This guest post by Micaela Royer was originally posted at The Streamlined Studio where you can find additional insights including a Dance Teachers Guide to Zoom and Top 3 Ways to Keep Your Dance Studio Thriving During the COVID-19 Crisis.
How to Support Students and Staff During the COVID-19 Crisis
6 simple ways to strengthen your personal connections with your staff and students while practicing social distancing during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to turn our world upside down. Each day comes with new challenges and more information about the virus. We are being quarantined to our homes and the way we conduct business, shop, clean, and socialize is changing. During this challenging time, it is imperative that you prioritize nurturing your studio family.
It is amazing to see how many dance studios and other businesses are promoting and producing content during the COVID-19 crisis. Dance studios are using online platforms to promote their programs and classes, inform their clients as to what they are doing to combat the spread of the virus, and educate their audience about the steps they are taking to provide the same quality of service as before.
On one hand it is incredible that our clients are more informed than ever thanks to the increase of online activity and more frequent posting on all social media outlets. However, most business owners are forgetting the most important piece of the puzzle.
They are forgetting to nurture the personal connection they have with their staff, students, and other clients.
This is essential for every single dance studio because our community is what makes us strong and keeps our business alive. Having the ability to dance while at home is incredible, but your students will also be missing the connection they have with their teacher and fellow students. While we are being forced to practice social distancing, it is imperative that we focus on balancing content creation and personal connection.
Now that we recognize how important it is to maintain and grow our human connection with our clients, let’s talk about how to do that in an easy and stress-free manner.
Here are some simple steps to start strengthening that personal connection:
Step 1: Send non-class or info packed emails to clients and staff to check-in
These days, everyone has an inbox full of information about the coronavirus and how it is affecting our daily lives. It is rare to get an email from a business that is purely to check in on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Before the virus when our studios were open, we would ask our students, staff, and clients how their day was going and offer a smile or kind word. There is no reason we can’t still do that virtually. Make it a priority to send emails to your dance studio family that are encouraging and caring. Check in with them and make sure they know you truly care about their wellbeing.
Step 2: Post inspirational and motivational content on social media to keep spirits high.
In times like these most of what we see on the news and social media is fear based. Stand out by posting positive quotes and content on your page! Everyone will appreciate your efforts.
Here are a couple inspiring quotes to get you started!
- “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ~Vivian Greene
- “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
- “No matter what you’re going through, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” ~Demi Lovato
- “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
- “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” ~Aristotle
Step 3: Post teacher check-ins on social media where they can update their students on what they are doing during the quarantine.
Once your teachers have posted their update, make sure to have your students leave a message for them in the comments. Don’t forget to have the teachers respond to keep the conversation two-sided!
These are a few topics to have your teachers talk about during their check-ins:
- Their favorite exercise
- A healthy meal they love
- Their favorite card game
- Their favorite tv show or movie
- How many pets they have
***PRO TIP!*** On the algorithm side this will also benefit your business because the more people that are commenting on your post, the more your content will be seen!
Step 4: Ask what your followers want by using the “polls” feature on instagram stories.
You can use these polls to ask your clients how they want to receive your services and to play lighthearted “this-or-that” games.
Here are some examples of polls to create:
- Live video or pre-recorded class?
- Would you rather game?
- Would you rather tap dance on soap OR do ballet in peanut butter?
- Would you rather do 100 grand plies OR 10 recital run-throughs?
- Would you rather be really good at math OR really good at sports?
- Would you rather dance in front of 1000 people OR sing in front of 1000 people?
- Would you rather have super strength OR super speed?
- Would you rather have a dog that could talk OR a cat that could dance?
Step 5: For feedback – use the ‘ask a question’ feature on instagram stories.
Here are some questions to ask your instagram followers:
- What songs do you want to see a combo to?
- What class do you really want to see?
- What did you think of our first week of virtual classes?
Step 6: Host non-class related virtual challenges.
These are great because they keep the conversation light-hearted and fun. They engage your audience while also keeping their minds off the COVID-19 pandemic. These questions will build the personal connection between you and your clients which will also build their trust in your studio.
Here are a couple fun challenges to post on your Instagram story:
- Guess which teacher this is (dance pic of when they were young) – quiz feature
- Guess which teacher’s pet this is (pic of teachers pets) – quiz feature
- Most likely to be the next president (which teacher) – ask a question feature
- Most likely to hoard all the toilet paper in our town (which teacher) – ask a question feature
- Which teacher’s warm-up makes you sweat the most (have the winner post a video of their warm-up) – ask a question feature
I know that was a lot of information so here is a little “checklist” to get you started!
- Send a heartfelt email to your dance studio family.
- Post your favorite inspirational quote on all social media channels.
- Use the poll feature on Instagram stories to ask your followers if they would rather take a live dance class or a pre-recorded class.
- Choose one teacher to feature for this week and have them post their check-in.
Your dance studio family needs you to keep them encouraged and motivated in this difficult time. Although it seems like a lot, if you keep working through these ideas each week, you will be shocked at how fast the time flies by!
All of that being said, it can be easy to forget about taking care of yourself when you are making sure everyone else is okay. Don’t forget to keep yourself physically, mentally and emotionally healthy too. You’ve got this!