Promoting your dance studio during a pandemic

 The success of any dance studio, much like dojos and other studios, relies on a passion for the discipline as well as the community that practices it.

 During a pandemic, it can be a challenge to maintain consistency when it comes to practicing and training as a dance studio. However, maintaining and building your community will help you promote your dance studio and see it successfully come out the other side of a pandemic.

 

Pivot and promote a new way to connect

 

Even during a pandemic or lockdown, there are many ways studio owners can pivot their businesses to help ensure they stay for the long haul. 

 

Simplify online training for your students

 

Just like a personal trainer might choose to specialise in a particular type of training (e.g. focusing on kettlebell training ), dance studios can benefit from simplifying a syllabus for students. This might focusing on a single move for a week, providing short online classes with exercises that support that move. Simplifying your training or breaking it up into smaller chunks will help your students manage the sometimes overwhelming feelings that come with a pandemic. It’s hard to take on new challenges normally, and this becomes more stressful during a pandemic. 


Another way to consider making online dance teaching easy is to actually reduce the length of your routines. This follows more of the TikTok style where people learn one series of steps that fit into a 30s or 1 min routine. This helps people who get sick of looking at a screen for too long as teaching a 30s to 1 min routine combo is going to be much faster than teaching a full 3 minute song. 

 

Incorporate new offerings to broaden your online classes

 

Pivoting to online during a pandemic isn’t a restricting option. It offers the opportunity to broaden what you offer as a dance studio.


Expand what you can specialise in teaching by learning from the fitness industry’s pivot during the pandemic. Virtual fitness classes, using minimal equipment, have become vital for the industry’s success during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a dance studio, you might expand your focus and build on what you offer your community. This doesn’t just relate to dance. Think about what else your students might be heading online for, and see if you can satisfy that need.  


Some ideas to expand what you offer your online students:


  • Virtual physical fitness training that’s optimised for dancers. Look outside your discipline and consider inviting, say, a Zumba practitioner to help students understand how it can be used to enhance their work with you.
  • Try adding resistance training exercises into what you offer. Students won’t have to spend unnecessary time online with a gym or trainer, but will be able to get what they need from you.
  • Invite a nutritionist to talk to students about how to eat well during a pandemic. 
  • Have a mental health practitioner help students understand what they’re going through.  
  • Many people juggle home schooling during lockdowns, so perhaps your studio can offer free sessions for the kids to get involved.
  • Hold discussions around dance with your students, sharing your favourite online recitals. You could all analyse them and build one another’s understanding and awareness. 
  • Interview an industry practitioner, a leading dancer, or have them guest speak.
  • Host virtual movie screenings...Center Stage, anyone?
  • Hold Q & A sessions with yourself or a panel or dance teachers and industry experts. 
  • Coaching classes on specific techniques (hello pointe!)



Tips on how to promote your dance studio during a pandemic

 

Never stop promoting your business just because it isn’t open. Here are 3 easy ways to promote your studio while your doors are closed: There are some simple things you can do to promote your dance studio, even when your physical doors are shut.

 

1. Promote your moves on social media Become a social media guru

 

Research how other dance studios use social media and see if there are opportunities for you to differentiate yourself. TikTok is renowned for its dance emphasis, so consider how you can make yourself a valuable member of that community by differentiating yourself. You could teach a few quick dance routines or showcase your students’ moves. 

 

 2. Tap into the world of podcasts

 

You would be surprised how quickly you can tap into a new market through a podcast. Podcasts are successful because they address niche interest groups. Research what podcasts exist in the dance world and then see if there’s room for you to offer your own flavour. It might be a local flavour – you could interview people with a particular angle, or discuss one move each week with an expert.

 

3. Send out an engaging newsletter

 

Weekly, fortnightly or monthly, a newsletter is a great way to stay on people’s minds. It can be a good chance to talk about something your community is passionate about, but don’t let this restrict you. Think how you can make your newsletter something your students look out for each week. You could do this by making it a resource for interesting information about a particular dance routine or move, an interesting history lesson, or a place to get the latest industry news. If you do a podcast with industry interviews, back it up with a newsletter article talking about that interview.

 

During a pandemic, it can be hard to feel motivated. Don’t be too hard on yourself and help your students feel the same. Use some of the above approaches to help your students feel understood and try to be open with them about your own challenges during such a crisis. Position yourself as a community leader who is providing some fun and a variety of information and support. Doing so will help you build a community around you, help build your own personal resilience and strength during a pandemic, and position you for success on the other side. 


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