Ask the Experts: Do Sibling Discounts Work?

Q: I'd like to incorporate sibling discounts into our pricing structure for the first time. What's worked well for you, and what hasn't?

A: We've been offering sibling discounts for more than 40 years. It's beneficial for several reasons: The more a student's siblings become involved, the more committed families become. The parents often become recital helpers, share referrals and post positively about the studio on social media.

But before you roll out a discount program, review your pricing structure to be sure it can support a percentage of your student body participating at reduced rates. Fees for nontuition services—registration, performances, competition teams—typically aren't included in a sibling discount, so be sure to set them properly to account for your administrative costs.

We recommend you start with a modest discount—$5 to $10 or 5 to 10 percent off—for the second and/or third child's tuition. (While that might not seem significant, a $10 discount over 10 months is the equivalent of getting two months of free tuition for one class.) It's much harder to start with a big discount and then realize a year or two later that you're giving away too much and need to reduce it.

Be sure you set a clear policy—it can be confusing if you give families the option to use multiple discounts, for example. If the older child is already getting a multi-class tuition discount, explain that you're willing to give the younger child an additional discount as a sibling.

Your studio software management program can help you calculate, track and post proper fees with calculated discounts. Confirm with your provider how to best manage discounts so you can run your payments correctly.

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

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
Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.