Deciding whether you will be holding a summer camp, summer intensive, or both is instrumental in the success of your program. First let's summarize the points from our previous article:
Summer Dance Camp incorporates dance, as well as other activities. Summer camp is an escape from the format of school training for students where they are open to enjoy themselves in a multitude of different activities that relate to a common interest (in this case dance). The focus is on fun while learning and improving.
Summer Intensives are designed to intensify training and provide an accelerated and demanding dance program that significantly improves student skill. The dance intensive is designed to drastically improve the students' skill in dance, though having fun is also important.
Once you determine the focus of your program (Summer Camp for Fun, Summer Intensive for Improvement) the planning can begin.
Summer camp will consist of both dance classes as well as non-dance related activities. Below are some suggestions:
- Decide on what kind of classes you want to offer. For younger students, classes like the "Angelina Ballerina" class will be enjoyable though they can be costly.
- Consider offering different style classes not typically offered in your curriculum (some ideas include ballroom styles, African styles, Latin, Ballroom, Improv, and many more). Ask your current staff if there are any other styles they are interested in teaching; utilizing your own staff will save money and give them a refreshing challenge.
- Include "d'acting" - acting for dancers - check out these exercises we recommend. Kids will love them and it will improve their ability to emote while dancing. For other acting exercises, check out this WEBSITE:
Arts and Crafts:
Arts and crafts are limited only by your imagination. Try some of the ideas below or go online to Michaels (they are having a 50% off sale!) Perfect to plan now. Some craft ideas include: Making dance bracelets, drawing dance designs on t-shirts, painting a dance picture, decorating small mirrors with beads, glitter, etc.
Here are three simple games loved by younger children:
- The Circle Game: Make a large circle. The leader chooses a category. Begin playing any drum rhythm with your body using the clapping of the hands and patting of the lap. Going counter clockwise, each camper must name something related to the category in the time it takes for one clapping sequence. (Example: Category-Color, Acceptable Answers- Green, Blue, Red, Etc.) If a camper repeats an answer or does not come up with an answer in time they are out! However, they keep participating by clapping though they no longer answer.
- Who Am I: Shred paper into small pieces and grab some tape. Have each camper write the name of an animal, object or person on a small shred of paper, then put them all into hat. Each camper draws a shred of paper and tapes it to their forehead without looking. The camper then must only ask yes or no questions to the other campers to attempt to discover who they are. You can sit in a circle and take turns asking or you can do this free for all style.
- Possum: Have the children find a spot in the room/field away from everyone else, and lie down. When the camp leader says "possum" everyone is to lie still and remain as quiet as possible. The last person to move/give up wins. But be sure to remind them, no physical contact!
Need more ideas? This website is CHOCK FULL of what you are looking for!
Off Campus Trips:
Summer outings are often campers’ favorite part of the program. Outings can be selected based on age as well as whether you have selected a CAMP or INTENSIVE format for your summer program. If there are additional fees, collect them upfront as part of the tuition, which our School Empower School Management system can easily do for you! For a dance camp, incorporating dance trips help to expand their knowledge and enthusiasm for their passion!Going to see a professional dance performance, have a pool party at your local pool, go bowling, go see a summer blockbuster, visit an amusement park, or something simple like a have a picnic!
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- The dance classes the intensive offers are the key to success with your intensive.
- Analyze where your students need improvement. If your students are week in a particular area, include classes in that genre.
- Like the "dance camp" adding "D-acting" will increase your dancers' ability to add drama to their craft. Many local universities have acting teachers who are very skilled and can offer your students excellent training.
- Summer intensives are a great time to bring in master teachers; decide on dancers and dance teachers you admire and get in contact using their website. Bring Broadway to your studio with Stage Door Connections! SDC provides you with a personalized intensive with Broadway choreographers and dancers to teach your team! Decide on what genres will benefit and challenge your students.
Decide If You Will Have a Showcase:
Many dance intensives end in a showing of the work the students have participated in. Generally this showing can be informal and is designed to show the parents and audience what the students learned in their time involved in the program. This also gives the students an additional opportunity to perform, a skill which is instrumental to the dancer.
Plan Fun Outings:
Though intensives are about improving skill, all the hard work the students put in merits some fun outside of the studio. There is no reason not to include trips, and live performances for your Summer Dance Intensive!
It is important to get the master instructors involved in these outings also; this gives the students additional interaction with their teachers and face time with a professional in a low pressure setting.
Summer Dance Intensives and Dance Camps are wonderful experiences for students and will give them memories for years to come. They are also excellent tools for expanding your business. DO NOT FORGET TO ADVERTISE!
This is a great way to get new students involved; the students only have to make a short term commitment at a time when their stress is relatively low. You will have the opportunity to get them interested in your studio and your year round program. Aim at drawing many new students in for both Dance Intensives and Dance Camps
Our studios have had a lot of success boosting posts and geo-targeting ads on FACEBOOK. GO HERE for our step by step guide to Facebook advertising. Other areas to promote:
- Your best "camper" is your current student population. Offer discounts for those who are enrolled in your full year program.
- Offer incentives for students to get their friends to enroll for a week or two.
- Create flyers for elementary, middle and high schools.
- Enlist principals of the schools.
- Advertise to after school programs.
- Post on church & synagogue bulletin boards.
- Get listed with Camp Directories like: Kids Camp, Camp Page, Camp Page and the grandfather of them all: Open Directory
- Enlist your students to help pass out flyers.
- Think about Living Social or GroupOn but REMEMBER that the deal strategy will not necessarily increase your fall enrollment.
- Advertise on Facebook (only in your area).
- Make a press release about your dance camp and send to local papers and, of course,
- Feature your camp on your website.
So, of course I can't but help put a little plug for our AWESOME studio management system, School Empower! School Empower will let you have full day, half day, single day, full weeks, full months, recurring billing, etc. CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO SEE A FULL SYSTEM IN ACTION: