The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Minneapolis 2017, April 22-23

Zenon Dance Company and School, Inc.

Paired with 23 Hours

The three tenants of Zenon Dance Company and School are outreach, performance, and education.

One of the nation’s premier repertory dance companies, Zenon Dance Company captivates audiences with a rare and dynamic blend of modern and jazz dance. Working with internationally renowned masters, as well as talented emerging choreographers, Zenon has continually redefined and pushed dance standards in Minnesota for 34 years. Additionally, Zenon Dance Company serves the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, as well as at-risk youth, through our unique outreach programs, week-long residencies with the full dance company which prioritizes a low dancer-student ratio. Furthermore, Zenon Dance School serves our Twin Cities community by offering a wide array of classes for youth and adult students in a comfortable and inclusive atmosphere. One of the oldest and most established dance schools, providing adult dance education, in particular, we believe in the transformative and innate power of movement, and provide classes for all ability levels. We believe anyone can dance. In support of this belief, we provide quarterly scholarships for low-income families and host a large work-study program that makes dance classes accessible for over 40 students each season.

What new functionality we are looking for

Zenon needs a whole new website. Our last major web design overhaul was almost 10 years ago and does not speak to who we are as an organization any longer. With our current website, we are finding it difficult to compete in an increasingly complex dance instruction market with a new generation of students that rely on digital (particularly mobile) information. We are also having trouble competing in our grants funding cycles, grants which our organization would not be able to exist without.

There are several ways we see of addressing this problem. Firstly, we need easy integration of video and photography into our website, so the public can see what is being created right now by the dance company and the dynamic, top-quality classes we offer. We have archived materials dating back to the 1980s and extending right up to the present moment, beautiful photographs and video that we currently do not have a way to showcase. Integrating these images into our website would enable us to communicate the breadth and depth of our work to the Twin Cities community, potential students, audience members and funders alike. This will also help us integrate our website with our social media presence in a more productive way.

Secondly, we need a higher level of website organization. With two major branches--the professional dance company and the dance school--we need a website that clearly differentiates between the two for users seeking different types of information about Zenon. Currently, we get incessant complaints that it is hard to find information on our website.

Thirdly, we need increased ease-of-use. Our dance school works with the web application MindBody for client management and class scheduling, and we would like to make Mindbody easier for students to access through our website. MindBody offers website integration within its functions, but our outdated site does not allow for these upgrades and connections. The school also needs pages for our classes, schedules, and scholarship programs that are easier to find. Finally, we would like a page for requesting studio and marley floor rentals, so that rental requests are not received through multiple avenues as they are now.

For the dance company branch, we particularly need pages that highlight the outreach programs that we offer all over the state so that we can attract future outreach partners locally and in greater Minnesota, as well as communicate to potential students and donors our value to underserved communities. We also need to be able to easily update the website with information on current visiting choreographers the dance company is working with.

Lastly, but probably most essentially, we need to quit using a website written in CMS Joomla!. We inherited Joomla! from our previous web designers and it is beyond difficult to update and riddled with backend problems. Our staff are not versed in HTML and cannot fix the problems when they arise. These problems are most noticeable in font style and size changes that occur at random through the text of our website, which we find to be embarrassingly unprofessional.

How the new functionality will help

If you look at our website today, it in no way communicates who we are as an organization or what we offer. This is primarily due to a lack of funds to develop it. We currently administer 10 outreach programs, 250 dance classes at two locations, and 8 youth and adult summer dance camps per year, as well as the year-round work of the dance company, with only two part-time administrative staff (down from 4 mostly full-time employees in 2015). The changes in accessibility of our downtown location, the decreased availability of grant funding, and a rapidly evolving digital marketing landscape have all made it difficult for Zenon to stay competitive, which has led to our downsizing. However, with a new active board and a marketing-savvy staff, we are working on a strategic plan for growth.

We need a new website to grow again. As a school, we've been seeing a decline in attendance, which we believe is due to a changing downtown environment and more competitive dance and fitness market. The school has been operating for 35 years as the premier and often the only school locally to provide recreational and pre-professional dance training for adults. Currently, we still offer the most adult dance classes in the widest array of techniques of any dance school in the Twin Cities in the beautiful, historic old Masonic Temple building, which is currently the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts. A new website will enable us to communicate to current, former and potential students the quality of our dance education and increase our class attendance by creating a more accessible and user-friendly client experience.

As a 34-year-old dance company, one of the most established in the Twin Cities, a new website with the ability to show our work with photography and video will better communicate our unique and boundary-pushing dance. This will help us reach audiences, and give us a better edge in our grant applications. Both concert dance audiences and funders rely upon digital representations of this work when deciding to support it. Currently, we are not able to do our work justice through our website or social media, which is negatively affecting our financial support. Furthermore, a section devoted to our outreach programs would help us both communicate the community service we do, which is currently almost invisible to our audiences and students, and help us connect with potential partners for this work in greater Minnesota.

In essence, a new website would help us better connect to the communities we serve. We need this to continue to fulfill Zenon’s mission.

How our organization will use the technology

In the day-to-day, our staff will use this new functionality to update our website with current video and photography of dance classes and the work of the dance company. We will use it to update our class schedules and provide information on special circumstances, like class cancellations due to weather. We will use it to promote special events, like our seasonal open houses, workshop weeks, the annual benefit, and our semi-annual dance company shows. We would also like to use it to manage our studio and marley floor rentals. Finally, if we can get Mindbody integrated into our own website, we will use it to process enrollments, payments, and attendance records keeping.

Who will use the technology

Our website will be updated mainly by our Managing Director, Jane Raine, who is responsible for our performance company, and our School Coordinator, Sydney Ward, who administers our quarterly dance class schedule and the day-to-day functions of the dance school.

Our current website is coded with Joomla!. Neither staff member knows HTML and both find it very difficult to update while creating a consistent, professional look. A new website with easy to update pages would free up time and take stress off of our staff. Currently, the website can only be updated once every few months when one of the staff has time to really dig into updating the information. This means that the staff is constantly fighting against outdated information and spends hours every day fielding emails and phone calls correcting misinformation. This misinformation also creates distrust among our clients on occasion. We want our website to be reliable, and trustworthy. A place where students know they can go for up-to-the-minute information. A website that can be updated in a few minutes would help us avoid these issues by providing accurate information in a respectful timeframe. It would also allow the staff time to spend more time on development, marketing, and recruitment of staff and students, issues that will truly help the organization rise out of our current slump.

On a higher level, increased enrollment at our school and increased grants funding will allow us to increase the hours of our staff and hopefully hire back those positions that were laid off. We need a better website to help us do this. Increasing our revenues will hugely impact the job quality of our staff who are currently doing way too much on way too little.

Before & After Snapshots

Thumbnail_tc2017-zenon-before Thumbnail_tc2017-zenon-after

68 Messages from Supporters

2017-03-19 19:28:48 UTC
Matt H

I haven't found any other place like Zenon in the Twin Cities. It's an awesome welcoming place for people who want to take dance classes.

2017-03-19 06:05:23 UTC
Susan Rengstorf

Zenon has a wonderful dance school which I have been benefiting from for many years. The intermediate and advanced ballet classes are as good as you can get anywhere. It is well worth the trip downtown. They need a new website so that students who want to take a class can readily see what is currently available.

2017-03-19 03:17:54 UTC

I have been involved with Zenon for over 3 decades.
It is a valuable resource in the community, both the company and the school.
They can benefit greatly from a new website. And I think they deserve one.
Please take them into consideration.
Thank you.

2017-03-19 04:47:28 UTC
Peggie Zoerhof

Zenon is an important part of the Twin Cities dance and arts community. As a student and parent of a student I can say that the variety of classes is tremendous and serves many. Help them to serve more with the joy and health of dance by making their website easier to navigate. Providing alerts regarding teacher changes or weather related cancellations would be fantastic. (Take a look at the LINES site and app to see what I mean). Quality arts organizations, like Zenon, need all the help we can provide given the current political atmosphere.

2017-03-19 03:41:08 UTC

In our constantly on life it is crucial for any organization who seeks to thrive, to reach out to the community and engage, it is imperative to have a well designed and functioning web site.

2017-03-19 03:42:57 UTC

Dance is amazing, and Zenon connects me to it here. Please help them connect to others, too!

2017-03-19 12:44:54 UTC

Zenon has a variety of classes that are awesome. The website can be somewhat confusing and difficult to navigate. Please choose Zenon. I have taken classes and so have my children.

2017-03-19 12:58:20 UTC

It was very hard to find info quickly when needed on the website (parking, payments, etc.) There are a lot of clicks and guesses between the user and the information needed! This also send to show down staff at check in before a class. They are definitely a worthy candidate for a new website!

2017-03-19 13:02:37 UTC
Susan Knutson

Xenon is such an asset to the community. They need a better website to showcase their many projects and events.

2017-03-19 18:12:45 UTC
Francis C. McGovern

Zenon has moved over the years to become simply the best place in the Twin Cities to attend an open class for adults. It is the "go-to" studio for dancers from all around the country to take class when they are in town.

2017-03-19 01:28:21 UTC

As a former Zenon staff member, I can attest that the website is horrible. Even as someone who does know HTML, Joomla! is a mess to work with, and takes far more time to update than a small non-profit has. There is currently no easy way to organize information, and with an in-office staff of two, there's no way for the organization to do the overhaul that the site so desperately needs. As much as I hated the website when I was a staff member, I hate it even more as an student of Zenon's school--I absolutely do not use it as a source of information, as it is so irregularly updated and such a pain to navigate, even as someone with "inside knowledge."

Zenon's school serves over 3,000 unique students annually, plus an additional 500+ audience members for the company's shows, and countless students, teachers, and school principals who are served by the outreach program. That is to say: the website gets a lot of traffic, from many different people all trying to get different information. An updated site would be unspeakably helpful in fulfilling Zenon's mission of spreading dance to everyone.

2017-03-19 02:01:43 UTC

Zenon is a wonderful place to dance and an excellent company, but you would never know from looking at their website. I've done workstudy for several years and many of the phone calls we get are from people who want to come take class, but can't find the very basic information they need on the website! With so many classes offered, various special events and workshops, and general information about things like parking that needs to be conveyed, Zenon desperately needs a clearer and easier to use website. It makes being a part of Zenon more enjoyable for students, it makes the lives of the staff SO much easier, and it helps more people dance! Zenon's community outreach work, especially in the public schools, has been one of my favorite parts of joining. Better technology could help them offer so much more to all the various people who benefit from Zenon.

2017-03-19 02:12:04 UTC

Great teachers, loyal students, wowie zowie professionals, deserving of an online presence to match.

2017-03-19 02:55:43 UTC
Kathy Ahlers

Zenon Dance Company performances are one of the things that keep me in the Twin Cities. When I think about quality of life, and the arts culture here, Zenon is up there in the top few dance companies. But their website is in desperate need of updating. I coordinate the Theater & Dance Performance Meetup group (2,000+ people), and when I'm posting a Zenon event, I always have trouble finding the ticketing page to send people to. The website is very difficult to navigate. Also, different parts of the website have completely different "looks"--the branding is not consistent, and that's confusing (a person might think, "Have I left the site?"). Zenon is a quality entity, and there are faithful fans that would love to help them spread the word if only we could point to a website that was easier to use and mobile-friendly.

2017-03-19 03:17:27 UTC

I have been involved with Zenon for over 3 decades.
It is a valuable resource in the community, both the company and the school.
They can benefit greatly from a new website. And I think they deserve one.
Please take them into consideration.
Thank you.

2017-03-19 04:38:28 UTC

Everyone wants an attractive website, which will accurately display what is being offered. Zenon Dance Company is full of zest, and their website should be, too! Please help promote the artistry of the company by upgrading to a more artistically appealing website.

2017-03-19 01:39:06 UTC
MArcia. Keegan

Please help Zenon. To accomplish these goals! I am a computer dunce but have enjoyed teaching. At Zenon and am astonished at the variety of dance they offer . Their company has excellent jazz dancers and have explored many different styles of dance. The studio,s have friendly staff. And a lot of positive energy!!, so in my own way I will help as best I can and encourage. Others to explore Zenon and offer any talents they have to keep it going and hopefully prosper. I think communication is vital in our so busy world to make it as times are changing and escalating very fast. So please help in any way you are able. Thanks.

2017-03-19 02:02:52 UTC
Mary Ann Bradley

As a long time company member of Zenon, I have struggled with the low quality of our website. It certainly doesn't reflect the quality and professionalism of the work we do at Zenon. When people ask for more information about the company and school, I hesitate to give them the Web address because I feel it will be a deterrant. I recommend they call and speak with the staff who will leave a much better impression. We desperately need this site to be competitive in today's marketplace. I truly believe this new website will have a significant impact on our business. And it would be fantastic to proudly refer potential students and audience members to a site that is in step with the times. Thank you.

2017-03-19 02:04:30 UTC
Mary Ann Bradley

As a long time company member of Zenon, I have struggled with the low quality of our website. It certainly doesn't reflect the quality and professionalism of the work we do at Zenon. When people ask for more information about the company and school, I hesitate to give them the Web address because I feel it will be a deterrant. I recommend they call and speak with the staff who will leave a much better impression. We desperately need this site to be competitive in today's marketplace. I truly believe this new website will have a significant impact on our business. And it would be fantastic to proudly refer potential students and audience members to a site that is in step with the times. Thank you.

2017-03-19 02:04:31 UTC
Megan Shanahan

Zenon has provided my daughter with a unique dance opportunity while also helping to build her self confidence and physical wellbeing. Unfortunately registering for classes and sharing information with her friends about this great school can be somewhat frustrating because the website is so awkward. Zenon could definitely benefit from a new site! Please consider them.

2017-03-19 02:18:01 UTC

Please consider Zenon as a candidate for you resources. It is a wonderful place to dance and they are generous to the community.

2017-03-19 03:38:15 UTC
Andrew Elfenbein

A worthy contribution to the premier dance school in the Twin Cities.

2017-03-19 04:10:10 UTC

A dance school that provides community outreach programs. Amaaazing! Will need all our support going forward if they are to continue to grow their programs in the years to come.

2017-03-19 04:15:09 UTC

Zenon is awesome-a real treasure for the Twin Cities. The instruction quality is so high, we're luck to have them. Some really great video and photography would be able to communicate that. Please help them!

2017-03-19 04:17:56 UTC
Sally rousse

Zenon Dance Company and School deserves a new (free!) website because they are essentially the first face of contemporary dance that visiting dance artists and students see when coming to Minneapolis for any dance- related reason. Zenon is rumored to be in dire straits financially and is in need of a branding update for this new century A fully functional website that is easy to navigate is essential. There is no better way to help the arts and culture scene in the Twin Cities than by providing a new website for our believed Zenon.

2017-03-19 12:19:57 UTC
Thomas J Kigin

Great company of dancers. Needs new website.

2017-03-19 12:20:06 UTC
Thomas J Kigin

Great company of dancers. Needs new website.

2017-03-19 07:07:44 UTC

Zenon deserves a new website because they are the best place to learn dance! They offer so much and treat everyone equally! I had and continue to have great experiences learning and growing with zenon! They do such a great job with their existing website but I think a brand new one would bring something fresh and new to the table, possibly bring in more dancers! it would be so beneficial and put to great use!

2017-03-19 14:05:33 UTC
Cheryl Day

I think a website should reflect the creative quality/energy of the organization. Zenon's website may have been fine 10 years ago but it needs new vitality. Video is an important part of sharing the great things that Zenon does and a well organized website is essential. I love going to classes at Zenon and their performances are outstanding. They give a lot to our community and they deserve a website that reflects their stellar quality.

2017-03-19 14:13:20 UTC

This is my fourth year attending classes at Zenon and the way they welcome new students into the world of dance is so warm and friendly and empowering. I've found dance to be so beneficial to my mood and my health both physical and mental. They provide such a great and important service to Minneapolis.

For Zenon to have an updated website and better be able to attract and connect with younger dancers and today's tech-expectant society is so important.

2017-03-19 14:17:17 UTC
Leslie O'Neill

I have danced for Zenon's main stage company for over a decade, and have enjoyed countless workshops and professional dance classes. I've always been a supporter and have wanted to share this incredible resource with friends and family throughout the years who have expressed an interest in dance. However, when I send them to our website for information on classes, faculty, company productions and ticketing, they usually come back to me needing clarity or more information. Zenon would benefit in countless ways from a website that contained up to date information about the company's performance and outreach work, compelling photos and video, and an easy to navigate class schedule system. Choose Zenon for the overnight website challenge!

2017-03-19 14:26:35 UTC
Eleni Wolking

Zenon is a rare gem, and has grown so beautifully since I took ballet there as a child. The memories I have from those early dance experiences and the positive affirming care of my teachers has made me a lover of dance for life. My daughter and I love to visit when Zenon does open classes for community to try, and appreciates their support of such a diverse range of dance traditions, especially the forms that lift up our gifted Af-am, Arab-am artists and communities! The Nerdery would be such an exciting partner! The story of Zenon is colorful, inspiring, and will be a joy to create for online media, I truly hope you chose to support Zenon, and help keep their courageous work out there in the world!

2017-03-19 14:49:02 UTC

I only started dancing with Zenon recently (about 2 years ago?) and I find it a very valuable reaource. All of the teachers I've had have been very helpful, encouraginy and kind. When I was choosing a place to start taking dance lessons, Zenons website was very confusing for me and it was challenging to locate class offerings and times and what the season was like. I don't know if i really ever found this information on their website and rely instead on the paper pamphlets they send out. I also did notice their website seemed outdated lately when I've had to use it, and I think a new website that is easier to navigate while reflecting them acurately would be a big asset and aid them in their mission.

2017-03-19 13:00:40 UTC
Amy Fowler

I was a little girl who wanted to take ballet lessons but did not have the opportunity. Forty years later my daughter recognized that I still wanted to be a ballerina and gave me lessons at Zenon as a gift. Zenon has been a wonderful place for me to start my dance hobby in middle-age. The instruction is top-notch and the atmosphere is very welcoming and supportive!

2017-03-19 13:21:04 UTC

Zenon is a great dance company that provides a valuable service to its community. They deserve a new website to make it easier for dancers to find their class offerings.

2017-03-19 13:54:56 UTC

Zenon is a outstanding school and deserves a new website. They are a huge part of the local arts community and provide opportunities for all ages to learn and enjoy dance!

2017-03-19 15:19:11 UTC
Elizabeth Dickinson

Zenon is a dancing jewel in our community. I danced as a child, and came back to dancing as an adult. I don't think I ever had the quality of dance instruction as the outstanding instruction I received at Zenon. I'd love to see some video that really gets across both the talent in their professional company, and the joy that amateurs get from taking their classes. Everyone can dance, for exercise, for art, for joy, for comradery, for life. Zenon is a great place to discover this. More people need to know.

2017-03-19 16:43:21 UTC
Christy Jonason

I discovered Zenon in 1995, became a scholarship student in 1996 and have kept coming back all the years since.

It has been a pleasure learning from top-notch instructors within a very supportive community. The teachers and students are a testament to the authentic service that the school has provided over so many years. It would be fitting karma for Zenon to receive some assistance to keep them going strong in these lean times!

2017-03-19 17:09:13 UTC
Mindy Mennicke

Keep up the great work, Xenon!!

2017-03-19 21:34:54 UTC

Zenon is a Minnesota treasure. The quality of their work and of their instructors is tough to beat. They give back to the community across the state in a myriad of ways. It is not easy to survive this long as an independent female led and run arts organization. These folks deserve a break and a new website would help improve Zenon's marketing and expand their customer base.

2017-03-19 22:51:26 UTC

Zenon is one of the Twin Cities most important arts organizations. They do incredible work - touching audiences and offering classes to students from beginners to professionals. In order for their programs to continue expanding they deserve a website! Also, with all the threats today to defund critical national programs (e.g. NEA) this is an organization that deserves all of our support.

2017-03-19 22:53:31 UTC
Jessica Olson

Zenon offers excellent classes for adult students like myself. Their instruction is phenomenal. When anyone expresses interest in trying a dance class in the Cities, I always send them to Zenon.
Their website is confusing, especially for new students. Please help Zenon with the overhaul that would make their website design and functionality match the impressive quality of their organization!

2017-03-20 00:19:50 UTC

Zenon offers great dance classes for the community. My sister even attends to maintain her skills and to find professional opportunities. Please help Zenon gain a new website so others can experience this great nonprofit easier.

2017-03-20 00:29:42 UTC
Erin Thompson

I have taught an advanced level modern dance class at Zenon Dance School for over 25 years, in addition to being on faculty at the University of Minnesota Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. Zenon is a fantastic long-running organization, consisting of both a performing company and a training school. The school hires some of the most professional dance educators in the Twin Cities and offers the most diverse range of classes and styles of dance in town. I recommend their classes to people of all ages and levels of dance and I always know that people will receive the highest level of training there. I totally support the need for a new website!!! Zenon deserves this so very much. Sincerely, Erin Thompson

2017-03-19 22:06:45 UTC

Zenon is such a gift to the twin cities art scene. Not only to they provide world class performances, they provide outreach to students who probably would not have the opportunity to see and particpate in modern dance. And they have an amazing array of classes for professionals as well as us hobbies to. I have been an audience meme re for decades and a financial supporter as often as I can - Zenon deserves a website that reflects their value here in the Twin Cities

2017-03-20 01:10:45 UTC
allison rubin forester

I have taught many different classes at Zenon for over 25 years--primarily jazz-based--and it is a phenomenal place to teach, learn, perform, present work, and interact with the dance community. I also teach in the Minneapolis Public Schools and always tell my school age students to try classes at Zenon and to go see their performances. It is a very valuable asset to our city and community and a more accessible, usable website would be beneficial to SO many people. This longstanding company deserves the upgrade! Thanks!!

2017-03-20 04:01:07 UTC
Josie A

Zenon is such a wonderful and special place! Since I moved from Minneapolis to San Francisco, I haven't been able to find another studio with similarly great people and classes. I miss Zenon so much! The classes and people at Zenon got me through a rough patch in my life and I am forever grateful! Zenon definitely deserves a new website, not only because how great the community is, but also because it's current website is so hard to navigate and doesn't do Zenon justice. Like other folks have said-- Zenon is such a gift to the Twin Cities!

2017-03-20 02:21:16 UTC
Katherine Hayes

Linda and all the dancers have done incredible things for dance in the Midwest. They bring world class dancing to Minnesota in the form of wonderful artistic talent and entertainment, but equally impressive is the work they do in schools providing the gift of teaching through movement. The company is an incredible resource and deserves the support of this chance at a new website to help communicate the amazing things they do for our community.

2017-03-20 02:51:43 UTC

Zenon is a gem in the community. Please help them to get a new website so that they can expand their outreach!

2017-03-20 13:11:10 UTC
Nina E.

Zenon is unique in the community yet faces the challenge of reaching potential audiences and drawing them to downtown Minneapolis. A revised website would make a huge difference toward making information about classes, scholarships, performances, and other opportunities more accessible and attractive. Further, an upgraded website would be more congruous with Zenon's contemporary character and exploratory nature.

2017-03-20 03:25:53 UTC
Carol H.

Zenon is an amazing place to dance! It's diverse and welcoming to people of all skill levels. I would love to see Zenon continue to grow and reach more people--and a new website would unquestionably help them be able to do just that!

2017-03-20 08:00:12 UTC

Zenon is an incredible asset to the Twin Cities dance community. They deserve a website that showcases this!

2017-03-20 13:50:24 UTC
Michelle F.

Zenon has these amazing top-notch artists offering K-12 outreach to at-risk youth AND performing professional-level shows from world-renowned choreographers. Do they ever sleep?!

On top of that, Zenon holds classes for all shapes, ages, and ability-levels to feel welcome and supported in movement research and celebration. It is my workshop to explore my physical humanness within a safe community. Classes are offered at an affordable cost with many opportunities for low-to-no income folks, as well.

With this amount of output along with so little income, they obviously do not have the disposable cash available to update their dinosaur of a website. (Example: On Saturday, I heard a volunteer on the phone listing off the day's classes and times to a customer who could not find the roster on the website...a volunteer!) Seriously, Zenon could use a break.

2017-03-20 16:43:35 UTC
Mike Grogan

As someone who has worked with Zenon on and off for almost twenty years I can tell you that the work they do is vital to this community. In an increasingly digitally reliant society the ability to access information easily and on mobil platforms is crucial, particularly for an organization like Zenon that interacts with and serves not just one, but multiple communities. This website upgrade would be a critical infrastructure upgrade for an important cultural asset in our community.

2017-03-20 18:32:45 UTC

As a drop-in class participant at Zenon, it is hard to find information about which classes are truly drop-in friendly. I have to click on each class within the calendar to read the description to find out if it is suitable for drop-ins, and many of the classes have different drop-in prices, which further complicates matters. Some are $13, some are $14, some are better for dropping in at any time, while some get progressively harder as a session progresses throughout a year. It would be great to have more dedicated information that was easier for the user to find about classes. Additionally, there is an open-house coming up this March, but it is hard to find information about the schedule of events. Some information is only on the facebook site, while some is on the website. It is also hard to find information about the class instructors if you are trying to decide between classes on a given day. Zenon is a fabulous organization that deserves a more streamlined website with improved navigation, structure, taxonomy, responsive/mobile-friendly capabilities, and a refreshed design.

2017-03-20 16:48:39 UTC
Alli S.

I have been involved with the Zenon school for over a decade, taking class, participating in the performance program, and as a Work Study program (an invaluable program that allows students to take class in exchange for administrative volunteering. As a student and representative of the school, I heard many complaints related to issues from the website. Even as someone "in the know" I was not able to adequately help others find information via the website and often could not find it myself. Zenon provides dance opportunities, that are high quality, fun and entertaining, as well as accessible to the community. A better website will facilitate access to this amazing organization and allow Zenon can focus on what they do best.

2017-03-20 17:41:04 UTC
Erin H

Zenon is a world class dance company and school and they deserve a website that reflects that. For small non-profits like Zenon, a user-friendly website is essential. It needs to be able to keep students and patrons updated quickly and easily. Everyone that is involved Zenon, whether a student or parent of a student, a professional dancer working with the company, a patron or potential patron - a new website would be greatly beneficial!

2017-03-20 18:29:55 UTC

Zenon is a community resource through its education and its investment in dance as an art form. The more people have access to its programs with an effective website, the better!

2017-03-20 19:03:14 UTC

Zenon has so much to offer and deserve to have a better website!!!! The teachers are amazing and there is such a great atmosphere!!! There is no where else that I would rather be!!!

2017-03-20 19:07:55 UTC

Zenon is amazing and could benefit greatly from a new website!

2017-03-20 19:13:28 UTC
Robert Borman

Zenon Dance Company and School is a Twin Cities institution for 35 years. Zenon presents World Class dance of the highest artistic caliber locally, nationally and worldwide. Zenon’s School is the undisputed “go to” destination in the Twin Cities for adult and youth dance classes for all ages and experience levels.

Zenon like so many arts organizations is experiencing financial challenges. It was forced to cancel its 2017 Spring Season to manage expenses and is actively refreshing its strategic vision and plan to position Zenon for the future. Expanding the Zenon’s school community and accessibility through outreach is an integral part of Zenon’s strategy.

Zenon is in critical need of a new updated website using current technology. A new refreshed website will better position Zenon with communities it serves and better engage a diverse group of students, dance enthusiasts, arts funders and individual donors. A new site at this critical time will help Zenon better articulate its vision and brand and provide a user friendly experience for all its audience groups.

Fifteen years ago at 48 years of age, I took my first ever dance class at Zenon and have been taking classes ever since. I am an avid supporter of Zenon‘s performance artistry, it’s school and community outreach. I currently am on the Zenon Board of Directors as acting Treasurer.

Zenon has changed my view of myself and the world. Dance is much more than learning a dance technique. Dance connects us with ourselves our community and our humanity at any age.

Please consider Zenon for this as worthy candidate for this website challenge!

2017-03-21 17:53:22 UTC
Todd Clasen

I've greatly enjoyed Zenon's dance performances over the years. It's amazing that they support a busy dance school covering a wide variety of styles and skill levels. Making their website easy to navigate and use is a worthy goal for everyone.

2017-03-21 21:10:12 UTC
Catherine K

I love Zenon! I've been a student here since moving back to the Twin Cities. They offer affordable dance classes with a welcoming, supportive and creative atmosphere. I'm free to learn and express myself here. I use their website frequently to look up class schedules. An updated website would make the process easier!

2017-03-22 16:16:51 UTC
Mark Rise

Last week we learned that once again certain political persuasions consider "the arts" unimportant and a low priority. I don't! History proves they are not. The arts in general and dance specifically is as much a part of being human as breathing. As I meet people from around the country and for that matter the world, I am proud of the image of the Twin Cities as a place of culture and support for the arts. The Zenon Dance Company and school is a major contributor to that positive image of the Twin Cities. That positive image has great economic benefit for the Twin Cities drawing tourists/visitors and economic investment. It is in the interest of all of us to tell our story in the best possible way. The Zenon website is an important part of telling that story not only to people living in the twin cities but to the world. All residents of the Twin Cities, in particular commercial entities will benefit from a Zenon web site that is the very best it can be. I urge you to make this contribution to the image of Zenon dance company and through that the image of the Twin Cities. I'm certain your contribution will be rewarded in many ways.

2017-03-22 02:13:28 UTC
Kate Raatz

Please grant the website to this Dance Company. Today the best way any organization can reach its audience is through the internet. If the website is poor, patrons become frustrated and go elsewhere. Before they learn what a wonderful place they almost became part of.
Zenon is a jewel in MPLS, their work is beautiful and necessary.

thank you.

2017-03-23 21:34:01 UTC
Brinsley Davis

As a former Zenon employee I can testify that the website really needs to be more user-friendly. We made big strides 5 years ago with getting on-line payment and enrollment options. Likewise, they recently added the ability to process credit card payments at the front desk. This is a huge school run with very few employee hours and a lot of volunteers. Everything that can improve automation, increase the amount of information people can find for themselves on our website, and make the school look attractive and engaging will do wonders. This school is so great - offering classes for professionals as well as adults who have never taken a dance class before. It is a welcoming environment full of friendly people. It is one of the few places that you can dance avocationally as an adult. I also love the fact that one son takes creative movement from a man with a full beard who teaches them all the beanbag dance and the other takes hip hop from a tiny dynamo who gets kids to do stunning moves. And I haven't even talked about the high caliber dance company. Please help Zenon with it's website. It is vary valuable to the Twin Cities on many levels.

2017-03-28 16:12:40 UTC
Elise Wehrman

Zenon is a gem in the Twin Cities! Having grown up dancing, I was thrilled to find a studio like Zenon when I moved to the area 14 years ago. I don't make my way there as often as I would like, but when I do, I always leave rejuvenated and re-inspired. I am so grateful to Zenon for providing such a creative space, and believe that any improvements to the website that can help them do their work with the limited resources they have, is a very worthy cause. Thank you, Zenon, and thank you to The Nerdery for facilitating this work!

2017-03-30 10:32:37 UTC

I've loved dancing at Zenon. The website is awkward, and I had to talk with volunteers to figure out the best times to make the classes I wanted. Zenon is worthy of a better website! We all would appreciate your consideration!!!!

Our Mission

Mission Zenon Dance Company and School, a professional organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, strives to increase access to artistically excellent modern and jazz dance through performance, education and community outreach. Zenon Dance Company and School accomplishes its mission by: •Presenting commissioned works of emerging and nationally and internationally recognized modern and jazz choreographers; •Offering high-quality dance instruction for a range of abilities, from recreational to professional; •Providing outreach to underserved audiences and communities, including the economically disadvantaged and people with disabilities. Vision Zenon Dance Company and School aspires to be one of the country’s premier dance companies, recognized for its performances of dynamic blends of modern and jazz choreography. Zenon endeavors to provide the highest quality dance instruction in the widest range of genres to dancers of all skill levels. Zenon Dance Company and School endeavors to make dance instruction accessible and affordable for people of all backgrounds.