The fall registration season is over now for many in the studio dance industry. Some studios register in the spring with discount incentives, others wait until mid-July in a dance season to begin registration. Have you ever thought “where do my students live”? Checking out the school district in which you live can enable you to begin to project how to structure your classes whether you are just starting out or if you have been in business 20 year plus.
School districts are mandated by federal funding to project class sizes for a specific time frame, usually three to five years depending on state mandates. How can that benefit you? Using the information for the town I live in where I had a dance studio for over 25-years and opened in virtually only again, Canton MA. Going to the http://www.doe.mass.edu/ website and then to DISTRICT PROFILES http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/. I researched how to find the following information.
Canton MA currently has six schools, PK-12, three labeled elementary K-5, one early childhood, one middle grades 6-8, one high school 9-12, an overall student enrollment of 3,164, 1624 of those students are female, the gender of the pool of students a studio could draw from. What grades are those students in, or where can one expect studio and fall advertising to draw from theoretically as 50.1% of the school population is female. How many of them dance? How many of them are involved in other activities. Canton, like many other towns, has a very large enrollment in soccer, no dance team at the high school.
A further research revealed that school enrollment dropped in the last three years in the district. Currently there are two dance studios in the town, there were five (three recently closed, one due to COVID). How can you attract enough of the available female students to support your overhead, and pay yourself a salary?
There is no ONE method for success, just time available, dance subject genre offered, location accessibility, and can your published schedule meet a working parents’ needs. How many parents perceive dance for PK-2, and not through high school? How many parents are looking for activities in seasons, fall, winter, spring as a sport? How are you going to meet their needs and stay financially afloat? How many parents will now work remotely post COVID, permanently, and move from the district? How many will relocate to the district? Food for thought.
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