Dance Kelly Style

“I’m a dancer, I’m not going to need to write that much.” That might have gone through your head. Or, maybe, it’s going through your head right now. But just think about what the writing you’ve done in the past week. Texts to parents. Emails to future customers. Instagram captions about upcoming performances. All those words add up to a lot of writing. At every stage of your career, writing is vital to dancers.

  • When you think about it, there are a lot of things to write:
    • Emails to prospective employers
    • Resume
    • Social media posts (instagram captions, Facebook posts, etc)
    • Job postings
    • Ads
    • Brochure
    • Website
    • Email newsletters
    • Recital programs
    • Writing, writing, writing.

Who knew there was so much writing involved in being a dancer? At this point I’m ready to say that dancers should actually major in writing. It can be hard to turn off the turn out and turn out a great piece of writing for your brand or studio.

Time out… what’s the goal here?

My goal is to make it easier for you to write. Not make you a better writer. You’re already the most qualified individual to write for your studio (or your company, or your personal brand). 

Why? Because it’s your brand. Your story should be told in your voice. And you’re the only one who has immediate, non-stop access to that. 

So this isn’t about grammar or spelling or punctuation or vocabulary or any of that. If you can tell the difference between a sentence and a souté, I’m talking to you. This is about making your voice more accessible every time you sit down to write a social media post, a text, an email or anything else.

Because even though we live in a visual, digital age, writing will always be important. While people are drawn in by your photos or graphics, you want them to walk away with more information than they started with. And they get that from your writing. 

Hold up. If you’re ready to slink to the back line of the studio feeling like a student who missed the last three rehearsals, STOP. Writing for your studio should be fun, easy and quick. And now that you know writing is vital for dancers, let’s get to it. 

START WITH THIS “WHY DO YOU DANCE?”

Before you even type your next Instagram caption, sit down and think about what your studio (or your company or your business) means to you. Why it’s important. Why you started it in the first place. Write down all the reasons. 

Writing is vital to dancers. Start here to be a better writer: Grab a notebook and turn to a blank page. Map out your "why?" As in, Why do you wake up and dance every day that you do?
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

You can map it out. Write your studio’s name or your name at the center of a piece of paper and around it, write down all the words and phrases you LOVE about your studio. These are the things I want you to write about any time that you’re writing something for or about your dance studio. These are you “whys.”

THINK ABOUT THE TAKEAWAY

Think about all the places your brand shows up online — social media websites, your website, Google, etc. What’s the one “about me” thing you want every one to know? Think about that one takeaway you want future clients to know.

Open a new doc/email/etc and start typing whatever that takeaway needs to be. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, punctuation or anything. Just start writing. If you’re having trouble, copy & paste one of these fill-in-the-blank formulas:

[STUDIO NAME] is a [INSERT A “WHY”] dance studio where students focus on [TYPES OF DANCING YOU TEACH] in a(n) [INSERT A “WHY”] environment. 

[YOUR NAME] believes dancing should be [INSERT A “WHY” OR TWO]. (S)he strives to bring [INSERT A WHY] to the [STAGE, STUDIO, TOWN]. 

Those aren’t one-size-fits all, so start there and write what works for you.

This is your “Unique Dance Proposition.”

It’s the message that you should focus on throughout your writing. But that doesn’t mean to copy & paste this everywhere. So what do you do with it?

SPREAD YOUR MESSAGE

Take your Unique Dance Proposition and try to weave a part of it into the messaging you put out there. Want to be known for “fun”? Then put a fun Instagram caption into the world. Want to be known for making dance “accessible”? Make sure that shows up on your website. When you know WHAT you want to tell your audience, it makes it much easier to write. Announcements stop sounding just like bulleted lists and more like a conversation.

WHAT ABOUT “WRITING WELL”?

Don’t worry about writing perfectly. When it comes to finding your audience, your voice is what’s going to sell them, not whether you have the periods in the correct places.

Yes, I’m sure. 

This is an infamous ad campaign. Notice anything? Most people don’t. They just love their iPhone. But it’s not grammatically correct. It doesn’t have to be. It sells the idea regardless.

Rules (even my own) are made to be broken. When you’re applying for a grant or writing your resume, it’s worth the money to work with a professional writer to make sure your voice comes through in the most grammatically correct way.

FACE YOUR “WHY” EVERY DAY

Write your “why” down on a post-it and put it somewhere you see everyday. Maybe you’ve already got it somewhere unknowingly, like on a decorative sign or a vision board. Start reinforcing your why messaging into everything you write, every lesson you teach and every encounter you have with current or prospective clients.

Now that you know why writing is vital to dancers, are you ready for more writing tips? I’ve got more where that comes from: