6 Ways to Increase Adult Dance Class Enrollment

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Google search trends show that adults are looking for “adult” dance classes constantly, and in large numbers. Owning a dance studio, you probably have come to love the tip-tapping of small feet in your dance classes. If adults are inquiring about options for them, or if you wish to tap into additional revenue opportunities, here are some tips for increasing enrollment.

1. Broaden your audience

A way to break from your competition is to increase who you can draw in by adding different types of dance. Getting creative might pull people in with your unique offerings. Examples include:

  • Cardio funk (Increase the heart rate with funk dancing.)
  • Aerobic tap (Incorporating aerobic movement with tap dancing.)
  • Family dance (Have parents mix it up with toddlers in fun family dance classes.)
  • Senior jazz (Just because people are over 50 years old doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy jazz dance; it just needs to be adapted to their pace.)
  • Silver shoe ballet (Seniors who love ballet look for classes geared to their abilities.)
  • Ethnic / cultural dance (Hula, Irish dance, Bollywood Indian and other instruction.)
2. Know your audience
Contemporary dance lessons for adults

Photo by Zabara Alexander; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

However, before you decide which dance classes to add, set your intention to find out what locals want. Every area may be unique depending on the demographic. Google search trends show that the most common (generally in this order) dance classes adults seek out are:

  1. Ballet
  2. Tap
  3. Hip hop
  4. Salsa
  5. Ballroom
  6. Contemporary

Adults also search for private lessons, and beginner classes.

3. Motivate and inspire

Additionally, just because dancers are grown up doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a good challenge. Start a competition offering for adults. There are national events such as StarQuest and Energy that have categories for adults aged 20 and older.

Special events and workshops can also draw in an adult clientele. For example, consider organizing a few nights where you teach steps to the latest moves showcased on “Dancing with the Stars.” Be creative. There may be some guys out there who are still dying to learn “The Carlton.” Try advertising a “Girls Night Out” once per quarter and having wine, appetizers, and a selected dance to teach.

4. Brand your merchandise

You can create a buzz in your community by creating shirts and other wearables that not only have your logo emblazoned upon them but look great. Take some time to find promotional items that best represent your studio. Consider providing a handful of giveaways at local events or to the first few new students. This will get interest percolating. Create an in-studio or online store where those interested in buying merchandise can quickly purchase items. Note that you need a strong brand in order for these items to have an effect.

5. Network

Business professionals know the power of networking. Use the skills other adults use. Go to a local chamber of commerce meeting and meet other local business owners. See if there are natural ways you might pair up and combine marketing efforts. For example, an area shoe store or sporting goods shop might be willing to offer tap shoes or yoga pants at a discount to students who take classes at your studio. Meanwhile, you could offer a free introductory class to anyone who makes a purchase of a certain amount at their stores.

In order to build clientele, you need to build relationships. Find ways to talk to PTA groups, fitness groups, and other organizations in your community. Invest energy into establishing yourself as a studio that is open to adults as well as younger students. Include it on your website and social media. People need to know what benefits you offer.

6. Communicate

Dance studio marketing can help you build a following, and keep connected to that following. Create a weekly newsletter, encourage people to “Like” your Facebook page or follow you on other social media. Consider creating a YouTube channel with quick videos of adult dance classes and specific techniques that can be learned. If you are open to spending a little bit on advertising, Facebook ads offer amazing levels of targeting.

Getting others to share information via social media will amplify your marketing message and make you known for your adult class offerings.

Don’t forget to tap your audience’s insight. From time to time, send out surveys to ask them what kind of classes they enjoy best or otherwise wish you offered. Successful businesses cater to what the community wants most. You’ve got to be relevant.

Owning a dance studio and maximizing revenue can be tricky. By employing some of these strategies, you can grow adult enrollment. Just remember that it’s easier to keep a client than it is to find a new one. Thus, be sure current students find their experiences to be enjoyable and get their needs fulfilled. Their positive recommendations and word-of-mouth advertising will help your cause.


Feature photo by KCBalletMedia under the Attribution Generic 2.0 License

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