Dance Studio Owner Tips: Improving Student Retention Rates
Getting students in the door of your dance studio is only half the battle. Once dancers have signed up for classes and started learning at your school, the next crucial step is convincing the students and their parents that they should return next season. Unfortunately, this task isn’t as easy as advertising the perks of your studio. You have to deliver great classes and service if you want to boost retention rates. Here are five dance studio owner tips that can help ensure your dancers will stay with your studio for seasons to come.
1. Review Your Classes
The first way you can be sure that your students are happy and planning to re-enroll is to evaluate your class offerings. Dance Informa magazine recommended that you distribute electronic or written evaluations at the end of each season. Have students note what they liked about the class, how they felt about the instructor and what they thought could be improved. For preschool dance classes, you may want to poll the parents for insight. This will let students know that their feelings are being heard and allow you to note what classes aren’t working.
2. Be Stringent about Dancer Placement
One common reason that dancers switch schools is because they’re either struggling to keep up or not feeling challenged enough. This problem can be avoided by placing increased emphasis on level placement for new and returning dancers. It can be tempting to bump students up to a more advanced class so they can stay with their peers, but this decision can ultimately hurt your business. The same goes for holding students back based on age rather than skill level. Work with your instructors to ensure every dancer is in the appropriate level class so you’re not caught off guard by defectors.
3. Offer More Than Dance Information
Chances are that your recreational students take dance classes not just to learn arabesques and jazz splits, but also so they can stay healthy and fit. Dance Advantage noted that it is often beneficial for dance instructors and studio owners to be knowledgeable about different aspects of nutrition and fitness. This will allow your staff to provide advice on how students can improve their lifestyles outside of the studio. It’s a small step that can help set your school apart from the competition and convince dancers that they’re receiving the most bang for their buck.
4. Poll Exiting Students
It’s inevitable that you’ll lose students once in a while, but some good can come from these departures. Create an exit poll to help figure out why dancers are choosing not to enroll again. If you want honest results, it may be best to distribute the survey electronically and allow people to submit their responses anonymously. This will often result in extremely useful information on how your can better serve your students’ needs and what aspects of your studio need work.
5. Adjust Your Strategies as Needed
The most important step toward improving your student retention rate is to make the necessary changes when it comes to classes, scheduling and policies. There’s not much use in collecting dancer and parent feedback unless you put the suggestions into action! There may be big adjustments that simply aren’t possible, but you should make the changes you can and explain to your customers how you plan to address their needs and concerns going forward. This will help to assure students that you’re dedicated to providing the best experience possible and hopefully convince them to stick around for upcoming seasons.