Want to Be a Dance Teacher? Here are the Top Trends to Know
By: Olivia Mode-Cater
Teaching is a fulfilling and rewarding position, because you’re sharing your passion with others. Not only can you build a meaningful connection with your students, but you can also help mold the next generation of dancers.
Becoming a dance teacher is a rewarding career; however, the demands and requirements of our jobs have changed significantly over the past two years. Keeping up with current trends and demands of our industry is crucial in meeting our students’ evolving needs and having consistent employment within our field. But don’t fret — we’re here to help! We’re going to break down the top three trends trends that any new dance teacher needs to know, including:
- Digital platforms are critical for successful marketing.
- Studio teachers and owners are turning to robust software solutions.
- Students are interested in both in-person and hybrid instruction.
These trends can help you start your dance teaching career on the right foot. Focus on developing strong working relationships with your students to cement your reputation as a passionate and knowledgeable instructor. This is especially important if you’re planning to open your own dance studio.
Although trends continue to change and you can evolve with them, your dance experience and teaching philosophy are the most important factors when it comes to becoming the greatest teacher you can be. As you read, think about how your personal experiences and philosophy can enhance your teaching approach and help take your classes to the next level. Let’s get started!
1. Digital platforms are critical for successful marketing.
You likely already know that digital marketing is the way to go if you want to attract new clients. Many dance parents and students will likely turn to the internet to find local instructors and classes, so when they hit that search button, you want to be front-and-center.
But what’s the best way to launch your digital marketing strategy? Here are a few tips that can help you spread the word about your classes and keep up with internet trends:
- Use a multi-channel marketing approach: According to this DanceStudio-Pro guide to dance studio marketing, multi-channel marketing is the best way for dance instructors to promote their services. A multi-channel marketing strategy means using several different platforms to advertise your services. For example, you might create advertisements for social media, email, and your website to reach as many people as possible. Multi-channel marketing can help you build brand awareness and ensure that potential students can find you across multiple platforms.
- Maintain consistent branding: Especially when you’re starting out, it’s crucial to develop and maintain a consistent brand. Your brand should include a certain tone, color scheme, and typography that current and prospective clients will come to associate with your work. It should also embody your unique values in education and what perspectives you offer the dance community. Leverage your memorable and consistent brand across digital platforms, like social media and your website, to help you build a reputation and connect with your ideal students.
- Drive clients to your website: Think of your website as the central hub for your business. It’s where students will go to learn more about your studio, review your teaching philosophy, and register for classes. For this reason, all of your marketing materials, whether digital or not, should drive clients to your website, as this is where the majority of conversions will occur.
- Discuss your teaching philosophy: Digital platforms are a great place for you to be open about your teaching vision. For example, you could livestream from your social media accounts and provide short tips that reflect how you teach your classes. You could also write a brief description of your teaching philosophy to share on your website. Being open and honest about your methods can help potential dancers assess whether you’ll be a good fit for their learning needs.
Digital marketing has been on the rise for several years now, and the trend isn’t slowing down any time soon. Becoming a dance instructor will require you to become familiar with digital marketing tools and to use them regularly to market your services.
2. Studio teachers and owners are turning to robust software solutions.
Dance studio software is an up-and-coming tech trend that ensures nothing slips through the cracks. When you’re starting out, dance studio software can help you keep administrative tasks organized while you focus on developing choreography, creating schedules, and forging connections with your students. Dance studio software can help you:
- Manage classes: One of the most time-consuming aspects of being a dance instructor is managing your class offerings and enrollment. With the right dance studio software, you can keep track of attendance, waitlists, schedules, important files, and more from one platform. And you won’t have to be tied to your computer — most software programs function on iOS devices, which makes it easy for you to stay organized while on the go.
- Streamline registration: Registration is one of the busiest times of year, and it’s easy to lose track of sign-up forms, contracts, waivers, and whatever else you require your students to complete before arriving for class. Dance studio software can help you streamline the registration process, making it easy for students to sign up online and for you to keep track of essential paperwork.
- Maintain student engagement: Every student becomes disengaged every once in a while. Although student engagement isn’t the first thing you might think of when it comes to dance studio software, your software can certainly help with this task! You can keep track of student absence rates to see who might need a little extra attention, send automatic reminders about class, and even track your students’ progress.
- Keep financial records organized: Parents want to know that their financial information is safe and sound, and with dance studio software, you can easily process payments in a secure manner. You can also facilitate online ticket sales for recitals and point of sale services for products and other inventory your dancers might need.
Not only will dance studio software make your day-to-day operations easier, but it will also improve your clients’ interactions with your studio. You can avoid confusion about class schedules, registration deadlines, and more by making this worthwhile investment.
3. Students are interested in both in-person and hybrid instruction.
Virtual and hybrid classes have become increasingly popular in dance studios across the country. Not only were they a safer option during the pandemic, but they also offered busy students more convenience and flexibility in their dance schedules.
Although many studios have returned to in-person classes, some students may not feel comfortable going to class or may have a more difficult time commuting. Also, offering online classes enables you to open up your market to people outside of your area who may want to learn from you. For this reason, you should begin offering hybrid classes, which combine in-person and virtual instruction.
However, hybrid classes can be a bit more logistically challenging. To host great hybrid classes, you should:
- Start with a meditation exercise: To help bring your in-person and virtual students into the same space, consider starting your class off with a meditation exercise. Not only will this exercise help students prepare for class, but it can also help them cope with perfectionism and anxiety, creating an overall positive and supportive environment in the studio.
- Focus on your virtual students: Your in-person students will likely have an easier time staying focused compared to your virtual students. Direct attention to your virtual students to be sure that they stay engaged and encouraged throughout class. Asking them to come off mute and offer some thoughts or feedback is an easy way to keep them attentive and feel part of the community.
- Do a tech check in advance: Hybrid classes have a lot of moving parts, and the last thing that you want is for your technology to malfunction. Before class begins, do a quick run-through of your technology to be sure that audio and video are functioning properly. Also, ask your students at home how you can make their experience better. Sometimes a small change in lighting or in positioning the camera can make a big difference.
According to Gingr’s guide to wowing your customers, focusing on the client experience first is the best way to make a great impression, and this is especially true of hybrid classes. Be sure that you divide your attention between in-person and virtual students so that both groups get the assistance and instruction that they need.
Becoming a dance teacher is a great way to combine your passion for dance and your hope to connect with students. Staying on top of trends in the dance industry can help you reach even more students and create the best dance experience possible. Good luck!
Olivia Mode-Cater is an industry leader in dance education and dance entrepreneurship, having presented on these topics on a national and international level. Olivia’s work draws on her experiences as a veteran dance educator in all teaching settings: higher education, PK-12 schools, and studios. Olivia proudly joined the DanceStudio-Pro team in 2021 as the Sr. Marketing Manager.