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Dance Studio Software Reviews: 2020

Smiling African-American woman on computer

For the sixth year in a row, we are excited to present the survey results collected from our annual dance studio software reviews survey. We asked dance studio owners to answer questions about their dance studio management software, and over 500 studio owners did just that.

If you’ve considered investing in software to help you manage your studio, we hope you find this data useful.

2020 Survey image

Survey Highlights

  • The percentage of studio owners that are using dance studio management software was up this year, with ~78% of respondents saying they used it.
  • Just like last year, studio owners overwhelmingly choose software based on its ability to meet their needs; referrals from friends and associates also carry significant influence in the purchase decision.
  • The market is dominated by four major players. Jackrabbit and Studio Director take the lead, followed by ClassJuggler and Akada (Dance Works).
  • Attendance tracking was the most important feature this year, followed closely by online registration, which is not surprising given our current landscape in this pandemic.
  • Customer service and ease of use are the most important reasons studio owners picked their chosen software.

 

To see the full report on Dance Studio Software Reviews, please visit the survey dashboard on SurveyMonkey.

 

Check out previous editions our dance studio management software survey results and dance studio software reviews here:

Interested in more articles about dance studio management? Check out these articles from the TutuTix archive:

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Dance Studio Software Reviews: 2019

For the fifth year in a row, we are excited to present the survey results collected from our annual dance studio software reviews survey. We asked thousands of dance studio owners to answer questions about their dance studio management software, and over 950 studio owners did just that.

If you’ve considered investing in software to help you manage your studio, this data will definitely be eye-opening.

Survey Highlights

  • The percentage of studio owners that are using dance studio management software dropped slightly this year, with 72% of respondents saying they used the software.
  • Just like last year, studio owners overwhelmingly choose software based on its ability to meet their needs; referrals from friends and associates also carry significant influence in the purchase decision.
  • The market is dominated by five major players. Jackrabbit and Studio Director are back, with significant growth this year from ClassJuggler, Dance Studio Pro, and Akada (Dance Works).
  • Billing and payment processing continue to be the most important features to studio owners, although this year online registration surpassed email and text communication for the #2 spot.
  • Overall customer satisfaction ticked up slightly from 2018, coming in at 80%. JackRabbit, Studio Director, ClassJuggler, and iClass Pro boasted the highest satisfaction levels.

 

To see the full report on Dance Studio Software Reviews, please visit the survey dashboard on SurveyMonkey.

 

Check out previous editions our dance studio management software survey results and dance studio software reviews here:

Interested in more articles about dance studio management? Check out these articles from the TutuTix archive:

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Dance Studio Software Reviews: 2018

dance studio software reviews

For the fourth year in a row, we are excited to present the survey results collected from our annual dance studio software reviews survey. We asked thousands of dance studio owners to answer questions about their dance studio management software. We’ve continued to see some recurring trends about how studio owners choose their dance studio software, how they utilize it, and what they like and dislike about it.

If you’ve considered investing in software to help you manage your studio, this data will definitely be eye-opening.

Survey Highlights

  • The percentage of studio owners that are using dance studio management software continues to rise, from 67% in 2014 to 82.2% in 2018.
  • Studio owners overwhelmingly choose software based on its ability to meet their needs; referrals from friends and associates also carry significant influence in the purchase decision.
  • Jackrabbit and Studio Director continue to dominate market share with a combined 65% , but this has decreased from 2017, when they held 74% of the market.
  • The features most important to studio owners continue to be billing and payment processing, email and text communication, and class management. Following the 2017 trend, however, online registration continues to increase in popularity.
  • For the first time since the survey inception, overall customer satisfaction dipped, from a 2017 high of 84%, to 79% in 2018.

Read the In-Depth Report on Dance Studio Software Reviews

See the full summary of the survey results here!

 

Check out previous editions our dance studio management software survey results and dance studio software reviews here:

Interested in more articles about dance studio management? Check out these articles from the TutuTix archive:

READ MORE +

Dance Studio Software: 2017 Studio Owner Reviews

Dance Studio Software: 2017 Studio Owner Reviews

For the third year, we are excited to present the survey results collected from our annual dance studio management software reviews survey. We asked dance studio owners to answer questions about their dance studio management software. We’ve continued to see some recurring trends about how studio owners choose their dance studio software, how they utilize it, and what they like and dislike about it.

Survey Highlights

  • The percentage of studio owners that are using dance studio management software has steadily risen year after year, from 67% in 2014 to 80% in 2017.
  • The three most important features of studio management software have consistently been billing and payment processing, email or text communication and class management, but over the last year, online registration has seen a marked increase in importance.
  • The percentage of studios who have a majority of students paying by credit/debit card has continued to increase (to 54% in 2017), though studios across the country still vary widely in their ability to process credit card payments.
  • Overall satisfaction with dance studio management software has continued to creep up with 84%  indicating that they were either “extremely satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied,” up from 82% in 2015.

Read the In-Depth Report on Dance Studio Software Survey Results

Check out the 2017 results here!

Check out previous editions our dance studio management software survey results here:

Interested in more articles about dance studio management? Check out these articles from the TutuTix archive:

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Dance Studio Management Software: Owner Reviews

dance studio management software

Editor’s Note: Check out the results of our most recent annual dance studio management software survey here.

For the second year in a row, we are excited to present the survey results collected from our most recent survey. We asked dance studio owners to answer questions about their dance studio management software. This year we’ve definitely noticed some recurring trends about how studio owners choose their dance studio management software, how they utilize it, and what they like and dislike about it.

Survey Highlights

  • The percentage of studio owners that are using dance studio management software increased 8% last year, from 67% in 2014 to 75% in 2015.
  • The three most important features of studio management software are still billing and payment processing, class management, and email or text communication, and online registration is gaining in importance.
  • Studios that fully embrace credit card payments see a vast majority of student payments come in via that method, though studios across the country vary widely in their ability to process credit card payments.
  • Overall satisfaction with dance studio management software has increased by 7%, with 82%  indicating that they were either “extremely satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied”.

Read the In-Depth Report on Survey Results

To see the full summary of the survey results here.

 

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Dance Studio Management Software Survey 2015

Dance Studio Management Software Survey 2015

For the second year in a row, we are excited to present the survey results collected from our most recent dance studio management software survey. We asked dance studio owners to answer questions about their dance studio management software. This year we’ve definitely noticed some recurring trends about how studio owners choose their dance studio management software, how they utilize it, and what they like and dislike about it.

You can see the results of the dance studio management survey here!

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Dance Studio Management Software Reviews: Studio Owner Survey Results

Dance Studio Management Software Reviews: Studio Owner Survey Results

Editor’s Note: Check out the results of our most recent annual dance studio management software survey here.

Because we deal with a lot of dance studios, we try to stay in tune with ways we can help them out in their day to day operations. Recently, we’ve noticed a recurring theme among our dance studio owner friends: questions about dance studio management software.

Should they use it? Which one is the best? How expensive is it?

Dance Studio Management Software Reviews

Working with several studio owners and dance industry experts, we created a survey to help answer these questions and more. The survey was deployed in late 2014, and garnered over 600 complete, verified responses. Here are some of the key things we learned:

  • About two thirds (67%) of dance studios use studio management software.
  • Features rule. 35% of respondents say that they chose their particular software based on a feature set that met their needs. Also important: inexpensiveness (17%), ease of operation (16%), and recommendation of others (16%).
  • The three most important features of studio management software are billing and payment processing, class management, and email or text communication. The three features ranked least important were staff scheduling, website maintenance, and staff time clock.
  • Jackrabbit Dance is dominant, with 28% of the respondents indicating that they used it. Other popular software providers were Studio Director (18%), and Dance Works (14%).
  • Studio owner operators are generally satisfied with their studio management software, with 76% indicating that they were either “extremely satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied.” ClassJuggler, DanceStudio-Pro, Studio Director, and Jackrabbit Dance ranked the highest in satisfaction.

Read the In-Depth Report on Survey Results

See the full summary of these dance studio management software reviews here!

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5 Ideas for Increasing Your Studio’s Profitability

Increasing Your Dance Studio's Profitability

As a studio owner, you already know that generating revenue is one of the keys to growing and stabilizing your business, but the true key: your studio’s profitability. The reality is that every great mission needs money in order to do the meaningful work that fulfills its purpose! And it’s important to understand the difference between revenue, which is the gross income your business generates, and profit, which is the income your business has earned after covering its expenses.

No matter how much revenue your studio generates, it’s the profit that makes it possible to continue doing what you do year after year. It’s the profit that will allow you to achieve long-term business health so that you can continue to create jobs, serve your community, and earn a living.

In my experience, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to increasing profitability. It’s not just about knowing your numbers; it’s about making the right choices with the numbers you know! It is my belief that every studio owner can and should feel empowered to take charge of their business’s financial future. And optimizing its profitability is instrumental in that power.

Keep reading for my 5 Ideas for Increasing Your Studio’s Profitability:


  1. Control Expenses, Part I

    Profitability doesn’t just come from increasing income; it comes from having a keen eye on your expenses. One of the most productive things you can do to increase your profit margin is to get as lean as possible with your expenses. Trim anywhere possible. Go line by line through your accounting software and be prepared to make some phone calls to negotiate your bills. And of course, if you don’t already have a budget, create one … and stick to it!

  2. Control Expenses, Part II

    If you are paying down any debts, prioritize those payments and increase their frequency if you can. Eliminating debt as quickly as possible will free you up from paying interest of course (an expense no one wants!) and will also free you up emotionally. The more progress you make on paying down debt, the more in control you will be when it comes to your profitability.

  3. “What Gets Measured Gets Managed”

    This famous quote by Peter Drucker can influence your profitability in a big way. Take the recital for example: If you track and measure every expense and compare it to the income, what is the profit? Whether it’s large or small, this number will show you where to put your time and energy to improve that margin. It works the same for any class, program, or event. Measure your expenses and your pricing to manage financial success.

  4. Analyze the Products You Sell

    From dancewear and shoes to costumes and t-shirts, evaluate the wholesale cost and retail price to determine if you can make changes to increase profitability. You may need to spend less or charge more, or you may need to consider reducing or increasing the number of items you sell. Don’t just keep the status quo because it’s easy; do the work because it’s worth it!

  5. Use the Compound Effect

    Remember that profitability is likely to happen as the result of many small actions, taken one at a time. Stay encouraged that every step you take to control spending and increase revenue will lead you down the road of increasing profits. Keep taking those steps even when it seems like it’s not enough…the compound effect requires patience for a payoff.

Keep in mind that profitability has to do with many factors, which means there are many ways to improve it! Dig into your finances, understand what you can control, find creative solutions, and most importantly, keep doing the work it takes to know your numbers.

Looking for more great ideas to help your studio’s profitability? Check out the following articles:

The “Expert Advice from Misty Lown” series is brought to you by More Than Just Great Dancing™ and TutuTix.

More Than Just Great Dancing

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I Need Help! (Part Two) – 5 Tools to Implement for Business Growth

5 Tools to Implement for Business Growth

Business growth: it’s something every studio owner desires!

Whether it’s more students, more staff members, more space, more financial freedom, or more time at home, at some point or another, we all want MORE for our studios.

Growth can be great! It means your business is healthy, and healthy things grow! But business growth usually doesn’t come without a few growing pains. As your studio expands to accommodate more people or more space, or as you step out to spend more time at home, you’ll probably notice that some of your existing systems don’t work as well anymore. I often tell the dance studio owners that I coach, “Every time something your business doubles, all of your systems break.”

If you are in a position where you are seeing your numbers rise and your systems aren’t quite keeping up, take advantage of this opportunity to make some key updates in the way you organize and communicate before the new year starts. Keeping up with your studio’s growth—and then staying ahead of it—will allow you to maintain its health. Don’t ignore the warning signs that you need to make improvements. Warning signs might include things like customer confusion or dropping balls on details and follow up.

If these types of things are happening to you, it’s probably time to dig in to some new resources that will help improve your systems!

Keep reading to learn about my 5 Tools to Implement for Business Growth.


Here are my 5 Tools to Implement as Your Business Grows:

  1. A rhythm calendar

The “rhythm calendar” is a tool that helps everyone on your team see what tasks need to be done and when, for the entire year.  It may be an actual printed document which follows your studio’s calendar or it may be kept in a project-management software system like Asana or Basecamp. Either way, it’s a roadmap to keep you on track all year. It’s also a “living” document that covers the responsibilities in every area of your business, so expect it to change over time as your studio grows and changes.

  1. The right software

From accounting software to studio management software, you may need to consider implementing a new product or some more training on an existing product to stay on top of your studio’s growth.  Is what you’re currently using causing more headaches than it solves?  Are you actually using your software tools?  If technology isn’t your zone of genius, schedule an appointment to talk with your accountant or dance studio software representative to ask questions and get a refresher on which solution may help your business the most.

  1. A trial class system

Take the time to look back and see how many trial students you’ve served so far this year, and what their conversion rate to enrollment has been.  If your conversions are below 20% (or you don’t know this number to begin with) it’s probably time to get a real system in place.  A great starting place is to have one employee on your team act as the champion of this trial classes, from scheduling to follow-up.  Or you get techie with it. I recently installed a product called the Trial Class System by Studio Owners Academy and we have already had over 30 trial students. Now that’s a win this time of year!

  1. A file sharing program

As your student numbers grow, your team of staff members will likely grow too, meaning more people need access to more information.  Make your work more efficient by getting those files organized in one place.  A program like Google Drive, G Suite, or Dropbox will store your electronic files in the cloud, allowing you to choose who to share files with (and to limit access if needed).  No matter what system you use, it’s important to get everyone on the same page for naming documents. There is no sense in created great documents if you can’t find them later:)

  1. An email system

From automating marketing campaigns to sending out monthly newsletters to your existing customers, email still rules as one of the top ways to communicate.  Programs like MailChimp, iContact, or Drip allow you to break up lists into smaller groups according to interest and to create branded, professional-looking information to send out to them on a regular basis making your studio look organized and reliable.

As your business grows, your systems must grow, too! Remember: whatever time you put in to update your systems NOW will save you heaps of time in the new year.

Do you have questions on how to grow your studio business (or to how to manage the growth you are having?) Let’s talk! Connect with me on social media @mistylown. I’d love to hear your questions, concerns, or stories of success.

Love, Misty


 

Looking for more dance studio staff insights? Check out these other articles and resources:

The “Expert Advice from Misty Lown” series is brought to you by More Than Just Great Dancing™ and TutuTix.

More Than Just Great Dancing

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Should I Step Back From Teaching to Focus on Studio Business?

Studio Business

Should I step back from teaching to focus on studio business?

There are only 2 questions you need to answer to make this decision.

I meet a lot of studio owners in my travels, and there seems to be one thing that unites us—we all have a similar backstory. Somewhere along the way in life we fell in love with dance. We became dedicated to creating a career out of dance; we were passionate about the power of dance to change lives; and we were resourceful at using our skills and connections to make a difference in the lives of others.

I believe that studio owners are unique in this way, and this passion for sharing our love of dance is what drives us to succeed. But as we grow in our studio careers, we realize that the job of running a studio is about so much more than dance. We discover that we need to learn how to lead people, manage accounting, develop programming, understand new marketing trends and more. As your studio grows, the business needs can begin to rival the artistic side for your time and attention.

When this happens, you might feel like you’ve come to a crossroads. I know I did! This is where you have to start making decisions about the best place to direct your focus in this new season of life.

Should you step back from teaching to focus on studio business?  Continue reading to see the only two questions you need to answer to make this decision.

There are only two questions you need to answer when deciding if you should step back from teaching:


  1. Where is my zone of genius at the studio?

    Your zone of genius is the place you want to be! This is where your talent and your passion intersect, and it may very well be in the classroom. If you wake up in the morning and can’t wait to teach—and you are a skilled teacher—then this is a strength area you can’t ignore or suppress.

    If this is you, I would encourage you to stick with teaching because you flourish there! Your zone of genius might be in other areas too, so take note of those now before moving on to Question 2.

    I am not shy to admit that although I am an excellent teacher, choreography was never my real zone of genius. I can do it, but I really have to work at it and have others on my team who are more naturally gifted in this area. Me? I prefer to “choreograph” the business side of things; creating new programs and marketing efforts to promote our work in the community.

    When I was scheduled to teach several classes a week, the preparation time alone would cause me angst because it felt like it was taking time away from the areas of my business I was much better at handling (not to mention time away from my growing family).

    With that realization, I made the decision to step back from teaching (to only one class per week) and focus on my leadership skills. Eventually, I stepped out of teaching altogether to focus on my family and running the business.

  1. Who can I equip (or hire) to work in the areas that are NOT in my zone of genius?

    If your zone of genius is in teaching, then it’s essential that you are surrounded by a team of people who are talented in the other areas of your business. For example, you may need an office manager who can take on more customer service and administrative responsibilities, or you may need a bookkeeper to make sure your accounting stays clean and up to date each month.

    If your zone of genius (like mine) is in an area other than the creation of dances and preparation of lessons, then it’s probably time to step out of the classroom or to consider a reduced teaching schedule. Talk with your staff members to see who is interested in accepting more opportunities to teach, or begin the hiring process to bring new teachers on board.

    If you are currently the primary teacher at your studio, consider stepping out of the classroom gradually—over a year or two—to make the transition smoother for your students and their parents. My transition out of the classroom was a five-year process that took me from teaching 27 classes per week to four, and then eventually to none.

I should pause and note here that even though I no longer teach weekly classes, I am still responsible for the quality of our classrooms and the artistic choices that end up on our stages. No matter which side of the business you decide to focus on, you still have responsibility for oversight of the other side of the business—even if you are not in the daily details of that aspect.

As a business owner, you will always have different hats to wear at your studio.  But because of your personal history and passion for the art of dance, it can be a challenge to know whether “teacher” should still be one of them.

If you’ve ever thought about whether or not you should still be in the classroom, reflect back on your answers to the two questions here. Harmony can be found with both “the business side” and “the teaching side” of your studio; they are both vital to your studio’s success, and you will naturally have more strengths on one side than the other. I encourage you to play to those strengths and stand in your zone of genius as much as possible!

Connect with me @mistylown on social media or email me at mistylown@gmail.com if you’d like to talk about where your zone of genius is, or to share your own experience of staying in or stepping out of the classroom. I wish you success as you determine which direction to dance in next!

Looking for more dance studio owner insights? Check out these other articles and resources:

The “Expert Advice from Misty Lown” series is brought to you by More Than Just Great Dancing™ and TutuTix.

More Than Just Great Dancing

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Dance Studio Growth: 5 Ways To Support And Connect To Your Studio

Dance Studio Growth: 5 Ways To Support And Connect To Your Studio

Whether your studio is in its first season, its fifteenth, or its fiftieth, chances are you want to see it grow! And when I say “grow” I’m talking about making real progress, which for your studio might mean increasing enrollment, nurturing your current customers, gaining square footage, developing leadership roles for your staff, improving your culture, redefining your mission, or all of the above.

You may already be experiencing the growing pains that can happen as you, the studio owner, shift focus in order to navigate growth of any kind. For me, as my own children have grown, I’ve shifted more and more time leading our faculty at our studio and less time teaching in the classroom.

No matter which type of growth your studio goes through, it most likely means that it will depend on you less and less for its day-to-day operations, and that your physical presence there will likely become less as well. But your personal connection to the studio—to your employees and to your dance families—will still be essential to supporting its success as it shifts and changes over time.

So how do you keep your relationship with the studio feeling vibrant and effective, even during different stages and phases of growth?

Keep reading to learn more about my 5 Ways To Support And Connect To Your Studio As It Grows.


Here are 5 Ways To Support And Connect To Your Studio As It Grows:

  1. Have your dream team in place
    As your studio grows, be sure that you have the right people in the right places on your team because they will be the ones in the trenches every day. From customer service to classroom management they need your personal touch with training and leadership to feel confident in their authority at the studio. Their confidence = your confidence!
  2. Support your team while they lead
    Once you have full confidence in your staff members, let your dance families see that you believe in your team one hundred percent. Don’t correct your staff in front of others, but DO compliment them publicly! If they make a mistake, coach them on it afterwards in private. Work to pass customer questions to the right player on your team as well, so your dance families can trust that your team will have the right answers.
  3. Know when to step in
    Even with well-trained and confident staff, there will be questions they can’t answer or situations they don’t feel comfortable taking the lead on. Talk to your team about what these scenarios look like, so they are clear about what you want them to tackle on their own versus when they should reach out to you for help. For example, if there are technical difficulties with the classroom speakers, your office manager can probably handle the phone call to fix it. But if the speakers are damaged and need to be replaced, you might want to approve those charges. Come up with a list of example situations, and discuss with your team how those situations might be resolved.
  1. Studio special events
    Look through the calendar and find which event (or events) can become a special highlight for your presence at the studio. For me this year, it’s the week we measure for costumes—I’ll be the one in the lobby engaging with parents while I measure kids for recital costumes. Other highlight events for me will be our parent/student conferences, parent observation week and community performances. There are always opportunities to gain some personal face time with your team and your dance families if you look for them.
  2. When you are present, be really present
    As your studio grows, you will likely feel pulled in many directions—more so than normal! So whether you are with your team, chatting with a customer, visiting a dance class, or taking the lead on a special event, be all in while you’re there. You might’ve been knee-deep in costume order details in your home office the hour before, but while you are present at the studio, focus on the studio and the people in front of you. Just like we tell our dancers when class starts, leave your worries at the door! Studio growth—even with it’s challenges—is something to be thankful for. As your studio grows, the way you spend your time there may change, but your responsibility won’t. Staying connected and supporting your team and your customers will allow you to continue building those relationships and developing your skills as a leader. Tell us in the comments about which ways your studio is growing, and which tips here are most encouraging for you! I invite you to connect with me on social media @mistylown to continue sharing your growth stories, and wish you luck as you discover the best ways to support and connect with your studio.

Looking for more great info on dance studio growth and other studio management topics? Check out the following articles:

The “Expert Advice from Misty Lown” series is brought to you by More Than Just Great Dancing™ and TutuTix.

More Than Just Great Dancing

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Dance Administration Jobs: 5 Ways to Join a Great Studio

Dance Administration Jobs

The dance world is full of career opportunities for people who love the dance and love self-expression. Besides performing full-time or teaching (or, as many dancers know, a combination of both), other career paths exist for dance-oriented individuals looking to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Dance administration jobs put you right in the middle of the action, and give you a powerful role in building up a successful dance studio. Check out these 5 methods to strengthen your resume and help you get a job at a growing dance studio.

Be Efficient

If a studio is looking for an office assistant or studio manager (examples of dance administration jobs), they’re expecting to bring someone in who will clean up their business’ organizational practices. That might range from interacting with parents, to answering phones, to creating better filing systems for student registration forms. How do you organize your personal life, and are there some practices you use that could translate well into a small business setting? Here are a few ideas you can suggest to a studio that might not be using these organizational methods:

  1. Create a bulletin board with a calendar for that month’s events. By having events easily visible to parents in the lobby, they’ll be constantly reminded about upcoming dates and can talk about those events with other parents.
  2. Scan all dancer registration forms and store them online using cloud software like Google Drive or Dropbox. Then, after making sure the forms are all backed up, you can shred the physical forms to save space in the office.
  3. Build a newsletter template, and send out regular emails to parents with event updates and news from the previous month. Pictures of dancers in action will be a great way for parents to see their children in the classroom, and will keep them excited to open your emails.

Become Social Media Savvy

Another reason to hire an office assistant or studio manager is to strengthen the studio’s presence on social media. By bringing on a person who has dedicated responsibilities for posting online, the studio owner and teachers can focus more attention on students, leaving part of the business growth to you. For that reason, you should know your way around the various social media platforms, and be proficient in at least three (we recommend Facebook to be your priority).

dance administration jobs

On Facebook, you should be prepared to manage an official studio page, and post pictures and information about upcoming events. Facebook can also be a primary way for parents to communicate with the studio after hours or without calling the studio line.

Other social media sites like Instagram can add a dynamic visual aspect to your studio’s online presence. Twitter is a great way to share news updates with parents and the local dance community.

Gain Some Volunteer Experience

There are few better qualifications than hands-on experience, and prior work in a dance studio setting will show your potential employer that you’re a studio veteran and know your way around the dance community. If you’ve danced before, reach out to your previous teachers about putting in some time at their studio as a volunteer. Or, ask about helping other arts organizations in your city with event hosting or office work that can build up your administrative skills in a fine arts setting.

While you volunteer, do your best to be constantly challenging yourself to learn new skills. Part of a studio assistant’s role will include bookkeeping, scheduling appointments, running errands, and conflict management with customers. Be asking about the best ways to handle those tasks, and try to put yourself into situations where you can get hands-on practice before you’re invited to the studio for an interview.

Dig Into Professional Education

We say “professional” instead of “higher” education, because “higher” education implies college-level classes. Which are not always the most ideal programs to focus on! Professional training can make you certified in a variety of different skill sets, and can add value to your personal brand.

dance administration jobsGoing back to previous dance education you may have had, consider brushing up on those skills so that you can be available to assist teachers in class in a backup capacity. Having a member of the staff who is well-versed in dance technique can be an invaluable asset in case a teacher runs into a problem and needs help with an activity in the classroom (even if it’s leading stretches during the first part of class).

If you enjoy fitness in other settings, and think you might be proficient enough to become a trainer, consider getting certified in physical education! Many studios we talk to have been moving towards allowing community fitness groups to use their space for a fee. As you help to build your studio’s brand in the community, you can also provide an additional income source for the studio (further raising your value as an employee).

Other certifications you earn can be valuable for the studio owner: for example, a studio assistant certified in CPR or other medical emergency techniques might lower liability insurance for the business, meaning more dollars for the studio to spend elsewhere.

Build Value

Dance administration jobs are expensive investments for dance studios, and when they hire additional staff they’re expecting to make plenty of bang for their buck. Your job as a studio assistant or office manager is to build value for the dance studio through effective marketing, efficient business organization, and your ability to work well under pressure. If you can prove that your skills and ideas will help grow the business and take some of the workload off of studio owners, you’ll be a great choice for any dance studio.

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Event Safety: Dance Recital Safety Tips

event safety

Recital season is an exciting time, but it can also be a cause of worry for parents. Recitals are typically, frenzied and fast-paced experiences, and parents may be a little weary of dropping their child in a chaotic situation. Here are some smart event safety tips to keep in mind this recital season:

Pack an Event Safety First Aid Kit

In addition to having a bag full of extra performance essentials, like bobby pins, hair spray and a spare pair of tights, you should also safety items, like Band-aids, Neosporin and wet wipes. Make sure you have a comprehensive first-aid kit on hand at the recital venue, too.

Make Sure Emergency Contact Info Is Up to Date

Emergency contact info is often a line parents quickly fill out without a second thought, but in the worst case that there ever is an actual emergency, this information will need to be up-to-date. In the weeks leading up to the recital, verify parent or guardian contact info and make sure it’s stored somewhere that’s easily and quickly accessible.

Do a Risk Assessment of the Venue

While you already have an overflowing to-do list to prepare for the recital, you must make time to do a risk assessment of the venue, noted the resource Safe Dance Practice. Tour the venue and note fire exits. You should also familiarize yourself with the venue’s emergency procedures, and alter them to fit the recital set-up if necessary. Record this information and make sure to share it with dancers, parents and all volunteers and studio staff members prior to the event.

Practice Safe Drop-off and Pick-Up Procedures

The nerves are flying before the curtain rises, but some of the most stressful times of a recital are when parents are dropping off and picking up their dancers. When you have a dizzying swarm of dancers coming and going or when you’re distracted by a million things all at once, it can be easy to lose sight of a dancer or not notice who came to get them.

There is software that you can purchase for checking in dancers, if you feel that it would help you organize the process better. Capterra noted that many check-in systems allow multiple ways to identify who is checking in, such as using the last name or phone number, or even a bar code. While software is not necessary, and may be beyond your resources, make sure you get the full name and contact info of the person who is checking in the dancer.

Think about what the best option is for check-out, too. You can have parents come directly to the dressing room during intermission or at the end of the show, or you can have a separate table staffed with volunteers to take the info of the family members picking up. Whatever you choose, make sure you fully brief the parents, dancers and volunteers on the event safety procedures.

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Planning A Dance Recital: 4 Weeks Away From the Big Show

planning a dance recital

You’ve spent the year planning a dance recital for your studio, and now, with one month left to go, everything is finally coming together. The next few weeks will bring a flurry of emails and phone calls and the time will pass by before you even realize it. It’s possible, however, to minimize stress and stay sane – the key is being organized and having a dance recital checklist.

One of the worst feelings is suddenly remembering that you forgot to pick up the costumes, enlist volunteers or take care of another vital task. The dance recital checklist below will help you make sure you stay on track with one month to go before the recital.

Check in With the Venue

If you are holding the recital at a venue other than your own studio, now is the time to check-in with them and confirm that the space will be yours for the recital and for any rehearsals. Verify the hours that you’ll need to use the venue, and make sure that you have secured sufficient space for dressing rooms and backstage areas and that there will be enough chairs for your audience and tables for selling flowers and other items.

You also should check that there is an easily accessible parking area for audience members, teachers, dancers and volunteers. Also, make a note of what you’ll need to bring with you for the performance, such as additional lighting and music systems.

Try on Costumes

The last things you want are uncomfortable dancers and curtain-call wardrobe surprises. Don’t wait until the recital gets closer – instead, have your dancers try on their costumes well before recital time to make sure they fit, recommended Crown Awards. Consider offering a “Costume Construction Day” for alterations or provide parents with the contact info of the seamstress so they can arrange any necessary alterations or tailoring if the fit should be improved before rehearsals. Also, check that each dancer has all the necessary accessories and a garment bag for transporting the costume to the dress rehearsal and recital.

Prepare Programs

Programs can be a hassle to put together, but if they include advertiser pages they can really help boost your business. One month before the recital, layout and print the programs. You can do this yourself on publishing software if you’re design-savvy, but otherwise, you can outsource the programs to an online company. When you receive the draft of the programs, triple-check for typos, misspelled names and other errors.

If you have money in your budget, hiring a professional designer to craft your recital programs is well worth the money, advised Dance Studio Life. This way, you can create custom ads for local businesses who want to be included in your program but don’t have an ad ready, and you can have a snazzy, high-quality program that you can sell as a keepsake.

Finalize Recital Add-ons

It’s important to figure out ahead of time what you will offer at the recital. Dance recital add-ons can be both a service to your dance families and a source of added income. The Dance Exec provided a helpful list of recital “extras” that you should consider: Logo t-shirts, posed and candid recital photos, flowers, trophies, stuffed animals and recital DVDs. If you haven’t already, decide whether you will hire a professional photographer and/or videographer to record the recital, and book them ASAP. Check out this post for tips on choosing the right photographer for your dance recital photos.

Distribute Recital Packets

There are so many details for dance families to remember –  make it as easy as possible by providing a recital packet. Some of the information you might want to include is:

  • Rehearsal information
  • Posed/recital photo sessions/information
  • Recital day schedule/info, including drop-off/pickup information, parking, etc.
  • Costume reminders/information
  • Cost of recital add-ons, and any related order forms
  • Information about remaining volunteer needs/perks

In addition to the packet itself, make use of email, text and social media reminders to keep your dance families informed. You may also want to hold a mandatory “recital meeting,” especially for new dance parents.

Want an easy template to start from? You can download our Sample Recital Detail Information template using the form below! It’s a Microsoft Word document, so you can edit the details according to your needs.

dance recital information

Confirm Volunteers

Take the time now to confirm that you have enough volunteers to help out with the recital – and recruit some if you discover you’re falling short. It’s easy to forget certain little jobs that need volunteers, so sit down and list out every aspect of the recital to make sure you’ve enlisted enough help. Do you have people to man the flower or recital DVD table? What about someone to help organize the dancers backstage? Someone to take tickets, give out the programs, or direct parking? Make sure you have all your bases covered!

Take Care of Yourself

With all the craziness that comes with recital season, you need to make sure you’re taking good care of yourself. Stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep and opt for convenient, healthy meals instead of fast food after late classes and client visits. You might think that feeling pulled in a million directions all at once is a normal feeling as the recital approaches, but neglecting your health only makes it more likely that you’ll wake up the morning of the recital with a throbbing migraine and a sore throat.

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress, take a step back and remember – all the little details are fun, but the true value of planning a dance recital is that your dancers get to share their passion and hard work with loved ones and a community who cares.

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Music Editing Apps: Great Apps for Editing Music On-the-go

music editing apps

You’ve probably been here before – hunched over your laptop late at night, playing the same four seconds of music over and over again on your editing software trying to get it exactly right. Maybe a transition is too clunky, a background instrument is too loud or the fade out is too sudden. No matter the issue, music editing is a recipe for stress and frustration. Music editing apps for your phone are designed to help reduce some of the stress so you can get back to focusing on your students. The apps have streamlined, easy-to-use interfaces that simplify the editing process and make it conveniently portable, so you can tackle any editing issues or make quick adjustments whenever and wherever you are.

Try any – or all – of these music editing apps for using on-the-go:

Audacity Portable

Audacity is one of the most popular music editing software programs that dance teachers use, and Audacity Portable, the mobile app, means that you can take advantage of all of its useful functionality anywhere. Audacity is an open source software program that means that any developer can use the code to create their own versions of the original program, which is how the mobile app was created. Its layout is easy to get a grasp on, allowing you to make basic adjustments to tracks or “zoom in” for more intricate editing, and best of all, it’s free!

GarageBand

One of the leading music production programs for Macs, also has an app version for iPhones and iPads. GarageBand allows you to create your own songs with a variety of realistic-sounding digital instruments, but you can also easily edit imported tracks and add effects in seconds. For those that are new to GarageBand, The Dance Buzz gave a great tutorial on using the program here.

Hokusai Audio Editor

While Audacity and GarageBand were originally created for desktops, Hokusai was designed with smartphones in mind. The interface is optimized for use on touchscreens, meaning you can make music edits with just a swipe. You can use tools to normalize volume levels and fade-in and fade-out, and can alter the resonance or echoes. The app also features a neat “scrubbing effect” that means you can hear what the music sounds like as you move your finger down a track. And you can edit without worrying about making mistakes, since any changes can be easily undone.

WavePad Audio Editor

WavePad is a free app that contains the basic features needed for editing music. You can record and edit your own sounds and songs, and the app also works with third-party tracks. Your tracks are clearly organized for easy access and it comes with tools like filters that will make sounds clearer. However, WavePad is best for short choreography, between 3-5 minutes, since it does not have a zoom function that allows you to make more minute edits.

Notetracks

Notetracks is not part of the collection of music editing apps, but it is incredibly useful for dance teachers working with choreography, and is recommended by Dance Teacher Connect. With the app, you can easily make notes anywhere in a song and can clearly see the notes marked on the track, making it very helpful for when you’re creating a new routine. Notetracks also makes it easy to share your notes and ideas with others.

Music editing tips

Your expertise is dance, not music mixing, though effective editing will help your dancers perform at their very best. Dance Advantage offered several helpful tips for great music editing. Make sure the volume level is consistent throughout the track, since any discrepancies – even subtle ones – are distracting to both the dancers and audience.

Cutting and pasting is a common way to edit tracks, but it’s not always suitable – the site noted that mixing tracks and adding effects are very noticeable in stripped-down musical pieces with few instruments, so the cut-and-paste method is most effective for acoustic songs.

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