Studio Owners
Melanie Gibbs mailed her students "love packages" with items like bean bags. Photo courtesy Gibbs

There's no question that dance studios have adapted their in-person classes to online in creative and business-savvy ways. In the past months, we've learned that online classes are a necessary and valuable way to keep students dancing and studios running. Many studios may choose to continue online learning even as they are allowed to reopen in-person, either as a supplement or a plan B.

But Zoom fatigue is real. If your area is highly impacted by the virus and you are unable to reopen anytime soon, you'll need to find other ways to engage your students that don't involve staring at a screen. Offering offscreen activities can demonstrate to your studio families that the value you provide can't be contained by an electronic device—and ensure that your students are having a dynamic and meaningful dance experience.

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We don't need to tell you that dance studios are the heart of the dance industry. Or, that many of them are struggling right now due to COVID-19.

So instead, we'll tell you some good news: Apolla Performance Wear—who you may know for their popular compression "shocks"—is teaming up with Florida-based Dance Arts Centre to raise funds that will go directly to supporting dance studios hard hit by the pandemic.

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Photo by Christian Peacock

*Update 6/15: Allen is still accepting donations through her website for another week.

By now, you've probably heard the good news: Debbie Allen is hosting a 12-hour digital dance-a-thon, and it's going to be epic. (Plus, it will be raising funds for dancers, choreographers and dance teachers whose jobs have been derailed by the impact of COVID-19!)

But we've got even better news for studio owners: Allen wants you to join her live to talk about how your studio has been handling the COVID-19 crisis.

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Studio Owners
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It's easy to come up with excuses not to spend time and money on marketing right now.

You may have lost revenue due to canceled classes and recitals and need to be tight with your budget. You may fear appearing opportunistic during a global crisis. You may worry that people just don't have any money to spend right now.

While these are all understandable, they miss the larger point: Marketing is ultimately about building relationships with your community, says Gretchen Fox, CEO and founder of MTO Agency. And these relationships matter more now than ever—especially within our tight-knit dance community.

We talked to the experts at MTO about best practices for marketing during difficult times, and the trends that all dance companies should be paying attention to right now. And to get even deeper into your questions about everything from promoting your virtual classes to making up for lost recital revenue, join us for a (free!) live webinar with MTO, June 25 at 3 pm ET.

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Studio Owners
The Variations Dance Studio seniors at their send-off. Photo courtesy of Stacy Young

The cancellations of end-of-year recitals and competitions have been disappointing to teachers, studio owners, students and parents alike.

But for high school seniors, who are likely missing their final opportunity to dance with their studio family—and dealing with the cancellations of other milestone events like graduations and proms—it's a particularly heartbreaking time.

As studios throughout the country deal with the uncertainty of gradual reopenings, many are finding safe, creative ways to give their seniors the recognition they deserve.

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I've introduced myself to many dance teachers over my years as a student—usually still sweaty and elated from class.

But I never thought I'd be introducing myself to thousands of teachers, all at once. I'm the new editor in chief of Dance Teacher magazine, and I'm delighted to meet you.

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Photo by Benjamin Crain, courtesy of Alysa Anderson

The dance faculty and students of University of Arkansas at Little Rock thought that the closure of their school for the remainder of the semester due to coronavirus was the biggest of their problems.

Though the university had begun a retrenchment process in January, the dance program had widespread support among university stakeholders—and no one thought the school would eliminate the only dance major in the state of Arkansas.

So the news in early May that the university's chancellor Christy Drale had recommended the dance program be completely cut came as a shock to faculty members and students alike, who had braced themselves for reductions but not elimination.

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