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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Marketing classes

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My teacher and I have been trying to figure out how to increase the number of students she's getting in her classes. To date we've tried fliers in dance stores and local health food stores, as well as ads in programs for local dance productions. These have met limited success. We've begun thinking about putting up a one page web site with her class information. The studio she's at has a website but she's kind of lost amid the other forms of dance on the site.


How did you guys find your classes? Do you think a web page is worth the time and money? A page for 2 years would only cost about $125.00, so it's not an expensive thing to try.

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I've found most of my best classes by word of mouth, but, when I was first starting out, I did all of my research on what classes to take on-line. Still, to this day, if I'm thinking about taking a new class, if I can't find enough information about the teacher and/or the class (either on-line or through the grapevine) I'm very hesitant to show up. In short, I think a web site would be very helpful, especially if you had a link to it from Craig's List, citysearch or another community site (whatever is commonly used in your area)

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Being an internet freak myself, I would definitely think a web-site is the way to go. Be sure to have an informative site and not only the "flash" effects. There is nothing more annoying than a over-designed site with absolutely no information whatsoever!


Best of luck!

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A tidy, up-to-date, informative website is quite useful and not hard to set up. It shouldn't take much space either, so you might be able to host it off of your personal ISP space.

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Yes - up to date, clear and detailed time tables online are by far the best way to advertise dance classes in my opinion. Putting a telephone number up is also a good idea.

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When I was studying calligraphic design, in layout we discussed the business card. Our instructor was very emphatic about having your contact information most prominent. The telephone number was viewed as the most essential point of contact in business. Today, the computer seems to be catching up, but people want to TALK to other real, live people who are competent to help them with their needs.

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Ed, you need to reach the parents of your intended students. Ads in a "LA Parent" type of magazine may help. Now through Sept is the time to advertise. Make a date in late September as an Enrollment day or week, forcing parents to come down and belly up to the barre.

Ads in back to school flyers may help.

Since many parents would welcome classes afte school. Find out which schools offer bus service to the studio. Aim your advertising at those schools.

Parents want convenience, marketing to parents on the other side of town may not be a good use of marketing.

As your name gets better known, people will come from further away to take class.


Good luck Ed,


Mike Young

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Your responses pretty much confirmed my suspicions that an internet site is the way to go. We can do a site inexpensively, a one-page site with schedules, perhaps some photos and the studios link and phone number (maybe even links to local dance stores and, with luck, they'll provide links back to her site).


One more question, when you do internet searches for classes what key words are you most likely to use? I'm trying to help her pick a site name that will come up close to the top of most searches. She only teaches adults.

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You might want to go with a 5 or 10 page site

-home page

-class schedules

-enrollment info (prices, length of term, etc)

-info about teacher(s)

-class descriptions


-contact info and directions


I would include an email address that is checked regularly as well.

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My introduction to ballet (as a student) was by way of a nearby city's adult education center. The catalog listed several classes, and after receiving several successive quarterly catalogs I finally gave way to temptation and signed up.


I expanded my horizons by taking classes at a proper studio when I was waiting in the building lobby for a performance of the studio's Nutcracker. They had a flier on the wall advertising their classes.


So, the moral of the story is: (1) if your locale has an adult ed center, maybe your instructor could hook with it and offer classes via its catalog and/or website; (2) performances supply a captive audience for your message. (You could get really creative and insert commercials at intermissions - danced, of course.)

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Ed, re: key words, whenever I do these searches I use "adult ballet class (city)." Depending on what results I get, I'll broaden the search by dropping "adult" or substituting "open" for it. Also, if the city is small, or a suburb, I'll plug in the nearest big city just in case. And a phone number -- one that gets answered! -- is essential. There are so many outdated websites floating around, you can't really trust the info.

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Thanks Scoop,


Outdated websites bug the day-lights out of me. I plan to stay on top of this one.


I found a we-hosting company that will host a multiple-page site for less than $5.00 a month. Not bad. They offer lots of toys, bells and whisltes which helps, things like secure emails (send an email to the site and it forwards it to my teacher -- that way she doesn't need to give out her email and avoid crank mail and spam). I figured people probably used key words like "adult" and "Ballet" and the local city on their searches, so we're talking about a site name that will incorporate all of those elements. My thinking was this would put the site toward or at the top of any web searches. I'll take photos of a class in session in a few weeks to use on the site.


When it's up I'll post the link so people can check it out and tell me what they think. I'll be open to suggestions for improvements. One thing we're thinking of adding is a comments section where students can say what they like about the class.



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Normally, I've found class descriptions to be frustratingly vague, especially when it comes to adult classes. I think that the more information your teacher can provide -- not just bio for example -- but about her approach to technique and her pedagogy, would be a real source of appeal for potential students.


The sense that I get from your posts is that your teacher is one who has a special regard and facility for adult students, and I would recommend that you try and communicate that on the site.

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The school I went to as a child had, for years, a bill-board poster at the local station, where commuting parents saw it morning and night.


This also had the effect, many years later, when a colleague refused to accept that I had grown up in that town and asked me to prove it. I replied "I went to the Rita Emmerson School of Dancing" - and he took that as proof!



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Personally, I’m very skeptical about the effectiveness of web sites as marketing devices. I just don’t see either current dancers or people wanting to begin looking at the internet.


I think that for any small business, the most effective marketing is the really simple stuff, things like a nice appearance and lots of human contact. Current students are the best sources of new clients in my opinion. You can always try little tricks, like giving a small discount to anyone who brings in a new student. Old fashioned advertising might work too, if well targeted.


What I would actually do is talk to the students who are there and find out how they came to classes and solicit their ideas. After all, new students are most likely to be pretty similar to the students you already have.

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