Originally posted by Hollie Schmidt on tribe.net.So all this talk about Beginning ATS classes has got me thinking about my Level I class for 2011. I am sort of in a rut, I am thinking about taking a small break from teaching weekely classes to refresh during November and December....It has been three years since I took a break and looking back at student records holiday months are slow so this is the perfect time. I was thinking of taking this time to advertise my classes and try to rally up some new students in this area. I am also looking at changing the structure of my classes and maybe shying away from the recommended FCBD time period for level I and teaching in quarters of the year...winter, spring, summer,and fall. I feel this would lock students into a larger time period and more of a committment and it might make students stay for Level II. I looked at Level II being a 12 week session and really like the flow of the schedule. I was wanting more of an input on this before I make a final decision from my sister-studios............and I cant forget the brother-studio Val" =)
Originally posted by Carrie on tribe.net.You should do whatever works for you in your area. Last year, I took December off. This year, Im just doing an all level drop in for 90 minutes during December on Tuesday night which is usually when I hold my L1 and L2 back to back. Yes, attendance is very low around the holidays for everyone, Im sure.br/I also dont offer punch cards. I would like to one day... but for now, I offer my sessions (following the FC class format) for one rate. Students pay up front for the entire course. If someone signs up for L1 and doesnt like it after the first class, Ill happily give them their money back, but thats only happened twice in over 3 years. br/Alaskans by nature are commitment phobes. -Must be something about the great outdoors and exploration bla bla bla. So, with the way the pay works for my classes, people are committing up front and I have better attendance as a result.br/br/I will say, that I think it would be hard to pin down a first time student for any longer than 6-8 weeks when they have no idea what they are taking. Once you feed them the ATS crack, and they come back for more, then you could get a 12 week commitment. I know I would be hard pressed to sign up for something for 12 weeks, when I had NO idea what it was.
Originally posted by Hollie Schmidt on tribe.net.My idea is 8 week period stretched out over a season around holidays etc. People are bad on commitment here in the South even after paying for something. Another issue is do you allow drop-ins? I do now, but I am thinking for Level I, it is hard for a student to drop-in and catch up. I am thinking of doing away with drop-ins for level I. Suggestions or comments?
Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.I offer my classes the same as you, Carrie - 6-week session, pay up front. I will refund the session (minus a drop-in fee for classes attended) up until after the second class only. br/br/Hollie - I require that my students take Level One at least twice before moving up, and that they check with me first, too. A few times I have asked students to take Level One a third time before moving up. I find this is good for a few reasons - first, they are stronger dancers when they enter level two; second, they get a real sense of accomplishment when they dance with the newbies and can see how much they have improved the second time, and happy dancers are more likely to continue on; and the newbies, who might feel frustrated, can see that it gets easier fairly quickly, as the second-time girls seem to have a pretty good understanding.
Originally posted by Valizan on tribe.net.Hollie, I tend to do ten-week sessions, with two weeks off for my sanity! br/br/I also, however, dont offer as many classes in the summer months because here in Ontario, no one is around. br/br/With the long winter, Ontarians enjoy their two months of good weather going to the cottage and taking vacations. Trying to fill a class is like trying to catch tossed confetti. br/br/Depending on the studio, I offer some a five-week classes, but usually it is some kind of specialty ATS class like "A Taste Of ATS" (Beginner ATS Family moves) to attract new people (Who then come back in the fall for the full-ten week course!) or an ATS Drills & Combos class. One week of drilling moves I think they are weak in, one week I give them a combo so they learn new melanges of moves, one week they choose what they want to work on, one week I taught Duelling Duets. Stuff like that. br/br/I did the drop-in thing at one of the schools I taught at, and it drove me insane. So now I ONLY offer pay in advance, 10-week sessions. No refunds. If youre in, youre in. If youre not in, thanks for the change. When people pay, they stay because they want the value for their money. br/br/*Aside to Carrie: Yakked up my juice when you wrote "ATS Crack!"
Originally posted by Carrie on tribe.net.Were addicts AND pushers!!
Originally posted by Carrie on tribe.net.I dont allow drop-ins, UNLESS theyve taken the course before and want to come back to refresh their memory on a move. Every once in a while someone will want to preview the class before signing up, so I allow them to come and watch say.. week 5, and see if they want to sign up for the next session.
Originally posted by Jen on tribe.net.hahaha addicts AND pushers indeed!!! I so love you, Carrie!br/br/On that side note, Im finding it rather difficult as well to allow drop-ins for Level I and even some of Level II...BUT for some reason when I try to close the class to sessions, I get absolutely no one signing up for the level 1 and 2 classes. And idea how to fix this? I have so many people asking me to teach levels 1 and 2 yet when it comes down to it, no one will commit to the full 6 week course...its harder than it looks apparently. Apparently Utahns are committment-phobic too LOL. I seem to be slowly adding more committed people but Im not sure I can confidently close my classes off into no drop-ins without losing all of my students Ive managed to snag and feed my ATS crack too! Any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂
Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.Hi Jen - My first session, I had no one show up for the session I offered - lots of people "signed up," but then only 3 people actually appeared. For the next session (and ever since), I made pre-payment mandatory, so I could make sure I could cover my studio rent, and I always offer an early-bird price. When people think theyre getting a deal on something, theyre more likely to jump in and actually commit, Ive found. My 6-week sessions are $78, and students who sign up 10 days (or more) in advance pay $68. (This is also good for advertising - "Sign up now and save $10!!") Hope this helps. 🙂
Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.Oh, also, I made drop-in more expensive - the $78 works out to $13/class, and early-bird is even cheaper, but I charge $15 for drop-in. The only time I get drop-ins now are when people who normally pay for sessions are going on vacation for multiple weeks in a row - they tend to just pay for drop-ins for the classes they are there.
Originally posted by JoY Hellaballoo on tribe.net.Yes-- I am going to make my drop in much more expensive than the 2-3- $ difference I used to come this new session when I return to teaching....
Originally posted by Lisa on tribe.net.I charge £8 per drop in or £40 for the whole six week rotation.br/br/It means they get a lesson free if they pay up front. I do have a massive disclaimer tho that if they have paid up front and they dont attend the class then they dont get a refund. Keeps em coming through the door
Originally posted by Jen on tribe.net.Sounds good 🙂 Thanks everyone for the help! Im hoping my patience will pay off 🙂
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