Guest blogger: Claire O’Shea

Guest blogger: Claire O’Shea

Meet Claire! Claire is our awesome Australian friend who has agreed to hang out with us a bit and offer some of her expertise with us.

Claire is a business and mindset coach who helps dance studio entrepreneurs scale their business into a dance empire and dramatically increase their profits whilst creating more freedom. She’s been where you have been, or maybe even where you are right now. Claire helps studio owners find their groove, and ultimately lead a life they love.

I had the pleasure of sitting down to chat with Claire (via phone…although, maybe a trip to Australia should be in the books!), and one thing that really stuck out is how well Claire knows the business side of running a studio. It can be hard. Too often studio owners can get sidetracked and pulled in many directions. Another factor that we’re all up against in our industry is it’s such a personal one. We’re dealing with people’s children, and sometimes we can get taken advantage of, or make unreasonable exceptions due to the personal relationships we have. Claire spoke in great detail about how important having processes in place is, and I totally nerded out with her on this.

I enjoyed our conversation so much that I asked her to do a blog series for STG. Stay tuned! Beginning next week she’ll be sharing with you some of her favorite tips and tricks of running her studio. We can’t wait to see what she has in store for us!

Cheers-Leah

Class Resource: Tap Coloring Sheet

Class Resource: Tap Coloring Sheet

Hi, fellow dance education friends! Have we got a surprise for you…

Since we are right in the middle of a season of giving, thinking of others and enjoying the holiday spirit, we have cooked up a treat. In the past several years, we have noticed that preschool and elementary-aged tap content can be difficult to come by! For obvious reasons, focus is often on ballet content for little ones. We all know that ballet is the central dance, and Studio To Go strongly believes that a solid ballet foundation is key for success in any dance genre; however, so many of the little ones benefit from a great (age-appropriate) tap program as well! Tap fundamentals help with balance, coordination, body awareness, musicality, rhythm and so much more!

We want to do everything we can to assist in equipping dance studio owners and instructors with tools for success in recreational, preschool tap. In light of that aspiration, we are giving away a free tap color sheet for use inside your classroom, at marketing events (like fairs), at tap birthday parties in your studio, and/or as a take-home resource after class to help with reinforcement at home! The possibilities are endless. We hope you enjoy this download that your studio can save and put to use for years to come!

I Love Tap Color Sheet with Logo

Studio To Go is very proud of our fabulous artist, and we would love to provide you with the exact dance-related content that YOU need. Feel free to leave a comment below with feedback concerning your ideas for great classroom tools and content! You never know when the ladies of Studio To Go might pop in with a new surprise! Happy Holidays!

Cheers! — Lauren

Hanukkah teaching rescources

Hanukkah teaching rescources

Happy Hanukkah, friends! It is finally the time of year to celebrate joyous traditions with loved ones. As dance teachers, it is important for us to incorporate the season of the year, especially holidays, into our classes. Why? Not only do we honor the celebrations, but we better engage the wonder and excitement of our tiniest students. We have a fabulous Hanukkah resource for you, and we believe it would be a great addition to your December teaching tools.

“The Hanukkah Hop!” by Erica Silverman is perfect for incorporating movement into your Hanukkah festivities in dance class! The main character Rachel walks us through her family’s traditions, lighting the candles, and enjoying delicious treats of the holiday. Dancing the Hanukkah Hop happens to be one of her favorites! Get ready to bim-bim-bop with her to the song “The Hanukkah Hop,” which is available on iTunes and Spotify on the album A Child’s Hanukkah. This sweet little hardcover book is a wonderful way to teach your dance students all about the Festival of Lights. Available at many book retailers, we have found it on Amazon for $9.98. Check it out here: The Hanukkah Hop!

Have you considered incorporating special Hanukkah songs into your December playlist as well? Here are a few that we have provided to our teachers at our sister company Studio Go: “Burn Little Candles” by Judy Caplan Ginsburgh, “Ocho Diyas Di Felisita (Eight Days of Happiness)” by Rachel Buchman, “Hanukkah is Here” by The Little Rockers Band, and of course “Dreidel Song” by The Nick Jr. Winter Wonderland Cast!

We truly hope you have a wonderful time with your family. Happy Hanukkah!

Cheers! — Lauren

 

10 holiday self-care tips for dance professionals

10 holiday self-care tips for dance professionals

Happy Holidays! Or is it? Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE the holidays. I think they are the most magical time of the year. That being said, they leave some less than “happy”. Traffic gets worse, people get angrier, you’re eating worse, busier than usual, and don’t even try to go into a mall or the grocery store. This time of year can leave some feeling a little rundown. 

Self-care is such a big topic right now, and rightfully so. This is especially true for dance educators. We give more of ourselves than most. We give our time, our passion, our bodies, our emotions, our energy, and so much more. We should take some time to focus on ourselves. Here are some ideas:

1- Pedicure: I think I would be remiss to not have this as point #1. While dancers have beautiful feet….well….we also know they can get a bit banged up. Take some time to relax and show those hardworking feet the love that they deserve.

2-Massage: With all those sore muscles, who couldn’t use a little TLC? Treat yourself.

3-Girl’s (or Boy’s) night: I know, I know. How many times do we all say, “The holidays are so crazy. Let’s make some time to get together in the new year”. It’s true, but time will go by and it won’t happen. Besides, you need some relaxing downtime now. Make it happen, whether it’s for one glass of wine after teaching or coffee in the morning. That hour or so you spend catching up with a good friend is bound to give you a much needed holiday boost.

4-Night in: Grab your coziest pj’s, make some vin chaud (or mulled wine…I just feel fancier saying vin chaud), and cozy up and watch your favorite holiday movie. If you have a fire in the fireplace, bonus points! Some of my must-see holiday movies each year are: Love Actually, Elf, The Family Stone, and The Holiday. 

5- Baking: Yes, this is work, but for me, there is nothing as cathartic as baking. Pour yourself a glass of bubbly or wine and make a mess. Afterward, you have a yummy product (well, hopefully) and you have something to share with loved ones. Everyone wins!

6-Go ice skating: What a fun way to get in the holiday spirit! Not to mention, it’s active, so it will counteract all the baking and sitting around drinking vin chaud.

7-Buy yourself something pretty: Do not go to the mall when you’re in a hurry during the holiday season…that will only add to your stress. However, find some time to go buy yourself something you’ve been wanting for awhile. It doesn’t have to be anything big. You deserve it!

8-Go on a long walk by yourself: Whenever I feel stressed and worked up, it’s amazing what walking does for me. The fresh air instantly calms me and allows me to focus on what is bothering me. Unlike intense workouts, which usually cause me to forget about the problem, walking allows me relax while coming up with solutions or working through things. This is such a beautiful time of the year, especially at night. Take in the lights, the families enjoying the season, and the cheer in the air. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s likely this will you bring you down a notch.

9-Meditation/Yoga: I’m a fan of meditation any time of year, but around this time of year it can be especially helpful to encourage staying in the moment and not feeling stressed. Yoga is also great for this. Whether you need a more restorative class, or you’re up for a a class that will make you sweat and incorporates headstands, there’s something for everyone and every mood.

10-Spread holiday cheer: This is my favorite one. Seriously. Do kind things for others. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, donate to a toy drive, select a child off of an angel tree, read a book at a childcare center, or make a donation to your favorite cause. The possibilities are endless. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives and our own stress. Nothing makes you realize how lucky you are quite like helping others. I was once going through such a bad time in life, that I went all the way to India to volunteer. I’m not suggesting you hop on a plane across the world, but if you did, it would be life-changing for sure. I, however, am suggesting that you find some way, even if it’s super small, to give back to those around you. After all, this is the essence of the holiday spirit.

Take some time for yourself, do something you enjoy, and you’ll instantly feel the “happy” in the holidays. Wishing you a joyous and fun holiday season!

Cheers-Leah