Islip, New York. Joe has taught seminars, classes, and workshops for dance teachers and studio owners from around the world, has been on the seminar faculty of the Energize Conference, the Dance Teacher Summit, the UDMA Dance Teacher Expos, and has been a contributor for DanceStudioOwner.com and Dance Teacher Magazine. He is the author of Standby in the Wings, which has been sold across North America, the UK, and Australia, and is the creator of Check In Pointe and RecitalProgramAds.com. As an advocate for arts education, Joe serves on the Board of Directors for Robin Becker Dance and CM Performing Arts Center. Aside from his work at the studio, Joe is a lighting designer and production manager for classical and contemporary theatre, modern dance, ballet, and opera. He holds a BFA in Lighting Design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
To learn more about Joe or to purchase his book or other recital planning tools, visit his website: https://www.standbyinthewings.com/
Posted Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 by Akada
The Problem and A New Way of Thinking
After owning my studio for several decades, it was just three years ago that I had my “aha” moment. At the busiest time of year, April through June, we are standing on our heads, barking like a carnival barker and doing the elevator pitch for Re-Registration. We hope that everyone returns for the following dance season, but we need their cooperation and commitment AND we need their registration form.
I’ve been creative with verbiage like:
“As a member of our studio family, you (AND ONLY YOU) are being offered Re-Registration in advance of the general public. Don’t delay – classes fill up and we don’t want you to be shut out”.
Throughout the years, I have offered: The first 100 students that Re-Register before Dress Rehearsal will:
- be entered into a raffle to win FREE TUITION for a FREE CLASS
- get a special limited-edition studio shirt
- get 2 front row seats to the recital
- be entered into a raffle to win $100 Visa gift card
- get my next unborn child, etc., etc.
I did it all and to some extent, it worked. But, what MORE could I do? I was always worried – will my students come back? The anticipation was killing me! They say they will return – but show me the money!
Every year I waited and prayed and every year there was a “situation”. After Re-Registration closed (just before summer classes began) I would issue the following year’s class schedule and of course, I mixed and combined students to fill the classes. After a class was full – inevitably a student would come back at the beginning of September and expect to be back in the class. Parents would say “You knew I was coming back – I’ve been with you 6 years”. Really? My thousand Re-Registration notifications didn’t give you enough incentive to fill out the form. So sorry that my mind-reading skills didn’t work and that I didn’t KNOW that you would be coming back to classes.
Finally, I had enough of this. How is it that we are one of the only businesses, that I know of, that wipe out our clientele and completely start all over again year after year. Who started this and who thought that this was a good business practice?
I needed to run my business in a more professional and competent way. I needed to change my way of thinking about Re-Registration. I needed to be able to project my numbers, make class schedules, hire enough teachers and plan better for the next year.
Why do we handle Re-Registration this way? Why can’t we be like a gym membership or daycare center? In those establishments, you are IN till you tell them you are OUT. Even when I order my hair products on Amazon, they offer auto deliveries for an indefinite time period until I cancel it.
So, here’s how I introduced the new procedure to my students and parents:
ROLLOVER REGISTRATION PROCEDURE
As we come to the close of another dance year, we are aware of how busy your schedules are going to be in the next few weeks. We hope we can help take something off your plate. With the help of our studio software, we are happy to announce that we have instituted a new procedure – Rollover Registration. That’s right, if your contact information has NOT changed, you will no longer need to fill out a full registration application year after year. No need to worry about being closed out of your classes – you are assured placement in the dance subjects you desire and continue to be part of our dancing family. As a current member of our dance studio family, if you are in good standing (accounts paid in full, no studio policy violations), you will automatically be re-enrolled for the next dance season.
If you want to make additions or changes to your classes, all you need to do is inform the office before __________ (date of choice).
Confirmation of classes will be emailed to you by _________ (date of choice).
We have had GREAT results with this new procedure, and I have only one regret – why didn’t I think of it sooner? Now, I can plan teachers’ schedules more efficiently. I know what classes are full or need to be pushed and best of all, I have money in the bank . . . in the summer!!!!!!!!
If you want to take control of your destiny and studio schedule, if you want to enjoy your summer because you know where your business stands, go ahead and sit on the beach because your enrollment is back. I know that not having financial stress and being worried about my enrollment for next year has made me a happier studio owner, and everyone benefits from that!
by Hedy Perna
Perna Dance Center
Hedy has run Perna Dance Center for more than 30 years and is active in dance organizations that promote the education of teachers and students. She is President Emeritus of Associated Dance Teachers of NJ and a lifelong member of Dance Educators of America. Additionally, she has presented for Rhee Gold’s Project Motivate, The DanceLife Teacher Conference, the Dance Life Retreat Center, Dance Teacher Summit, United Dance Merchants of America, is a contributing writer for Dance Studio Life Magazine, as well as a long time Akada Customer.
If you have questions about how to make this registration procedure work in Akada just let us know. We’ll gladly walk you through it. – Brett
Posted Friday, January 10th, 2020 by Akada
2019 was a great year at Akada. We celebrated our 25th anniversary, engaged with more customers than ever, and doubled our scholarship program. 2020 is already off to a great start, and we are looking to build off of last year’s momentum. Keep reading to learn more about what we have planned for the year.
First up, a mobile app for our studio users called Akada Express. This app will start off small in functionality, but we will continue to add to it as we learn what functions studios need. From the start, however, your teachers and admin will be able to enter attendance from their iOS and Android devices. Akada Express will save your dance studio both time and money. No attendance sheets or purchasing expensive tablets — your teachers will be able to download the app right to their phones and enter attendance in the classroom. Akada Express will be available in late February or March.
Possibly the most exciting project we have in the pipeline is an app for your parents. We have partnered with Mobile Inventor to develop a parent app that will enable your customers to access their accounts, receive push notifications, make payments, and register for classes. Additionally, all the branding for this app will belong to your studio. Your customers will search your studio name within the app store, not Akada. Currently, the plans are for the app to be available late spring, in time for the summer registration cycle.
We’re also continuing to work on an entirely new studio interface. We’ve been working on this project for several years now, and we think it will have been well worth the wait. The new interface will be completed in the next few months and will then undergo an extensive testing process. Our goal is to have it released as a Beta late in the 2020-2021 dance season. Your studio will be able to opt into the new format, giving you an ample adjustment period before the start of the fall 2021 season.
Last year, through our webinars, trade shows, and social media, Akada was more engaged than ever before. But we can still do better. This year we will again be the title sponsor of the Dance Life Teacher Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. Additionally, we’re excited to be joining Studio Owner’s University for the first time next month. During the summer, you can find us at Energize Dance Conference, and we’ll be returning to both Dance Teacher Web and the UDMA teacher expos. If you’re planning on attending any of these shows or have questions about the benefits, drop us a line and let us know.
On the training front, our spring webinar schedule is available now and will have the registration links up within the next few days. We’ll be doing the basics again, but we have added quite a few new topics based on the feedback we received to our intercom question a few weeks ago. As always, if you or your staff would like to schedule one-on-one training specific to your studio, just let us know. Now is the time to review the way your studio is using Akada and to allow us to help you use it as efficiently as possible.
Finally, don’t forget that we offer a referral program. Recommend us to a friend, and when they sign up using the promo code Referral, you will both receive three months free. Tip: Click on the word Referral, and you can share the link with them.
Last, but certainly not least, our scholarship program is back for year three, and we are excited to have EVO joining us once more. This year we will again award ten $1,000 scholarships to students in need, special programs within the studio, or charities supported by your studio. We received four times as many applications last year as we did in year one, and we expect that to grow even more this year. We’ll kick this program off again in May with an application deadline of June 30th. We will announce the winners on Monday, July 13th.
Posted Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 by Akada
It seems like we were just projecting our 25th year of existence and making our 2019 plans, and here we are now, about to say goodbye to another great year. Thanks to the support of our customers, we were able to establish a referral program, grow our scholarship program, and increase our engagement efforts. Additionally, our staff was able to attend some trade shows, meeting more of you across the country! It has been a great year!
Akada would like to thank our loyal customers and friends. We love getting to have a helping part in the operation of a smooth-running dance studio so you, the dance studio owners, can focus on training the younger generation of dancers and artists who will do great things.
Creating a positive studio culture starts with a happy, united front of staff members who believe in the goals of the studio and feel valued for their talent. Making time for that reconnection during holiday breaks can be motivating and give everyone a boost for the upcoming spring competitions and recitals.
Moving into 2020, we see 366 opportunities (thanks to leap year!) to keep striving toward greatness. Let’s set goals; let’s make plans, and let’s make 2020 an incredible year!
Posted Monday, November 25th, 2019 by Akada
No doubt fall has been a busy time for dance studio owners, and it probably feels like classes just started back. Halloween has come and gone, and the holiday season is underway. With the holiday season comes the holiday recital. Recital dates are quickly approaching, so it’s time to put the finishing touches on holiday recital planning in the coming days and weeks.
Nothing could be more catastrophic than realizing that something is missing, or a date or time is mixed up. It’s worth the effort to check the dates and times with the venue for rehearsals and the recital. If anything, it’s one less thing to worry about, so take the time to do it. Also, make sure there will be tables available for selling flowers, check-in and out, and dressing rooms are reserved.
Take care of costumes
By now, dancers should be trying on costumes so any alternations that need to be made can be scheduled. Families should be notified of the costumes, hair, tights, and make-up requirements so they can prepare and make purchases. Order extra tights for those dreaded last-minute runs that inevitably happen.
Finalize the program
Whether using publishing software or hiring a designer, make sure the programs are proofread thoroughly and ready to print. This will be one less thing to deal with at the last minute.
Put volunteers in place
Parents have a lot going on during the holidays, so do not wait until the last minute to ask them to volunteer! Be direct and specific about the dressing room needs, backstage needs and anything else they can help with. Let them know what kind of tasks will be expected, and how best to prepare.
Putting pieces in place may be time-consuming but doing the work now will save – or at least help with – the stress later. Regardless, remember that it isn’t the end of the world if every tiny detail isn’t perfect. Dance studios have a big part in creating lasting memories for families, so remember and honor that privilege.
Posted Monday, September 16th, 2019 by Akada
Progressing through the dance studio year, a dance studio owner must make many decisions. One important decision is selecting the right costume supplier for recitals. Working with a costume supplier business can either make an already-stressful process even worse or a much smoother process. Preparing ahead of time and asking the right questions can prevent a lot of problems down the road.
Look for a variety
Does this company have a variety of styles? Do they offer a variety of accessories? Can you get a wide selection of sizes, and can you get costumes for boys too? When there is a variety of students, dance styles, ages and sizes, all of this variety must be considered.
Look at the fine print
It is very important to plan and not get surprised by an unexpected bill or find out that something needed isn’t included in the contract. Read the fine print so billing, exchanges, payments, and returns aren’t an issue when least expected.
Look for the extras
While reading the fine print, also look for the value bonuses that costume companies offer. A service is being offered, so look at reviews of the company. Check on discounts, customer service options, the turn-around time for exchanges, and any other extra that is offered.
Because so much is at stake with the costumes, it pays to do the homework ahead of time. Costumes are a big part of expenses, and if the studio owner is unhappy, chances are the students and parents that are ultimately paying for the service will be unhappy as well. Hopefully, the costume company that wins the studio’s business will be a company that deepens and grows a relationship for years to come.
Posted Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 by Akada
Hopefully, the summer brought a newfound sense of energy and excitement for studio owners and staff as fall approaches. Soon the studio will be back in full swing of classes with a mix of new and returning faces. Enrollment stress is real though. Many studio owners nervously watch to see if the classes offered get filled. There are two kinds of students: retained and new. Here are some tips to make sure both types of students are being reached and the buzz of a new season stays energized.
Energizing retained students
Retaining students means showing your appreciation and making them feel like they belong.
- Start with a bang! Plan some fun events, like a back-to-studio water balloon fight and picnic or a min-fair at a park.
- Give incentives, like a referral discount to families who bring in new students.
- Offer an enrollment period for returning students before opening enrollment to the public.
- Engage with students – get their feedback, listen to their ideas, and always thank them.
Earning new students
New students are earned by having a stellar reputation and offering something of value to them.
- Offer a free trial class.
- Offer shorter commitments. Maybe some new families aren’t sure they want to lock into a long contract.
- If these students don’t enroll, reach out to them later with free tickets to one of the shows.
- Make sure every student is welcomed by teachers, every time. If they feel appreciated, they’re more likely to return.
Overall, show that you love your studio and everyone in it. Be enthusiastic and welcome people with genuine care. Emphasize to the staff that this care is also expected by them because everyone has a part to play. By striving to make students feel like a family, the fall return could feel more like a fun family reunion, without embarrassing relatives!
Posted Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 by Akada
Ballet Hawaii, Honolulu, HI – This money will help with our Angel Program. We supply buses to underserved schools to bring the school children to see our annual Nutcracker performance free of charge with the Hawaii Symphony, professional principal dancers and the Ballet Hawaii Ensemble. We also invite Social Agencies and military children that have a parent deployed. Thank you for letting us apply for these funds for our Angel Program.
Kennedy Dance Theatre, Houston, TX – We would use these funds to help students who can’t afford to dance to go towards their tuition. We have several families that were greatly impacted by Harvey that are still in the recovery stages and could use the help towards tuition. We appreciate your consideration.
Variations Dance Studio, Auburn, AL – We strongly believe in the importance of creating opportunities to provide exposure to the arts. We feel many times these opportunities can result in positive life-changing experiences. The faculty at Variations Dance Studio is striving to expand our outreach efforts this season by introducing a sensory-friendly Nutcracker performance through our Graceful Gift Foundation. We have partnered with many area organizations to initialize arts outreach and performance opportunities. We would utilize this scholarship to support some of those organizations to be able to easily transport their students/participants to attend the performance. In years past, we were able to provide transportation to every area 1st grader to attend at no cost. In addition to helping with transportation costs, we are hopeful that this scholarship could allow us to stream the performance to organizations that have children/participants who cannot easily attend due to obstacles with medical challenges. For more information about our cause, please visit our site www.GracefulGift.org or www.GracefulGiftBook.com. Thank you for your consideration and for providing this opportunity.
Colts Neck Dance & Performing Arts Academy, Colts Neck, NJ – Colts Neck Dance would like to apply for a scholarship for our student Scarlett. Scarlett is a Leukemia survivor who has been cancer free for approximately 3 years! After undergoing strenuous cancer treatments her doctors never thought she would be able to accomplish such great strides in dance. They felt the effects of chemotherapy would be too much on her body physically. But she continued to dance even while under treatment. Well, she absolutely proved them wrong! On June 9th, Scarlett performed in over 15 numbers in one day at our annual recital. She dances over 13 hours per week as well as being an integral part of our assistant teacher work/study program. We salute Scarlett for her bravery, drive, and determination to be the best she can be!
Barton & Williams School of Dance, Stafford, VA – I don’t know if this is specifically for dancers, but it’s worth a shot. One of our front desk staff, Tracey Hughes, who uses Danceworks on a daily basis is currently battling 2 kinds of cancer. She gets chemotherapy every Monday, but yet still manages to come in to work the desk at our studio by Tuesday. Her daughter danced here for years growing up and now teaches for us, so they have been a part of our dance family for decades. All the dancers love Ms. Tracey, and she is very open with them about why she has a new headwrap or bandage. On top of all that she is the most positive person I know and such a great worker. She has no insurance and it would be such a help financially for her. When I sat down to apply and thought of which dance family would benefit the most, she came to mind first, so I hope you consider it even though it’s not the ordinary use of the funds I’m sure. If our studio received the scholarship, we would donate it to our amazing Ms. Tracey!
Dance Impressions by Ryan, Vermillion, Alberta (Canada) – We have a relatively very small school (100 dancers) in a very small town (4500 people) in rural Alberta, Canada. Amazingly enough, 3 of our dancers age 9-10 auditioned and were accepted for a position on Team Canada Dance Children’s Team, and 1 of our dancers age 13 auditioned and was accepted for a spot in the Junior Division of Team Canada Dance. These 4 students will be traveling to compete at a World Dance Championship representing Team Canada in Germany in November 2019. We think this is huge in accomplishment for any dancer, but the fact that we have 4 dancers from our tiny school, from our tiny town is absolutely incredible!!! It is prestigious, but it does come with a cost. I am so proud of them, but unfortunately, I don’t have a large school with the financial ability to be able to donate funds to these dancers to help them get there. If we were chosen to receive the Scholarship, I would use the funds to donate $250 to each dancer to send them off to Worlds! What an opportunity of a lifetime!
Rhythm-N-Jump Dance Academy, Clair Shores, MI – Thank-you for giving us all this scholarship opportunity again this year. We love your Company and your product and what a great way for you to give back! I would like to nominate one of our Company Dancers, Skyler Salgot. Skyler has been dancing with us for 8 years now and will be a Senior next year. She is a beautiful dancer and someone that our young dancers look up to. 2 years ago Skyler’s father was diagnosed with throat and lung cancer. Last night on her last night of class before our Recital we had to pull Skyler out of class because her dad, who is in the hospital, had been moved into the ICU. This amazing family has been through so much in the past 2 years, emotionally and financially. One of the big concerns is how they will ever pay for Skyler’s senior year of dance. This money would help them out so much. Please consider Skyler for this awesome scholarship.
Taylor Academy of Dance, Wake Forrest, NC – We have 2 very talented sisters who started dancing at my studio 4 years ago. They both love to dance but are at the point where they need to take more classes to continue to develop as dancers. They are both excellent students who are always willing to help others. It is heartbreaking because even with sibling discounts and tuition discounts they are struggling to pay tuition. Both girls dream of being in our dance company so they could dance more, but they just can’t afford it even with the studio giving them multiple discounts. I know there has been a discussion about one sister quitting so the other can dance more which is very upsetting given the fact that they both truly love to dance. Both girls would be so appreciative of any help towards furthering their ability to dance more and at the level they belong. Thank you for your consideration! Sincerely,
Elizabeth’s Dance Expression, Williston, ND – One of our dancers has been with us since the age of 8 and was a competitive dancer for the first time during the 2017-2018 year. During the year her mother, a single mother of four, was diagnosed with melanoma. When auditions began for the 2018-2019 dance year, funds were not available for her to continue dancing. She has remained a dear part of Elizabeth’s Dance Expressions despite not dancing with the studio. She still attends competitions in support of her former dance mates, and even volunteers at studio recitals. Since the time of her diagnosis, her mom’s health has taken a turn for the worse. Her mother remains on hospice care in her home and has been given an 8-10 month diagnosis. This spring her sister, 20, has reached out to the studio to see if she can return to dance, as she just craves dance and hasn’t been the same girl since not participating. When their mother passes, her sister plans to seek custody of her and wants her to do the thing she loves the most, dance. As a studio we are willing help the family in any ways possible, but the extra funds would help cover competition costs, costumes, and even basic dance and personal needs.
Art Beat Dance Center, Cedar Park, TX – The funds will be used to pay our instructor for our Dance for Parkinson’s Program. Every week, we teach FREE dance classes for patients with Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers. Over the last 15 years, dance classes for people living with Parkinson’s have stimulated research at major universities around the world, indicating that the academic medical community acknowledges the potential benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s Disease. These studies have shown that dance classes can improve balance, control of movement, and overall mode. Many participants report feeling strong, uplifted, and empowered! Art Beat’s Dance for Parkinson’s classes tailor movement in a way that allows the students to receive all the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of dancing. The participants are encouraged to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. Students stand or sit during the class. Every class uses elements of narrative, imagery, music, and community to develop artistry and grace while addressing such PD-specific concerns as isolation, balance, flexibility, and coordination. We offer Dance for Parkinson’s class once a week at the studio as well as take it out to several assisted living facilities every week to provide Dance for Parkinson’s classes in the community. The classes are offered free to the patients, their family members, and their caregivers. We currently do not have any funding to support this program. The funds from Akada would provide classes for 6 months and over 360 patients living with Parkinson’s Disease.
Posted Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 by Akada
Attending a dance teacher’s conference can be overwhelming, even for a seasoned dance teacher. They can also be fun and so educational. Dance teachers, studio owners, and studio managers can walk away from a conference completely inspired and refreshed, with re-ignited passion to bring to the studio and students they serve. Here are three reasons why it makes sense to attend a dance conference.
A break from the humdrum.
It has been a busy year. It has always been a busy year. Getting away from the studio, maybe even out of state and out of a normal routine can be the break a studio owner or teacher needs to refresh. That in and of itself is worth the trip!
Meet the experts.
Expos bring in everyone from business experts, choreographers, master teachers, and more. By attending, the teacher becomes the student, and wouldn’t that be a nice change of pace!
Find your passion again.
Dance conference seminars are available to give you ideas, inspiration, and know-how to make a plan for your best year yet. It’s a great place to network, meet others who understand what you go through, and find support. The best part is that dance conferences have something for everyone, from new and seasoned teachers, administrators, and business owners.
Akada is pleased to announce our sponsorship of the Dance Teacher Summit in Long Beach, California from July 26-28, 2019, and August 1-3 in New York; the Dancelife Teacher Conference from July 19-21 in Atlantic City, NJ; and the Dance Teacher Web in Las Vegas from July 29 through August 1. Come get refreshed, learn something new, get inspired, and stop by to say hello!
Posted Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 by Akada
The summer wane is no surprise to most dance studios. As recitals come to completion, it can often feel like suddenly your dance studio is empty, and maybe even feels lifeless. Break out by ramping up your summer and fall registration with these five tips.
Reach out to your current students.
Sometimes students and parents get busy and forget to register. Make sure they know how important they are to your dance studio and make them feel like family. Send a personalized postcard, email, or phone call to express that you miss them. They will likely appreciate the warm gesture, and even if they don’t re-register, they may refer others.
Create buzz around new programs.
Sometimes people need an exciting change outside of typical ballet, tap, and jazz classes. Work with your teachers and get ideas from your students about the various kinds of classes that may interest them. Decide what to offer, announce the registration dates, and watch your classes fill up when they open. Students and parents alike will be excited about the changes.
Get ready to spend money to make money.
Using paid advertisements on Facebook can help you reach audiences who may not otherwise see your posts. Your budget doesn’t have to be high. Make your call to action specific and boost posts that get a lot of feedback and shares. You want your message to go beyond your current students and faithful families to reach those who would love to take your classes – they just don’t know it yet!
Offer registration incentives.
Move people to register early with timed discounts, like a percentage off if enrolled by this date. Offer a drawing for discounted tuition for a month for everyone who registers. Offer a gift card to families who convince their friends to sign up for a class. Get creative and be sure to promote your valuable prizes on Facebook. When you announce winners, share their happy reactions as well.
Structure performance company placements to include registration.
When students audition for performance companies, require registration for future classes upon acceptance. Not only will you encourage your classes to fill up, but it could also help keep students motivated during breaks if they know what to expect of future classes.
By planning and getting creative about what your studio offers, you will keep families engaged, involved, and spreading the news about the wonderful things your studio does for their children. After all, their word of mouth is some of the best marketing you can get!