Studio Tips, Sponsored by TutuTix

Studio Owners: Here's How to Win at Word of Mouth

Joy Real, via Unsplash

If you want to become a go-to dance studio in your local area, the best way to grow your business may still be via good old-fashioned word of mouth—and these days, that happens not only through direct person-to-person interaction, but also over social media. To raise your profile, focus your energy toward what you, specifically, have to offer your clients.

Community Involvement

Outreach activities will teach young dancers the importance of doing good for others—while also introducing your studio to prospective customers. Students could visit nursing homes to perform for residents. You could create a lecture-demonstration program that tours elementary schools. Every year, Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Thornton, Colorado, performs at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk for a Cure. "We have a company member with juvenile diabetes, and we do that to support him," says Jennifer Jarnot, the school's owner.

Successful Alums

If you've been around long enough to have alumni who perform professionally, highlight them. Artistic Fusion Dance Academy has an alumni page on its site, with photos and bios of former students. Seeing that you've helped other dancers make it in the biz can entice up-and-comers who hope to achieve those same dreams.

A Strong Vision

Having a distinct viewpoint can help you stand out in a crowded dance-training market. Know what kind of business you want to run and what kind of student you're trying to reach. Is your goal to produce well-rounded performers, or to be the best in one genre? Do you cater to recreational dancers, serious competitors or both? "Figure out the culture of your studio, and stick to it," Jarnot says. If people know what you stand for, they can feel confident recommending your services.

Teaching Tips
Courtesy Jill Randall

Fall may be fast-approaching, but it's never too late to slip in a little summer reading—especially if it'll make you all the more prepared for the perhaps crazier-than-usual season ahead.

Here are six new releases to enrich your coming school year:

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Sponsored by A Wish Come True
Courtesy A Wish Come True

Studio owners who've been in the recital game for a while have likely seen thousands of dance costumes pass through their hands.

But with the hustle and bustle of recital time, we don't always stop to think about where exactly those costumes are coming from, or how they are made.

If we want our costumes to be of the same high quality as our dancing—and for our costume-buying process to be as seamless as possible—it helps to take the time to learn a bit more about those costumes and the companies making them.

We talked to the team at A Wish Come True—who makes all their costumes at their factory in Bristol, Pennsylvania—to get an inside look at what really goes into making a costume, from conception to stage.

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Studio Owners

Jana Belot's 31-year-old New Jersey–based Gotta Dance has six studios, 1,720 students and, usually, 13 recitals. In a normal year, Belot rents a 1,000-seat venue for up to 20 consecutive days and is known for her epic productions, featuring her studio classes and Gotta Dance's pre-professional dance team, Showstoppers. Until March, she was planning this year's jungle-themed recital in this same way.

When the pandemic hit, Belot soon decided to do a virtual recital instead. Due to the scale of the production—300 to 500 dancers performing in each of the 13 shows—postponing or moving to an outdoor venue wasn't practical. (Canceling, for her, was out of the question.)

Unsurprisingly, Belot's virtual recital was just as epic as her in-person shows—with 10,000 submitted videos, animation, musicians and more. Here's how it all came together, and what it cost her.

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