Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dance Correlation to Higher Grades

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending our local elementary school's final assembly to honor students for grades, attendance and civic duties. I am always a local celebrity when I enter the school - I get lots of waves, smiles and "there's Miss DeAnne" when I visit. It sure is fun. We have the majority of our Brodhead Dance Academy students attending this elementary school, so it's a good place for me to make the following observation/correlation.

Of the top academic students in the school (for girls) ALL but two were dancers at our Academy! These kids were the top in their grade and scored the highest on the State Tests in Math and Reading - to be in the top 25% in the state. I was amazed when dancer after dancer arrived on stage to accept their certificates.

I realize there could be many reasons for this correlation and its been discussed before - parents are more engaged, higher income, thus they can afford dance classes...etc. But for today, I think I will let Dance Class take the credit. The skills we teach help on and off the stage to make a life-long difference. I've always known there was a big tie to Tap and Math, "must be the same side of the brain" has been my assumption over the years. But now I see it first hand in all categories. The brain development and learning skills translate across classrooms, be it in the dance studio or the elementary school.

Kudos to all dance teachers who are making the world a better, smarter place one dancer at a time! Bravo!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Recital Success=Marketing Opportunity

As dance teachers each year we have a huge marketing opportunity- the recital. I'm proud to say mine went great this year. In our town of 3,100 people we had 1,500 people come to see our 3 performances! Now that's what I call community support!

I sent out press releases to all the papers in our town and those nearby to celebrate our sold out shows and highlight our program. We received a lot of press which should help with enrollment this year. In an economic downturn like we have now it's important to keep marketing, more than ever. Don't rest on what you did last year, increase your marketing budgets and get creative with public relations.

Last year two days after our recital I received a tragic call from one of my dance moms. One of our pre-ballet students, Isabella died the Sunday after our show while riding a bike. She had a brain aneurysm. At our first show this year we dedicated the performance to Bella and placed a photo and flowers on the corner of the stage so she could dance with us. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. It felt good to honor her, a bit of closure I guess for all of us.

This year we also did a ballet production which was actually our first in our 8 years because now I have the talent level I need in a variety of dancers to pull off a production number. It was fantastic and actually proved to be a great marketing tool itself. Now, the other dancers who had left ballet for jazz or hip hop want to return to ballet after they saw what the potential was on stage. That is rewarding to me. They love ballet! After years of hip hop getting all the attention it's nice to see ballet demand picking up again. Don't get me wrong, I've always had many ballet students, but mostly because I make them take it until they are 8 before I let them move to the other study areas like jazz, tap or hip hop.

I hope all of you out there also had great shows this spring! Now it's time for a quick breather. Make sure to take a few weeks off to decompress and renew your spirit. Creative work like teaching dance is demanding of the heart and mind- give your soul a break.

But keep a notebook close for those inspired moments when you hear a great song or catch a cool beat-- after all the next recital's less than a year away.

Releve' Dance Poster sample

Releve' Dance Poster sample
sample of poster