preschool dance

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

62179159_10157404810739809_7741123877488558080_o.jpg

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 looby 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. 



Why you should invest in attending dance teacher live events

TSD_Orlando_Reg_Instagram_1.jpg

Wish You Were Here?

Summer is a crazy time of year for dance studio owners. After the madness of recital season ends kids are getting out of school and the dance season winds down. Before we take a breath, it’s July and summer camps, dance intensives, and a new season of classes are starting. My dance studio business is always booming in the summer months and this year it feels even crazier because of all the dance teacher events I am attending.

In addition to planning an end of the year banquet for my performing company dancers and staff, taking a family vacation to Cabo, and training a new set of teachers this summer I am speaking at:

The Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference July 12-14 in Orlando.

Energize Tools for Studio Success Conference August 16-18 in Chicago.

The Benefit of Live Events

Live events are a catalyst for so many amazing opportunities; several of my dance studio owner friends, a steady stream of new marketing ideas, and overall business growth. While the digital world enables us to connect with other dance tecahers online through social media, there is nothing quite like having a shared experience with someone in an intimate setting. Sitting down with another person for a meal or cocktails, grabbing a quiet moment for a one-on-one conversation, or finding a much needed community deepens the joy I find in running a dance studio.

I like to look for events that will inspire both personal and professional growth. In my twenty years of owning dance studios, I have learned an incredible amount of information and strategies that continue to grow my business, discovered systems and resources that have streamlined my business, and gained connections with valuable vendors and industry experts.

Make a Commitment and Show Up

My challenge to you is to take time away from your dance studio this summer, get off social media, and attend a live dance teacher event. Register or buy a ticket, put it on your calendar, and show up. Eighty percent of the opportunities in life are a result of simply showing up. If this is intimidating for you, grab a friend and make plans to go together!

Attending dance teacher conferences has dramatically impacted my business and greatly enriched my personal life and it can do the same for you. Maybe we’ll even see each other!

Permission to Celebrate

1048185_10151800866684809_255531512_o.jpg

I don’t know about you, but the moment I look forward to the most during long recital days is the “after party.” I just completed my 19th season as a dance studio owner and taking time to commemorate the event is more important than ever. As the years slip away, I feel the need to hold tighter to the special moments and attempt to slow the pace of time passing. Depending on where you are in your time as a dance studio owner this message will mean different things.  

I remember being a mom of two young children and just wanting to see the end of the recital, so I could get some rest. Even back then, my husband Paul and I made it a priority to celebrate with a pizza dinner or something fun. Our little kids would come with us, sometimes sleeping at the table, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We were together and it taught our children to exist in many situations, that life wasn’t always all about them, and the value of working hard at something they loved.

We also made family vacations a priority after the dance recital season ended. The expectation of the trip we would take together gave us all energy. It also gave me quality time to spend with my family, free from distractions and away from the demands of the studio. In retrospect, these celebrations and family trips were also the fuel for my continued enthusiasm for my job.

A celebration can be as simple as a small family dinner or party, vacation, or time that you give yourself to reflect and recharge. Often times these “celebrations” are skipped because we are in constant “work” mode with the never ending tasks that continue immediately following our big year-end event called “recital.” It is hard for us to get off the train!  

The other reason we miss our celebration time is good old-fashioned guilt. Do we really deserve to take time off when so many people and tasks require our attention? We already have parents and staff questioning our dedication to their children and asking why we would benefit from the work we do. How would a tropical vacation be received by the mom who thinks I should be giving free solo lessons to her child every day in the summer?  

We consider these questions because we are one giant, collective group of people pleasers, who also happen to be really passionate about our work. The problem is that our work suffers when we do. Time to celebrate and reflect makes us stronger and ultimately more successful - better leaders, teachers, and family members. When we accomplish something and don't take the time to celebrate, we are robbing ourselves of an important feeling that reinforces our success.  

I know we love our dance families so much and sometimes it doesn’t feel like work, but don’t make the mistake of not taking the time to enjoy your life with the people you love and that includes YOURSELF. From one dance studio owner friend to another, I give you permission to celebrate! Go book that vacation and don’t forget to post photos so we can all celebrate together.

Tiffany

Want more dance studio business inspiration and practices to put in place next season? Catch Tiffany at the Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference July 12-14 in Orlando.





Exclusive Disney Performing Arts Workshop at Walt Disney World!

Disney Performing Arts- Dance Performance.jpg

We are excited to announce our newest Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference event presented by Disney Performing Arts. Join us for a magical, unique Disney Performing Arts Workshops experience at Walt Disney World® Resort for registered conference attendees only on Thursday, July 11 from 3:30pm - 6:30pm. All transportation will be provided. 

Click here for more information and to opt in: https://forms.gle/CPzAQkq8xobp1i2d6

 

A friendly reminder to book your hotel room at our $125 disounted rate; we are over 50% sold out of our block at this time. Click here to reserve your room: https://www.twinklestardanceconference.com 

 

If you are ready to register for the Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference July 12-14 in Orlando click here.

The Power of Suggestion in your Dance Studio

TSD Second Class EMAIL.jpg

Happy Friday!

I was working with a studio owner this week through Tiffany’s Diamond Circle and they brought up some unresolved fears they had as a business owner. It boiled down to the students at their school not really showing the level of knowledge they expected them to on stage at the recital.  

I think we can all agree that this time of year we find ourselves reevaluating our businesses and wondering how we can continue to grow and attract new customers as we enter next season. The world around us is changing so rapidly, studio owners have to come up with new ways to reach our target customer - the millennial mom.  

Today, I want to share something I imparted on my staff called the power of suggestion. Our entire campaign about registering for the new dance season was built on getting as many students as possible to take two classes (or more) per week. Spoiler alert: it worked!   

Many times potential customers call the studio and they always ask “How many classes should they take?” (listen for this and you will hear it now). Usually my staff responded with something along the lines of most dancers take dance once a week. This year we changed our tune and said most dancers take two.

Registration Day at my studios was on Thursday, April 25 and we created a buzz! We made our online schedule viewable two weeks prior; we passed out dancer evaluations with recommended classes for next season; we offered our best promotion of the year.

Then all of the content we put out around registration day was about the two classes per week being the Best Value and what the Benefits for the Dancer are. We created an infographic and shared it on our website, across our social media pages, and on the email blast about registration being open.

“Skill is gained by consistently pushing the limits of your ability, failing, and trying again. And again. The more you do this, the more skill you build.  If you are only taking one dance class, once a week, there is a limit on how fast your dancer will gain skill. Taking two dance classes per week will increase skill-building opportunities immensely!” Check out the full blog post from Tiffanydance.com here.   

I’m curious to know, what are some ways market for your new dance season? Do you offer a promotion to create a sense of urgency?

Best, Tiffany


Want more dance studio business practices to put in place this season? Catch Tiffany at the Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference July 12-14 in Orlando.