On-Site Dance = AMAZING

On-Site Dance = AMAZING

If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ve more than likely heard us talking about our sister company Studio Go, which is an on-site dance education company. You may have found yourself asking, “What in the world are they even talking about?” Or, you may have seen other companies out there attempting this business model and (how do I put this lightly?) not necessarily executing it very well…

 

Today, I’m going to introduce you to Studio Go, and I plan to dispel some myths about our approach to dance education. Lastly, I will tell you why your studio should have an on-site leg as well. If you’re not a studio owner, you may be an on-site one by the end of this blog post. 😉

1. Meet, Studio Go

First, I encourage you to visit our website by clicking HERE! Studio Go is a mobile dance studio committed to providing the best in on-site dance and movement throughout Atlanta, Athens, Charleston and Chattanooga. Basically, we partner with schools, churches, preschools, synagogues, rec centers, and community centers to provide dance instruction to a variety of ages, mostly focusing on the preschool ages. We realize that we are tasked with more than just teaching dance, we also aim to create a caring, nurturing environment where kids can be themselves. In our program, children learn proper technique and concepts of dance, all while learning self-awareness, grace, poise, social skills, and much more inside the comfort of their own learning environment.

 

The long and short of the company’s inception is that Leah (and I) both worked for a different company that offers the same type of services. But, Leah had fabulous ideas for taking it to the next level. We wanted to bring dance education into the 21st century with technology, current educational trends, and modern music/resources that best serve the young family of today. Studio Go is dominating our industry in the Southeastern US, if we must say so ourselves; however, our parents & location partners say the EXACT same thing.

 

“I have known Leah for three years both as a colleague and as my son’s movement teacher at the Alefbet preschool. As a teacher in the preschool I have had the opportunity to observe Leah’s professional skills as well as interpersonal style. She is always pleasant and full of energy, with a big smile on her face. In her class she makes sure to welcome each child and provide individual attention. The children love her and look forward to her class every week. The classes include both a mix of routines that the children love and new activities and music from week to week to keep expanding their skills.
Leah has been very professional in working with the rest of the staff at the preschool in cases where children are delayed in gross motor skill development. She has provided good advice in helping us with activities to encourage development in needed areas for these children.”

— Parent & Studio Go Partner Employee

 

 

2. Dispelling the myths!

A- This is a cheesy, rag-tag approach to dance.

Simply put, NOPE. It’s all about your approach. Scroll back up and look at our SG logo. Does that branding/messaging read “we don’t know what we’re doing and these are super corny, cheap classes.” Not in my book!

 

If you put quality content at the top of your business’ priority list, you won’t face this problem at all. A perfect example of this is our monthly preschool dance subscription.  It was created for Studio Go initially, but is now used in physical dance studios all over the world. Shameless plug. 😉 Our curtains are currently closed for enrollment, but they’ll open back up in the summer of 2019! If you have questions, email us cheers@studiotogodance.com and we’ll fill you in on all the juicy deets!

 

Whether you own a physical studio or an on-site one, you control your own quality. Your instructional skills and desire for solid classes will follow you, whether you’re teaching a kid how to perform a “tendu” in a beautiful NYC ballet studio, in your local gym, or in a church fellowship hall. WE PROMISE. 

 

B- The kids won’t receive a top-notch education because there are no ballet barres or mirrors in their classes.

This is a very common statement that we hear in our line of work. Let’s talk, dance professional to dance professional for a sec. Remember when I said that we mainly focus on preschool ages? That’s typically the “meat” of our clients. I’m going to say 3-5 year-olds are about 95% of our clientele. In what dance studio is this age-range allowed at a ballet barre? Mayyyybe that’s the case for a 5 year-old at the very end of the school year, who has been taking dance since the age of 2. However, to maintain a proper class for the others who may have started dance this year, most ballet teachers will NEVER let kids this age head to the barre. It’s not the right size for them yet, it’s a behavioral distraction to deal with the temptation to swing on said barre, and the technique that they are working on simply doesn’t require this tool yet. 

 

As for the mirrors, y’all. Y’all. Y’ALL! That’s one of my biggest pet-peeves when teaching 3 year-olds in a studio. Love it, love them, love my job. Truly! But, they are so incredibly distracted by seeing themselves in that massive mirror. I’ve met instructors who don’t allow preschoolers to face the front of the room in class due to this problem. You know! I don’t blame the little guys. It’s quite appealing and interesting to see oneself in that way. It’s pretty, sparkly and drives the imagination to exciting stories and thoughts. I get it! You’re little and you’re mesmerized, but we have a class to run here! Trust us, not having mirrors in our classes is NOT a bad thing. 😉

 

(We do instruct several toddler classes down to a year-and-a-half or two. Same thing I stated above applies here. They won’t be anywhere near a barre for a lonnnng time. Additionally, we do offer several Elementary classes that range from Kindergartners to “3rd-ish” grade. Keep in mind, most of these kids are recreational dancers. They are looking for an activity to keep them healthy and active. In most of these situations we are contracted by a 3rd party afterschool program who is looking for vendors to provide skills and services to their clients to keep kiddos entertained and busy in the 3pm-5pm range of time after school. Again, these parents are more than likely not looking to send their kid to Julliard. We are there to teach them a new skill, expose them to art, and keep them active! Those are 3 things that are totally possible without a barre or mirrors.) 

 

C- I’m going to miss my physical ballet studio if I leave it and open an on-site studio.

First of all, you don’t have to leave your studio to open an on-site portion of your company. In fact, this route could end up being a feeder program to your studio. Offer classes during those coveted daytime slots at schools and local facilities that offer young childcare. Then, when they “graduate” and are still serious about continuing their dance education, badda bing badda boom… Come on over to my studio in the afternoons! (You can thank us later!)

 

Secondly, there are MUCH fewer overhead expenses for an on-site studio. $$$ That means higher profits for you! $$$ You’re not paying a power bill during this class time, you’re not repairing ruined marley floors for these classes, and you’re not having to staff a front-desk worker for it either. And those examples merely scratch the surface! You may miss the beauty of your studio room, but you won’t miss paying for that expensive heat in the middle of the winter!

 

Also, if you did decide to go solely the on-site route, you can still teach at another dance studio in the evenings if you miss the physical space and older kids that much. We have many instructors who work for us up until 4pm, and then they head straight to the studio afterwards! Take our word for it… Again, you won’t miss paying those bills, constantly refilling the toilet paper dispenser and wondering where ALL OF THOSE d@#$ CRUMBS KEEP COMING FROM in your lobby!!!! Been there, done that.

 

D- How do you teach a dance class in a school cafeteria, gym stage, or preschool classroom?

E- I have no clue where to even start in creating this kind of business.

I’m going to loop “D” and “E” into one answer with a pretty little bow on top. Beginning Feb 22nd, we are launching our online course “Beyond the Studio,” which has been created with these very questions in mind. We will walk our customers through the process from setting up the business, to hiring the right people (they are very different from studio-only teachers), to establishing proper systems of a remotely run company, to equipping your staff to teach on the go, to legal considerations that are unique to this business model. This is a brief overview of the topics we’ll cover, but we are very thorough and no stone is left un-turned from our YEARS of experience successfully running an on-site studio! 

 

More on this course will be announced later… For now, join our waitlist HERE to stay “in-the-know!”

 

3. Why you should open an on-site studio!

Please refer back to everything above. Haha! Seriously, we could talk about this topic for hours and share the multitude of benefits that this company has had for both Leah and myself. In fact, we have two more blog posts coming your way that detail more of these perks soon. Lindsey, one of our Studio Go teachers, will be sharing on-site dance from a teacher’s perspective, and Leah will be sharing some major benefits to her company specifically revolving around her family life. Spoiler alert. Her family life has enormously changed for the positive since she began operating on-site many years ago!

 

 

That’s all I have you today! Thanks for reading along and learning more about why I love on-site dance. I truly hope you’re interested and excited to here more about our “Beyond the Studio” Course. Don’t forget to sign up for the waitlist HERE, and send us a message if you have questions thus far!

Cheers,
Lauren 🥂

5 Items Every Preschool Dance Teacher Needs in 2019

5 Items Every Preschool Dance Teacher Needs in 2019

Dance teachers, pull your dance bag out of hiding. Classes begin Monday for us at our sister company, Studio Go! I typically clear out all dance materials out of my car over a holiday break. Something about that helps me downshift into “real me” mode. When I don’t see preschool props, dance shoes, and music materials floating around in my vehicle, I’m more likely to relax and not think about work over a break.

Well, those days are over so it’s time to not only give my dance bag a clean-up, but it’s also time to revive my teaching materials! Get ready for a new year of preschool dance instruction! Read on to hear what I think every preschool dance teacher should have in his/her repertoire in 2019!

(FYI, the bolded items below are easy clickable links!)

 

 

1. Ribbon Ring Set 

Team, this is our best selling preschool dance prop. I just prepared a shipment of these beautiful rhythm props for a client in Australia, earlier this week. My students think it’s so special when we pull these out of our dance bags. They are whimsical and dreamy! These are great for “free space time,” an organized follow-me rhythm dance, or even as an across-the-floor prop.

For traveling activities like the latter, I prefer to place a pile of them on one side of the room and allow my dancers to approach them one at a time to select their own ring. They perform a traveling step of my choice like tip-toe walks, gallops or hopping on one foot, to name a few. Once they get to the other side, they get to perform a quick dance of their own choosing and show off their favorite move before they place the ring down in a second pile on this side of the room. Works like a charm!

2. Hand Sanitizer

This one needs very little explanation. Little kids can be gross. We love them. But they’re gross. 

Snotty noses, sneezing, slobbering, potty accidents, upset stomachs… You name it. We’ve all seen it.

Do yourself a solid and buy these for every classroom in your studio. And grab one for your car too. There’s no need to bring that mess home to your people! (We linked an aloe sanitizer above… Winter months here in the States are tough on our skin already, so make it easier on yourself!)

3. Shameless Plug – Our Concierge Monthly Subscription! 

We’re not ashamed to stress the value of our subscription, y’all. It’s the bomb. Lesson planning? Thing of the past. Boring, out-dated music? No more. Repetitive choreography? Not an issue. Worrying that your clients (the parents) aren’t sure they’re getting quality instruction? No under-informed folks over here. Students misbehaving because they’re not challenged or engaged? Not our style. Feel like your sticker or stamp “rewards” aren’t cutting it for today’s young kids? Not us. Staying up past your bedtime creating all of the above items? Not gonna happen anymore.

We offer two monthly subscriptions (ballet only, ballet & tap) and two payment options (monthly, yearly). All content is created with 3-5 year-olds in mind; however, our material is flexible and can be molded into your needs! Access to our private VIP Facebook group is also included in your purchase. This is where we gift members freebies year-round and provide feedback to all your dance questions/needs. We’re pretty creative ladies and we LOVE helping out our Tribe!

Curtains only open for enrollment twice a year, in January and the summer months. Guess what time it is?! JANUARY! If you’re interested in receiving free preschool dance content to “test drive” what our subscribers enjoy, click HERE and leave us your email address. The week of Jan 7-11, 2019, we’ll send you all kinds of materials for FREE. Our cart opens for purchase for one week only Jan 11-18, 2019. Stay tuned and join in on the fun!

4. Class Mascot

At our sister company where we teach about 800 preschoolers every week, we feel very strongly about having a stuffed animal or doll in each of our classes. Five reasons:

1. Behavior – Let your kids know that Bitty (or whoever you name your mascot) is watching. If she reports poor behavior to you after class, students may not receive their rewards. I will say  “Oh, Bitty does not like it when my dancers talk in class. We don’t want to disappoint her!”

2. Leaps – It’s an age-old concept… Give your smallest dancers something to physically jump over in the leaps portion of class. It’s concrete and helps them understand that height is needing while leaping.

3. Connectivity/Comfort – Ever had a hesitant little one in the lobby? Passing a classroom mascot to small dancers gives them comfort and welcomes them into class. Anchor them to the space by providing them with someone else to take care of. I’ll often tell my nervous babies that “Toula is a little scared to leave her mommy too. Would you mind holding her so that she feels better in class?” I’ve not only validated that dancer’s feelings, but I’ve given her a job to do that gives her motivation to join class.

4. Engaging Imagination – Let’s not downplay the affect of imagination on a preschooler. It’s our job to whisk them away to a land of magical wonders in dance class. You wouldn’t believe the sweet things I’ve heard my dancers say through the years about Bitty Ballerina!

5. Simulated Audience – Come showtime, you’ll really appreciate your classroom mascot. Place her on a chair in front of the mirror and tell your students that we’re performing for her. Use that as an opportunity to mentally prepare them for people watching them at a show. Explain that they’ll clap, stare, and maybe even giggle a little bit. We’re making them smile, and that’s a good thing! This audience member also helps them step up their game a bit in final rehearsals.

Click here to purchase Bitty, Toula or Bo from our shop. Handmade in England just for us, these dolls are provided to each Studio Go teacher at our sister company! Rave reviews all around!

If you’d rather go with a mascot who’s already in your studio, that’s great! We also found this precious ballerina bunny on Amazon. She’s gorgeous, delicate, and sweet. Whatever you choose, we know that your students will love him/her!

5. Bullet Journal

I’m extremely new to this. Like, I’ve purchased the journal that I linked above (in the 7.1″x10″ version), but I haven’t actually jumped into it yet. That’s number one on my list for this weekend before real-life starts back on Monday! Do a couple of searches on Instagram and Google on this topic and you will be amazed at the stories and examples you’ll find.

Basically, this is a totally custom calendar where you can store notes, ideas, to-do lists, to-read lists, shopping lists, habit tracking, and pretty much any other thing in your life that’s trackable. There are some impressive (and intimidating) artists out there who seriously go crazy with the cheeze-wiz out there. Don’t let them fool you into thinking that this practice isn’t for you, or that you’re not artistic enough to keep up! The bottom line is to plan your days, time-block your work-week, and tackle both long-term and short-term goals in a format that some fancy planner-designer could never have foreseen as useful for YOU.

We dance teachers have busy teaching schedules, high parent expectations, tons of craft projects, gobs of music editing, emails waiting on thoughtful replies, choreography to be created, and about a million other small things in between. Get yourself organized and prepared to be the best dance teacher you can be!

(Shout out to my sister Courtney who convinced me over Christmas break that I need to get on the bullet-journal train immediately. Good call, girl.) 

via GIPHY

 

Guys, that’s all I have for now! Believe me, the preschool dance classroom ideas up my sleeve are endless, but I decided to keep it short and sweet. These are the ESSENTIALS! Hop to it… The back-to-school clock is surely ticking!

Cheers,
Lauren 🥂

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