Ask the Experts: Convincing Parents About More Training

How can I convince parents that more training—attending conventions, participating in studio workshops—is important for the development of their children’s dance education?

Once parents understand that you are committed to their child’s success, they will get more involved. Just be sensitive to how much time and money they can invest. Before parents are ready to pay hundreds of dollars for a dance convention, for example, they may want to see the value in participating. When you give them choices—events at different price points, optional participation—they become invested because they can make an informed decision.

We host info meetings in the spring and fall, inviting students and parents to learn about convention, workshop, intensive and performing opportunities. We give them a schedule, a time commitment outline and a breakdown of tuition and fees. We share how working with guest artists exposes dancers to a wide variety of teaching styles. Our experienced dancers share how attending conventions with students from other studios helps them build confidence and encourages them to focus on their own skills and technique. We’re very transparent: Our studio can take a student only so far—we will always encourage talented, ambitious dancers to seek opportunities beyond our walls. We curate a dancer resources section on our website with links to intensive programs that our own students have attended, plus others we recommend.

Kathy Blake is the owner of Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, New Hampshire. She and Suzanne Blake Gerety are the co-founders of DanceStudioOwner.com.

Photo by B Hansen Photography, courtesy of Suzanne Blake Gerety

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