Have You Considered Booking Your Teaching Gigs Using Instagram?

If you're looking to find new teaching jobs or just expand your reach as a teacher, look no further than your Instagram account. Developing a digital voice that connects with studios and dancers is an easy (and cost-free) strategy to boost your profile.

"Instagram has definitely shined a spotlight on my gifts as a teacher," says Kelby Brown, who's taught for American Ballet Theatre and at conventions like The PULSE.

"I have had many inquiries about teaching master classes or being asked to be on faculty at different schools. It has also kept dance competitions in the know and reminds them to bring me out as a judge and educator."

Here, Brown offers his insights to make your Insta account start working for you.

Create a Posting Schedule

I usually post Monday through Friday on a good week. Otherwise I post roughly three days a week. It depends on how much material I have, or if I need to savor the moments. I love to build at least two weeks of posts to stay ahead of the game. I basically create a catalog of posts weekly that can last up to two weeks.

Make It Personal

You have to be visible so people know who you are and what you do. This is important so your followers know you as a person and not just as a selling machine. Ultimately, if people are interested in you the person, it will translate into their interest of you the brand. You are your brand. So balance your content with your real life.

Add the Extras

Just like auditioning for a job, the last thing they see is that headshot to remember you by. It's imperative to post great pictures with great filters, if needed. A great message to go along with the picture is helpful. We all need positive motivation! But change it up with videos, boomerangs, quotes, etc.

Be Consistent

Stay on brand and always use the same fonts and video styles. Use popular hashtags. Inspire your audience, and they will tend to like you more. Know your audience, and let your audience know you. Choose how frequently you post and stick to that. Don't overpost and don't underpost. Use the Insta stories when possible.

Tagging Is Your Friend

Always tag star dancers, popular organizations and brands (i.e. @maddieziegler, @jump, @capezio, etc.). Studios have often reposted my posts when it involves their students. Most of all, have fun and be creative.

Teacher Voices
Photo courtesy Rhee Gold Company

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a shift in our community that is so impressive that the impact could last long into our future. Although required school closures have hit the dance education field hard, what if, when looking back on this time, we see that it's been an incredible renaissance for dance educators, studio owners and the young dancers in our charge?

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Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

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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.

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