A dance teacher leads students in an exercise

Summer Dance Camp Planning: Top 6 Things to Consider

With spring just around the corner, it’s about time to start planning and promoting summer camps at your dance studio. Whether you’ve hosted many over the years or this summer will mark the launch of your first, it’s important to carefully plan out the event to make sure it goes well and leaves an impact on any students who attend. But what makes an unforgettable summer dance camp? A successful summer dance camp is fuelled by a combination of passion, creativity, and most importantly, thorough planning. To help you host your studio’s best camp yet, we’ve put together a list of the top 6 things to consider when planning it out. Let’s take a look.

1. Target Audience

The first thing to consider when planning your summer camp is your target audience. For your camp to be a success you’ll want to take a step back and analyze your current enrollments at your dance studio. Which classes are the most popular among students and parents? Around what age are most students in those classes? This kind of information is vital to review when determining the target audience for your summer dance camp and using it can help you determine what style of dance to focus on in your camp and may even help influence the theme. Not all dance camps serve the same age group or skill level, and it’s crucial to tailor your camp’s activities and curriculum to match the age and skill of your campers.

Remember, sometimes the summer dance camp you want to host may not make the most sense for your business. This isn’t to say you can’t pursue hosting a summer dance camp themed around a style of dance that your studio doesn’t normally offer, but it can be helpful to test the waters ahead of time with limited-run classes to gauge interest before committing.

2. Curriculum and Theme

The next thing to consider is your theme and curriculum. Once you’ve identified which dance classes are the most popular among your students you can begin planning how to best match your camp to it. For example, if you find that your studio’s beginner ballet classes are usually full with a waitlist, it’s a good idea to offer a summer dance camp curriculum that also caters to these students and those who may not have had the opportunity to take them yet. 

You could create a fun theme based on this information as well! Using the same example, if beginner ballet classes thrive at your studio, you could use a “ballet classics” theme featuring music and choreography from ballets like Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty. If this is already something focused on in your classes and you want to offer something “outside the box”, consider utilizing contemporary music with classic moves or even incorporating a different style of dance to blend with ballet.

3. Staffing and Scheduling

One of the best ways to make a summer dance camp truly memorable for your students is to ensure that you have a reliable, passionate, and skilled team to support your young dancers throughout the event. Don’t forget that summer doesn’t just mean vacation time for your students and their families, but may also include members of your staff. As you begin to plan your camp, try to commit to times and dates as soon as possible so you can begin planning out staffing for it. Starting conversations with your staff ahead of time will reduce any confusion or last-minute panic. 

Even with plenty of preemptive planning, it never hurts to expect the unexpected. In the event that someone can’t be there to teach on a certain day, stay calm, the show must go on! Simply find and assign a substitute to keep your summer camp on track!

4. Spreading the Word

Having a plan to promote your summer dance camp is almost as important as hosting the camp itself. This year when spreading the word, consider utilizing new means of communicating the details of your camp. Emails to parents and a flyer or poster prominently displayed in your studio are a great place to start but there’s a whole world of options you can utilize to help maximize your camp registrations. 

For starters, consider broadening your email communications to include former and prospective families when sending out your announcements. Just because someone is no longer a student doesn’t mean they won’t return for a special summer event! Families that have expressed interest in your studio or even those on your waitlist are also fantastic people to share your summer camp with. This offers them an opportunity to come and see just what your studio has to offer in a smaller form, possibly leading to long-term students as a result.

Email isn’t the only electronic medium that can help boost your registrations though. If you use a mobile app or have been considering adopting one, you can send parents push notifications with all the details, straight to their phone. This can help keep your camp at the top of parent’s minds and help them stay aware of availability and enrollment dates.

It can be easy to lock into a specific promotional routine for your summer camps if you’ve hosted them in the past but don’t be afraid to branch out and utilize new ways of spreading the word. 

5. Registration

If you’re taking the steps to plan ahead, why not reflect that in your registration window and process? Opening registration too close to the planned dates for your camps can cause you to miss out on registrations due to prior commitments and plans. If you have historically opened registrations for your summer camps within four weeks of your camp’s start date, it’s worth considering moving them up to an earlier date. This allows parents to plan around your summer dance camp during a time of year when family vacations and trips are common. 

If you’re not already doing so, utilizing online registration is another step you can take to help boost your camp’s success. Offering parents the opportunity to register their little dancers at any time, from almost anywhere within the registration window allows them to sign their children up in a way that accommodates their busy schedules.

6. Alternative Activities

Despite dance being the focus, incorporating other engaging activities can enrich your camp’s experience and help foster a fun, memorable and creative experience for your students. Craft sessions, team-building activities, guest speakers, or outdoor games can add variety and fun, building camaraderie among attendees. These activities can also help reinforce any theming you have planned. 

Remember, the ultimate goal of a summer dance camp is to provide a transformative, fun-filled experience that will leave students inspired and filled with cherished memories. A well-planned summer dance camp is sure to leave a lasting impression in the hearts of the many young dancers, and with these considerations in mind, your dance camp is bound to create a rhythm that resonates with every child who attends. Happy planning!

With a host of helpful features, Jackrabbit Dance is the perfect choice to help ensure your summer dance camp runs smoother than ever. Check it out for yourself today with a free trial!

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