Every business, company and thriving organization has built their success on the fundamental core values which they believe supports the essence of who they are and what their service represents. For dance studios, this is no different. Or, at least it shouldn't be. In the midst of infinite dance studios around the world, a studio's core values are what separates each of them and makes them unique. This in turn, allows potential students to get a glimpse into what the studio is about and who they are. Core values are the backbone to the studio's mission, how they want to be represented, what their mission is, what they believe education and dance training entails and how they anchor themselves in the community.
Often, these core values are not necessarily tangibly delineated but more of something that manifests itself over the years. The training, the students, the faculty, how things run, the energy which surrounds the studio, how you give back to the community and what your studio's footprint is are the unspoken set of values that just naturally develop over time. However, for new studio owners that are just beginning to think about what they want their dance studio to represent, what they dream it to be in the grand scheme of things and how they will market themselves, it's often beneficial from the jump to sit down and really think about the core values which you believe to be of the most important for your individual business. Writing them down and honing in on your studio's mission statement in a sense, is where a director's vision is going to surface. It serves as an unofficial announcement to the public, as if to say, "This is who we are and what we believe dance training should be."
As studio director, if you don't know what your core values and beliefs are, don't expect anyone to either. As captain of the ship, it is your responsibility to verbalize these values and set the tone; even before your first teacher is hired. On frequent occasion, it is extremely difficult to change your principles mid-stream (particularly if you have been around for a long time.) This flip-flopping gives off a vibe of inconsistency, uncertainty of where your business fits in the dance studio world and will demonstrate an ambiguous representation. If you think about it, why would anyone want to send their child to a dance studio where the owner isn't even sure of who they are and what they represent?? Parents want a dance studio for their child with excellent facilities and faculty resulting in quality training and a place where their children are going to acquire the skills to dance and also learn: life lessons, etiquette, morals, teamwork, collaboration, hard work, dedication, humility, commitment, giving back, success, defeat, perseverance, determination, creativity, expression and a whole other bevy of attributes that your studio can provide throughout their journey.
Dance studios are often underestimated as to what they can offer a child. For a lot of dancers, it is their second home; where they can escape for a few hours and just dance. As studio owners, having a clear sense of what you want to provide them as well as their parents, the community and your faculty all starts from the core, your gut and the values you deem most important. Remember, these values will be what you pass onto generation after generation of students. They will be the catalyst to creating your studio's belief system and will undoubtedly become the heart and soul of your business. Good luck!