Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) believes in promoting ballet anywhere and everywhere. We’ve been hosting successful summer dance intensives for years at our home base in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Now, in the spirit of bringing the love of dance to more students, we’re offering these tips for starting your own summer program for dance.
Summer dance programs run the gamut from dance camps that include downtime from dance for just plain old fun to those focusing on the needs of higher-skilled dancers who aspire to a professional career. Where on that spectrum do you want to be? Figuring out that piece will provide you with a framework for planning a summer dance program.
Enrollment Options for Your Summer Intensive
Most summer dance intensives run for two, four, or five weeks. Within those timeframes, you have options for how you want to structure daily instruction. Knowing your students’ ages and what you want them to learn will determine whether you’re offering full or half days.
When to Start and For How Long
During the school year, there seems to be a holiday every month. But these are easier to work around since everyone is generally following the same schedule. All bets are off once the last school bell rings. During June, July, and August, kids are vacationing at different times, making it really challenging to find the perfect time for your intensive.
Hire the Right Teachers
Some new to running a summer intensive seek out big names in hopes of bringing in students who want to learn from one of their dance heroes. That’s not a bad idea if that star knows how to teach in an intimate setting – not all do. Especially if this is your first intensive, scout out and hire skilled educators who are energetic and fun. The best advertising for your next intensive are students who can’t stop talking – and posting – about their great experiences.
Set the Right Price
You can design the best program with the top instructors, but if you’ve not set the right price, your first summer dance program may be your last! Start by getting out your Magic 8 Ball…just kidding! Though pricing can feel more art than science, with a little effort, you can figure out a price point that works for you and appeals to parents.
Begin the process by writing a description of your program. Include details like the ones covered above, including what age groups you wish to bring to your summer dance intensive, how many weeks your program runs, and whether you’re offering full or half days. You’ll need this information to create your marketing materials later.
For now, though, you’ll want to have your program fleshed out to make it easier to research competitive programs. When you go online, you can zero in on programs that look like the ones you’ve put together. List the studio names, details of their programs, and what they’re charging. Unless you’re offering something really special, staying close to your competitors’ prices is a safe strategy.
Now it’s time to get the word out. Of course, directly informing your students in their current classes is the best place to start. Add in your social media channels, along with any other typical marketing you do, such as email blasts or hanging flyers in public spaces. Soon, you’ll find your studio is again filled with dancers eager to learn, improve, and deepen their love for ballet. We wish you the best of luck with your summer dance program!
Just for You
As mentioned earlier, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet hosts summer dance intensives. We also offer teacher workshops. These sessions are designed to help you improve your approach to ballet instruction. You can call or email us for more information.