12 min read
Jun 23, 2017
Dance Studio

One Step at a Time: Software to Manage Your Dance Studio

Setting up automatic billing, customizing email marketing campaign, and secure online registration payments sound difficult and dizzying? Don’t worry, dance studio apps can help.

Matt Mullarkey-TonerAnalyst

You might be the best ballet, hip-hop, or Paso Doble instructor this side of the Mississippi, but that doesn't mean you know how to set up automatic billing, customize an email marketing campaign, or provide a safe and secure place online for your students to register. If you already are comfortable with all of that, then you are likely already familiar with dance studio software. If all of that sounds as difficult and dizzying as Batman frantically spotting, don't worry- this article will act as an introduction to dance studio apps and how they can help you manage your studio.

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What does dance studio software do?

Dance studio software makes it easy to organize your classes, it provides a digital and centralized location to run your business, and it offers a place for clients to get an overview of your business and sign up for classes. Some solutions also offer analytics or intelligence features that are a great way to gather info on what aspects of your business are (un)successful and adjust based on that. Dance studio (or sometimes gym or fitness) software can help with:

  • Registration and enrollment to save time and prevent scheduling conflicts.

  • Brand customization for emails, logos, and website.

  • Paying for classes online as well as modifying payment structure (e.g. monthly vs one time payments).

  • Streamline administrative tasks such as instructor timesheets, student management, and attendance tracking.

Those are just a few examples of what dance studio apps can do, but they're often capable of much more and it's worth spending time to make a list of what features are most important to you.

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What are the best dance studio apps on the market?

Based on functionality and user reviews, I've put together a list of the five of the best dance studio apps.

Pike13

Formerly known as Front Desk, Pike13 says that it's for people who want to focus more on their clients rather than handle administrative tasks. With that in mind, it offers simple payment options (for clients), transparency in merchant processing, and DocuSign integration which allows you to securely handle (sign, send, store) digital contracts and waivers. Other perks include:

  • Mobile-friendly platform (available on iOS )

  • Text and email notifications for clients regarding payment

  • Automated and branded email campaigns via MailChimp and Emma integration

  • Track sales, revenue, and retention rates in real-time

Says one reviewer:

"Glad we made the switch to this program. Although it doesn't provide everything we need yet, and although there are some things that I'm still doing manually due to some functions not working like our company needs, it does seem that [Pike13] is making frequent updates and changes to their product to meet the needs of customers. So, I'm hopeful that the features I'd like to see improvements on will be happening soon. Customer service has been helpful in hearing my frustrations and has been good with helping me find temporary work-arounds. Overall pleased with the product!"

Pricing: Pike13 offers a free 14-day trial, but otherwise is broken into three different plans. The cheapest plan, Business, is $129 a month and gets you access to features such as unlimited users, schedule and attendance management, integrated merchant processing, and real-time reporting and analytics.

The next plan, Pro, gets you everything in the business plan plus digital contract features, payroll, and email marketing campaigns for $179 a month.

There's also an Enterprise plan, but you'll have to contact them because the price is custom. Check out Pike13's pricing page to find out more.

Glofox

Glofox also puts an emphasis on simplicity through its dashboard and mobile app. If you sign up with Glofox, they company will build you a custom mobile app that your clients can access to book classes, purchase items, and pay for classes. The dashboard collects all of this data and puts it in an easy-t-follow format. Other features include:

  • Membership management

  • Access control system integration

  • Automated waiting list

  • Recurring payments

  • Member reminders and notifications

Glofox has received a lot of good reviews regarding customer service. Says one reviewer:

"Turn-key, intuitive to work with, And, the team then customized when I need it for the software to align better with our club terminology. You can have great software and then bad support and the whole thing goes south- Glofox is exactly the opposite. The software platform is great but then add a team that executes under a tight timeline- big win and valuable software/partner!"

Pricing: Glofox comes in three different tiers: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The Silver plan starts at $80 per month and includes features such as the member app, website portal, report builder, and payment processing.

The Gold package starts at $105 per month and gets you everything in the silver plan, plus more broadcasts, reporting, and integration features.

The Platinum plan is $180 per month and it gets you everything in the previous two packages, plus options to increase your gym's reach. Check out Glofox's pricing page for more info.

The Studio Director

The Studio Director is highly focused on dance and it shows with more features focused on aspects such as recitals and skill tracking. It also has robust marketing capabilities that allow for plenty of branded customization with class confirmation letters, report cards, and invoices. Other features include:

  • Competition management

  • Mass emailing

  • Discount posting

  • Costume management

  • Billing & Invoicing

  • QuickBooks integration

Says one reviewer:

"I have worked in many corporate databases, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I started using The Studio Director. The dance studio I work for had already been using it for quite a few years when I became the studio manager. I was able to figure almost all of our daily functions in less than two days! The software is user-friendly, dynamic, and has great technical support! The staff are always friendly and prompt and have some kind of solution for most of our questions."

Pricing: The Studio Director has a free 15 day trial. After that, pricing depends on the number of students you have (starting at $39 per month for up to 100 students), so it's worth checking out their pricing calculator to figure out how much it would cost you.

Clubworx

Reviewers say that Clubworx easy to use, has fantastic customer support, and is a great way to monitor client progress. It's made with class-based gyms and studios (rather than individual) in mind. With Clubworx, studios can track member attendance, sort out of bookings, and handle contracts. Other features include:

  • Automated payments

  • Custom and website-integrated 'Contact Us' forms

  • Check-in manager

  • Customizable fields

  • Administrative reporting

Says one reviewer:

"From signing up for the trial to actually going live with our data and new DDR provider in under a week! All thanks to refreshingly helpful staff who actually know their product and how their customers will use it and an intuitive, easy to use interface. Very much like that their upgrade and improvement cycle is proactive and they listen and respond to customer request for fixes and features - discovered a small bug in the calendar and they fixed it overnight! The few niggles I have with the functionality will no doubt be fixed up in upcoming releases - well done guys!"

Pricing: Clubworx has three different plans, but they are "pay as you go," which means that you won't be locked into a contract. The first plan, Growing, is $29 per month and it covers 21-100 members and includes 150 free SMS pushes. Accelerating is the next tier and is $49 per month and covers 101-250 members and 250 SMS. The Established plan is $79 per month and covers 251+ members and 500 SMS. Check out their pricing page to find out more info.

Mindbody

Mindbody is a piece of a software that can do a lot, and it's also a big player in the studio and gym software space. It can handle your analytics, payments, mobile app, and it's easy to use. It also has marketing features that allow you to pull lists from client profiles, set up promo codes, and integrate discount packages; all of which is trackable. Other features include:

  • Waitlists

  • Attendance reports

  • Client profiles

  • Staff management

  • Key tags and gift cards

  • Apps for both clients and staff

  • Credit card processing

Says one reviewer:

"The software is excellent for both appointment and class based businesses. MB has excellent features for many different industries. It is by far the most feature complete system available. There are constant improvements and MB cares about its base. Changes are thoroughly tested before being released. A rich partner network allows you to expand functionality in many ways. Mobile apps for both the provider, owner, and client are available. Mobile solutions are easy to use. Reporting is easy after some training."

Pricing: MINDBODY has a variety of pricing options. They are divided into four different tiers: Starter, Pro, Accelerate, and Ultimate. The Starter package gets you a MINDBODY app listing, class & appointment scheduling, reporting options, and more. The price depends on your geographic location and there are lots of customization options, so it's worth just heading over the pricing page and checking it out.

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Still looking for dance studio apps?

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