Apr
22
2014
ATTRACTING TALENT: FINDING & BUILDING GREAT DANCERS
Written by Michael J. Clark & Lori Shecter

BalletLast week we promised some ideas on how to attract great dancers to your studio. Most studios have no curriculum geared toward the pre-professional dancer. I mean MORE than just great dance instruction.

For example, many parents/students need help in: 1) conservatory applications - finding the right conservatory and applying 2) company applications 3) Broadway, SF, Chicago and beyond training 4) How to get an agent 5) How to get head shots and demo tapes.

Offering these types of services for highly skilled dancers and their families will make YOUR STUDIO stand out from the crowd. To gear toward the more advanced dancer , offer high level intensives with Broadway Choreographers and casting agents -- use companies such as Stage Door Connectionsto help you get amazing talent TO YOUR STUDIO. And of course, the tried and true convention route: Make sure you identify those conventions that are NOT mass merchandising. You want to go to ELITE conventions that are not a crazy mass of young dancers. YOUR STUDIO should be the GOURMET of dance NOT the buffet table. I've attached an ad-- it pretty much sums up what I would be pitching to get the creme de la creme. 

Attracting Great Dancers

Image

If a student desires to take dance seriously or become a professional dancer, chances are they are not looking for a “recreational “ studio.  In the modern world, image is everything.  If you want your studio to be professional it must APPEAR professional.  Imagine you are an outsider who has never heard of your studio.  What does your lobby look like? What do your studios look like? What do your students look like?  Serious students will seek a studio that looks the part.  Your studios appearance is key.  A HUGE part of appearance is in your website!  Dance Studio Web Design offers excellent services with the ability to customize your website and make it stand out exactly how you desire. 

April Ad _Newletters

Options

Students who wish to reach an excellent level of dance will want to be with other students just as focused.  Offering recreational classes are key to business success, but also offering separate classes (company, competition, or pre-professional) is also instrumental to studio success.  Serious dancers will want to be in class with other serious dancers.  Serious dancers will also usually want to dance at least three days a week and will desire classes that are challenging. 

 

Outlets

Serious dancers generally want the option to really explore their art.  Brining in master teachers, taking them to well known respective conventions, and providing a variety of teachers or choreographers with various expertise will help them achieve new levels of mastery over their craft.  Some of these outlets are expensive; be sure your dancers understand this, and do not forget you run a business not a charity, so be sure you are getting compensated for the work you do. 

 

Attention

Dancers reaching for new heights need personal attention to improve.  Try offering private classes to those who are interested.  Additionally, constantly offer corrections in class.  Your serious dancers are relying on you and your faculty to find the mistakes they need to work on so that in the future they will no longer make those mistakes. 

Building Great Dancers

Begin Young

Becoming an excellent dancer requires dedication and focus, skills that are useful in many walks of life.  The skills you give a great dancer are useful on and off the marley.  From a young age, when you find a child who excels and is interested in learning more, begin grooming in the focus and dedication dance requires.  Teach them about dress code and build up a strong work ethic.  They must enjoy themselves, but even at a young age you can begin to teach respect and the personal reward that flourishes from dedication. 

Teach the Fundamentals

The fundamentals of dance are useful forever.  As students age it is important to inform them about current trends and genres.  However, at a young age it is important to teach the fundamentals in a fun and engaging way.  Use your imagination to find ways you can teach accurate technique yet still have a ball!  Dance in a Can has designed an excellent summer program which covers the basics of 7 genres of dance while still keeping your students engaged.  Consult classic training manuals and current training manuals to ensure your teaching is up to date.

Camp Can Capture Real

Hire Excellent Instructors

As a studio owner, your job is to run the business.  This enormously important position also comes with a great deal of responsibility and time commitment.  That being said, it is nearly impossible to instruct every level, age, and genre of dance.  Hire a team of professional, dedicated, and experienced teachers who can provide excellent classes.  Check out THIS ARTICLE on how to find and hire qualified teachers and then THIS ARTICLE on how to keep them around and keep them happy!  Collaborate with your teachers as much as you can to keep everyone working inspired. 

Bottom Line – It takes a great studio to yield great dancers.  Strive for excellence on all fronts and over time you will see results!