The dance recital is the most important moment in the year. Is your method of dance recital ticket sales helping you make the most of the experience?
The Old Way
Studio owners and staff spend hours preparing seating charts, printing tickets, manning the ticket sales table, and processing refunds and exchanges.
Parents have to come to the studio at prescribed days and times, and may not even be able to pay with a credit card.
Studio owners have to deal with difficult or unhappy parents who feel they should get specific seats.
In a studio with 200 students, you could have 200 parents wait 4 hours in line on ticket day. That’s 800 hours of lost productivity and leisure time!
The average studio sells $16,000 in tickets per year, typically accumulating large amounts of cash that need to be secured and deposited.
Studio owners save time and money. Just send TutuTix your seating chart and we’ll take care of the rest!
Parents save time. A ticket purchase takes 5 minutes. Who doesn’t want their Saturday back?
It’s convenient. With TutuTix, parents can buy anytime online, via phone, or even directly from your studio’s Facebook page! This convenience is important – the percentage of people who expect to buy tickets online has doubled in the past 3 years.*
It’s secure. Parents pay securely online or over the phone, and funds are deposited weekly into your studio’s account.
It’s fair. All parents have an equal shot at choosing their preferred seats with TutuTix’s interactive seating chart. TutuTix can even handle special pre-sales for specific groups or help you tie ticket purchases to a student’s account status.
Find out how we can bring the “happy” to ticket sales for you and your dance parents. Request more information about TutuTix today.
If you have a defined vision of how you want your dance studio to look, that will make the task of decorating a lot easier. However, many new studio owners may have a lot of competing ideas or no clear path when it comes to interior design. One of the best ways to get inspiration for your dance studio’s design is to browse sites like Pinterest to see what other schools are doing. There are many creative individuals who are happy to share their ideas for others to use. Here are five inspired dance studio design concepts that you may want to incorporate into your new or existing dance studio.
1. Gallery Walls
One of the hottest interior dance studio design trends right now is the collage or gallery wall. This unique decor style can be used in just about any space, from a bedroom to a foyer or even a dance studio! If you have a blank wall in your studio space that you’re not sure how to decorate, a gallery wall will really showcase your personality while adding interest and dimension to the room.
What can you display in the collage? Anything you want! Some framed inspirational quotes may be a good place to start. If you have any ribbons or plaques from dance competitions, throw those into the mix as well. You can also include less conventional items like clocks, wooden initials or chalkboards.
2. Glittery Glamor
If your studio caters mostly to females, you may want to give the rooms a magical feel. What better way to do that than with everyone’s favorite crafting supply?
When you paint the walls of your studio, mix a packet of paint crystals into each gallon. You can pick up this inexpensive product at most home improvement stores, and they usually come in your choice of silver and gold. Then you just paint as usual, but your walls will be instantly glam with their sparkly sheen.
3. Strikingly Mod
A glittery pink wall may be good for your preschool ballerinas, but it’s not the best way to make your studio appealing to male dancers. If you’re trying to attract more boys to your school, make sure the design is “unisex,” so to speak. You can achieve an aesthetic that’s appealing to both boys and girls with a modern-inspired look.
Choose a few bold and vibrant colors, such as electric blue and lemon yellow, to paint the walls with. Make your signage, chairs and tables simple and in a plain color like black or white. The stark contrast will look elegant and sophisticated without being overly feminine.
4. Eclectic Decor
When you are torn between a few great dance studio design ideas, you don’t necessarily have to just pick one. Eclectic decor is especially popular with homeowners, but you can incorporate the premise into your studio. Gather up your favorite decorations and see which unlikely pairings look good together. Sometimes mixing a few sleek modern pieces with more rustic, unfinished elements creates a perfect balance that wouldn’t be possible if you just stuck to one theme.
5. Trophy Displays
If you’ve been teaching dance for a number of years, you’ll likely amassed an impressive collection of trophies. You could simply line them up on shelves for students to see, or you can get creative and think outside the box with your displays.
One fun option – if you have a little bit of money for a renovation – is to install recessed cavities where trophies can be arranged. This will keep them from taking up too much space and create a professional look for your studio. You could also install a narrow shelf around the top of your walls for prominent, yet out-of-the-way storage.
Whether you’re collecting money to attend a dance competition or pay for a studio field trip, dance fundraising can certainly be hit or miss. Some years you might exceed your goals, while others you end up losing money. If you plan to do some dance fundraising at your studio this year, use these tricks to optimize your earnings and reduce headaches along the way.
Be Open about the Process
It’s best to keep your dance fundraising efforts pretty transparent, especially when it comes to how the money will be used. Dance Teacher magazine noted that many times conflict will arise because parents or dancers think it’s unfair that certain people do the brunt of the work but everyone reaps the benefits. If you can be forthcoming about what the benefits of participating in the fundraiser will be and how the money will be delegated, you may be able to mitigate conflict.
“Be sure to do preplanning and have it all lined up as to how it’s going to work and how the money will be divided, before you approach the parents,” Mary Myers, director of The Dance Connection in Oklahoma, told Dance Teacher magazine.
More Hands Are Better
If you have four or five volunteers trying to run a dance fundraising event for a hundred people, chances are that everyone will be frustrated and overworked. The more people that help out with your cause, the easier the process will be. However, many studio owners don’t like to make participation mandatory. If you can find a way to incentivize students and parents to volunteer, chances are that you’ll be able to host a more impressive event. One option is to let students earn credits for each hour they help out, and let them put credits toward different rewards like discounts on dance attire or private practice time.
Don’t Rely on Traditional Methods
On a Dance Mom forum, a number of individuals noted that traditional fundraising techniques, such as hosting special parties, holding raffles and selling knickknacks, don’t collect enough money to offset the costs and time. Instead of falling back on your usual fundraising method that garners average results, think outside the box and come up with a fun and engaging strategy. Scholastic recommended holding a garage sale, staging a dance-off or running a funny contest. It’s also helpful if there’s a way for people to donate money online, so they’re not limited to the cash they have on-hand during your event.
If you’re planning to open your own studio and finally secured the place of your dreams, it’s time to start thinking about the equipment you need. Ideally, you should start this process at least six months before opening day. This will give you adequate time to find the best deals, purchase the high-quality products and get everything installed. Here are three tips on what dance studio equipment you need prior to opening.
1. Make A Realistic List
The first step when buying dance studio equipment is to plan out exactly what you need. DanceStudioOwner.com noted that the essential pieces are floor-length mirrors, adequate floor for dancing, barres and a stereo system. Mostly every studio needs these items, and they’ll likely make up the majority of your expenses. Many times you will be able to find quality products for a reduced price when a dance studio is closing, so stay tuned into dance forums and keep an ear about about closings in your area. Also, don’t forget that you’ll probably need to pay for installation, so budget accordingly.
Once you have these items accounted for, you can consider purchasing other equipment for your studio. Things like props, mats, exercise balls and chairs should be secondary considerations. If you have the money for extra products, that’s great, but don’t spend cash you don’t have. You can always pick up supplementary equipment once classes have started.
2. Choose Quality Over Quantity
When you’re first starting a studio, chances are that you’re working on a limited budget. However, you shouldn’t sacrifice the quality of dance studio equipment because you’re strapped for cash. Ballet Barres Online explained that versatility and durability are two characteristics that will pay for themselves when it comes to dance equipment. If you invest in high-quality floors, mirrors and barres, you’ll probably save money in the long run because they won’t break or wear out. Durable, well-made equipment is also safer for your students and instructors. Look for equipment that you can use for all your classes. Adjustable barres are often helpful if you teach both toddlers and teens.
3. Don’t Forget Gadgets
Dance related items are probably at the front of your mind, but don’t forget that there are certain electronics you’ll need to invest in. A computer, phone and printer are all essential to your studio’s office. You may also want to look into a studio management program to help streamline the business aspects of your school.
Many studio owners choose to list their businesses in an online dance studio directory in hopes of gaining more students. It’s a relatively easy marketing tactic, but like anything else, there are pros and cons to these directories. If you have some extra time and advertising dollars, here are some considerations to take into account before listing your studio on a dance website.
The most obvious benefit of listing yourself in a dance studio directory is the exposure you can gain. When new students are looking for dance classes, they’ll probably start with an online search. If they come across dance studio listings, you’ll want your business to be in the mix. Put simply, you won’t get new students if they don’t know you’re there!
Con: Paid Membership
One of the downsides of being in an online dance studio directory is that the best sites require a paid membership. Most directories charge a moderate yearly fee for a basic listing and have options for premium memberships. For example, DanceClassFinder.com, one of the highest directories in search engines, charges $60 per year for a standard membership or $120 for a premium account. If you have a few extra dollars in your marketing budget, this could be a good investment. However, when your dollars a little stretched, you can always search around for free listings. These might not get as much traffic as bigger sites, but like people always say, you get what you pay for.
Pro: SEO Boost
Another important reason to list your studio in a dance directory, whether it’s paid or not, is that you’ll get a boost in search engine optimization. When your business has online “citations,” you’ll show up higher in search engine results, and online listings that include your studio name, address and contact information count as a citation. If your studio is a little low in the rankings, it might be worth your time to submit your details to a few free directories to boost your SEO.
Con: Hit or Miss
There are lots of different online directories out there, so you might find that the one you choose doesn’t get the attention you were hoping. Many sites boast that thousands of students visit their listings each day, but keep in mind that those visitors are located all over the country. Directories can be hit or miss, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you’re marketing in your local community, as well as online. It might be worthwhile to also list your studio in the directories of local businesses, such as a chamber of commerce, community center or regional dance publication. These types of companies often get a lot of queries from parents and are a great way to get referrals.
A dance recital program is a great keepsake for your students and their parents, but they can be time-consuming to create and expensive to print. If you sell ad space in your programs, you probably can cover your costs, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a little extra cash to put back into the studio? Use these tips to get high-quality programs printed for the lowest price possible.
1. Double- and Triple-Check
The year you’re not diligent about proof-reading will be the year that you end up with a major typo in the program. If you’re not careful, you could misspell a student’s name – or leave her out altogether – and face the costs of reprinting your programs. Make it part of the design process to double- and triple-check your text for errors. The more people that look over the piece, the better. Ask your instructors or a few trusted parents to proofread the program. You’ll be surprised at how many small mistakes a fresh pair of eyes will find.
2. Compare Prices Online
Even if you have a vendor that you trust, you should still shop around before picking a printer. Unique Venues explained that many online companies have extremely competitive prices and can turn around jobs more quickly than other vendors. If you’re concerned about the quality of work you’ll get from a company you haven’t used before, take advantage of free proofs. It might take a little extra time to get everything printed, but you can save some serious money when you compare prices.
3. Adjust the Specs
Making small adjustments to your programs is another efficient way to cut costs. The OmniPress blog noted that you can save up to 40 percent by changing the specs. Some less expensive options are using offset stock instead of glossy paper, designing pages without bleed area, consolidating pages or printing just the cover in color. You can also alter the size and shape of your program to fit your budget. Talk with your vendor about which types of changes will cut costs the most. Most of times you can adjust the specs of your dance recital program slightly and your customers won’t even notice. When you’re savvy in the design process, you can save quite a bit of cash on printing!
If your competition or recital choreography seems a little lackluster, your studio might benefit from a fresh set of eyes. Using dance choreographers for hire is a great way to take a little bit of responsibility off your plate – you surely have enough to go around – and spice up your dancers’ repertoire. It’s a win for all parties involved, because you focus your energy on other tasks, while your dancers have the opportunity to learn a new style of dance and experience different teaching methods. If you’re thinking about welcoming a guest choreographer into your studio this year, here are some tips for choosing the best teacher for the job and being a stellar host.
1. Set a Budget
The first major consideration to take into account is how much you have to spend on dance choreographers for hire. Dance Studio Life explained that, on average, it will cost around $100 per student for a choreographed piece, not including travel and hotel costs. Naturally, you’ll find teachers who charge different amounts depending on their expertise, experience and other factors. Chances are that you won’t be dishing all that money out of your studio’s funds, so it’s crucial that you talk to the dancers’ parents about the expense. Explain why you think the opportunity is valuable for the students and what exactly the choreographer has to offer. Be straightforward about the cost and see if you can come to an agreement on a final budget.
2. Do Your Research
Once you know how much you can spend for some professional choreography, start doing research on teachers that you might like to work with. The Dance Exec explained that your first instinct might be to choose someone whose style is similar to your own, but why pay someone to do a job that you could do just as well? It’s better to choose a choreographer who will bring something new to the table. Explore different genres! It will be beneficial to everyone if you mix things up.
Once you have a few choreographers in mind, delve deeper into your research. The Internet is an amazing tool for “dance dating.” Check out the social media accounts of each teacher. Instagram, YouTube and Facebook can all give you insight into the choreographer’s style, teaching methods, personality and professionalism. You might be surprised to find a lesser-known artist who you like much more than a big name choreographer. The Dance Exec suggested that you reach out to any individuals that you think would be great for your students, even if you don’t know them. You never know if they’re available or too expensive until you ask.
3. Be Welcoming
When you’re hosting a teacher for the first time, don’t be afraid to roll out the welcome wagon. In an interview with Dance Spirit magazine, guest choreographer Lauren Adams explained that it can be nerve wracking to enter a new studio for the first time.
“It’s intimidating for us to walk into a space filled with dancers, all expecting us to create this great energy,” Adams told Dance Spirit.
It’s in your best interest to make the guest feel welcomed and comfortable in your studio. Give your students a little bit of background information on the choreographer beforehand, and encourage them to introduce themselves and be hospitable. The more at ease a guest choreographer feels, the better he or she will be able to communicate with the students and the more impressive the end results will be.
4. Be Strict About Time
When you get down to business, be specific about how much teaching and rehearsal time you’ve allotted for the class and ask what will happen if the piece isn’t finished on time. You’re paying this professional for his or her services, and it’s your right to know what to expect. Dance Studio Life explained that sometimes a choreographer will run out of rehearsal time and the dancers might not be adequately prepared to execute the piece. Talk to the choreographer about taping the last few run-throughs if you’re concerned about time. This will at least give you a guide to work off of once the teacher is gone.
5. Build Relationships
If you’re impressed with the choreographer’s work and think he or she is a wonderful match for your students, don’t be shy about building a relationship. Talk to the guest about coming back the following season and express your feelings about the piece. The Dance Exec noted that not all choreographers will become friendly with studio owners, but personal connections can benefit both parties in the long run. If your first guest choreographer experience is a stellar one, go ahead and express those sentiments. If it’s just subpar, give the guest a firm handshake and your heartfelt thanks, wave goodbye at the airport and then try again next year.
Have you ever wondered how to market a dance studio using promotional products? Dance Studio Boutique noted that most people will keep a promotional product for around seven months and 62 percent of recipients are more likely to do business with the company. There are lots of high-quality items that are relatively inexpensive and easy to customize. If you have a little money left in your marketing budget, you can’t go wrong with customized promotional items.
Offer Registration Gifts
One way to put promotional products to good use to is create gift bags for new students. When parents and children register at your open house or enrollment period, offer them a goodie bag as a welcome present. You can include custom T-shirts, water bottles and key chains, or get more creative and hand out headphones and back massagers. Your new students and parents will love the free gifts and likely talk about your studio with their friends.
Build Brand Awareness
Giving parents and dancers items that are branded with your company’s name and logo is a great way to build awareness within the community. When students wear your studio’s T-shirts out in public or carry a custom gym bag in school, they’re putting your company name in front of lots of potential students. You’ll probably find that the investment is well worth the number of leads it creates. Dance Studio Owner also recommended donating personalized pencils to a local school at the beginning of the academic year or offering free promotional items at a nearby costume shop. The more people that see your name, the more inquiries you’ll have!
Motivate Your Students
Fun branded items are also a great way to motivate your students before a big performance or competition. The prospect of a reward will encourage your dancers to do their best. You can also sell merchandise to parents and fans at performances. Some studios also offer bigger promotional items, like jackets or duffel bags, to students who stay at the studio for a number of years or volunteer to assist with a novice class. These are all effective ways to get students excited about their time at your studio and increase brand awareness in the community. A small investment can often go a long way if you choose useful promotional products.
If you have a vision for your dance studio but are lacking the funds to see it realized, you might be looking at grants for dance programs. There are plenty of funding opportunities available for dance studios if you know where to look, but they’re not easy to lock down. If you’re serious about making your dream into a reality, brace yourself for months of preparation and piles of paperwork and get ready to compose some killer rhetoric.
Finding the Right Grant
The first thing you’ll need to consider when you’re applying for grants for dance programs is what makes your studio stand out. Right off the bat, know that nonprofit organizations generally have more funding opportunities. However, there are some grants available to profitable organizations, assuming they are special or exemplary. If your studio works with underprivileged youth, contributes to the community or provides artistic development for children who would otherwise go without, you’re a prime candidate for funding.
When you start searching for a grant or funding program, there are a few places you can look. Large domestic organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts generally have a few funding opportunities at any given time. The NEA give grants to organizations who run special projects that make a difference in their community or field.
You can also look on the websites of national dance organizations, such as Dance USA. They will often compile lists of funding opportunities specifically for studios. Finally, check out any regional dance and arts groups, whether you’re a member or not. Websites like the New England Foundation for the Arts have a variety of funding programs for different performing artists and organizations.
The Application Process
Applying for a grant is pretty similar to the college application process: lots of forms, lots of writing and lots of painting yourself in the best light possible. Every application will be a little different, but there are a couple aspects that will be pretty uniform.
First of all, there will be strict deadlines, especially for national grants. Many times there will be staggered due dates for various parts of the application, so get a calendar and write them down! If you miss one, you’re done. It’s likely that you’ll be required to fill out some sort of federal reporting form, like an SF-424 (Application for Federal Domestic Assistance) to ensure that you really do need the money.
Finally, once you’ve finished the initial paperwork and essays, you’ll need to provide samples of your work, biographies of important individuals and statements from your customers and community members. This will probably be one of the most time-consuming aspects of your application and doing a good job is crucial to attaining funding.
If you just opened a studio or are in the process of revamping an old one, you’re likely working with a tight budget. It can be an overwhelming process to cover the blank walls in your hallways, waiting rooms and bathrooms if you’re stuck thinking inside the box. With a little imagination, you can use these dance studio decorating ideas to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere with beautiful, inexpensive items.
When you think of wall decorations, pictures, posters and canvasses probably come to mind. However, wall decals have been gaining popularity because they’re fun, easy and inexpensive. You can get unique decals from Amazon.com for under $10. There are lots of different quotes, silhouettes and images to choose from. It’s a great way to quickly fill up your wall space with dancers, butterflies, flowers or whatever else suits your aesthetic. This is great for new studios, as you can simply peel the decals off if you find a great picture to hang later.
Old dance costumes
When you’re redoing an established studio or just moving locations, another inexpensive way to decorate is with costumes from past performances. If you’ve been to a busy sports restaurant, you’ve probably seen shadowboxes with jerseys in them. You can use the same idea to display some of your favorite costumes. It makes a great centerpiece for a collage of competition photographs and awards. You can also include ballet shoes, hair accessories or other items you’ve collected. If you don’t have any old costumes on hand, contact your alumni. Sentimental parents are sure to have kept a few items and might be willing to give them a new home.
You don’t need to buy new furniture to decorate your office and waiting room. In fact, that’s probably the most expensive way to go. When looking for dance studio decorating ideas, ask your friends and family if they have any furniture they’re looking to get rid of. You’ll be amazed at how many handouts you get, especially if you offer to do the transport yourself. There will probably be some pieces that are too old or worn for use, but you’ll definitely find some gems that just need a little love.
Better Homes and Gardens explained that furniture with good bones can easily be turned into new treasures. If you’re willing to put in a little bit of handiwork, you can create a beautiful array of custom furniture for your studio. Sand down each chair, bench, desk or table, then prime, paint and seal them. You can add accents with scrapbook paper and new drawer pulls. If you take the time to redo furniture handouts, you can customize them to perfectly fit your tastes, and you’ll only be paying for paint!
Another option is to let your students help decorate. Dance Advantage suggested dedicating one class session to creating artwork with your students. Make it a learning experience by incorporating different types of music into artwork. Ask the students to draw the emotions that a song makes them feel or have them “dance” to the beat with crayons. Learning to connect art with dance will add a unique perspective to their education! After the class, you can ask if anyone would like to have their artwork displayed in the studio. Having hand-draw artwork will give the facility a sense of personality and make your students feel at home.