A Dance Advantage reader asked specifically how to attract more senior level dance students to her school, which has been open for three years. She said she has success with younger ages but “it’s a real problem filling classes above age 8”.
Can you relate to any of these statements?
- “We live in a sports town, so once the kids are in school, they lose interest and pick soccer over dance”
- “We’re not a competition studio, so our kids just take dance for fun and they lose interest and don’t stick with it.”
- “Our students’ schedules are packed with activities Monday through Friday and on weekends, there’s just no time for dance.”
Here are some ways to kick those issues to the curb and grow enrollment with dancers aged 8-18.
#1. Get them excited about something beyond their weekly dance class. Bring in a master class, guest instructor or choreographer more than once a year.
In addition to knowing what age group you want to build enrollment, it’s important to know what style of dance you want to encourage more participation around. Focus on that style when planning your guest instructor’s visit. Target beginners and dancers of all ages. You can break up a day to have classes for 6-8 year olds, 8-12 year olds, teen/adult, and more.
School-aged dancers thrive on new challenges and crave inspiration. Share the benefits with parents of having their children exposed to a variety of teaching methods and styles. Master class opportunities energize and encourage dancers to stay motivated and committed to their dance training.
From a marketing perspective, it’s easy to promote on social media, your website, and within your current student base. You can also reach out to other area studios and invite them to come or bring some students (we do this every time we bring in a master teacher!) Doing so gets your name out in the community as a resource who brings in programs beyond your own.
Bringing in a guest instructor or master class teacher really doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Investing $300 – $500 into a guest teacher for a day can pay off well in returns measured by students choosing to further their dance training in a particular style or trying a new class from that inspiration.
We just held a master class at Kathy Blake Dance Studios. Everyone had a great time and two other studios came with dancers! How cool is that?