Do you have issues with students leaving your studio after only being there for a semester? In this post, we’ll discuss a few of the common reasons why students drop out and some tips to increase student retention.

  1. Class times do not fit the student’s needs. Students will leave when the class that they want to take is not offered at the time they can take it. If this happens to be an issue with some of your students one solution would be to offer the student an alternative class on a day that works for them. Even if it is not the same style, it may make a nice compromise until their schedule allows them to take the class they want.
  2. Tuition is unaffordable. With the economy in the shape that it currently is, many families are cutting back on costs. If a parent approaches you about class prices being unaffordable you might be able to compromise with them. Offer certain discounts such as 10% when they pay for the full year upfront. Another option would be to start a barter/volunteer system in which parents help with small jobs around the studio or bringing in items that are needed. These jobs could be as simple as helping tidy up the studios after a class or bringing in a pack of water or healthy snacks to sell at the front desk. Or, perhaps your parent has a skill set that can actually help bring in more students such as Facebook Marketing,  contacts at their schools, or places of worship that can be used to advertise your studio. While we all want to help families in need, it is super important to still remember your bottom line and make it work for the studio as well.
  3. The new age: Let’s face it, it’s harder to keep children entertained these days, because of the instant gratification that comes with video games and TV. Children want something new and have a hard time rehearsing the recital piece for the last couple of months of class. They may grow bored with working on the same piece every class and slowly lose interest in dance. One way to potentially fix this issue is to begin the choreography earlier than you normally would. By finishing the recital piece early on, you can still work on new combinations and other fun activities in class, only having to run the piece once or twice at the end of the class.
  4. Sometimes it’s not just the students that want to leave, but the parents. If a child’s parents are happy with how the studio is being run, in terms of customer services, teacher etiquette, classes finishing on time, etc. When a parent is unhappy, they normally will encourage their child to choose a different activity or will just outright pull them out of your studio. The best solution for this and the other issues listed in this article is to make sure your communication and relationship with parents are as good as they can be. For example:

a: Issue a general survey to parents. Asking questions such as “What can we do to improve our customer service?”, “What do you like best about our studio?”, and “What do you dislike about our studio?” etc. Look into a free web service such as SurveyMonkey, which allows you to easily create a survey that can be emailed to your parents.

b: Create a suggestion box and print out anonymous forms for parents to fill out.

c: You could also start a monthly parent board meeting so that parents could come in and raise concerns and suggestions to help make the studio an even better place.

d: Let your parents know that you care by posting meetings on your website, or even OPEN HOUSES.

Let us know if you have any other thoughts or ideas on how to increase student retention in your studio!