Ask the Experts: Parents Aren't Reading My E-mails or Studio Bulletin Boards

Q: I have an issue with parents not reading their e-mails or our studio bulletin boards. It’s like they just skim through everything really quickly and then need to be told exactly what to do. Help!

A: You may need a new strategy for your studio communication. While a studio bulletin board is a nice display, it rarely reaches your full student body. Put a statement in your registration packet that clearly states what your primary medium is for delivering important notices and dates, such as e-mail or your studio management–customer portal. At our studio, we find that we have to transmit messages across all communication channels: e-mail, website, phone, text, social media, in the studio and in-person announcements from teachers. Be certain to let parents know it is their responsibility to access the channels you use. We suggest you provide families with an annual calendar at the start of classes (and post it on your website) to indicate important dates throughout the year, such as costume ordering, ticket sales, recital dates, vacations and visitors’ weeks.

Make your e-mail more effective with shorter messages and bullet points. E-mail services such as Constant Contact or MailChimp will make your message more visually effective. Most studio software programs allow you to send targeted individual class messages, and automated text messaging and calling services like Remind or TutuCast can send urgent messages or weather cancellations. Utilize private Facebook groups to send information to studio personnel who need to share frequent updates.

Always give students and parents an easy path back to you by including a phone number and tagline in your e-mail signature that links to a customer portal login or website. While not everyone will read every message, you can create a strategy to make necessary communication updates at your studio more effective and efficient.

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

News
Getty Images

Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

Keep reading... Show less
Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

Christy Funsch's teaching career has taken her from New York City to the Bay Area to Portugal, with a stint in a punk band in between. But this fall—fresh off a Fulbright in Portugal at the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, School of Dance (ESD), teaching and researching empathetic embodiment through somatic dance training—Funsch's teaching has taken her to an entirely new location: Zoom. A visiting professor at Slippery Rock University for the 2020–21 academic year, Funsch is adapting her eclectic, boundary-pushing approach to her virtual classes.

Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

Keep reading... Show less
News
Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.