Let’s Twirl ~ A Guide to Our Fun + Fancy Preschool Dance Program!
We have so many new followers and readers (thank you!), and we’ve been getting so many questions lately about our Twirl program. So, we thought we would dedicate an entire post to Twirl, especially since many of you will begin planning your 2018-2019 season soon (say what!?!?!)! To keep it simple, we’re presenting this post Q&A style so we can really dive into our most frequently asked questions. So, here’s what you have been asking us!
What exactly is Twirl?
Twirl is our fun + fancy preschool/kindergarten program designed to add a little sparkle + merriment into your dance classes. Twirl is not a curriculum, but a very colorful + engaging way infuse FUN into your existing preschool/kindergarten structure.
We offer four different levels of Twirl based on age groups. Since it is not a curriculum, there are no hard-and-fast rules on age, but at our studio we use the following as a guideline:
Twirl Pink – ages 2-3
Twirl Lilac – ages 3-4
Twirl Yellow – ages 4-5
Twirl Aqua – ages 5-6
How do I become Twirl studio, and what does that mean?
You become a Twirl studio as soon as you purchase the minimum order of 10 Twirl Packs of one color level! It’s that simple! The books are not available in quantities less than 10, but you are welcome to purchase any quantity above 10 (i.e. you can purchase 14 or 16 or 11…you don’t have to purchase in increments of 10). Once you are a Twirl studio, we will share with you the Twirl logo to use for promoting your program, as well as a class description to use in your registration marketing materials and/or website.
What is a Twirl Pack?
A Twirl Pack comes with one of each of the following:
- A fun + colorful Twirl Activity Book ~ These fun books demonstrate age-appropriate dance steps and proper terminology in a creative way. There are 10 activities in each book, plus a few fun extras. Each dancer will receive their very own Twirl activity book!
- A fancy Twirl Ribbon ~ This adorable rosette will hang on the dancers dance bag and collect rhinestones at the completion of each dance class. Stamps and stickers fade away, but at the end of the season, this ribbon will be a sparkly reminder of how much fun they had in your dance class!
- A Twirl Graduation Celebration Certificate ~ At the completion of each season, dancers will be awarded a Twirl Graduation Celebration Certificate. Make it a fun fête and invite the parents into class for this special little ceremony!
- A Teacher Guide ~ YES, we’ve got your back! This is your Twirl Manual. The Teacher Guide for each level includes detailed instructions for each activity in the book, plus other fun things like props, music suggestions and more.
So, for example, if you purchased the minimum order of 10 Twirl Pink Packs, you would receive 10 Pink Activity Books, 10 Pink Ribbons, 10 Graduation Celebration Certificates and one Pink Teacher Guide.
How do you use Twirl at your studio?
We have over 300 preschool dancers at our studio, and nearly all of them are in a Twirl class! These are ballet/tap combo classes, and we teach our standard curriculum every week. But, once per month in class, we have a super special Twirl class. We like to call it a dance party once a month in class! We meet with our preschool teachers at the beginning of the season and map out Twirl weeks on the calendar for the entire season s o everyone is on the same page!
We make a really big deal out of this day, and go all out with our props, dance games and activities. We even decorate the studio in the theme of the activity. Check out the hashtag #rhythmtwirl to see some of our fun class pics at Rhythm Dance Center! The dancers and parents love it! You can also see some of our customers at #twirlwithconfetti!
On the first day of class, we give each dancer their fancy Twirl Ribbon. In fact, we go ahead and affix the ribbon to their dance bags for them so they won’t get lost. We explain to our dancers that, at the end of class, they will receive a sparkly adhesive rhinestone on their ribbon, and, it will become even more sparkly every week when they come to dance class (this really does help encourage attendance!).
We also give each dancer their Twirl activity book on the first day of class, and we personalize each one with the dancers’ names. But, the books stay at our studio in labeled magazine racks throughout the season, and we bring them out one time per month on Twirl week. Can you imagine the drama of tiny dancers forgetting or losing their books? Nope, no one needs that in their life! This makes it so much easier!
On Twirl day, we make it a really big deal! We decorate the studio in the theme of the activity, and even email parents to have dancers dress in specific colors or themes if they want.
We begin class by opening to that day’s activity and introduce the dancers to the fun Twirly girl characters (Lucy, Gemma and Annabel), and we read the poem that relates to that day’s activity. It depends on the ages of the dancers whether we have them repeat the poem after us. The older kids who can read can always read it out loud with you. By reading the poem and seeing the colorful pages, the dancers become engaged in the theme of the activity and are ready to Twirl!
There is plenty of time in class to teach our curriculum in addition to Twirl, but we always find ways to link all the activities of that day back to our theme. And, even though we only bring out the books and all the pizzazz once per month, dancers love their Twirl activities, so we repeat them all month long in our non-Twirl week classes!
At the end of the season, we invite parents in for the last few minutes of class for the dancers to give a special Twirl performance, then we hold an informal graduation ceremony where the dancers receive their certificates. It is also at this time they take possession of their Twirl Activity book to keep forever to remind them of all the fun they had dancing with us this year!
How many activities are included in each Twirl book?
Each Twirl book includes 10 unique activities (as does the accompanying Teacher Guide)! As referenced above, we introduce a new activity once per month, so that takes us through an entire season! There are also several extra fun things for the dancers to do once they take their books home, like coloring or hidden picture pages!
I love the idea of using Twirl at my studio, but we have a tight budget. Can I pass along any of the costs to my customers?
Trust us, we TOTALLY get the budget thing! That’s what is so great about the way we structure it at our studio (and the way many of our customers do now as well). At the time of registration, our Twirl dancers pay our standard registration fee that everyone who dances at our studio pays, but they also pay a Twirl fee, which we explain is to recoup the costs of materials their dancer will receive (book, ribbon and certificate). You could even add $5 or so to your costs and make a small profit if you want. You will know best what will work at your studio and with your customers!
Another idea is to build the expense into other existing costs. You could add it to a costume fee, uniform fee, recital fee, etc. We personally believe in the product and our dancers love it so much that we are upfront about the fee and have no complaints about this from our families. Our dancers LOVE their Twirl ribbons and books!
If passing the cost on to your customers just isn’t in the cards for you right now, think of it as an investment that you are making into your recreational preschool program! Many of us sink so much money into our performing companies with guest teachers, choreographers and other activities (guilty as charged!) but sometimes hesitate to do the same for our recreational programs. Our rec programs are our bread and butter (and where we pull our future dedicated dancers and performing company members), so it’s important to constantly show that we are innovating and focusing on those classes as well. And when your dancers tell their friends at school and in their neighborhoods how much fun they have in Twirl class, your phone will start ringing for more registrations!
For starters, you can always start small. Add one Twirl class to your schedule, and see how it goes. If you do this, we recommend starting with the Pink level for your youngest dancers. That way, if the program is a success, they can grow up with Twirl at your studio by advancing each year to the next color level!
Twirl sounds like a great program, but I am really happy with our current preschool class structure. Are there other ways we can incorporate Twirl into our studio?
Actually, yes! There are several ways! One idea is to hold a mini-session (8-10 weeks) for dancers who didn’t commit in time to be in the recital or for those who aren’t looking for a full season of dance classes yet. With 10 activities in each color level, you can make an entire mini season with Twirl! And, they will love getting their ribbon and certificate to go along with their mini session as well!
Another idea is to use Twirl as a summer camp! Note: we don’t recommend this if you are also planning to use Twirl as part of your regular season, as you may have dancers who want to do both. But, if you are looking for a fun way to use it without creating a special class, it will be perfect for summer! But, we also have Camp Confetti for summer, so check that out before you decide to use Twirl for Summer!
Could I see a sample of an activity from one of the Twirl activity books so I can better understand what Twirl is all about?
Yes! Click here to download a FREE SAMPLE ACTIVITY–Arabesque Treasure Chest–from our Twirl Pink level! In fact, we did an entire blog post on this activity! Check it out to see how we translated the activity in our class! Then, try this activity in one of your classes, and watch how excited your little dancers become as they engage in the activity! We promise you won’t be disappointed!
We hope this post helped you better understand what our Twirl Preschool Program is, how it works and how you can make it a successful program at your studio that boosts your brand and takes your preschool/kindergarten classes to the next level!
Now, who’s ready to TWIRL?