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
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:
- THE MONEY - Fixed expenses like rent remain the same in the summer months, there is not reason to not be running classes.
- 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.
- 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?