News: Hot Tips from the Dance Teacher Summit

S.T.E.P. Up Your Social Media Presence


When you’re connecting with current and potential students on social media, you’re representing your brand, your image, your legacy. Consider: What do you want to be known for?


SHARE: Retweet other people’s posts, quote and link to great blogs or share what you are reading online that would be of interest to your community.


TEACH: Post favorite quotes, share your expertise, add value, be generous with your knowledge. It does make a difference.


ENGAGE: Talk to people! Reply to them, help them, connect, ask questions, have fun. Be yourself, let your personality shine through.


PROMOTE: Always ask yourself, “What’s in it for them?” before you hit the tweet/share button. Promoting on social media makes sense and is appropriate when you also take time to be social and add value to your community.


—Suzanne Blake Gerety, vice president of Kathy Blake Dance Studios and co-founder of



Use Your Social Media Time Wisely:


Appoint a teacher of the week at your studio to be responsible for the posts to Facebook. Have that teacher post information about his/her style or genre.


Follow or create lists on Twitter of favorite tweeters or topics.


Set a time once or twice a day to check in, so that you don’t get overwhelmed and distracted.


Check your @replies and messages on Twitter and Facebook to see if you need to reply.


Search hashtags to group tweets on similar topics and/or people who are at the same conference. #DTS10, for example, for the Dance Teacher Summit; or #dance, or #SYTYCD for people tweeting about “So You Think You Can Dance.” —SBG



Make Your Website Work


“Your website is the only full-time employee who works 24/7.” —Melanie Ulman of Jackrabbit Dance studio management software


*    Include a “call to action” on every page (“Attend a free class.” “Bring a friend.”)


*    Avoid overuse of graphics and Flash. Give priority to content.


*    Use low-resolution photos (72 DPI) so that your page loads quickly.


*    Use video: Talk about your principles and vision; give a virtual tour of your studio; demonstrate styles of dance.


*    Sell benefits, not just features. “Small classes” is a feature. “Your child will receive 20 percent more teacher time” is a benefit.


*    Include a place to sign up to receive your newsletter.


*    Optimize your website for Google with keywords and common search phrases.


For more information, see



Mandy Moore IDs the Five Biggest Competition Mistakes


1 Choreography that lacks focus. Do your dancers know what they’re dancing about?


2 Choreography that lacks continuity. Whatever theme or prop you decide to use, do it all the way. Push past the place where you want to drop it.


3 Music. Can your kids connect to the music, or is it about something they’ve never experienced?


4 Limited repertory. Consider what you have shown during the event as a whole. Did you include tap, jazz, musical theater? Or was it all contemporary performed to acoustic


5 Costumes. Do a costume run-through and use water-soluble glue to keep them in place. Moore says: “There’s nothing more embarrassing than watching kids dance half-naked onstage.”



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