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Tag: misty lown

Dance Class Size: Why 9 Students Are Much Less Profitable Than 8

Dance Class Size: Why 9 Students Are Much Less Profitable Than 8

About seven years ago I was a partner in a business that managed five daycare centers. It was an excellent learning experience, but one lesson continues to rise above the rest:

The concept of “break points” in enrollment.

And, this is how I learned that 9 students are less profitable than 8!

Curious about this math? Keep reading for an explanation of way break points are crucial for a profitable dance class size.

 

Looking for other enrollment-related tips? Check out:

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

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Four Ways to Evaluate Your Dance School Enrollment

Three Ways to Evaluate Your Dance School Enrollment

As I travel the country talking to studio owners the question I hear exchanged more often than any other is some version of: “How big is your studio?” I understand the motivation behind the question and have asked it several times myself. I believe the enrollment size questions are motivated by a few things:

  1. We are all just trying to figure out how our studio measures up with the rest of the world.
  2. “Am I big?” “Am I small?” “Am I normal?” We really just want to know that we are doing okay.
  3. We want to find other people like us. It makes sense that I might face the same challenges and benefit from the same solution as a studio of a similar size.

But the number of students you enroll is far from a complete picture of your actually enrollment.

If you are looking for a more complete picture of your enrollment, keep reading for 4 Ways to Measure Your Dance School Enrollment:

 

Looking for more great dance studio enrollment tips? Check out 5 Ways to Get Last Minute Dance Students in the DoorDance Studio Registration Tips—The Final Push and 6 Spring Dance Studio Enrollment Boosters.

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

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Dance Studio Teacher Staff Meetings That ROCK

Dance Studio Teacher Staff Meetings that ROCK

The school supply lists are posted at Target, the mailbox is filling up with registration paperwork for my children’s schools and Facebook is blowing up with pictures of kids in backpacks. It’s officially time for back-to-school and that means it’s time to get serious about back-to-dance!

As a studio owner, I’m a big fan of observing what the local schools do and taking my cues from their systems. For example, we do our registration for summer classes when the local school opens theirs. We offer parent teacher conferences just like the schools do and we follow their model for teacher training as well.

Most studio owners consider themselves to be in the business of training students, but the strongest studios I know understand that they are in the business of training teachers as well.

Here are 5 tips to step up your teacher training this year with Dance Studio Teacher Staff Meetings that ROCK:

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

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First Impressions Still Matter

First Impressions Still Matter

In business we call it “first impressions.” Psychologists call it “thin slicing.” Regardless of what you call it, career experts say it takes just three seconds for someone to determine whether they like you and want to do business with you.

According to BusinessInsider.com (2015), you have even less time to make a good first impression. Research from Princeton, Loyola Marymount University and the University of Liverpool demonstrates that judgments people make regarding your trustworthiness, intelligence and competence as a business leader are based on first impressions—sometimes in as little as one-tenth of a second.

One-tenth of a second?

If you don’t think this is true, just measure your own reactions next time you walk into someone else’s business for the first time. If a friend recommends a new restaurant but it has a funny smell when I walk in the door, I immediately begin to question my decision to eat there. Once, when I was driving on vacation I stopped to check availability at a hotel, but walked out before I could get the answer—based on my first impression.

The situation doesn’t have to be extreme to leave a bad impression. Have you ever taken your children to another activity outside of dance and found yourself fighting the urge to jump in and help the coach manage the children? Or have you ever wanted to straighten up someone else’s lobby? That’s why the saying, “First impressions make lasting impressions” is true.

Keep reading to learn what first impressions you may be giving your dance families without even realizing it.


One Small Yes

Check out Misty’s new book, One Small Yes, available on AmazonThis book is a must read for studio owners that are looking for ways to balance the dance of work and life.

“Amazing! One Small Yes is such a great book on finding your calling in life and how to navigate and work through living out the calling. Must have for all entrepreneurs!!” – Kristen, Absolute Dance

“Loved One Small Yes by Misty Lown. Outstanding book for anyone, especially the small business owner or entrepreneur. An inspirational book which helps the reader face challenges and give them the courage to continue to move forward and face what lies ahead. Loved it!” – Melanie, Tonawanda Dance Arts

“Reading Misty’s book was like opening my inbox and finding a personal email written just for me. She took my thoughts and feelings about being a small business owner, put them down on paper, and then step by step carefully explained what was holding me back from achieving more in life. Now I have no excuses to moving closer to my Yes.” – Nancy, Studio B Dance


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

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Summer Dance Camps and More: Filling Hours at Your Studio

Summer Dance Camps and More: Filling Hours at Your Studio

To borrow a made up word by one of my favorite bloggers, Glennon Doyle Melton, Summer is a BRUTIFUL season at the dance studio.

BRUTIFUL? Yes. Beautiful + brutal = brutiful.

Summer at the dance studio is BEAUTIFUL for several reasons:

  1. It’s a break from the marathon of weekly classes.
  2. There is a more relaxed schedule with schools no longer in session.
  3. It’s warm and sunny in Wisconsin for a couple of days; I mean months.

But, summer at the dance studio is BRUTAL for other reasons:

  1. A break from classes means far less income to cover fixed expenses.
  2. It can be hard to balance studio and home now that school’s out.
  3. With only a few days of true summer to enjoy in Wisconsin, the last place I want to be is in the office.

If this sounds familiar to you, keep reading for 4 easy ways to fill your studio with summer dance camps and more and still carve out time for family.

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

Check out more articles on summer dance camps and other summer programming here.

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Dance Studio Registration: Back-to-School Starts TODAY!

dance studio registration

It’s mid-April, right? If you own a dance studio, that’s not EXACTLY true. It may be the middle of April on your Google calendar, but if you are like me, your mind is somewhere closer to September.

Not convinced? Just take a look at your to-do list.

  1. Finalize fall schedule
  2. Find one more teacher for Tuesday nights.
  3. Send out teacher contracts.
  4. Take one final look at tuition changes.
  5. Add policy for kids who skip rehearsal and still show up at competition. 🙂

A successful Back-to-School experience starts today. Are you ready?

Keep reading for 7 things that you can do today for a successful September and a successful dance studio registration campaign.

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

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Backstage Management Tools for Dance Recitals

Backstage Management Tools for Dance Recitals

As a studio owner, I have three lists running in my brain at all times. I’m always asking myself the following three questions:

What needs to be done today?
What needs to be done in the next 2-6 months?
What can I make for dinner without going to the store?

(Not kidding on that last one. Anyone whose business is open almost exclusively nights and weekends is sure to have some challenges in the getting-dinner-on-the-table department!)

But, back to practical things. It’s the second week of March, so while our bodies are busy distributing recital costumes and getting ready for competition, our minds are on RECITAL. And, a great show from the audience perspective is dependent on having an awesome act backstage.

Are you gearing up for recital? Keep reading for 5 Backstage Management Tools to make your backstage flow smoothly this year for all ages!

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

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Parent Teacher Conference for Dancers

Parent Teacher Conference for Dancers

Looking back, I feel like I have had three different lives as a studio owner:

  1. Studio owner before kids.
  2. Studio owner with young kids.
  3. Studio owner with kids in other activities.

Before I had children, my studio centered on the needs of the classes. Whatever worked best for the classes took first place. If we needed an extra rehearsal and the only time to do it was 9:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night, by golly, we got it done.

Then I had my first of five kids and my focus became survival. Whatever it took to survive, that’s what I did. Classes with coffee? Yes. Email at 2 a.m.? I was up anyway. It was all about just keeping things going.

Then my children became involved in their own activities and I got a new perspective on the studio—that of the parent who wanted to do everything they could to support their child, but didn’t know how. I was the soccer parent who didn’t know about the goalie camp. I was the snowboard mom who didn’t buy the right equipment. And, worse of all, I was the dance team mom who was late to a performance because I didn’t know the arrival protocol.

Once I became an “activity mom,” I vowed to make it easier for our studio parents to understand dance training, progress and policy by offering parent-teacher conferences. These annual one-on-one meetings for dancers in our Graded Technique program (4th grade and up) have become a huge hit.

Want to know more about the wonders parent teacher conference for dancers have had for students, parents and teachers alike?

Keep reading for 5 Ways Parent-Teacher Conferences Changed My Studio.

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

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7 Ways to Ensure a Strong Dance Summer

7 Ways to Ensure a Strong Dance Summer

As I sit down to write this article, it’s 10 below zero outside the doors of my studio. We are in the depths of winter in Wisconsin and summer is on my mind. But, I’m not thinking about vacations or visits to the local pool. My mind is fixed on the programming I can offer to bring kids IN to the studio once school is OUT.

Summer is typically a hard time to keep things going for school year-based businesses such as ours. I suspect that if you are reading this article you, too, are looking for ways to strengthen your summer programs.

If so, keep reading for 7 Ways to Ensure a Stronger Dance Summer! The road to a strong summer starts NOW. 

Take an afternoon to pound through this checklist. You’ll thank yourself in July.

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

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It’s Halftime: Mid-Season Dance Teacher Reviews

It's Halftime: Mid-Season Dance Teacher Reviews

It’s halftime! No, I’m not talking about football (and I call the Packers’ mid-game break “intermission” anyway). I’m talking about halftime of the DANCE SEASON—the midway point for studio owners between the first days of class and the finish line of recital.

By now you are far enough into classes to be past the busyness of the season opener and into a routine of the season. Your time is likely stretched carefully between the behind the scenes work that keeps the business going during the day and the actual work of serving your clients in the evenings. Running a dance studio is a delicate balancing act of time management, often with no margin for error.

Time may be at a premium, but don’t let that be an excuse to overlook one of the most critical pieces of your business: meaningful communication with your teachers. As a studio owner, this is an ongoing challenge for me. I have five kids under the age of 14 and I am no longer in the classroom on a regular basis. I work on the studio every day, but because I’m not always at the studio when the teachers are, it’s really important to establish routines to keep communication flowing.

There are all sorts of tools that we use at the studio to keep in touch with teachers on a regular basis such as weekly emails, private Facebook groups for staff and quarterly meetings with the whole group.

For as great as all of those things are, nothing replaces the importance of meeting a teacher face to face in the middle of the season to give and receive feedback before recital and competition season kicks in.

If you are ready to step up your communication with your teachers, keep reading for 5 Ideas for Mid-Season Dance Teacher Reviews.

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

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Dance Studio Registration Tips – The Final PUSH

Dance Studio Registration Tips 2015-16 – The Final PUSH

When I started my business, I started dance studio registration in June of each year and closed it in early November because that was when we measured students and ordered recital costumes. After that time we were technically closed to new students until summer brochures came out in March of the following year—a registration flow that left me unable to accept new students for three months out of the year.

Considering that my regular season was only nine months long, and that we were only open for classes five hours out of any given weekday, losing three months of enrollment opportunity was not a sustainable plan. So I made one of the best decisions of my business career and extended my enrollment period until Jan. 31. Last year alone, we enrolled an additional 80+ students in the months of November, December and January; 46 of whom were registered in the month of January alone.

If you are interested in expanding YOUR enrollment season, keep reading for 4 Final Push for Dance Studio Registration Tips:

Looking for more great dance studio enrollment tips? Check out 5 Ways to Get Last Minute Dance Students in the Door, Three Ways to Evaluate Your Dance Studio Enrollment and 6 Spring Dance Studio Enrollment Boosters.

Trouble viewing the article? Email us at info@tututix.com.

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

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Back-to-Dance Tips: How to Thrive

Back-to-Dance Tips: How to Thrive

Does the thought of having to sub for someone on top of your already hectic schedule make you sweat? Does the idea of having to plan a holiday show keep you up at night? Is your laundry piling up at home while you teach plies at the studio? Are you having trouble keeping up with bookwork now that the studio is in full session? Do you stare 5 p.m. in the face each day and say, “Dinner? What’s that? I’ll have one of those over Christmas break.”

If so, you may have a case of the “Back-to-Dance Blues!”

And, if this is you, it’s time to re-focus the lens on your attitude and actions so that you can thrive, not just survive in the coming months.

Keep reading these back-to-dance tips to get back your A+ game in 3 easy (but not-so-easy) steps…

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

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10 Tips for a Confident Dance Teacher Contract

10 Tips for a Confident Dance Teacher Contract

My five kids are all getting ready to go back to school in the next week and along with registration for school comes paperwork…lots of paperwork.

Dance schools are no exception. In fact, among all the studio owners I have spoken with this year (and there have been hundreds), not a single one allows students to participate without signed registration forms.

And, yet for as many who are diligent with student paperwork, there are half as many who take the same care to create a dance teacher contract before class is in session.

If you have other people teaching for you, check out this list for 10 Tips for a Confident Dance Teacher Contract:

Studio owners don't pay ANYTHING when they use TutuTix.

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

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Dance Registration That Rocks

Dance Registration That Rocks

It’s THAT time of year again! Yes, you know it….

ZERO time.

Zero time? Yes. That’s what I call the period after recital. In my world, it looks something like this:

  • From eating out every day at rehearsals to ZERO food in the fridge at home the next week.
  • From 800 students on the day of the last recital to ZERO students the next day.
  • From performance adrenaline to ZERO energy the morning after recital.
  • From hundreds of people telling you how great you are at the show to seemingly making ZERO people happy after fall placements come out.

It may feel like zero time to those of us in the trenches of dance studio ownership, but to quote YouTube sensation ‘Sweet Brown,’ “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

It’s dance registration time, people! So kick off the recital dust and “zero time” blues and get ready for 5 Tips for Dance Registration that Rocks:

Studio owners don't pay ANYTHING when they use TutuTix.

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

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The Worst Dance Mom Ever

The Worst Dance Mom Ever

It’s official. The Worst Dance Mom Awards are out and the winner is (insert drumroll)…me.

Shocked? Don’t be. Many dance studio owners and teachers have a unique ability to organize the competition and recital experiences of hundreds of children while seemingly forgetting about their own offspring.

I think it must be a strange survival mechanism hardwired into the DNA of studio owners and teachers: “Take care of the students, take care of the students or they might not re-enroll for fall classes! Your family may live like a pack wild wolves for a couple of weeks, but they will survive!”

Hmmmm…does this sounds familiar to you? Keep reading for seven signs that you, too, are in the running for Worst Dance Mom of the Year.

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

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