Recitals are a lot of work. Planning and pulling off a recital is probably the most time consuming aspect of running a dance studio outside of the day-to-day running of the classes. So, why would anyone in their right mind have 2 per year?
I put on 2 recitals per year with my dance studio. I thought that it might be the death of me when I initially added the December showcase to our yearly line up. Well, I’m here writing this for you, so I’m not dead. I found that when all the tasks that create a great recital are organized into a repeating rhythm calendar, the benefits of 2 shows per year greatly outweigh the extra work. Adding a second show to our year led to greater student retention, revenue and studio growth.
It is said that the average attention span for marketing is now 8 seconds. Let’s face it. Teaching a dance class to kids is a marketing effort. From start to finish, dance teachers must be exciting and engaging to keep students’ attention focused and keep the class energy flowing. The skills that take repetition to build must be presented in varied ways to keep the attention of our budding ballerinas and tiny tappers. So why do many of us still think that we can keep our studio goers excited about the same song, costume, dance, and recital theme from September to the following June? By moving the goal a little closer with a recital at the end of the first semester in December, you can keep your dancers excited about what they are working on in class, build excitement around the costumes, songs and choreography, and give the skills that they are learning context and purpose by using them in their dances.
In addition to the emotional buy-in that you’re creating with your students in the classroom, you are creating literal buy-in with studio parents. Collecting non-refundable recital fees early in the year and having a show that is in sight creates a commitment in the minds of the parents. The timeline is short enough for them to get to the perceived finish line with their child, even if they have days that they might grumble about having to put down the iPad to get their leotard on and long enough for you to be profitable and prove your worth to both the parent and the student by providing amazing classes and positive performance opportunities.
Do you like the money that you make on one recital? Then why not double it?
Your recitals should be a healthy profit center in your dance studio. You as the studio owner as well as your office staff and faculty probably spend as much time preparing for recitals as you do teaching and preparing for classes. Additionally, performances are your product, and therefore, should be generating profit.
But wait, no, classes are my product.
Does anyone sign up their kids to play on a soccer team that only practices and doesn’t play games? Nope. Yes, you provide classes, but the product of the classes is the performance. It’s a product and it should be profitable.
In addition to a performance fee to cover the cost of the venue, technicians, additional hours for your staff, and the hard work of the studio owner, you will be collecting a second round of costume fees, (check out how you can generate profit while you save your studio families money by implementing a costume rental program) as well as additional revenue generators like tickets, shirts, flowers, program ads, etc.
Student retention, plus new students, equals studio growth. Here is the scenario that having 2 recitals done well can produce in your studio…
Over the course of the year, you have created 2 beautiful, organized shows that kept your students excited and let them shine on the stage at all ages and levels. They stuck around because they stayed engaged and they are eager to see what next year will bring. Their parents are so grateful to you for getting their kids interested in something that the parents don’t have to argue with them to get them to do week after week and month after month. The parents are so impressed with the quality of the show and how organized and calm it was, they are looking forward to the next one. And, that’s what they are telling their friends!
By providing an environment where there is a goal within sight at all times, you can keep your current students and families excited and engaged year after year. It will be a natural by-product for them to rave about your studio to other parents, family members, and on social media.
How I Plan 2 Recitals
If you want a peek into you I lay out my planning and execution or 2 recitals per year that my studio families rave about check out my planning tools at https://studioplannerpro.com/recital/ .