How are your event preparations for National Dance Celebration Week going? Got a big dance recital planned?
Wait – you don’t have any events set up yet? No worries. Even though the week is coming up fast (starts Friday, April 20, 2018), you still have time to make sure your studio and students can take part.
When thinking about what sort of events your studio can put on during the week, the National Dance Foundation encourages everyone to focus on its key values for using dance to bring anyone and everyone together:
- Inclusion: Get people who may not normally be involved in dance or who wouldn’t even think to get involved – involved in dance.
- Kindness: Empower your dancers to use dance to call out bullying and help stop it.
- Community: Bring dance to the public – don’t wait for them to come to you!
Working with these three values, here are a few ideas how you can get your studio and students involved in promoting dance during this week of national celebration.
The NDF’s main focus here is to engage children with special needs or learning differences. They even offer annual “Chance to Dance” scholarships to dance teachers providing dance opportunities for special needs students. You can get started by offering an open house class for special needs children during National Dance Celebration week. Reach out to local special needs organizations to arrange for students to attend.
You can also think about other underserved populations in your local community. For example, you might think of also visiting:
- A senior living center to teach them some new moves. Bring some students too and let the seniors teach you all some of their old swing and jitterbug moves. Many centers today encourage dance and music because they help combat Alzheimer’s and depression.
- An after school program at a local school, YMCA, or Boys and Girls Club. Make it a freeform dance party.
The NDF runs a campaign called “Kick for Kindness Shout Out.” It includes a short routine students can break into to call out bullying. Here’s the K4K dance tutorial on the NDF’s website.
You can encourage your students to teach their friends the routine so there’s always a group of them who can do the K4K routine at any time. Have them record themselves teaching their friends and spreading the campaign through their school, church, or other local group.
This is your opportunity to create a branded dance mob out in public. Tie-in your Inclusion events by using them to teach different groups their part in the dance mob. The NDF runs an annual contest for the best dance mobs and you can use this dance mob as your entry for next year’s contest. If you have a team of tap dancers, join TapLife’s nation-wide dance mob.
Other dance mob options include:
- Choreograph dance mob moves that any onlooker can join in on and that complement the more challenging dance mob moves of your students. Have parents and friends of your students be the original supporting cast who can encourage others to join in.
- Pair up with a local nonprofit organization and put together a dance mob to music that reflects their mission. Volunteers and clients of the nonprofit can join your students as the mob.
Use your best dance recital fight-the-jitters tips to help the novice dancers throw themselves into the number.
Amplify each event’s reach
Because each event is fun, educational, and full of energy and enthusiasm, you want to show them off them in social and traditional media coverage. Many of the NDF contests require that your social media content tags them or uses one of their hashtags. They also have NDF-branded t-shirts, which they’ll want to see some students wear – and at minimum, you’ll want some of your dancers to wear your studio’s branded t-shirts.
Send a press release to local TV and radio stations, and community newspapers (hard copy and/or digital). Reach out directly to a few influential local bloggers or community-beat reporters (think arts or features writers) to let them know what you’re doing during National Dance Celebration Week.
Make sure your students know the NDF hashtags so they add to their own posts. And don’t forget to also tag the NDF itself on your personal and studio’s social media posts.
Get a Move On!
If you want more inspiration — read some examples about what different types of dance recitals and events other studios have held during previous celebration weeks. This week is more than an opportunity to bring dance to broader audience. It’s also a great way for you to position yourself as a community leader, all while promoting your own brand. So get creative and design an event that lets people know who you are and what you stand for.