I Can, I Will... End Of Story!
“There are three types of people in this world. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder, what just happened!”
Mary Kay AshRead More
Fighting Business Burnout
You’ve probably heard a great deal about the rewards of running your own dance school. But I’m sure you’re also aware of the trade-offs and sacrifices that come with being in charge. Over time, those long hours, missed weekends and pressure and irritation from parents and students may take their toll on your physical and emotional health, affecting relations with your employees, family and friends in the process. For those of you in business long enough, you probably know what I am writing about.Read More
Yes, Ballet Technique is Still Essential
In a time when young dancers are influenced greatly by the dance and dancers which they see on T.V. and at competition, it is only natural that they will want to emulate it and consider it the epitome of excellence. The overload of tricks, overstretching and hyperextension, unattractive foot and leg positions, etc. all have the potential to instill bad habits and poor technique if we as teachers do not hold the standard of proper ballet technique essential to one’s training. So how do you answer the question, “Why is ballet still important?”......Read More
Goals - What Happens When It Doesn't Happen?
Successful Goal Implementation
In the first article in this series we talked about how to attain any goal. But what happens when the goal you've wished for doesn't end up materializing? Here are some important things to remember...Read More
Pathways Creative Movement Lesson Plan
This month we have a wonderful creative movement lesson plan which will begin to get your young dancers going by using basic patterns and the many different ways we can move and travel through space!
Please Don't Bypass Technique Warm-up, Change it up Instead!
Technique is the most crucial aspect of any dance class, we all know that. It is the fundamental foundation of dance which propels a dancers growth, increases flexibility, enhances strength and teaches them essentially, “how to dance.” If our dancers are with us long enough, they learn our warm-ups and often know them backwards and forwards without us doing it alongside them. This is great because it affords the dance teacher more time observe to give and make tactile corrections, but it can also have the potential for dancers to go on auto-pilot and check out; especially if they are not being mindful of every single plie and tendu they are putting forth....Read More
NEW DANCE YEAR-NEW THEME IDEAS
It’s that time again, signing up new dancers, thinking of the incredible year to come and now… what are we going to do!? What performances will the troupe do?! What themes or shows will the company dance to this year? AHHHIt’s that time again, signing up new dancers, thinking of the incredible year to come and now… what are we going to do!? What performances will the troupe do?! What themes or shows will the company dance to this year? AHHHH! Decisions, decisions!! H! Decisions, decisions!!Read More
Mastering Effective Rehearsal Time & Cleaning Practices
When we set numbers we need to give further thought as to how clean they are. How the musicality is sitting with dancers. How crisp the unison and transitions are, etc. While coming up with clever concepts and original choreography is a given, sometimes once all the “genius” is out there, the upkeep and “polishing” goes a bit overlooked. Other times, as much as we feel we are cleaning numbers, it’s never looks exactly the way we hope it will once it hits the stage...Read More
The Importance of Consistent Technique Warm-Up
Dancers today are faced with a whole generation of fellow versatile, talented technicians. These peers will be their competition, their colleagues and future artists they’ll collaborate with and cross paths with as their dance career flourishes. As teachers who are in charge of their development at the most crucial time in their training, how you design your class is pivotal.
Occasionally, there seems to be a mindset of breezing over what is really the most crucial element of dance class…..warm-up. While dancers are always wanting to get to the choreography for a piece or center combo, as teacher, you are running the ship and the first stop should always be technique concentration. Now, while this seems obvious on the surface, to avoid injury, get the dancers ready to move, etc., believe it or not that’s not always the case.Read More
4 Problem Solving Tips For Dance Studio Owners!
Check out these great tips for dealimng with issues that you may be facing... See which of these apply to you!
“It’s all in the details: The lost art of being specific”
It seems nowadays especially, so many things get generalized, glossed over, breezed by and given half-hearted attention to. We glimpse, we glance, we mark, we coast and this effect trickles down to our dancers. What happened to attention to detail? What happened to specificity? Clarity? Intricacy? Painstaking accuracy? These values are slipping away faster than we realize and what was maybe just an oversight is now becoming trend. Unfortunately, this is the fast paced world we live in where people prefer ten things done at 60% vs. one thing done at 100%.Read More
Instilling Mind-Body Wellness Into Your Life
In this crazy, fast paced, “need it right now,” world, we teachers, often put ourselves and our needs last. We do it all. We try to make sure work is completed, students’ needs are being addressed, creativity is flowing, deadlines are met, rehearsals are running smoothly, parents are happy, etc. There is also something to do every minute of the day if we allow it to consume us. Sometimes the hardest thing is to allow ourselves to actually STOP MOVING. It’s recognizing that awareness to do so. But, it’s in our nature to do the complete opposite...........Read More
When Students Decide to Part Ways
It’s inevitable. At some point in owning your dance studio a student is going to want to part ways and stop dancing. If you’re lucky, it may happen only a handful of times over the course of your career, but the reality is it’s going to happen. To add insult to injury, unfortunately it’s sometimes the dancers that we can’t fathom losing because their presence and talent in class and rehearsals inspire us and make us better at what we do. But, many times it is.........Read More
Dressing the Part: Simple Recital Reminders for Polished & Professional Appearance
As we are head into recital season with just a few more weeks to go, there are a number of things we need to get to on our check list. One extremely important item that can transcend your year-end shows from “nice, little dances” to “professional caliber performances” is how you send your dancers onstage. With a million things to tend to, it’s easy sometimes to let things slip by with whether it be with your younger dancers and baby classes or maybe even with the recreational students. Applying expectations to every group, however, will definitely produce a recital where everyone presents themselves as unified, neat and streamlined. Consequently, those lasting impressions will be a direct correlation to your studio name and how the community perceives the professionalism of your business!.....Read More
The Art of Successful Motivating
How we motivate our faculty and students has a direct correlation with positive energy, high spirit and a genuine belief that we can accomplish the goals we set forth for our studios and students. If we ourselves are inspired and self-motivated, we can then parlay that into something magical. This is when the entire studio family is on the same page, with the same vision; ready to succeed beyond the imaginable.
As a new season is upon us, Studio Owners, you must have been thinking over the last few weeks how to best be that motivator, that “fire-starter” for your students, faculty and studio families. This is the time when we have a million ideas running through our minds, energy charged and refreshed and ready to hit the ground running for a fabulous new season! As the owner, you are the ring-leader, the master of ceremonies, the chief, the director, the head coach…. and your team is going to look to you for the cue on where this year will take you all.Read More
The Importance of Performing in Class
Let’s be honest. We all have students who, in class, execute movement with ability, are focused enough to demonstrate they are retaining information and seem to comprehend the lessons being taught. They move well, show promising physical agility, travel across the floor deftly, pick up choreography, take correction (and even sometimes apply it,) show progress from week to week and dance center combinations with ease.
So what’s the issue, right? Well, what happens when that exact student is about as interesting to watch in class as watching paint dry? Imagine all of the above occurring week in and week out with no expression, no emotion and no sense of connecting to anything other than regurgitating the steps presented in front of them. Imagine your rehearsals running the same way. Numbers are clean enough, everyone knows their blocking, entrances and exits, partnering and transitions, but the emotional connection is void. How is a teacher supposed to trust that the performance element is being given the same consideration?.....Read More
Rediscovering Inspiration Within Ourselves
As teachers and choreographers, our students look to us as the beacon of creativity. Particularly at the start of a new year, dancers await the delivery of new pieces, concepts, movement and music. It is a very exciting time of the year for them when they anticipate where they will stand in formation, whether they will have a featured part, how the choreography will look and feel on their body, whether they will be chosen to partner and how the overall vision will take shape.........Read More
Multiple Competition Solos: How Much is Too Much?
As a long time competition adjudicator and teacher who has set endless solos for dancers, the debate over competing multiple solos often comes up every year. With students and parents alike, sometimes the notion is to showcase their talents in every genre and take center stage as much as possible. While it's commendable for a dancer to possess the confidence and commitment to take on all that choreography, it can become overkill and work against the dancer competing...........Read More
Studio Loyalty: When Students Dance For Multiple Studios
As a studio owner, there are challenges in and of itself when dealing with other dance studios who are in close proximity to yours. There is constant competition in gaining business, losing business, staying relevant, keeping on the pulse of current trend and offering top-notch training. These are all issues one faces on a daily basis when opening a dance studio.
A further stress comes into play when we are faced with dance students who suddenly feel the desire to dance at multiple studios. To make the situation even trickier, there are students who often dance AND compete at those other studios in a close mile radius. So, how do we tackle this conflict of interest? First off, decide whether it is just that for you- a conflict of interest. Depending on what kind of studio you run will be a big factor in determining how you deal with this issue. If you run a recreational studio, this may not bother you as much as a studio who is a fully operational training facility and competition studio......Read More
Teaching Your Students Dance Competition Courtesy
When we head into competition season we are usually engulfed in setting pieces, rehearsing, ordering costumes and perfecting every last detail so that it is show ready. We spend countless months coming up with concepts for our dances, organizing schedules and ensuring that our dancers not only know their choreography but are performing with their hearts from the inside-out. We take great pleasure in watching them onstage; not so much for the fact of where they place, but to see their progress from where they started to where they currently are.....Read More
The Top 10 Tax Tips For Small & Growing Businesses
Taxes are one of the most important issues facing small and growing businesses. And, like a company's profits, its annual tax bill will, in part reflect the owner's skills and knowledge. Business owners need to be sure that they are meeting all of their responsibilities to the tax man, and also seizing every opportunity to reduce their taxes. These tax tips will ensure Uncle Sam is not getting more than his due.Read More
Tips to Improve Your Productivity!
See if any of these you may be feeling from time to time:Read More
Streamlining Your Studio Office
Last month we spoke about controlling chaos especially with your front desk. This month I want to talk about ways to streamline your studio office. Whether you have a small or large office area the key is to keep it as mess free a possible and as functional for everyone that needs to use it as possible. In your office it is helpful to have a computer, a fax machine, a printer and a copy machine. You will need sufficient desk space to be able to keep incoming mail in a tray or inbox and still have space to work and a file cabinet that you can lock for all your client and student information.Read More
Letting go of Negative Dance Students
What do you do when you have a student who’s extremely talented, naturally gifted and a brilliant performer but their attitude outshines the aforementioned? How do you handle the lack of respect, the inappropriate comments to peers, the insults to your studio and the all-around negativity? While it may seem tempting to bite your lip because these type of talented dancers make your studio “look good,” the long term ramifications can affect your business, the precedent you’re setting and the example you’re setting for the other students.
Growing pains aside, we all deal with adolescents who have an off-period from time to time where they may seem distracted, disconnected in their classes and their attitude is not what it usually is. Fair enough. We are dealing with teenagers, hormones, emotional roller coasters and drastic physical changes to the body here. But, as teachers, we are keen enough to differentiate and cut a kid a break when a usually well-mannered dancer is having a bad week vs. this being the actual temperament and usual behavior of a student.Read More
Believing In Yourself as A Leader!
Leadership is a skill – some people have it naturally but no matter what it always has to be worked on. First of all you need to choose how you want to lead. Write down your top 5 values and then take a close look at your decisions and behavior – do they reflect your values? It is important to lead by example because if you fail to do so you make a double standard which creates mediocrity!Read More
Your Yearly Business Goal Planner
Yes, we have said good-bye to another year! This is a great time of year to focus on what you would like to have happen in both your business and personal lives for this year and beyond. Steve and I make a goal planner every year during the month of December to help bring clarity, vision and a purpose to our future dreams.Read More
Q&A with Dance Teacher Web Founders and Studio Owners Steve Sirico and Angela D'Valda Sirico
Every year we receive many e-mails from our members with a variety of questions about issues that Dance Studio Owners face on a daily basis. To answer as many as possible, we are introducing a Q&A quarterly article starting this month. Members, feel free to send us any questions, issues, problems or happenings that you would like to have advice on. You can also email us with any feedback or additional questions you may have to the Q&A below at firstname.lastname@example.org (please note, this service is available exclusively to members only) Enjoy!Read More
Thought provoking messages for the studio owner
Getting everyone in your studio to have the right mindset is a challenge. The biggest key to having a positive, happy and creative environment is…Read More
Devising and Solidifying Your In-Studio Rules and Procedures
Teachers, have you ever sat down and given thought to the importance of rules & procedure in the studio? It seems like a given, common sense really. Often times though it can be overlooked and when we are not transparent about the expectations of our dancers in terms of etiquette and studio behavior, we open the door to distraction, lack of focus, chaos and minimal progress.Read More
9 Ways To Ensure A Great New Year!
Each year, as the end of the holidays are in sight and New Years Eve approaches, I like to make my New Year’s resolutions. Of course there are always the personal ones, such as resolving to lose those extra pounds and to clear out every closet in the house and throw away anything I have not worn in two years. (Why is it that we always think that we will be able to use those clothes that don’t fit right now? We fantasize that we will definitely be able to fit into that size 6 again and yet they hang in the closet year after year!)Read More
Reduce Stress Or Pay The Price!
Running a dance studio can and will be stressful at times. Ok stop laughing, I know you have felt that stress whether it be ordering costumes, dealing with student and parent issues and concerns over finances. Here is the good news, a little stress is actually good and it could serve to help you function at your best. However, stress that seems a little too much could take a physical, as well as mental, toll to your body. Stress should be managed in order for depression or anxiety to be prevented.Read More
Keeping Company: Deciding On The Right Time To Advance Students
It's always a balancing act when, as studio director, you must decide on the advancement of a dancer. They are many factors to consider in this decision. Unfortunately at times, the pressure of a parent and the risk of losing their business [if their child isn't advanced,] can become an internal struggle between sticking to your guns and losing much needed business.Read More
Evaluation In The Studio Sector Part II
Next time in the "Evaluation in the studio sector" series, we'll look at the effects of implementing teacher evaluations.Read More
Evaluation In The Studio Sector
Assessment in the K-12 arena is a high priority and instilled requirement. It seems every which way you turn students are always being evaluated for their work as a way to assure the state or national "standard" is being met. The studio sector however is a different animal. With that said, how do you, as studio directors, find a diplomatic way of evaluating paying customers to provide useful feedback for student development? It's a slippery slope but a necessary one at that for a couple of reasons.Read More
To Be At Your Best, Go Away!
Running a small business is hard and demanding work. If you are not careful you can and will burn yourself out. It is also important to not become jaded or pessimistic in your views. This will only hamper the progress and growth of you and your business. If you want to get ahead then you must plan on getting away. That's right! You must get out of your studio and go away so you can have a fresh outlook on all that you do. After running our own studio for over 25 years here is an important fact that we can share with youRead More
Ten Tips for Costuming Sanity
Costumes can make or break your recital or competition piece. But, does ordering the costumes have to drive you crazy?Read More
How To Make Every Day Your Best Day!
'Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on how we see them' Leo TolstoyRead More
Your Uniqueness Can Speak Volumes!
No one else is quite like you. Would you agree with that statement? If you do, then it would stand to reason that no one else offers a product exactly like yours. Who you are and what you offer is totally unique, no one does it quite like you do. Even if there are three other studios in town that offer exactly what you do, no offering is exactly the same. If you are still with me then let me ask you this; If you had to describe some ways that your studio goes about doing things that are markedly different from your competition, what words would you use to do just that? What are the three things that really make your studio stand out from all the rest? What I'm getting at here is the creation of your unique marketing edge, the things that make you different and memorable. If you can write out that wording, those few sentences, that difference and edge...then you can go about marketing it. Sometimes the most effective marketing is letting consumers know why you are so special. If it's something they are looking for, they'll bite.Read More
For The New Year... Set Your Goals NOW!
There are those who are bounded by laws and rules, yet success is too distant for them. On the other hand, there are those who appear to be easy going people but are successful. Think you have what it takes to be like them? Or would you rather do something different to achieve the elusive success?Read More
Installation Made Easy
Handling, storing and installing a flooring system properly is vital to its well being, life expectancy, maintenance costs and your dancers.First some dos and don’ts.Read More
Words To Inspire
Studio owners have a tough job because not only do we have to motivate ourselves but we also have to motivate our staff, faculty, students and even parents to help everyone stay on the same page and to ultimately make our lives run smoother! It does take extra effort but definitely will pay off if you can find ways to keep everyone happy. Most 'regular' people think that dance school owners spend their days thinking creative thoughts and perhaps teaching a few classes, they have no conception of what it takes to do those things, run a business, keep everyone happy, juggle all the issues that come up on a daily basis and come out of the whole thing perfectly groomed and without a feather out of place!! We truly are an exceptional breed and sometimes we do have to give ourselves credit for surviving and moving ahead.Read More
Going above and beyond
In this crazy busy world that we live in it is easy to forget the niceties of life but if you take that extra step to help someone out or be extra courteous to them both you and your business will definitely stand out in a crowd. So many people skip some of the basic manners when dealing with people that it is like a breath of fresh air when someone goes out of their way to be of assistance.Read More
Stagestep: Flooring Made Easy
There are really only two materials used for dance floors; vinyl and wood. Fortunately or unfortunately, each offers a dazzling array of options, styles and colors. Before exploring those options, there are materials you should never use as a dance floor surface. They include VCT tile, plywood, Masonite, wood laminate, carpet, concrete, stone, ceramic tile and rubber. While there are even more unsuitable materials that have been used, my advice is choosing wood or vinyl.Read More
Dont Make These Small Business Mistakes Part II
Let us continue on from last month’s article of, 'Mistakes that you need to avoid in your dance studio business'.Read More
Business Groups - Market for Maximum Effectiveness
Did you know that most towns have business groups where entrepreneurs get together to discuss business ideas, trends and share marketing ideas? Business groups like the Chamber of Commerce provide many excellent marketing opportunities. The members of these types of business groups are all business owners and many of them will be compatible to your business. What better way to get to know the decision makers in these businesses?Read More
The Effective Leader - Is There a Leader In You?
Certified Change Management Facilitator/National SpeakerRead More
How To Achieve Every Goal...And Not Get In Your Way
We've all been there.You set a goal for yourself but somehow along the way, you don't make it to the finish line...and there's no one to blame but yourself. Somehow, you've stood in your own way. Many people consider the possibility that there are two probable selves within us. Let’s call them "Yous". The first "you" is the one that is constantly critical and often keeps you from realizing your truest potential. It’s the "you" that is the self doubter and the one that more often than not carries the energy of fear from day to day. It’s the one that will put a roadblock in your way and will literally prevent you from achieving your goal. This "you" has endless mind-chatter associated with it and it’s the chatter that will stop you dead in your tracks.Read More
Enjoy Your Life: Change Your Point of View
"Two men look out through the same bars: One sees the mud, and one sees the stars."- Frederick Langbridge, A Cluster of Quiet ThoughtsRead More
Dont Make These Small Business Mistakes Part I
Here’s an interesting notion: Do you realize that there are mistakes you can make at various stages of your business’ growth that can be slowly killing it for months or even years if you don’t watch for them?Read More
Clearing The Clutter
Well, the performances have come and gone and as I take a look at the studio I can see that it needs some work to get it ready for the fall. Some of you may take the summer off and others may have summer programs starting immediately. Either way you need to take the time or find the help to get everything back looking clean, refreshed and welcoming. I don’t know exactly what happens over show time, but somehow it always tends to look as if a bomb has hit the place!!Read More
The Pros And Cons Of Competition
Over the years when I have talked to other studio directors there have been some strong opinions about the pros and cons of entering students into competitions. There are a huge number of dance competitions out there and it is a big business for many competition owners. Some studio owners are just anti competition and others practically do nothing but go to competitions, so is there a happy medium? My advice to anyone who has asked me about competition and whether or not they should get involved has always been the same that they have to evaluate what their interests are and what benefits they feel that their students are going to derive from it and go from there. All studio owners have their own ideas of what they like and dislike about competitions and basically, at the end of the day, they need to do what feels right to them.Read More
The Benefits Of Planning
One of a group of well known motivational writers is a man named Napoleon Hill. I have found his books extremely helpful not only for myself but also in my teaching. In our business, as in really any business we are the leaders. We lead our staff, our faculty, our students and their parents. Every leader has to start somewhere and sometimes it is evident from an early age at other times it is something that develops over a period of time. I know for myself that I became a leader at a very young age much to the dismay of some of my friends!! There is nothing wrong with gradually becoming one and it may be that you have to follow some strong individuals in order to be able to absorb the leadership qualities from them. Whichever road you take to become a leader, the minute you open the doors of your studio for business, there you are the LEADER! At times being a leader can be very trying and in my experience there are times when it can also be extremely rewarding. Whichever way it goes for you the most important thing to remember is that you need to nourish your soul in order to be there for everyone and to have the strength to find solutions for every problem that arises on any given day. It can be draining and daunting at times and that is why it is so important to keep motivated and to keep positive people around you working as a team and above all it is important to have a good plan. Some of Napoleon Hill’s requirements for leadership are interesting, I particularly like the following:Read More
Every Problem Has a Solution: Adventures in Creative Thinking
In business, you will be from time to time faced with tough decisions, problems and issues. It may be about an employee, student or parent. Maybe it is a money issue or dealing with your landlord. How many times have you caught yourself thinking that there couldn’t possibly be a solution to a problem – and that a particular problem just leads to a dead end? How many times have you felt stumped knowing that the problem before you is one you cannot solve or that you have little or no options to do so? The pressure of having to solve such a problem may be overwhelming. The worst thing to do is to avoid it. However, once you start to address issues and find solutions you are on your way to becoming a problem solver! Problem solving can be very empowering to the business owner. Every solution will bring you to a higher level of knowing you can resolve issues.Read More
All year long it seems that studio owners are on the run. Each day there’s a new set of challenges that can arise in the running of the studio and each day if you are also a teacher there are classes to prepare and choreography to create and complete, just to name a few things that we are required to take care of. All of this requires teamwork of major proportions. Perhaps you own a small studio or are just starting out it really doesn’t matter, you still need a team to make it all work. Your team could perhaps consist of two people or twenty; the main objective is that whoever you surround yourself with as a studio owner needs to be an asset to your business. The most important thing that you can do for the growth of your business is to make yourself more valuable. So, how do you do this? I really do believe that the best way to give you more value in every aspect is to keep finding ways to improve yourself.Read More
Who's the Boss? 10 ways to start taking control
(Time management, goal setting and record tracking)Read More
Gearing Up For Your Season Wrap Up!
For most studios in the United States your season comes to an end in May or June. This is a good time of year to look ahead and organize your schedule up to the end of the current season. For those of you in other countries whose season is just beginning, you can start to map out your year and build in the ideas I will present in this article. From how you will prepare for your recital, distribute costumes, get your clients to register for next year to which of your teachers and staff you want to either retain or let go.Read More
Ways To Help Your Dancers At Performance Time
Spring recitals are coming up, so how can we help our very young dancers to be able to enjoy performances rather than dread them? Some children are born performers and it doesn’t faze them at all to get out on a big stage in front of hundreds of people but there are also a lot of students who struggle with that aspect of dancing. There are ways to make these performances a pleasure for all and if we, as studio owners, are able to give our students tools to help them overcome their fears and insecurities it will be something these young dancers will carry with them always no matter what path they take in life.Read More
What Type of Business Should I Be?
Many new business owners, those thinking of starting a new business as well as those who already have an existing business always ask what type of business entity is best for them. There is no clear cut answer, but the business entity you select should be based upon three criteria; liability, taxation and recordkeeping.Read More
Making Powerful Choices
As we start the New Year, it is a time to review the choices that we made for both our business and personal lives in 2010 and how we can use the results of those choices to propel us forward to attain all the goals that we may set for ourselves in the New Year. The decisions that we make on both sides of our lives are going to determine our position personally and professionally. It is important to understand that every choice that we make, whether it is good or bad, is part of our history and gives us an opportunity to reflect and examine the end results so that we can learn from each and every choice that we make.Read More
Present your Studio in the Best Tax Light
Tax season is upon us! So what do you need to do to make sure you have all the right records in your file cabinet? Your goal is to be as accurate as possible and keep the necessary documents to substantiate what you claim on your return. Then should your return ever come up for an audit, you will be assured everything is good to go.Read More
Dancers Community Service
As we shift into the holiday season, things can get extremely hectic. Many studios and dancers are involved in Nutcracker or other holiday performances. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all; but it is also a good time to take a moment and reflect on the year drawing to an end. I encourage my students to do the same. Not only does it make them realize how far they have progressed but also helps them to be grateful for any and all accomplishments. I suggest to my dancers that they make two lists, one that shows all the good things that have happened during the year and then one that shows what they would like to accomplish in the New Year. Writing things down always seems to be a good idea. It seems to solidify to a person where they are in their life. I do not confine these lists just to dance but to each person’s personal life too. These lists are as confidential as each individual wants them to be, if they want to share their thoughts they are welcome to do so but there is no requirement for anyone. I also do not limit these lists to my students, I make them too! I have found that it really helps me. From time to time when we are feeling pressured and overwhelmed by all that is going on around us, it is sometimes helpful to look at these lists and feel good about your passage in life.Read More
Make The Moves To Minimize Your Taxes
We are in the holiday season and that means we are only a month away from the end of our official tax year. Now is the time to create a strategic plan so you can make any necessary changes before the year ends. By preparing your records now, you will be able to affectively minimize your taxes, not to mention gain insight into your dance studio business.Read More
Keeping Your Connections Strong
Connections are a large part of what keeps businesses not only surviving, but also growing. The reality is that people still prefer to do business with their friends because there is always more trust involved. Good relationships lead to success, happiness and eventually wealth. The more people who gravitate to you personally, the more solid your connections will be.Read More
The Art Of Negotiating
For anyone in business, learning how to negotiate will not only be an invaluable tool, but might also mean the difference between making your business a financial success or not. Before we start let get into the right mindset. Here is what negotiating is not: Being cheap, trying to get something for nothing, burning the other party or trying to pull one over on somebody. The key to successful negotiating is communication and that both parties win, whether it’s you and a landlord, a dance teacher or any vendor you might want to do business with. The more you create this type of deal, the more confidence you will have to do it again and again.Read More
Your Dance Floor, Your Investment!
It’s real easy to destroy a dance floor during installation, transportation or storage. The good news is that it is just as easy not to destroy it. Here are some do’s and don’ts for handling your floor.Read More
Studio Savvy: Why Its So Important To Maintain Your Dance Floor
Yes, it takes time, effort and money to keep your dance floor looking good, but there are many good reasons to have a maintenance program to keep your floor in top condition.Read More
Controlling Office Chaos
For those of you who have finished your dance year, now is the time to really take a good look at your business and find ways to get everything in order. I know that in some states and in some parts of the world your season is not yet over, but whenever it is, take the time to look at ways to control any chaos that may exist. Chaos just causes stress and gives the people who work for you a feeling of insecurity and a lack of direction. Here are ideas to help you find order and in turn to increase the earning power of your business.Read More
Keeping Students And Parents Grounded
It is difficult sometimes to keep our students grounded and sometimes even more challenging to help parents understand that they do not need to speed their children’s training ahead. In this very competitive time that we live, every parent wants their child to excel at lightning speed in every direction. How many times have I sat down with a parent to explain to them the importance of training dancers in a timely manner? I have to admit that each year it seems to get worse and parents and children become more and more stressed. Helping them all to stay calm and stress-free is to our advantage as studio owners.Read More
Sometimes as studio owners we get so caught up in the moment with each day rushing by, that we slowly start to become more and more disorganized without even realizing it. The end result of this is that everyone is running around in a panic trying to find the things that you need and spending twice as much on them because you need them immediately! Sound familiar? Trust me—we have all been there at one time or another.Read More
Posting video to your website, it is easier than you think!
Posting video to a website or blog has become increasingly popular over the past year or two. Producing videos is easy, often times a handheld video camera is all that is needed. And websites, such as YouTube.com, make it easy to upload and embed video into your own website or blog. If you are interested in putting videos on your website, or even if you already do so, there are some things to consider in order to get the most out of this medium.Read More
How to Become an Ideal Leader
When you are at work, do you get frustrated because things don't seem to be happening the way they’re supposed to be? You see people milling around, but nothing gets accomplished. And in the daily hustle and bustle, you feel that your goals remain just that – goals, not accomplishments.Read More
How to Make Communication FUN!
The following is an expert from Robert’s latest book 'How to Make Communication FUN!' Robert will be presenting his sought after seminars 'How to Make Communication FUN!', 'How to Make Customer Service FUN!' and 'How to Make Leadership FUN!' at the next Dance Teacher Web Conference and Expo.Read More
Assessing Your Students Progress
Communicating a student’s progress to their parents is a key factor in retaining students and an excellent way to keep class levels where you want them to be. It also helps your front desk staff to know at a glance what the correct placement is for each student and gives them a feeling of confidence when talking with the parents when they are registering their child, even if they know nothing about dance.Read More
True Success Starts With Your Vision
Your vision is a powerful force. Think big and watch your business grow.Read More
Creating Your Dance School Newsletter
I know that the last thing you need is more work, but creating a newsletter for your business is a great way to stay connected to your customers. Each year dance schools are faced with the challenge of customer retention. One issue is that they lose contact with their customer base. Sending out a regular newsletter is a great way to stay connected with your customers.Read More
Hip Hop And Its Benefits
Many studio owners have found that by including hip hop classes on their schedules they are attracting more recreational students to come through their doors. Hip hop is a form of dance that gives the impression that anyone can do it and, as a result, breaks down certain negative preconceived notions that some people have about dance. It gives ordinary kids the idea that they can be an MTV star if they can do some of the moves. It also attracts guys because it is 'acceptable' to be known as a hip hop dancer, it’s cool and current and, unlike the average person’s perception of ballet, it is macho!Read More
A 4- Part Survival Kit For Stuido Owners
Every day is a challenge for studio owners no matter how big or small your studio is. I think I can safely say that each day presents a new set of problems and issues that need to be resolved. Of course, each day can also present successes, big or small. It is definitely a rollercoaster ride and to maintain your balance and sanity it is helpful to have ways to attack—or accept—whatever comes your way. Our suggestion for a 'survival kit' is simply a way of enabling you to be ready to tackle problems without letting them get you down and to accept the successes without becoming too euphoric.Read More
The Power Of Goals
Goals are a powerful way to fulfill the desire that made you go start your business in the first place. Without setting goals for ourselves we are like a river meandering along going somewhere without any time constraint and arriving at some point to some destination! Dance studio owners are usually artistic people and artistic people are usually dreamers. The key is to set goals that will make our dreams a reality. It is important to not only set our goals for our studio at the beginning of the year but also to revisit them during the year so that we are constantly staying focused on those dreams.Read More
Maintaining Your Equilibrium
The holidays are over and hopefully during those few days off we all managed to find ways to relax and recharge the batteries to help us to sail through the remainder of the season. Being a studio owner is an extremely challenging job and one that really requires a tremendous balancing act to make it all work. One of the reasons that Steve and I started Dance Teacher Web was because we understood from the day-to-day running of our studio that each day presents an array of different challenges that studio owners are not totally prepared for.Read More
Nothing Is Stopping You But You!
Use imagination, evolution and revolution to develop multiple synergistic approaches for your business.Read More
Organization 101: How To Get Your Business In Gear
When you organize your business and eliminate the clutter, you will feel reenergized. You will find that you are easily motivated to get straight to work when you don’t have a mess to deal with. You will save time otherwise wasted looking through piles or searching for a missing document on your computer. Begin by establishing a plan. Prioritize your list, set a date with yourself and identify your motivation. Then all you have to do is follow these easy steps.Read More
Dealing With Teenage Issues
Sometimes dance teachers must also be part mentor and part psychologist.Read More
To Sell Or Not To Sell Your Dance School
After the decision to start your own dance studio, perhaps the most challenging decision you can make is whether or when to sell it. You conceived it, built it, poured your lifeblood into it, and now find yourself with a viable, profitable enterprise you can call your own. You have built an asset! Now…what to do with it?Read More
6 words to avoid in your copywriting.
The consumer is bombarded with marketing messages all day long. In the car, on television, reading a paper or e-zine. The key to connecting with your prospective clients is to have good copy that is to the point without words that will slow the reader down. Research has shown that you have about seven seconds before they lose interest. That is after they have seen your message about 10 to 12 times! Yikes, it’s going to be costly to reach those prospective customers. Experts in the field of copywriting have found that the following words just slow the reader down. Since you only have seven seconds to get your message across you will need to make a compelling offer quickly!Read More
DEEP SIX... These six rules will help you write letters that motivate your best prospects
This is a great time of year to send out a letter to your clients who have not yet re-registered for fall lessons. I highly recommend this as a way of reconnecting with them before the season progresses too far. Include a special offer or important date you may be having, like an open house where they can meet with you and your teachers or maybe have a parent class on learning how to make a bun. Here are some tips on the do’s and don’ts of writing a letter. A big key is to put yourself in the place of your customer. Ask yourself: Does your letter strike a chord with your clients?Read More
10 Ways To Improve Your Time Management Skills
Through the years we have had the opportunity to talk to and work with many studio owners from all over the world. One of the biggest issues is time management. We have found that having a daily plan and following it religiously will help make your life easier. We have written several articles on time management, but it is so vital to the mental health of the studio owner that we will continue to help you by sharing techniques that have been instrumental to our success.Read More
9 Tips To Keep You Moving Forward
This just in: Owning and running a dance studio is hard work!Read More
Your Season End Review Process Starts Now
Nowadays most businesses are looking to cut costs. Some are cutting budgets even though they are having a good year financially. It is a good idea now that the season is over to analyze where your hard earned dollars are going to see if there are any unnecessary expenses or cash drains that can be eliminated. We take a few days after all the dust has settled to look at all of our data and to explore ways to be more effective and productive. Here are some key things to look at.Read More
Head Start: Structuring Your Class Schedules
Creating a new schedule for the Fall is always a challenge. Each year, because of faculty availability, ages of the students and the introduction of new classes, I always find it necessary to change things around. Some classes just always seem to work in their spots, especially those of the preschool age.Read More
Making Your Studio Inviting
When customers arrive at your studio does it look inviting? Perhaps you have an older studio that needs some updating or possibly a very new studio that is starting to show signs of wear and tear. We are constantly amazed at how much damage seems to happen in such a short period of time. Each year we paint and clean and mend and tidy, but when you are dealing with large numbers of children wear and tear, if not some outright damage, is inevitable! At this time of year we like to assess the damage and make a plan for when and where we will fix it all. I know that many schools have programs running during each month of the year and Im sure, especially in these economic times, we are happy that we do actually have all those classes. If you do take a break in the summer then obviously that is a good time to make any repairs or to do any special cleaning projects. If not, youll need to assess if you have one evening each week that can be set aside or perhaps a weekend before summer classes start that can be reserved for these repairs.Read More
Time, Time, Time Management Part II
Time, Time, Time Its On My Side, Yes, It Is! The song made famous by the Rolling Stones needs to be sung out every day by studio owners. Make sure you see what you have accomplished each day and that nagging time management issue will fade away! Many times, when I stop and think about how much I have to do, I can feel overwhelmed before I even start. I review what has to be done and I wonder how I am ever going to get it all accomplished. And there are times when I will go home at the end of a long, grueling day, and feel somewhat unfulfilled, like I have been spinning my wheels and havent accomplished much of anything. But I know better because, at those exact moments, I pull out my secret weapon, MY LIST, and lo and behold I have done all that I was supposed to do! Call it what you like the tasks for the day list or the geter done list. Whatever you title it, I recommend you make one and check off things as you finish them.Read More
44 Steps: How To Succeed In All 5 Aspects Of Life
Being a dance studio owner in this day and age requires a multitude of talents not only artistically, but also businesswise and psychologically. So if we are going to be reasonably well-balanced and remain relatively sane, it is important that we pay attention not only to running our business and being creative, but also to helping ourselves maintain a good standard of physical and mental health.Read More
Time Management: Making It Work For You Part I
Owning a studio is a tremendous challenge in the best of times. Not only do we have to provide an environment that is warm and welcoming, but we also have to make sure the business side of it is functioning smoothly, that our teachers and students are all happy and productive and that parents are satisfied with what we are doing. No problem, right? Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that in most cases we also have to create exciting choreography and sound lesson plans in our spare time! Time is almost always an issue because there are so many branches that have to be covered in one single day that it can sometimes become daunting and overwhelming. Apart from the normal day-to-day running of the studio there are very often issues that pop up that need immediate attention. Sounds like a nervous breakdown waiting to happen, doesnt it? I know that every studio owner has had moments when they are inundated with things that need to be fixed or resolved, all of which requiring time that simply doesnt seem to be there. Suddenly you feel that anxiety building up inside you and for a moment you just want to forget the whole thing. Does that ring a bell? Trust me I have definitely had those feelings from time to time over the past 22 years. So, what can be done to alleviate this stress? First of all, take a deep breath and try to relax your brain for a few minutes. Find a relatively quiet area, sit down with either Post-its or a pad and get ready to retake control.Read More
Make Every Performance Sparkle
Whether a recital or competition number, as always, its the little details that make the difference on stage. At this time of year everyone is busy preparing for their recitals or end of year shows. Competitions are in full swing and we are all looking for that edge to make our dancers look more proficient and polished. We are also trying to think of all the little details that will make our performances go smoothly so that everyone is happy at the end result.Read More
The Parent Traps
If you own and operate a dance school, one thing is certain, you will at some point have an issue with a parent. OK, it might be a few issues with a few parents over the course of a lengthy career! Fortunately most of them will be small things that can be handled quite easily. Some, however, will present a greater challenge and test your management skills to the max. One thing I want to share with you is, most of the time if you follow your gut feeling on any issue you are facing, you will be right on the money. If, for instance, you think a parent is bad mouthing you, you are probably right! The way you proceed in these situations is not only the key to a successful conclusion to any issue, but will also determine how well your business is viewed by your clients. Here are four typical scenarios that every studio owner will be called on to address at some point.Read More
Gearing Up For The Summer!
You might still be shivering, but its time to turn up the heat on your marketing plans. Before you know it summer will be here. That means now is the right time to start promoting your summer programs. We have a strong feeling that this summers attendance may be exceptionally high because of the current economic conditions. Unfortunately for so many people, summer vacations are being postponed or canceled. With more families likely to stay home and sleepaway camps being cost-prohibitive for many, we believe families will be looking more to local businesses that can offer a fun, cost-effect alternative for their child. Normally we dont spend that many dollars promoting our summer programs. We traditionally have a great turnout for our preschool camps and summer intensive. Our plan is always to get these brochures out early to our current clients, and the programs tend to fill up pretty quickly. We usually get a small amount of new clients, but we never typically put our energy, our focus or our summer advertising dollars on trying to attract new students. This year, however, our plan is to expand our summer programs and to market them to new clients. We feel that its important to expand our summer series to better serve our community, both the parents we know and new parents who are looking for interesting and creative outlets for summer fun for their children.Read More
How To Be A Leader
With the inauguration of our new President, the whole country is looking to see how his historical leadership is going to help the current economical situation and the problems that exist abroad. As with any great leader, the most important component to have is a plan and the right people around you to implement that plan. As a studio owner we wear many different hats out of necessity. However, the most important position we must assume is that of the leader.Read More
Everyone talks about networking to make the right business connections, but most people say either dont have the time or cant be bothered. If you want to grow your business, this may be one of the most important things you do. We've all heard the expression, particularly in the business world, Its not what you know, but who you know. Let me add to that: Its also not just who you know, but who knows you! And what they are saying about you, too! When youre in business, you really do need to make connections, and lots of them.Read More
The Economic Outlook
If you happen to watch the news or any of the news networks you will be, like most people in America today, scared to death! The truth is the more you hear this bad news, the more you want to contract. It makes you feel like doing less of everything. That includes spending your money on advertising and anything else that depletes your hard earned money. It is the reason why we, along with many other entrepreneurs, are cutting back on how much we watch on television, read or listen to. Of course, we need to see what is going on and not stick our heads in the sand but if all you hear is doom and gloom for hours on end how can you possible think clearly about your business? How can you have a positive outlook and be inspired to do new things with your business? Even if things are going well, it makes you think that it is only a matter of time before the sky starts falling!Read More
New ways to make your dancers stand out at competition
As we embark on the new competition season, now is the time to evaluate your costume strategy.Read More
How To Find The Choreographer Within Us
As teachers of Dance we are constantly called upon to create movement, whether it is a few counts of eight, a complete number or a full length Ballet. Some teachers find it an easy continuation of their daily classes and others struggle with the entire process. The reality is that teachers in a dance studio or any school that teaches dance are sometimes going to have students that are technically phenomenal and at other times will be challenged by students who are perhaps mediocre or worse in their technical knowledge. Unlike professional choreographers who are blessed to be able to create their works on elite dancers, the typical dance teacher has to create choreography on students of all ages and types and make them look their best. Why we create choreography usually has very little, if anything, to do with the business side of the studio or schools continued success, however, very often what happens with the choreography does affect the success of the program.Read More
The Systems Challenge
A hot buzz topic in business today is Systems and how these systems are going to be the key to your business and its growth. If you have read the book The E-Myth by Michael Gerber and I recommend that any business owner does, he writes about creating systems for your business and how all businesses are the same when it comes to creating systems for them. The idea is that if you have systems in place you can get people to run certain aspects of your business without your input! He uses MacDonalds and how it runs its business as an example. He examines their systems and the success they have generated. The goal is to create a system for each aspect of your business and then get people to follow the systems.Read More
Creating Your Own Logo
A logo is more than just a little design or your company name written in a fancy font. Logo design is a special skill, and there's no one definitive method that is better than the others. All good logos, however, have a few things in common.Read More
Summer, A Time For Rest, Renewal And Re-energizing
As the end of the season comes in sight we all know how busy this time of year is. Rehearsing for the end of year performances, making sure all the evaluations are out to the parents, meeting with parents to discuss their childs progress and a multitude of other duties. It really can be overwhelming even for the most organized of us! For us the showcase performances are the termination of our semester and we then have two weeks before our summer programs start.Read More
Getting Ads for Your Program
Every year, around this time we start to work on our program for our student showcase. We have found this to be a great way not only to connect with other business owners but also a way to raise funds for scholarships. Even though we are not a non profit business we approach our scholarship fund as if we are. The funds that we designate for scholarships go into a specific account and once we give the scholarships out those funds are then transferred into the business checking account. Through the years I don't know of one studio that has not given out scholarships. Most of the time business owners just absorb the cost and call it a scholarship when in reality it really is a loss of profit. This way there really is money that will be used and you are in control because you know exactly how many scholarships you can give out. There is only so much money that you have and once that is gone that's it!Read More
Technical Effects on a Budget
As we all approach the time of year for our showcases and recitals we are always looking for ways to make this year's show better than last year's. One way to make your show look like a professional production is to spend a few dollars on some technical effects that will make the show more enjoyable for the audience and more fun for the performers. Through the years we have spent a lot on some effects that do not really give you that bang for the buck. Some of the more inexpensive devices are most effective. Remember to check with the theater or school where you will be doing your show to see if they have any restrictions or regulations. If you bring in additional lights you will need to find out if they have room on their board to accommodate these added fixtures. It is best if you give them an exact breakdown of what you will be adding and what you will need from them.Read More
Making Plans to Succeed
It is easy when you are running a dance studio to get so caught up in what you are doing day to day that you forget to look at the big picture. We can get so involved in the everyday grind that we lose focus on what is important to us and what plans we are working on to make our dreams come true. We will spend a lot of money and hours working on routines, choosing costumes and rehearsing. Yet if you ask yourself what your ultimate goal is and you do not have a clear answer or you find yourself thinking that you just want to get through the year, it could very well be that you have not made a solid plan.Read More
Managing Recital Mayhem!
Each year it seems that we start the new semester in September and all of a sudden it's that time again! Recitals or as we call them Student Showcases are an extremely important part of the studio life. An exciting, smooth running performance can not only spread goodwill with your current clients but also greatly add to your ability to publicize your studio to prospective clients. Every studio has their own creative ideas on how to present their dancers.Read More
Finding the right location
Location - location - location! Yes we have all heard that old saying about real estate. The same can be said when trying to find the right location for your dance studio. Whether you are starting out new, relocating or finding a second location the overriding factor in all of it is the cost. The good news is we can put a dance studio in lots of places where other business could not exist. We don't need a store front. We do need space and high ceilings, the more of both the merrier. We need some parking. Most of the business dance studios get is from people who seek us out. Not many people just stumble into a dance school and say " This is exactly what I was looking for!"Read More
Valentine Character Event
Every year, we run our Valentine Character Party for children from three to six years old. At the party, the children make Valentine cards, learn a dance to do with a popular costume character and then have their photo taken with the character. It is a customer appreciation day and marketing tool all rolled into one. We open it up to current students, siblings and any friends they would like to invite. It enhances the family's overall experience at the studio and introduces their friends to our program. It is not only the children that come away happy after one of these events but also the parents who are thrilled to see that their children are being offered something fun to do in a family friendly environment for FREE!Read More
Performance Group Classes
If you do competition or are looking to add it to your school we have developed a way to add these groups to your program. We call these classes Performance Groups. We have been doing competitions for over 20 years so we have done a lot of tinkering to get the kinks out. After much trial and error we have developed a system that we have used over the last ten years and we are very happy with the results. The parents, for the most part, like it too!Read More
Website Design Ideas
If you already have a website or are about to get one, there are some ideas that we have used and have had a lot of success with.Read More
The Right Mix of Business and Artistry
There are false notions that if you try to expand your business or try to make it grow that you are selling out! Why are dance studios any different from any other business? I have found through the years from talking to a lot of studio owners there is always a dilemma of finding the right mix so that studio owners don't feel like they are selling out in some way. The most important thing that we, as studio owners, must find is the right mix to balance out the important things that we face day in and day out. First and foremost is to understand that we are running a business and that must and will take first place over everything else. I know that if you love to still teach and you are at your studio every day this can and will be a real challenge.Read More
What Makes A Dance Studio's Goals Different to Other Businesses
Some people set goals on a daily basis-some, on a weekly basis. Your weekly team meetings should stay true to the goals you set both strategically and tactically A lot of companies have weekly meetings, and often those meetings are more reactive than proactive. Many of them use it to touch base. In large companies, that may work well for the staff. In a smaller, more entrepreneurial setting, like a dance studio, these meetings have to take on more of a goal focus. New skills and good habits only develop through a process. The goal for you is to create continuous and incremental improvement. Each week your company begins to sell a little better, market a little better, manage a little better. This has to come from the goals you review in your meetings.Read More
Read All About It! Creating A Winning Headline
Creating a winning headline is one of the keys to creating a killer ad. One thing to keep in mind is to try to make it not about you but about your clients and what benefits they will receive. The first thing you need to do is to try to figure out what is the main benefit that your program will give to your students. Sometimes it is best not to state the obvious. Since we all teach dance it would be easy to say LEARN TO DANCE NOW! However, it may not be the catchy headline you are looking for. That may work best as a subheading or as a closing statement. What you want is an attention grabber! Something that will stop people in their tracks and make them want to know more. That's the theoretical explanation. Here's the practical one broken down by "Rules," "Key Words," "Examples," and "Formulas"Read More
How To Set Up A Core Barre Class
Every student can really benefit from the use of core barre exercises. Not only will they become very much stronger and less susceptible to injury but they will have a better understanding of how to place their bodies and will find, over a period of time that turns, leaps, arabesques and attitudes, releves, piques and basically any type of balancing movement will suddenly not be such a struggle. As I like to tell any student, "The art of Dance has been developed over centuries and is designed to work, it is only us dancers who forget or don't understand the basic principles of how to place our bodies that make our efforts sometimes extremely frustrating."Read More
This one is not about waking up in a sweat because the students you taught all year can't remember their routine for your year end show. Oh no, it's worse! One of your teachers, has turned into a nightmare! Now you have to deal with this whole mess. If you have had your studio long enough, I am sure you know what I am writing about. The teacher who is back stabbing you. Stealing from you or scheming to steal your students and open their own place. Just to name a few. It happens from time to time and is a part of the business we all need to be ready to deal with. One thing is for sure, try to focus on your clients and that you are in control, even if you have to fake it till you make it! I know that some of you have been burnt by some people that you have helped and have done the most for. We try not to take it personally. I know, not very easy to do. Yet it is best to help you keep your sanity.Read More