I just discovered this post about how dance instructors might use the internet and thought it was a timely topic for one who is just recently discovering the possibilities of blogging. I am a dancer and teacher who has just become a full-time mom. Finding a way to use my skills in a new environment that doesn’t take me too far from home is now a goal for me and I am slowly learning the ins and outs of the weblog culture that I never had time for while I was out making a living as a teacher.
In the post (if you haven’t read it already), Doug Fox at Great Dance suggests some marketing strategies for teachers that are relatively easy to implement. He asks, however, for some pros and cons about his ideas. As a teacher I see the logistics of regularly videotaping classes as a con. Generally, videotaping is tedious and distracting for the instructor and the students, particularly without an assistant or partner to help out. Participating in a class that is regularly videotaped would be annoying at best and may actually cost the teacher students. After all, students are there to improve themselves and should not have to be concerned with how they appear on camera at the same time. Plus, it is important to consider the safety of any students who are minors if images are truly going out to a wider audience. Something to remember is that most dance instructors are not solely independent or freelancing, they have regular dance students who are their priority. Creating a video of a class for distribution should probably be (as most videos of this type are) a developed product, so as not to intrude on the work being done in class. From there, it can be marketed online as suggested in this article.
I believe that time constraints have a lot to do with why many teachers don’t utilize online technology. Teaching dance as a means of supporting oneself requires many in-class hours, not to mention preparation outside of class. Also, many dance teachers and artists that I know are quite behind in their knowledge of the internet, perhaps because of their tireless work ethic in the studio, or because many dancers are not interested in spending much time in a static state in front of the computer, or because the techie stuff is a little too right-brained, or all of the above.
It is worth mentioning that students are generally from the same locale in which the teacher resides. Therefore, physically getting out into the community and teaching or performing is not only what will generate the most traffic for their business, but more importantly, enrich the lives of people within that community. Teachers can benefit from an online presence because, like it or not, that’s where their students and customers are hanging out! There are meaningful ways of enhancing the dance experience of both students and teachers through information and inspiration via the internet. That’s what I hope to bring to those that access this site.
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.