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Creating a Thriving Dance Program: Strategies for Dance Educators

Jan 02, 2024

I used to think that my program wasn't able to thrive. There were missing pieces that I couldn't figure out. I wanted to create a program that everyone raved about, including me. Building a successful dance program goes beyond teaching the technique of dance; it's about program development and creating an environment where students can flourish. Once I found my secret sauce, my program began to thrive! 


Here are three essential strategies to help you achieve that goal:

  1. Define Your Program's Unique Identity

Every successful dance program has a unique identity that sets it apart. Start by defining what makes your program special. Is it a focus on specific dance styles, a commitment to inclusivity, or a dedication to nurturing young talent? Identify your program's strengths and values, and use them as a foundation for growth. When you have a clear identity, it becomes easier to attract like-minded students and supporters who believe in your vision.

  1. Build a Strong Curriculum

A well-structured curriculum is the backbone of any thriving dance program. Develop a curriculum that offers a balanced blend of technique, creativity, and performance opportunities. Ensure that your curriculum caters to students of various skill levels, from beginners to advanced dancers. Don't forget to incorporate elements of dance history, cultural awareness, student leadership, and interdisciplinary learning to provide a comprehensive educational experience. A strong curriculum not only enhances your program's reputation but also keeps students engaged and motivated.

  1. Foster a Supportive Community

A thriving dance program is more than just the dance classroom experience; it's a community where students feel valued and supported. Cultivate a positive and inclusive atmosphere where students can express themselves freely and build lasting relationships. Hosting events, performances, and workshops can further strengthen the sense of community and create opportunities for students to showcase their talent. A supportive dance community not only retains students but also attracts new ones through reputation and visibility.

Building a successful dance program takes time and effort, but with a clear identity, a strong curriculum, and a supportive community, you'll be well on your way to creating a thriving program that benefits both you and your students. Keep nurturing your program's growth, and watch it flourish year after year. I saw it happen with my own eyes!

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