Dance classes for most studios in North America tend to follow the school year schedule, beginning sometime in late August to early September and ending with a run of recitals or spring performances in May or June.
By the time the calendar flips to October the rush of registration has calmed down and the daily rhythm of studio life is setting in. But, don’t let the calmer waters of October lull you into taking your foot off the gas in terms of promotion and enrollment! October is a GREAT time to promote your studio to new and former students.
Think about it: Families are getting into a routine so adding a new activity may not seem as overwhelming as it might have in September. Soccer and other fall sports are coming to a close and exciting announcements about spring recital and costumes are starting to roll out.
Last year 10% of our enrollment came in between October and January!
Read on for 5 ways to get last minute dance students in the door.
- Renew relationships. Take advantage of different reporting features on your dance studio management software to find out which students from last year have not re-enrolled for this year’s classes. Reach out to former students with a compelling and personalized offer. It doesn’t cost anything, but time to send an email inviting students to get back on the dance floor. Go a step beyond and send a letter directly to the student. As Dale Carnegie said, a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Be personal with your offer.
- Host a free Frozen themed camp. Every other Saturday since the studio opened we have hosted a free Frozen Fun Camp for an hour for students age 4-7. We teach a short routine, make a craft, review the routine and then do a mini show for the parents. At the end of the camp, all children leave with a gift bag including a studio pencil, stickers and a gift certificate for free pair of shows if they register within one week. We have had over 165 children participate in this special camp over the last two months, most of them new.
- Take a field trip. If you can’t get the students to come to you, go to where the students are. Currently we send teachers out to two different day cares, the local Children’s Museum, our regional performing arts center and a church each week. This allows us to provide services to busy parents during the day and as well as to reach to the edges of our market where parents might not be willing fight traffic at 5pm to get to the heart of town for a 30-minute dance class.
- Put on a show. We perform heavily in the community in the early fall. It’s still warm enough to do outdoor performances in our area, so we take advantage of the beautiful fall weather by performing at area expos, fall festivals, trick or treating events, breast cancer awareness and Down Syndrome walks as well as sporting events. Whenever possible we include our studio information in participant welcome packets, help to sponsor the event or have a booth.
- Track results and don’t give up. While there is no magic bullet when it comes to getting students in the door, the key is to continually put effort into getting the message across that even though school has started, you are still open for registration. One initiative may bring 2 students. Another may bring 8 students. But wouldn’t you rather have 10 more students than no more students? Absolutely! That is 10 more little lives that you get to positively impact☺.
Looking for more great dance studio enrollment tips? Check out these great articles:
- Dance Studio Registration Tips—The Final Push
- Three Ways to Evaluate Your Dance Studio Enrollment
- 6 Spring Dance Studio Enrollment Boosters
The “Expert Advice from Misty Lown” series is brought to you by More Than Just Great Dancing™ and TutuTix.