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.
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.
Attending the United Dance Merchants Association’s (UDMA) yearly costume shows can be a beneficial and fun experience for any studio dance owner. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about new costume trends and get to see the latest styles in person. You’ll also be able to learn about a number of studio-related products and services that can help make our life easier.
UDMA even offers educational opportunities with renowned dance professionals on a variety of topics. If this is your first time attending a UDMA event, check out the tips below to make your first experience a success!
When it comes to attending one of the large UDMA shows held each year, it’s important to be prepared. These events allow dance professionals to get insight on upcoming costume trends and do some groundwork for recitals and performances. The shows include information and vendors beyond costumes, too—be prepared so that you are ready to make the most of it!
Bring a big bag or, even better, a rolling suitcase. You’ll be happy you have it after receiving lots of catalogs, giveaways from vendors, and samples.
It’s important to dress smart. As you run around from vendor to vendor, you won’t have a lot of time to sit and take a break. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes to keep you on your feet. You don’t want to have to end your visit early because your feet are blistered and sore.
Bring cash for coffee, snacks and lunches. These events last the whole day, and if you’re enjoying yourself, you don’t want to have to go far to find food and drinks.
Print off a sheet of address label stickers with your name, studio name, address, phone and email. If you want to request more information from a company or enter one of the many giveaways offered by vendors you can simplify the entry process by using your stickers on the entry forms.
From the UDMA Website https://udma.org
Check Out the Seminars
During the three sessions this year, UDMA will be offering five seminars that dance teachers and studio owners can attend. This year, there are THREE business seminars (open to studio owners who may register their staff) and TWO movement seminars.
And the lineup of speakers is impressive! Steve Sirico of DanceTeacherWeb.com. Suzanne Blake Gerety of DanceStudioOwner.com, and the man himself, Rhee Gold will each present a business seminar in each city. Anthony LoCasico of Taplife and Tricia Gomez of Rhythm Works Integrative Dance will each present the movement seminars.
This year, TutuTix will be visiting the various sessions of UDMA to talk costumes, recitals, and more. Look for our booth – it’s hard to miss (look for the sparkly pink shiny wall!)
We’ll even be hosting a surprise item giveaway: earlier this year we gave away iRobot Roomba’s to lucky guests! Stop by to pick up some goodies and sign up for our big giveaway.
Talk to People and Have Fun!
Before you get there, visit the UDMA website to find out what vendors will be attending your local event. Make a list of the booths that you’re really dying to see so you know where to go as soon as you arrive.
As you see dancers in the latest costumes, don’t be shy! Approach them and ask them to move around in their attire so you can better understand the look and feel of each costume.
Something to note: photography isn’t allowed at this event. So be sure to bring a notebook to help you jot down what you like to help you prepare for this year’s dance season.
Want to do some exploring? DanceInforma has some cool ideas for how to make the most out of your travel experience while at UDMA.
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.
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
The Billing Report in your client portal is your one stop shop for complete visibility into your event sales proceeds. Want to know how much money you made on tickets this year? How about Merchandise sales through POP? The Billing Report is where to go.
You’ll receive a weekly email each time we process a payout to your account. All of the details behind each payout can be found in this report.
By default, data from your most recent payout is displayed. If you want to see data across multiple payouts, just select the other invoices you want to add, and select the other invoices. Then, click “Refresh Report Data”
All payouts after January 1, 2018, are available.
The Summary Section will show you a top level view of your ticket sales, POP sales, any adjustments, and the amount you made.
The Ticket Sales section will show you individual ticket products across multiple performances, with information on price and quantity, and even sales channel.
All of this data is downloadable by clicking the Excel Icons on the right.
Additionally, you can print the reports with the click of a button.
If you have any questions about your billing report, please submit a help case, or give us a call or email.
It’s the holidays, which lets us offer a gift to those people who make such a difference in our sons’ and daughters’ lives: dance teachers! Take a look at this list of dance teacher gift ideas that could brighten their season!
It may seem cliché, but a gift card is simple and gives your teacher the freedom to use it how they want to, when they want to! Some gift card ideas to think about might come from:
iTunes, since dance teachers always need new music for class.
Amazon, where they can get pretty much anything.
Starbucks, for coffee lovers!
There’s few things that sound better to a tired dance teacher than a spa session.
Whether it’s a massage or a mani/pedi combo, your teacher will absolutely appreciate the opportunity to sit back and relax for a day.
If you’re looking for other ideas to make your teachers cozy, consider:
Bath bombs, which they can use at home
Candles, which can brighten up a space (or help a dance studio smell more….festive)
Chocolates, because dancing takes a lot of energy, right?
Dinner and a Show
Dance teachers spend many of their evenings at the studio, or planning for future time when they’ll be at the studio. Treat them to a nice dinner, or maybe tickets to an upcoming show in the city!
It’s not always “things” that make the best gifts, and since you know your teachers well, you’ll know if that upcoming concert or a new restaurant in town might be extra special for them.
Handmade and from the Heart
The reality is that sometimes a dancer might have two, three, maybe four dance teachers, plus a choreographer, plus whoever else is important at the studio! And that can add up to a LOT of gifts.
Dance teachers work to make your sons and daughters better, more expressive people, and recognition that they’re accomplishing that can really go a long way. Sometimes a simple “thank you” card written by you and your dancer can communicate your thanks! Or maybe some nice baked goods (only if you know nobody is allergic to anything!!), or a knitted scarf.
Also, keep in mind that it’s not just the teachers on the front lines who would appreciate thanks. Behind the scenes of every dance studio are husbands and wives who support teachers working long nights and traveling to competition. Add them to your holiday list and it’ll really make a great personal impact on your dance studio family.
We hope you found these ideas helpful! Please feel free to share this article on Facebook or browse our “Dance Teacher Gift Ideas” board on Pinterest.
Also, you’re welcome to comment below with any gifts you’ve given that teachers particularly loved!
Editor’s Note: As a reader mentioned, not all of these dance movies/shows are appropriate for children. Parents—please use discretion when making viewing choices.
What the next-best thing to dancing? Why, dance movies, of course! If you have a Netflix subscription, there are a bunch of awesome movies available to see great choreography and talent on the big screen.
Here are some great movies that dancers need to watch!
1. ‘A Ballerina’s Tale’
If you haven’t seen this documentary, make a point to watch it. It’s a must-see story following the journey of world-famous Misty Copeland.
2. ‘Ballet 422’
Go backstage with the New York Ballet, from the first rehearsal to world premiere, following choreographer Justin Peck as he and the company prepare a new piece.
“Newsies” is a Broadway production featuring tremendous talent in musical theatre. Follow the turn-of-the-century story of “newsboys” hoping to build a better life for themselves on the streets of New York.
4. ‘Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan’
Wendy Whelan is one of the most celebrated dancers of our time. In this documentary and behind the scenes film, we get to see Wendy (now retired) continue her artistic journey.
5. ‘High Strung’
This movie is fun and has some really talented performances! Kick back and let the hip-hop/classical fusion take you away.
6. ‘High School Musical’
It’s hard to forget just how great a job the producers of this movie did with the choreography. It’s worth a watch just to see that impressive group dancing!
When a dancer grows out of a pair of dance shoes, it’s time to ask an essential question: “What do we do with these shoes?” Dance parents, let’s talk about the various options for handling these “extra” shoes.
Saving Dance Shoes for Younger Siblings
If your dancer has a younger sibling or siblings, you can consider hanging on to the shoes, and seeing if they’ll fit. If they’re a perfect fit, you’ve saved yourself from needing to buy another pair of shoes!
If they’re not a perfect fit, then treat these extra shoes as backups. The reality is that dance shoes need to fit very well for dancers to stay healthy and avoid injury.
BUT sometimes it’s good to have that backup! Plus, if you have those extra shoes and they don’t fit, you can sell them to other dance parents in your child’s class who might need some.
Selling shoes can be a win-win solution, to help you make back some of your money and to help another dancer who can save some money instead of buying new.
If you decide to sell your dancer’s used shoes, make sure they’re in good enough shape for the next dancer. If you’re not sure about the shoes’ condition, go ahead and ask the dance teacher for their opinion. Yes, you want to be able to sell the shoes, but not at the expense of causing an injury to another dancer because of shoes that are too worn.
Donation Programs at Dance Studios
Maybe it turns out you have held on to some extra shoes and can’t sell them. Could your dance studio benefit from having a few extra shoes on hand?
We all know that sometimes dancers will forget their shoes at home, and there’s no time to go get them before class starts. If your studio has a collection of donated shoes, they’re in luck! Those extra shoes can help a student who needs to borrow a pair.
That keeps students in class, working on their technique, until next time when they bring their own pair. Studios win, and students win. If your studio doesn’t have a program like this already, maybe you and other dance parents can get it organized!
We’ve gotten great feedback about our article on Ballet Vocabulary Terms for Beginners, and have put together some ideas for easy class activities that teachers can include in their lesson plans. Do you have other activities that you use to teach the little ones essential vocab?
Ballet and Dance Move Alphabet
This one is great even for lots of students, and can really work at any age (granted, the students need to be able to spell).
Have everyone line up, and go down the alphabet: A, B, C. For each letter, have a different student name a ballet move that begins with that corresponding letter. Then, have that student (or all of the students) demonstrate that dance move.
This activity helps keep students on their toes (no pun intended) since they’ll need to know their vocab in order to answer the question. Plus, they’ll reinforce that ballet vocabulary with some muscle memory!
Mystery Ballet Move
Super easy, and has the element of surprise for dancers.
Write out ballet moves on pieces of paper, index cards (maybe laminate these items so they last longer), and put them into a hat, box, or container where the kids can’t see them.
One by one, have the kids in class draw a card from the hat, and tell the class the move! Everyone must now demonstrate that ballet move.
(Note that this can still work with younger kids who can’t read yet: just have them hand you the index card they’ve chosen, and you can announce which ballet move was picked. Easy workaround!)
Super fun, and keeps students active and moving!
Use white boards, or tape pieces of paper around the room with ballet vocabulary written on them. Then, start the music, and have dancers go around the room like they’re playing musical chairs! Ideally, ask them to use a traveling step (like chasse). When the music stops, they have to get to a sign.
Once they’re there, they need to demonstrate the move! You can go around the room quickly to check their form, and can make any corrections or use that opportunity to praise a dancer who has done a great job.
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.
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
There’s nothing like seeing a dancer’s joy after a successful recital! And having a great gift for them after the performance will make the night that much more special. Check out these 9 dance recital gift ideas your dancer will love!
1. Bouquet of Flowers
For many dancers, flowers after a performance are a sign not only of a job well done, but of recognition for all of the hard work they’ve put in throughout the year. Plus, a dancer in costume holding a beautiful bouquet makes recital pictures exciting and vibrant.
As far as what kind of flowers to include in your bouquet? That’s where you have the opportunity to make this gift extra special. Roses are a staple flower choice, and for good reason! But if you know your dancer likes a particular kind of flower, or you know a flower might have a special meaning, you can use this opportunity to customize the bouquet for your dancer.
After the recital? Take them out for some ice cream!! Or include gifts like candy, chocolates, and other treats the dancer can enjoy. You can even make a tradition of going out for ice cream after dance performances, so the whole family can celebrate the big night.
3. Dance-Themed Jewelry
Dance is a part of who dancers are, and so giving them a gift that reminds them of their talents and passions will be that much more meaningful. Think about getting a dancer a personalized necklace, set of earrings, or other piece of jewelry to remember their achievements, and to create a beautiful memory for this particular recital!
4. Charm Bracelet Tradition
We mention charm bracelets separately from jewelry, because a charm bracelet is the start of tradition instead of a single gift. By giving a dancer a charm bracelet, you can then buy a new charm for the dancer after big recitals, competitions, or other dance events. That way, they can look back and remember all of the amazing memories from dancing throughout their life.
5. Studio Swag
When dancers performs on stage, they’re acting as ambassadors for the studio. The teachers who have worked with them care a lot about their development as both dancers and people. So, help your dancers show off some studio pride with studio-branded items!
What you get your dancer depends on what your studio currently offers as merchandise. But, if you and a group of parents get organized ahead of time, you can work with your studio to produce a custom piece of swag (like a recital-specific shirt, or jacket, or other item) so your dancer always remembers this recital!
6. The Gift of Comfort
At the end of the day, dancing is work. Those dancers on stage have tired feet, tired muscles, and could use a little rest and relaxation after the recital is over. Consider giving dancers comfort items like:
7. Summer Dance Prep
More serious dancers know that dance never stops – after a big show, it’s time to take a break before getting back into training mode and getting better and better every day! If your dancer plans on continuing to dance over the summer, think about getting them some new dance gear that will help them on their dance journey.
This might be a new pair of sweats, warm-up gear, or a new dance bag as a reward for their previous hard work, and a sign of your continued support for their art. Plus, with a little preparation, you can even add some dance studio designs to personalize the gift!
8. Picture Frame
Recitals are events that create long-lasting memories, and what better way to capture that memory than by framing a beautiful recital picture? Dancers will appreciate a nice frame for their recital photos, and can decorate their room, locker, or future dorm with a memory of their friends and mentors.
9. Feeling Ambitious and Creative? A Dance Scrapbook
Just like a picture frame can help capture an important memory, a scrapbook can show a collection of memories, and can also help your dancer remember their dance journey over the course of a whole year. When the next dance season begins, go out of your way to start taking pictures of the dance class, competitions, dress rehearsals, and compile those pictures into an amazing scrapbook for your dancer!
VERY IMPORTANT: ask your studio for permission to be taking pictures! For example, you shouldn’t be taking pictures at recital. But, with permission, maybe you can take a picture or two at the dress rehearsal? The same goes for competitions. And always remember, no flash!!
We hope these ideas have been helpful! Leave us a comment with any other suggestions for gift ideas your dancers have loved in the past!
Thanks to the new TutuTix POP app, dance studios can now accept credit card payments AT their recitals. POP makes it easier for dance families to make purchases at events, and can help generate extra income for studios. If you haven’t been able to accept credit cards in the past, or you’d like a simpler, low-cost way to accept credit cards and collect sales proceeds, take a look at these 5 ways you can now offer more to your dance families.
Dance studios who use TutuTix offer tickets to dance recitals online, letting family and friends of dancers purchase tickets ahead of time, without having to wait in line on ticket day. But, sometimes those family members and friends aren’t able to get tickets early, and instead need to purchase them on the evening of the event.
Now they don’t need to show up with cash in order to see their favorite dancers perform. The TutuTix POP app will simply scan their credit card, and you can give them a beautiful TutuTix ticket with their seat number for the evening.
Many studios offer packages prior to the recital that include flowers for dancers following the performance. But, depending on the studio, flowers might instead be offered for sale at the venue at the performance itself.
Just like tickets, dance studios can now receive credit card payments for flowers, making it that much easier for dancers to be celebrated after the finale.
Branded Dance Studio Merchandise
When we say merchandise we’re thinking:
And whatever other merchandise your studio has to show off some dancing spirit! A dance recital is the perfect time to set up a merchandise table, since family and friends will be excited about the event. Attendees are likely to see merchandise on the day of the event and buy items as gifts for their dancer.
Plus, you want your dancers wearing some studio swag around over the summer! Branded clothing items and other merchandise are a great way to get some word-of-mouth marketing for your studio going around in the local community.
Souvenirs (like DVDs)
Besides merchandise, souvenirs act more like memories of the event, and might include items like DVDs, photo packages, or souvenir playbills.
With TutuTix, you can offer packages for items like these before the recital itself that include bundled items, including a ticket to the event.
However, you can also take orders for DVDs or sell printed programs at the event, and can now accept credit cards for these higher-ticket items! Souvenirs can be a special way to remember a big performance, and by accepting credit cards you offer one more way for family to go home and receive a DVD of the evening’s dances.
Depending on the venue in which your studio performs, you may or may not be able to sell concessions during the performance. For those venues that do allow concessions, being able to accept credit cards can be a great solution if there isn’t an ATM nearby.
Some of the most common buyers of concessions are dance parents who may have arrived a little earlier in the evening to drop off their dancer on time, but haven’t had a chance to get dinner! If your venue allows concessions, they can be a big lifesaver for your dance parents.
You asked for it, and now here it is – we’re excited to introduce TutuTix POP, our new point of purchase app! TutuTix POP enables you to quickly and easily accept credit or debit card payments at your studio or at your performances! You can sell tickets, concessions, souvenirs, flowers, and other merchandise right on site at your event.
TutuTix POP is connected with your existing TutuTix account, so there are no contracts to sign and no paperwork to fill out. The app is a free download, and the pricing per transaction is simple and straightforward – just 5% processing per transaction.
As the big day approaches, dancer nutrition choices are very important. You need to make sure performers’ bodies are getting the right nutrition, so that they are healthy before, during, and after practice, and build muscle to come back better and stronger for the next rehearsal. On the day of recital, don’t make big changes to your eating habits! In this article we’ll talk about some best practices for dancer nutrition, especially in the 24 hours before a recital.
Eating For Performance Day: The Night Before
Staples of great dancer nutrition: lean protein, healthy carbohydrates, veggies, and PLENTY of water.
Several professional ballerinas were interviewed by Coveteur magazine, and they offered some of their favorite choices for meals and ingredients packed full of nutrients:
“Dance nutrition experts mostly agree that the best approach to performance day nutrition is eating small meals throughout the day, starting with a substantial breakfast to get your body and mind fueled and ready to go.”
They recommend a few breakfast choices like:
Oatmeal with fruit
Plain greek yogurt
Whole grain toast with peanut butter*
As far as small meals throughout the day go, it’s up to the individual dancer as to what foods they like and what kinds of foods can keep them feeling full.
Hardboiled egg or string cheese with 5-10 whole grain or rice crackers
Pre-made bar or oatrolls (see article for recipe) with fruit, dates, nuts and/or whole grains.*
(You can make a large batch of these and freeze them, then just put frozen oatrolls in his/her dance bag in the morning so by the afternoon they are thawed and yummy.)
Gluten-free or dairy free snack requirements?
Rice cakes with nut butter and a piece of fruit
Popcorn, pumpkin seeds, GF pretzels, and dried fruit trail mix
Coconut water, dark chocolate almond milk or coconut milk
*Author’s note: In past articles, readers have mentioned their concern about bringing nuts due to possible peanut or tree nut allergies among the dancers. Please be sure to consider those with nut allergies when deciding what to bring to the studio or to a performance, and remember that some severe allergies can be triggered by contact with very small amounts of the allergen.
The experienced studio owner knows that putting on a great recital takes a lot of preparation, and a lot of quick thinking! Having the right supplies and tools on hand can make a tremendous difference for you and your staff. We’ve put together a list of (potentially) essential items that will help you have the best recital yet!
Oh before we get started, we’ll include a link to our Dance Competition Survival Kit. Reason being: think STORAGE. In the competition kit, we suggest bringing some kind of rolling container, bag, etc, that is easy to move around and easy to organize.
At the end of the night, you’ll want to be able to pick up all your supplies as quickly and neatly as possible. If you can opt for a few simple storage containers that are easy to move, it’ll save you so much time and energy at the end of an already-tiring evening.
Costume Fixes and Makeup Adjustments
It doesn’t get much more “last-minute” than backstage at the recital!! Having some tools to help you deal with last-minute makeup adjustment and costume fixes will help you do the best job you can before your dancers hit the stage.
Clean up kit (for any on-stage accidents…)
Body tape/butt glue
Nail polish remover
Hot glue gun
It’s so important to have clear communication with your studio staff, venue staff, and any volunteers who are helping to run the show. Clear signage, reliable ways to talk with one another, and lighting for a dark backstage are at the top of the list.
Headsets (instead of walkie talkies, so audience members don’t hear your chatter)
(Multiple) Printed Schedules
Signs for dressing rooms, age or class-specific rooms
Nametags / Buttons / Lanyards / Shirts for volunteers and staff to wear
There are a lot of moving parts (and moving people) at a dance recital. Thinking ahead and preparing to bring (or request that the venue provide) essential event items will keep you from those day-of “whoops” moments!
Fans (for a hot backstage full of moving people)
Extra Gaff tape (for when the first roll disappears somewhere)
Spike tape (to help dancers see their spots in the dark)
Fanny packs, aprons, or other extra-pocket items for your staff
Phone Charger (and outlet brick)
Extra Phone Charger (for when someone borrows the first and it never makes it back to you)
Backup sound system
Coloring books/crayons (for the little ones)
Binder clips (to close any curtains in a dressing area, etc)
Tables and tablecloths (for merchandise, studio marketing materials, admission)
Thank you list (so you don’t forget to thank anyone at the end of the night)
Everyone at the recital (yes, including yourself) needs to take care of themselves in the high-stress, fast-paced environment that is a dance recital. Snacks and beverages should be available for any dancers, as well as you and your staff. Plus, recognize that you and your staff will be moving around A LOT and should think about comfortable (but appropriate) attire for the night.
Presentation and speaking outfit
Water / Gatorade
Granola Bars* / Animal Crackers / Saltines
*Editor’s note: Several readers have mentioned their concern about bringing nuts due to possible peanut or tree nut allergies among the dancers. Be sure to consider any dancers or family members with nut allergies when deciding what to bring, and remember that some severe allergies can be triggered by contact with very small amounts of the allergen.
Are there any other items you’ve found that can really save the day at a dance recital? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to our list for other studio owners to see.
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