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  1. #1
    Member staranise's Avatar
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    Default When you first started teaching...

    what were your most successful ways of attracting students?

    Backstory:
    I come from a tiny dance school, that consisted of 2 classes one night a week. My teacher ran it as a hobby, just covering her costs, but with no real desire to take it any further. She has stopped running classes, so I'm stepping up to take her place as the only person teaching ATS in my town.

    I'm also halfway through a business training course as part of an enterprise incentive scheme. It comes with 12 months of income support. The requirements are that I plan to earn at least 12,000 a year in profit (which is equivalent to an unemployed benefit here - not glamorous living by any means)

    I've just come back from a meeting with my business teacher, where we did the numbers and came to the conclusion that I have to bring in a lot more students, twice what I had thought was likely for the next year. Even though I have a small student base from my former dance teacher, I need more!

    I haven't really been advertising much beyond Facebook. I plan to. But I'd really like to hear your success stories!

  2. #2
    Member onela's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't teach and I'm not a business owner, but do you have to only teach? Would you consider including selling stuff like hip scarves and bachelorette party workshops and performance gigs in your business plan?

  3. #3
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Even at my most successful, I've needed another income source in addition to teaching belly dance classes. Are you qualified to teach anything but ATS? If so, I'd suggest adding some non- ATS classes such as general fitness, exercise classes for seniors, kids, mushy housewives, step aerobics or whatever the heck is the hot exercise fad right now, zumba, dance for fitness, etc.

    Offering a boutique through the business as Onela suggested is also a good idea, especially if you offer things that non-dancers might like as well. A sister bd teacher managed to stay afloat for years by offering New Age items through her boutique.

    I wish you all the luck in the world and hopes this endeavor turns out to be the best decision of your life!
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    Print flyers and deliver them door to door.
    This always worked for me, as you do it in the around area of the studio and there are always people that dont know.
    Make special offers for friends, its easier for 2 people together to step in a dance scholl than 1 single.
    2 times per year, advertize Open Free lesson day you get people that never thought of starting dance.
    Get involved with the local bellydance AND dance community.
    Be flexible with prices, make them take more hours for less money, they will tell around.

    All these worked for me

    Good luck in all

  5. #5
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Posters _everywhere_ and some announcements in the local newspaper works as well (an article about your classes are even better).
    --
    Daim.

  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Business cards to hand out every time the subject of belly dance comes up. Most communities have some kind of bulletin boards in libraries, grocery stores, etc. A pocket of busniess cards along with your posters gives people something to easily take with them.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #7
    Member Bast's Avatar
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    I'm not a teacher but I've seen what works well for mine.
    Do public performances at big events or even just the local shopping mall then get your dancers to hand out fliers while still in costume before people start to drift away. This seems to attract a lot of interest. Everyone loves a sparkly costume.

  8. #8
    Member Chani's Avatar
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    Incentives for students bringing in new students is attractive to those wanting to save money on classes. You can offer $20 off their class fees when a friend signs up for a term. That way they are out there singing your praises and encouraging friends they know might enjoy your classes to come along.

    If you think it would work offering discounted fees for children can help out students who struggle with child care. One teacher local to me offers half price classes for 10-16yo and it's $20 per term for younger kids who often start the class but then sit out and watch. Obviously, this would have to be okay by your other students and would only work with children who wouldn't disrupt the class. Both my daughers have learned belly dance this way and it also teaches them to discipline themselves and to respect the class time by being still and quiet if they aren't participating.

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