Standing Out When You Are the “Old Studio” in Town


Tiffany Henderson with Amanada Scott 

It’s August, a brand new studio pops up down the street and here I am beginning my 20th dance season. Being the “it” studio for preschool and school-aged children often defaults to who has the shiniest, newest mirrors and not necessarily who has the best track record for training dancers and creating kind humans. However, today I want to talk about how being the established studio has its perks. 

From the years of sweat, tears, and success building your dance studio business comes wisdom - something new studios cannot just “Amazon Prime” and have in two days. You have weathered the storms of beloved dancers quitting and you are no longer occupied with all the “one woman show” tasks that consume you those first few years.    

As I enter my third decade in this business, I am always finding new and exciting ways to connect with my customers; especially now that I am not the dance teacher they have starting day one at the studio. Our goal as dance studio owners is to create meaningful relationships with our dancers and families to inspire customer loyalty. 

Here are four things you can do today to connect to your dance families: 

  1. Host Live Events 

    • Schedule a “Back to Dance” night at the studio and stream your event on Facebook live. Introduce yourself as the owner, talk about why you founded your studio and your mission statement. 

    • Set up a “Free Trial Week” for new and current dancers to sample a class on your new season schedule, offer a promotion for them to register that day (for example, waive their registration fee), and give out goody bags. 

  2. Create Engaging Content Online 

    • Write weekly or monthly blog posts focusing on the experience you create at your studio. Themes can be what to expect on the first day of dance class, the benefits of taking 2 classes per week, why you have a dress code, etc.  

    • Highlight classes weekly on Facebook and Instagram with a cute photo or short video. 

  3. Have Good, Old-fashioned Conversations 

    • Phone calls - You or a member of your staff should be answering the phone from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm during regular business hours. Call dancers who were previously enrolled and not yet in classes this season to see how they are doing and if you can help get them registered. 

    • In the lobby - Walk through the lobby during some of your recreational classes and introduce yourself to the parents, ask them about their experience at the studio, and how their dancer is liking the class. 

    • Online - Offer an incentive to your current customers when they share a review on Google or refer a friend.  

  4. Connect to Your Curriculum and Teachers 

    • At my studio we use Twinkle Star Dance. Talk to your staff and dance families openly about the curriculum you offer, why it is important, and how it benefits their dancers.

    • Advertise that your teachers are trained on the same curriculum and that you provide consistent training across the board.  

As Tiffany embarks on her 20th dance season, join her for the 2020 Dance Studio Owner Challenge. Starting this September, gain exclusive access to monthly small-group coaching calls with Tiffany Henderson and a private community of like-minded studio owners. Check back for more information.