Why I Switched to a Year-round Dance Season

Why I Switched to a Year-round Dance Season

Tiffany Henderson with Amanda Scott and Kelly Stento

Twinkle Star Dance

About fifteen years ago our studios made the switch to a year-round dance season. I would review the August financials every year with my mother, who is also our accountant, and both of us would say “If we only had tuition revenue generated in July...”

One year I made the switch while we were marketing registration and simply said the new season begins July 7 and runs through June 30. Did everyone quit my studios? No. Did everyone sign up for classes starting July 7? No, but about 60% did and that was 60% more tuition revenue than I had generated in previous July’s.

I know making a change to your studio can be scary, but I also know as a business owner and an

advisor to several dance studio businesses

that it is worth it! Check out what Kelly Stento, owner of Leroux School of Dance in Royersford, PA, has to share about her experience with switching to year-round dance.   

This is Leroux School of Dance’s second year-round dance season and over half of the studio (all ages) take classes 12-months a year. Simultaneously, Leroux offers four Twinkle Camps ages 3-6, two Show Stars Camps ages 6-10 and two Intensives each summer. Many families do BOTH camp/intensive and weekly classes in July.

“When I first announced this to my families more than a few asked, ‘why the change?' I responded with two points the teachers appreciate having a job all year and gymnastics and karate have full year schedules, so we thought we'd give it a try.

I switched to a year-round dance season and will never go back!! Our classes start in July and end in June! We take a 10-12 day “summer break” same for Christmas! I also take a full week for Thanksgiving and Easter. My staff loves it because they have several vacation opportunities throughout a season and I’m not struggling for students in the summer. Our classes are FULL in JULY!! This season I had 60% return on the first weekend alone. By August I was scrambling to add classes and get some of our waitlists down. I still run summer camps and intensives during the mid day 12-3pm time slots and the studio is going from 9am-9pm straight through!”

What Stento loves most about implementing a year-round dance program:

  1. THE MONEY - Fixed expenses like rent remain the same in the summer months, there is not reason to not be running classes.
  2. THE STAFF - Kelly’s teachers understand that every class may not happen, but they are happy to be teaching in July instead of anything else they've had to do in the past.
  3. THE SCHEDULE - Kelly only has to create ONE schedule every year, instead of one for Summer and then for the rest of the year.

Stento’s Scariest thing to tackle - VACATIONS - however, the make up class option was a blessing for the dance families and her staff members are happy to cover for others so that they are assured their vacation time too!

Leroux School of Dance still has an influx of families joining in September and they continue to take enrollment through the end of February (March is enrollment for Summer Camps and April is enrollment for NEW SEASON - July).

“LeRoux School of Dance offers a year-round dance season July- June. We realize many families are out of town frequently during the summer. To accommodate everyone’s travel plans, we allow make up classes so that your tuition will never be wasted when your family is out of town. Also, your make up class does not need to be the same type or level of class in which your dancer is currently enrolled. This is a great opportunity to try a different type of dance or even challenge your dancer by trying a higher level.”

Want more information on how Twinkle Star Dance can help you run a year-round dance season?

Click here.

First Time Attendee Guide and FAQ

First Time Attendee Guide and FAQ

Tiffany Henderson with Amanda Scott

Twinkle Star Dance

Before the Conference

Q. When should I arrive?

We recommend arriving in New Orleans Thursday, August 16 and staying through Sunday, August 19; classes should be wrapped up by 3pm on Sunday.

Q. Where should I stay?

Discounted lodging is available from $159 per night at our host hotel the Omni Royal Orleans on a first come, first serve basis and must booked by July 18. You can book online here:

http://bit.ly/2B9y0oY

or over the phone

(504) 529-5333.

Q. What does my attendee fee cover?

Your attendee fee covers some included meals, access to all business and movement classes, and passes to the Twinkle Star Dance Fashion Show. Dance studio owners also have exclusive access to Studio Owner Only Sessions and a complimentary Cocktail Party.

Q. What should I wear?

We recommend wearing clothes you can comfortably move in if you plan on taking movement-based classes. For business sessions we recommend wearing business casual or your movement clothes and a light jacket or sweater. If you are a studio owner please bring cocktail attire for the hosted event.

Q. What should I bring?

We recommend bringing dance shoes (ballet, tap, jazz, and sneakers), your computer or tablet, and a list of goals you want to accomplish throughout the weekend.

Q. How do I register for the conference?

We would love for you to join us! You can register online here:

http://bit.ly/tsdnola

or over the phone at 925-583-2830.

During the Conference

Q. Where do I check in?

Early bird check in for the Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference starts Thursday, August 16 from 6-8pm in front of the main ballroom. Regular check in begins Friday, August 17 at 7am prior to classes.

Q. What types of activities are available?

We have various types of activities throughout the weekend. Movement sessions geared towards your recreational dance students ages 2-12; Master classes with industry professionals to keep you inspired; Business sessions on systems to effectively run your dance studio business; Access to our vetted industry partners; Studio Owner Only sessions; and a Twinkle Star Dance Fashion Show.

Q. Do I have to attend each session? Can I bounce between sessions?

Yes, with an attendee pass you have access to all of the sessions over the weekend and you are welcome to bounce between movement and business sessions. Studio Owner Only sessions are closed sessions.  

Q. Can I bring my spouse or guests to events?

We ask that only registered conference attendees are present at Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference events. All registered attendees must be ages 18+.

Q. Are there events tailored to first time attendees or studio owners?

Yes, we have a session called “What is Twinkle Star Dance” which is an overview of Tiffany’s Twinkle Star method. In addition, we also offer Studio Owner Only Sessions and a complimentary Twinkle Star Dance training for all subscribers on Sunday.  

Q. How can I network at the conference?

We encourage you to meet other attendees at the event. One of our favorite aspects is connecting with other dance teachers, studio owners, and administrators that do what we do year in and year out. We recommend sitting with new or different groups of people during sessions and events. Be sure to also exchange contact information so you can maintain your connections and support when you return to your home studio.  

Q.  How should I spend my evenings?

At the conclusion of the conference events we encourage you to explore one of our favorite cities, New Orleans! Some places we recommend are listed below:

After the Conference

  1. Implement Twinkle Star Dance in your studio
  2. Follow up with new friends and contacts
  3. Fill out the post-conference attendee survey
  4. Save the date for next year!

Join us for the

Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference

August 17-19 in New Orleans. Register by Friday, April 13 with promo code EVENT40 and Save $40 in conference fees.

How to get the Most out of Attending a Conference

How to get the Most out of Attending a Conference
Tiffany Henderson with Amanda Scott
Twinkle Star Dance


As a dance teacher or studio owner, there are minimal opportunities throughout the season to foster your growth as a dance educator. However, as we approach the summer months (when most dance studios are running limited class hours) there are conferences geared towards dance teachers to rekindle your passion for dance, working with children, and teaching!


Every August, we host over 200 attendees for the Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference. Over three packed days of dance movement and business classes we present new and exciting ideas to streamline your dance studio business and increase your profit. We love connecting with our attendees during the weekend and always return to the studio refreshed and inspired.


Whether it is your first conference with us or you join us every year, there is always fresh class content and cutting edge systems. Although attending a live event can be intimidating for some, we’ve put together a short checklist to insure your success!


Here are five tips to get the most out of attending a conference:


  1. Meet everyone you can - Network, network, network. Connect with dance teachers, studio owners, and industry experts at the event. If you’re not sure where to begin, simply ask them what their name is and what their favorite style of dance is to teach. Close the conversation by asking if they would like to stay in touch in the future.


  1. Get exposure to new companies and systems. We only invite our vetted industry partners to attend our conference and encourage attendees to ask questions and familiarize themselves with new systems that make their jobs easier during sessions and .


  1. Learn how to improve your business and teaching style. Conference sessions, especially those that reference case studies, offer actionable ideas to improve your business. We encourage you to sit as close to the front of the room as possible to stay engaged in the material and ask questions.


  1. Make the lessons you learn actionable. It’s easy to waste money on live events if you don’t have a goal in mind. Before you attend a conference make a list of things you want to improve in the new dance season. These can be both personal (more time with family, make 5 new connections) and professional (reach 250 students, hire a full-time administrator or teacher). As you attend sessions and speak with vendors, keep your goals in mind and make a plan for achieving your goals before leaving the weekend.  

  2. Set new goals based on what you learned at the event. One of the reasons dance teacher conferences are so beneficial is the opportunity to learn about new topics and subjects. For example, how and why to create a Holiday show for your students. When you hear mention of something new at events, set a task for yourself to learn more about this topic.


Ready to make the most out of attending a conference? Join us for the Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference August 17-19 in New Orleans. Register by Friday, April 13 with promo code EVENT40 and Save $40 in conference fees.



Creating the Super Teacher

Creating the Super Teacher
Tiffany Henderson with Amanda Scott
Twinkle Star Dance


Why are good Children’s Dance Teachers so important to the success of our dance studio businesses?


Close to 90% of dance studios are comprised of children ages 2 - 12 which makes up the majority of your business. If you are the Studio Owner and you are teaching all the classes yourself, you simply cannot manage your dance studio business in a way that it can actually grow.


Good Children’s Dance Teachers are the pathway to growth. They enable you to step away and improve your work/life balance. Dance Teachers are the lifeblood of any dance studio and will make or break the future financial and emotional success of your dance studio business.


Why is finding good children’s dance teachers so difficult? Teaching Dance is a niche market and the pool of qualified dance teacher applicants is sparse and sometimes non-existent. Dance Teachers often come to you with different backgrounds and training, mostly with no “preschool” or “school-aged” dance teaching experience.


Common Dance Teacher applicants are only proficient in select styles or might have limited time in their schedule due to second or other full time job. Dance Teachers might also have limited availability due to geographical restrictions. Unfortunately, even if they come to you with an excellent dance education, most Universities and professional training programs don’t educate or ready dance students for a career teaching preschool or school-aged children dance.  


After nearly twenty years owning a dance studio, I can confidently say that there is good news - while it is difficult to find Super Teachers, with the right tools we can create them.  


What is a Super Teacher? A Super Teacher is an energetic, passionate, knowledgeable Dance Teacher who can teach a variety of styles, levels, and ages. Sounds dreamy right? You have the power to create Super Teachers.  As a studio owner you are proficient in training dancers as young as two years old dance steps of many styles. This is proof that you can also train a full grown adult any style in dance with the proper resources and procedures.


In my experience with potential teacher applicants it is not that they don’t want to teach preschool and school-aged dancers, it is that they don’t know what or how to teach them. Say hello to your newest set of dance students - your dance teachers!


How can you Create a Super Teacher?  All that you need is the raw materials - dance experience, passion and a love for children. Then follow the four easy steps below:


  1. Purchase or Develop a Complete Class Curriculum - Must include actual class Video and Lessons Plans, Music, Teacher Methods, and Monthly Updates.  Class Curriculum has to include the full class - choreographed warm ups, center skill building exercises, across the floor progressions, and class combinations.  Miss Suzie who was a Modern Dance Major needs to have a clear path for teaching her first 6-9 year old Hip-Hop Class.  She simply cannot do this with a list of terms!
  2. Prepare Written Lesson Plans, Music Playlists, and Teaching Methods Notes for each teacher.
  3. Email protected Link and Password to teacher training video galleries to each teacher ahead of training session for reference before and after sessions.
  4. Plan Teacher Training Sessions - Allow at least one hour for each age division and style.  
Sample Training Session Schedule:
Day 1
9am - 10am - Twinkle Babies Ages 2-3
10am - 11am - Twinkle Stars 3-4
11am - 12pm - Twinkle Stars Ages 4-5 and 5-6
12pm - Lunch
12:30 - 1:30 - Show Stars Jazz Ages 5-7 and 7-11
1:30 - 2:30 - Show Stars Ballet Ages 5-7 and 7-11
2:30 - 3:30 - Show Stars Hip-Hop Ages 5-7 - and 7-11
3:30 - 4:30 - Show Stars Tap Ages 5-7 and 7-11


Day 2
10am - 10:30am - Mock Twinkle Babies 2-3
10:30 - 11:15 - Mock Twinkle Stars 3-4
11:15 - 12:00 - Mock Twinkle Stars 4-5
12pm - 12:30pm - Lunch
12:30 - 1:30 - Preschool Teaching Methods
1:30 - 2:30 - Show Stars Teaching Methods


Ready to start creating your Super Teachers? Get started with our trademarked Twinkle Star Dance Curriculum here.

Want some more information on Twinkle Star Dance? Fill out this interest form.

Why Brand your Preschool Dance Classes with Twinkle Star Dance Today

Why Brand your Preschool Dance Classes with Twinkle Star Dance Today
Amanda Scott
Twinkle Star Dance

One of my favorite parts of my job is interacting with Dance Studio Owners and Teachers through our extended Twinkle Star Dance community. Looking ahead to the new year, I hear a lot of studio owners and teachers who haven’t implemented Twinkle Star Dance yet say, “I don’t think this would work for me right now since my classes are already running.”

I want to challenge the notion that you can only implement a curriculum at the start of a season.  Right now is a great time to subscribe to Twinkle Stars Dance and have immediate, 24/7 access to our trademarked curriculum and video-based teacher training system.

I’m guessing you, like most studios owners right now, are struggling with new teachers not attracting enough new students to fill up their classes; maybe you are facing the fact that your current marketing and branding is not attracting Millennial Moms; or maybe your pain is the result of a beloved teacher leaving mid-season and you need a more efficient way to train their replacement.   

These are all issues studio owners around the world struggle with. Tiffany likes to say, “It is not if, if it when.” Luckily, having a tried and true system in place like Twinkle Star Dance sets you up to deal with recurring obstacles studio owners face so you can handle problems thrown your way and reclaim your sanity.

It is normal to have feelings of reservation about making changes mid-season, but there are also huge benefits. Here are five reasons why you should subscribe to Twinkle Star Dance today:

  1. Build a Buzz
We talk a ton about how Word-of-Mouth Marketing is the best marketing for your dance studio and your classes. Introducing new classes to your schedule mid-season gets dancers and families buzzing about your dance studio and telling all of their friends. Even better, holding a free Twinkle Star Dance “Sparkle Day” event at the start of the year also helps encourage new dancers and families to check out your school.

  1. Attract your Target Student
A successful dance studio business is built on a strong foundation of recreational dancers. The 2-6 age group is the biggest pool of dancers that don’t already have a dance home, welcome them! With our Twinkle Star Dance branding and marketing graphics you capture the eye of Millennial Moms and get them buzzing about your classes.   

  1. Update your Menu
Pre-dance, Combo, Kinder Dance.. Wah wah. These dance class names might have worked in the past, but armed with smartphones consumers are changing at a rapid pace. The names of your classes have to elicit a feeling, a connection to parents and fulfill their idea of dance class.

  1. Train your Teachers Consistently
Trained teachers and limited teacher turnover are the key to a successful dance studio business. Having a preschool dance curriculum makes your teachers more well-rounded and also gives them the opportunity to have more teaching hours at your studio.  

  1. Protect your Business
Twinkle Star Dance is the only trademarked preschool dance curriculum proven in over 250 dance studios world-wide. A lesson plan doesn’t protect your business. Invest in our video-based teacher training system and trademarked curriculum to be protected.

Learn more about getting started with Twinkle Star Dance here.