When the lockdown hit, most Dance Studio Owners were left scrambling for ideas on how to safely and effectively have their students perform. Restrictions on how many people we can have in closed in areas are still in place in most parts of the world. Depending on where you live that will determine your outside performing options as we move into the winter months here in the USA.
The reality is now, more than ever the Dance Studio Owner needs to be flexible and open to different ideas on where to have our students perform. As we navigate through this time here are some ideas on where to look.
Option #1: Look for an outdoor artist or event space. When we had to postpone our year end showcase from June 20 to the end of August, we found a great artist’s space in the next town over. They had a large outdoor area and an immense boathouse to use as a backstage, changing area where we could safely practice social distancing. This place is a diamond in the rough with wonderful wall mural art and in-residence artists presenting their work. Most of our customers never even knew about this place so having the performances there really did help get the word out to the community about this wonderful new space. They built a simple stage for us where we were able to do 7 different shows with seating spread out. I can tell you our families loved this different kind of show and many asked if we could do it every year. We will certainly consider this for 2021. Funny, how in adversity equal or greater opportunity really does exist. I recommend you look around your community and see if you can partner with some local artist or event space where you can also help promote what they are doing. If they have lots of room and ample parking it is a possibility.
Check out the video below with drone footage from our recent event!
Option #2: Connect with your city hall or town officials to see if you can use some large open-air space or large town hall in-door function space. I recommended this to one of my VIP consulting clients and she had great results. This happened just at the beginning of last month and they turned it into a fall/pumpkin festival and sold pumpkins all weekend for a local charity. This was her recital, pushed from July but her families loved it and she received lots of local press coverage. A stage was erected, compliments of the town in front of city hall and they did two days of shows with social distancing in place. Not only did she sell tickets for the shows in which those proceeds went to the studio but raised $1300 for a local charity to help underserved families during the holiday season. Talk about a win-win!
Option #3: Find a mall with enough room to do an indoor performance. Another dance studio owner I know does the Nutcracker every year but her studio is in up-state New York so you cannot do an outdoor performance unless it was going to be in a heated tent. She found a mall and worked out a deal that would let her present the Nutcracker (a condensed version) in a large space during Santa Week. These performances have yet to happen but she is relieved to be able to present this yearly tradition that her studio has been doing for 38 years! They even have enough room for her to set up some backdrops and props. They are also letting her install a Marley dance floor. The director of the mall has told her that in normal years past 1000’s of families come through during that week. Although they are going to limit the number of people who can come in, there was already a waiting list for each day of Santa week. I imagine she will be getting new students from this out of the box Christmas Nutcracker.
I hope this gets you thinking creatively about places to perform that are safe, fun and different! Who knows, you may even find something that will become a new tradition for your Dance Studio, Good Luck!