By: Stacey Raab, Relationship Manager
From our team at Curtain Call to you: Congratulations on wrapping up what we hope was a successful and fulfilling recital season! You have certainly earned some time to relax, rejuvenate and reflect on your achievements—both big and small—from the past year.
While the summer months provide an important opportunity to unwind and refocus, they also provide numerous excuses for your students to step away from dance for a few weeks. After competition and recital seasons, many dancers are in their best shape. Stopping cold turkey over the summer may cause them to lose the technique and physicality they worked so hard to achieve during the school year. Occasionally students will take the summer off from dancing then return in the fall to find that they’ve fallen behind compared to their peers who continued their practice year-round. This can lead to hurt feelings or unhappy dancers and parents.
So while it’s easy to let the summer heat lure your students into a swimming pool or onto a couch in an air conditioned room, be sure to think about keeping them engaged over the summer to set them up for success come fall:
Tips for Studio Owners
Consider Adding New Classes. Summer is a great time to test drive classes and assess how popular they may be in the fall. Offering trendy classes like pop ballet, jazz-funk or improvisation may encourage existing students to consider classes outside of their comfort zones and even attract new students who are intrigued by your studio’s unique offerings. Also, organizing classes in disciplines like yoga, aerial yoga, gymnastics and Pilates give your more serious dancers an opportunity to cross-train and maintain the flexibility and strength that they built over the last season.
Welcome Guest Teachers. To keep engagement and excitement levels high during the slower summer months, welcome guest teachers into your studio to teach a class or a series of classes. Guests can be anyone from studio alumni who are home for the summer to master dancers from out of town. You can even offer workshops to give some of your advanced dancers a chance to try their hand setting choreography on their peers.
Offer Specialized Camps or Private Lessons. More often than not, parents—especially working parents—are looking for interesting ways to keep their children occupied during the week. To accommodate this desire, consider offering specialized camps that allow students to develop their technique across dance genres while spending time with their friends.
Additionally, offering private lessons (or offering them at a discounted rate during the summer) is a great way to provide students with one-on-one instruction that they may not be getting during the school year. This personalized attention may help students feel more engaged with their practice and get them excited to excel in their regular classes come fall.
Participate in Community Events. If your community celebrates summer with activities like festivals, parades and charity drives, get your students involved. Work with the event coordinators to secure a spot for your dancers to perform one of their recital pieces for attendees. Participation in these events gives your students an excuse to stay in shape and also doubles as a great marketing tactic to attract new dancers to your studio.
Engage Students via Social Media. Consider incentivizing a social media contest that encourages your students to share dancing photos during their summer breaks. You may be surprised by the submissions you receive: arabesques on the beach during a family vacation or even lunch break pirouettes during a student’s first summer job!
Summer days don’t have to be lazy! With the right combination of summer offerings, your students can stay engaged, flexible and active during their summer breaks, and you can ensure that your studio is set up for a successful season.
What are your tricks for keeping students engaged during the summer? We want to know! Share in the comments below.