Studio Owners

How to Build A Professional Looking Website: Dance Teacher Edition

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Q: I know it's important to have a professional-looking website to showcase my work as a teacher. Is there an easy way for me to build it myself without any coding experience?


A: It has never been easier to make your own website, thanks to new web-development platforms that are cheap, require little effort and are very user-friendly. One of the simplest platforms to use is Wix. With Wix, you create your website by choosing from a range of preset templates and uploading pictures and text. It also has an impressive feature: If you answer a few questions about yourself and what kind of website you're looking to create, Wix will generate a site for you. For example, say you're looking to set up an e-commerce site. Simply answer a few questions, and Wix will create a platform for you to handle bookings and appointments. It will even search the internet for information about you or your subject area and populate your site with pictures and text. I was really impressed with how it found high-quality pictures that were royalty-free. With some minimal editing, you can have a professional site up and running in just a few minutes.

You'll receive a web address that has "wixsite.com" in it for free, but for as little as $5 a month, you can connect the site to your own domain. As with most of these kinds of sites, Wix can help you set up your own domain name for a small fee.

Weebly, Jimdo, Wordpress and Squarespace are other great options for basic web development that can expand your template choices should Wix not have the presets you are looking for.

Barry Blumenfeld teaches at the Friends Seminary in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at New York University and on faculty at the Dance Education

Teacher Voices
Getty Images

I often teach ballet over Zoom in the evenings, shortly after sunset. Without the natural light coming from my living room window, I drag a table lamp next to my portable barre so that the computer's camera can see me clearly enough. I prop the laptop on a chair taken from the kitchen and then spend the next few hours running back and forth between the computer screen of Zoom tiles and my makeshift dance floor.

Much of this setup is the result of my attempts to recreate the most important aspects of an in-person dance studio: I have a barre, a floor and as much space as I can reasonably give myself within a small apartment. I do not, however, have a mirror, and neither do most of my students.

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Music
Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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Teachers Trending
Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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