Ask the Experts: Improving Marketing for Preschool Classes

I’m looking for ways to improve my marketing efforts for preschool classes. Any suggestions?

Referrals are everything for this clientele. Most parents of preschoolers are on social media, and they look to their friends and local network for recommendations. Make sure your social channels and website have up-to-date information and schedules, plus information on how to try a class or register.

In your marketing materials, show potential parents what it’s like to be a student at your studio. Post photos of your dancers smiling and joyfully participating. Include your curriculum and describe what a typical class entails, plus any performance opportunities. Highlight the experience of your teachers—specifically their training with preschoolers—and be sure to include testimonials of your current or former parents.

Publicizing your student-teacher ratio or class minimum/maximum will communicate to interested families that their children will receive personalized instruction. If you have viewing windows, closed-circuit TV cameras with waiting-room monitors or regular parent visiting times in class, these are also important features to emphasize.

Another great selling point for this age group is flexibility. Consider creating easy makeup-class policies, shorter performance events (for preschool or younger dancers only) and optional recital participation to let parents know you understand that life with a toddler means plans often change.

Once you have your basic materials and online presence in place, we recommend you experiment with a variety of incentives: Offer free trial classes, sibling discounts, referral credits, discounted dancewear bundle packages or a used-shoe trade-in, and see what yields the best results.

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

Photo by B Hansen Photography, courtesy of Suzanne Blake Gerety

Don’t miss a single issue of Dance Teacher.

Teachers Trending
Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

Keep reading... Show less
Getty Images

Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.