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Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By dancing_girl84 Comments: 29, member since Tue May 10, 2011
On Mon May 16, 2011 04:44 AM

I was wondering what marketing ideas people have used to get there dance school known and how to get students in. I have just opened a dance school in the past 2 months and have 15 students but really want more and to put more classes on. I have done letter box drops, advertising in primary/secondary school newletters etc. Just wondering if anyone has taken other approaches to get students that have worked well?

19 Replies to Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school?

re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By DaDancingPsych Comments: 2947, member since Wed Dec 18, 2002
On Mon May 16, 2011 06:48 AM
Take a skim on the SO forums. I have noted a few threads with tons of ideas. Plus some that discuss things that they have tried and found great success and those ideas that they felt were a waste.

It appears to me that word of mouth tends to be the greatest advertiser.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By GetRhythmmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4673, member since Mon Jun 20, 2005
On Mon May 16, 2011 08:02 AM
We don't do this, but many teachers on these boards have a "bring a friend to dance week". If the friend signs up, the person who brought them gets a little something (like a discount on their next month's tuition).
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By Triskitmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 5126, member since Mon Jul 22, 2002
On Mon May 16, 2011 11:36 AM
Door hangers - it takes a lot of work but it was definitely worth it for us. We also went to community events and handed out flyers with a little promo like no registration fee if you bring in this flyer etc.

We also offered a free studio t-shirt to everyone who registered before a certain date.

Social media is great too, if done correctly it can really help drive traffic to your website and bring in potential customers.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By GetRhythmmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4673, member since Mon Jun 20, 2005
On Mon May 16, 2011 01:33 PM
^ Agreed. Facebook has really helped, and so does having a website. I also just added an e-mail address to the website because some people are too lazy to pick up the phone, and I respond to several inquiries a day.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By tinydncr820 Comments: 471, member since Tue Aug 03, 2004
On Mon May 16, 2011 02:26 PM
Is there somewhere like an annual community festival where your students could perform and attract more customers? You don't say what age your students are so if they're all really little this probably wouldn't work. But if you could put together a 15 minute spot at a local fair, any little kids passing by might say "mommy I want to do that!" or would at least bring attention to your school.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By dancing_girl84 Comments: 29, member since Tue May 10, 2011
On Mon May 16, 2011 03:21 PM
Thanks. i'll look into see if there are any fairs going on in my community and see if I can get some advertising done there or even get one of my groups to perform. I like the refer a friend and get something. think Ill play around with that idea. Many thanks again everyone :)
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By actsingdance Comments: 243, member since Sun Jan 17, 2010
On Tue May 17, 2011 06:26 AM
Can I ask what door hangers are?
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By DaDancingPsych Comments: 2947, member since Wed Dec 18, 2002
On Tue May 17, 2011 06:49 AM
snot85 wrote:

^ Agreed. Facebook has really helped, and so does having a website. I also just added an e-mail address to the website because some people are too lazy to pick up the phone, and I respond to several inquiries a day.


Not meaning to hijack, but I like to think that I'm typically not a lazy person. However, email communication happens to be easier for me. I can't make phone calls at my day job, but I sure can send an email. I can't call a business when I arrive home from the studio at 11pm, but I sure can send an email. I tend to do business with companies that fit into my life. If I was a parent looking at dance schools, a studio that communicates in a manner that works with my life would get a few extra points... might be enough to make them my choice.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By GetRhythmmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4673, member since Mon Jun 20, 2005
On Tue May 17, 2011 07:18 AM
When you e-mail me to ask things like, "How much do I owe for the rest of the year?" or "Could you 'sign me up' for such and such class?" then you're being lazy. The website I created specifically says "For general information about classes, please e-mail xxxxx@xxxx.com. For all other questions, please CALL the studio at (xxx) xxx-xxxx." People want to discuss things that I can't begin to answer through e-mail.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By cmdc Comments: 3084, member since Sat Jun 02, 2007
On Tue May 17, 2011 08:30 AM
^ I'd much rather do that over email than a phone call. Just my preference. I have no problems letting people know how much they owe - you can easily list it out. All my registration is done online as well. Personal preference. But be aware, more and more people nowadays hate talking on phone at all costs (my husband being one) and will avoid anything that requires a phone call like the plague. I think it's great to offer all forms of communication.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By GetRhythmmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4673, member since Mon Jun 20, 2005
On Tue May 17, 2011 12:21 PM
cmdc wrote:

^ I'd much rather do that over email than a phone call. Just my preference. I have no problems letting people know how much they owe - you can easily list it out. All my registration is done online as well. Personal preference. But be aware, more and more people nowadays hate talking on phone at all costs (my husband being one) and will avoid anything that requires a phone call like the plague. I think it's great to offer all forms of communication.


Yes, more and more people hate talking on the phone — that's what I mean by laziness. We've become a world of texting and e-mailing, and no one uses the phone anymore. I think it's sad. A phone call is much more professional.

And actually, no, I can't answer questions like that. I am NOT the studio owner first of all, and I check my e-mail from home or from my day job where I do not have access to that information.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? (karma: 2)  en>fr fr>en
By Dream_chaserPremium member Comments: 25538, member since Thu Jul 26, 2001
On Tue May 17, 2011 12:37 PM
No matter what you do to find more interest in your school, the best thing to bring in students is a good reputation.

A few things that people will like that will give you good recommendations are (and if I miss anything, please, others chime in), are...

1. Good organization
2. Policies and rules and prices, that are for everyone (no exceptions)
3. Responsible, well-trained dance and office staff who are personable (leave the grouchy ones for your competitor)
4. Clean, safe facility
5. Keeping people well-informed. (No one likes last minute surprises in costs or required dates).
6. Classes that are not crowded.
7. No hint of favoritism (that includes family members).

There is more but, in my opinion, are the most important.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By GetRhythmmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4673, member since Mon Jun 20, 2005
On Tue May 17, 2011 02:21 PM
Some schools will even let you leave flyers in teachers' mailboxes. My SO has even been known to offer free classes in school gyms in exchange for sending flyers home with all the kids.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By dancing_girl84 Comments: 29, member since Tue May 10, 2011
On Tue May 17, 2011 03:36 PM
I agree. With all your points. I think they are all very important to have to run a great dance school! I have my mum working at the front office and she knows how much my dance school means to me and I see the way she interacts with parents and students.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By Dream_chaserPremium member Comments: 25538, member since Thu Jul 26, 2001
On Wed May 18, 2011 04:06 PM
Thanks, DDP for the Karma.

I have friends who NEVER advertise... NEVER!! Their classes are packed. They give a tuition credit for recommendations and people are so happy to recommend.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By tappingitout Comments: 223, member since Thu Oct 16, 2008
On Thu May 19, 2011 01:17 AM
Dream_chaser wrote:

No matter what you do to find more interest in your school, the best thing to bring in students is a good reputation.

A few things that people will like that will give you good recommendations are (and if I miss anything, please, others chime in), are...

1. Good organization
2. Policies and rules and prices, that are for everyone (no exceptions)
3. Responsible, well-trained dance and office staff who are personable (leave the grouchy ones for your competitor)
4. Clean, safe facility
5. Keeping people well-informed. (No one likes last minute surprises in costs or required dates).
6. Classes that are not crowded.
7. No hint of favoritism (that includes family members).

There is more but, in my opinion, are the most important.


I second all of the above. I particularly agree with number 5 and 7. Both things that annoyed me about previous studios I taught for, and things that annoyed my mother about a studio I attended growing up. Even subtle favoritism can turn off people who feel like they won't be valued customers.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By Dream_chaserPremium member Comments: 25538, member since Thu Jul 26, 2001
On Thu May 19, 2011 08:32 AM
I saw all of this in other, local schools. One school used to star their daughter, so much, in the recital, that I was told that they used to call it the "Christina Show" instead of the recital (might not be the real name, btw).

My daughter used to be annoyed when I would not give her more starring spots in her dances. She may share the spotlight, briefly, with someone, but there was no way that I was going to allow that.

When she complained I told her that she does not pay for lessons. If she wanted to start paying, I would gladly give her a starring role. Of course, once she grew older, and started teaching (just as in a parent/child relationship at home), she realized that it was the right thing to do.

I had a partner, who came from her own school, and brought students with her, and she tried the favoritism thing, that I stopped, immediately. It was not a favorite decision but I would not allow it.

I had to laugh, because one of the people she tried to show favoritism to, the parent sent me an "anonymous" letter (I knew who it was) and I was accused of favoritism.

I am notorious for hanging anonymous letters on the bulletin board and I had several people come to me and say, "You? You are never one to give favor. You are very fair."

You know, the only ones who think that you are not fair are the ones who want you to favor them. So, you may lose a few, but those are the rare and few that you wish to lose.

Just remember, that no matter what you do, and you can ask vfdt about it, sometimes your area cannot support your school and do what you may, it might not help.

When I opened, I first sent for a copy of the census to find out the average amount of preschool through elementary school kids were in the area. Even though there were two, small and very dolly dinkle schools, in my area, they had low enrollment and I knew that I had a chance of having a decent enrollment.
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By DaDancingPsych Comments: 2947, member since Wed Dec 18, 2002
On Thu May 19, 2011 08:55 AM
Oh boy... the SO's daughter. You really can't show favoritism to her. I agree that she's in an unfair position (has to stand to a different level than others), but life is not fair. Trust me, when she earns something, people know it!

I have seen this favoritism ruin a studio over and over again. They always justify it "But my daughter is the most talented" or "But my daughter works the hardest!" It may be true, but you need to offer the same level of opportunities to ALL students.

I have seen SO's bend the minimal age for solos so that her daughter could have one (both in recital and competition.) I have seen a school that NEVER had featured soloist suddenly have the SO's daughter out front "because she could do tricks that others couldn't." I have seen SOs take her daughter to conventions that weren't offered to other students (at least not at that age), just because she could. I have seen SO's daughters allowed to change backstage in areas reserved for the most senior students or teachers... despite being three years of age.

My mom was never the SO. Just the girl scout leader (well, for my sister... I sorta dropped out for dance.) My sister was not allowed to call her "Mom", but had to call her Mrs. LastName. My sister was often overlooked for special opportunities, only because my mom was trying to ensure that everyone got a fair chance. My sister had the same responsibilities as every other scout. And my mom NEVER did anything alone (or with just her friends in the troop) in the name of scouting. If she was attending something, then all of the girls were invited. My mom was often recognized as an awesome leader, because she ran the ship as if none of the girls were of any relation to her. (Mind you, there was a cousin in the troop, too!)

And the small things add up. It doesn't take long before your customers are looking for other schools. Keep it fair!
re: Most effective ways to increase students attending your dance school? en>fr fr>en
By Dream_chaserPremium member Comments: 25538, member since Thu Jul 26, 2001
On Thu May 19, 2011 09:02 AM
My mom was scout leader, too, and both my sister and I had the same as you. Sometimes my mom went out of her way to give us less because of fear of being accused of nepotism.

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