Becoming More Responsive to You: New Rates Announced

Dear Circus Center Community,

As a non-profit organization, Circus Center exists for our community, especially for our students, and it’s become clear that we are not serving our students as well as we could or should. The primary problem is simple: students are unable to get into the classes that they want. When I put myself in your shoes, I can imagine how it feels: You can’t get your classes. You put yourself on countless waitlists, holding those times on your calendar in the hopes that you get in — and you often don’t. You have to stay up until midnight on the 15th of each month, when there is a “land rush” for classes, and if you miss it, you’re generally out of luck. When you can’t get a class at the appropriate level, you schedule a lower level class just to get some time on your apparatus, but your classroom experience is not as focused and productive as it could be. Frustration abounds.

People often ask me the obvious question: why don’t you just add more classes? The answer is that, while the Unlimited subscription model has some definite positives, its financial structure does not allow us to be as responsive to our students as we want to be. Under a subscription model, students pay one flat rate per month; if we add more classes, the amount that students are paying per class goes down, making our financial position worse. The unfortunate truth is that the Unlimited model is not only not working for students, but it also is not financially sustainable. If we didn’t fix it, Circus Center would eventually find itself on a road to financial peril that we’ve been down too many times before.

So, in order for Circus Center to be more responsive to the needs of our students, to make sure that you get the classes you need in order to meet your goals, to keep the Center alive but more than that, to keep it growing and improving the quality of our classes and the experiences of our students, we are announcing a new rate structure for our adult training program, effective April 1. The Rates page lays out the details, and this week the staff and I are reaching out personally to students to talk it through with you; here are the highlights:

  • We are moving away from a monthly subscription model to drop-ins, sold singly and in packs.
  • We are introducing lower drop-in and pack rates for all introductory and conditioning classes.
  • Advanced classes will continue to be priced at the same drop-in and pack rates already available.
  • Because it requires three instructors and a lot of gym space, beginning flying trapeze classes (Open Flying on the weekends and Flying 1) will have a slightly higher price point than our Advanced classes.
  • We’re also updating our cancellation policy, increasing the late cancel window to 24 hours before class time.

This new system will offer you quite a few advantages. First, you’ll be able to schedule classes as far in advance as Circus Center has posted its schedule — currently, that’s through August 31! No more uncertainty — you’ll have a guaranteed spot in the classes you need to achieve your goals. Plus, you’ll be able to schedule everything online — no more having to go through the Front Desk. Second, if a class is popular enough, we’ll be able to add a section of the class! This should reduce frustration with lack of availability.

Finally, as a non-profit, Circus Center’s finances are not driven by profits, but rather by reinvesting in our mission, in the quality of our classes and the experience of our students. This change will enable us to:

  • keep a low student-teacher ratio,
  • improve our curriculum,
  • provide personal guidance toward achieving your training goals,
  • furnish better equipment,
  • produce more performance opportunities, and
  • offer more of the classes that you want.

If you haven’t heard from us yet, you will soon. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about this change, I invite you to contact me directly — call me at Circus Center at 415-759-8123, e-mail me at barry@circuscenter.org, or just stop by my office. Like the whole of Circus Center, I am here to serve you, and to lead this organization into an ever greater ability to be responsive to your needs and goals.

Onwards and upwards,

Barry



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