What’s Your Why?

What’s Your Why?

Let’s get real. Let’s get personal here. By now you know that Lauren and I are pretty straightforward people and like to tell it like it is. So, in that spirit, I want to talk about my why. It’s these people .👇🏼 I love them. Can we talk about how cute they are? I’m so lucky to call them mine.

There are lots of sacrifices we make as business owners, right? There are lots of sacrifices all dance teachers make as well. I see you, too. The truth is I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my family for my business. I am all about building a thriving business, but my family comes first every single time. I often get asked why I didn’t open a traditional studio, or if I have plans to in the future. The truth is I don’t have plans to, and I never have. I deeply, deeply respect all you hard-working women (and men) who are out there doing the dang thing. But, for me, it just isn’t what I want for MY life and family.

Why? Well, the sacrifices are clear. Late nights, long weekends, and lots of time away from my family. That’s the nature of the beast. Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I think, “Gosh, it would be nice to have a space to walk into and call my own.” Or, “Man, I do miss working with older/more-talented dancers”. However, none of these fleeting whims could ever compete with how much I would miss out on if I did own a physical studio.

I am present. I am at the Valentine’s Party for my son, I am cooking dinner and drinking wine with my husband in the evenings, I am there to put my kids to bed each night (complete with bubble baths and story time), and I am there when a girlfriend asks about dinner on on a random Tuesday night. As a matter of fact, my husband and I are going to a concert 2 weeks from today, on a random Wednesday night. Woot! Woot!

None of these things would be possible if I had gone the traditional studio route. Owning an on-site dance studio has afforded me so much freedom. You know what else I really love to do? Travel. In the last 8 months of 2018 I was able to travel to 4 countries with my family. In 2018 I had 10 weeks of paid vacation time. That time off would have been hard with a traditional studio, and it is something that I cherish so much. My 2.5 year old talks about taking a train to Brussels on a daily basis. I wouldn’t trade the memories we’re making for anything, nor would I want him to not be able to experience different cultures and places. Fun side note: thanks to points from my business credit card, all of these international plane tickets were free. That’s right, my business also helps my family travel. If you want pointers on how to make this happen, email me. I’m glad to give you my tips and tricks!

The second reason I chose this route is I have an entrepreneurial spirit. This business model makes more money. Period. And who doesn’t want more money in their pocket? Sure, I love what I do, but this is a business…I am doing it to make a living. I have bills to pay, mouths to feed , and a whole world to see. Which brings me back to my why. I have more money to be able to do more things with my family.

I’m on maternity leave, which many studio owners aren’t able to take. Yes, I am still working some, but it’s a choice, and not something I do everyday. As I type this, I have a sleeping baby on my chest. I just got back from eating lunch with my 2.5 year-old because he ran into my office (with no pants on…I mean, would any of us wear pants if it were acceptable not to? 😂) and crawled all over me. So I took a break. The fact that I have a home office and can work from the comfort of my home and have help with my child so I can work when needed, but take him to the park when I want to is a beautiful thing. I can’t imagine living life any other way.

This is my journey and these people are my why. For some of you not owning a studio might be a non-negotiable, and that is awesome. For others, you might feel just like I do. Whatever your journey, let it be authentic, be present, and do it big! If you feel like this spoke to you and you would like to learn more about this on-site dance business model, I encourage you to look into our Beyond the Studio course where we will share all of our tips and tricks. It’s like a course and a coaching program had a baby! I’d love to share my tips and tricks with you and help you have more time with your family…and more money in your pocket.

I love sharing our content and tips with you guys. Thank you for being a part of our little corner of the internet!

Cheers,
Leah 🥂

A Day in the Life: Working for Studio Go Dance

A Day in the Life: Working for Studio Go Dance

By: Lindsey Blackburn, Studio Go Instructor

 

As I prepare myself for another season of recitals with Studio Go, I think back to all of the things I have learned thus far in my journey with this company. Studio Go is unlike any other dance education company I have worked with. Their emphasis on character and confidence building, rather than strictly dance technique, is unmatched in the dance community. And I think that’s what makes this company so special. Of course, the main goal is dance technique, and as a teacher for a company with clear monthly goals and expectations, it couldn’t be easier.

 

One of the aspects Studio Go Dance really shines over other similar companies is keeping all of our teachers on the same page. This is really the key to keeping such wide-spread classes successful; making sure your teachers know exactly what their students need to know by the end of each month. Then, once recital season comes around, schools that are miles apart are still on the same level.
While getting used to the daily routine (or lack there of) of a company with this sort of business model can be tricky, the reward far outweighs the struggles. Watching how my students grow, not only in their dance knowledge, but also as caring and loving humans, is truly my favorite part of what I do. It took a bit of practice and trial and error to find what works for me with this lifestyle of teaching, but it didn’t take long to get a good grasp on how to manage the nomadic nature of this job.

 

Being a teacher who is teaching not only for Studio Go Dance, but also for a traditional dance studio, I can say with certainty that I enjoy my Studio Go classes more. There is so much more room for creativity, and putting your own spin on classes as a teacher. Especially when it comes to recitals. Since each of our classes gets their own recital, it can be a little overwhelming, but it is so much fun. With a traditional studio, while you may get to pick your costumes (if you’re lucky) and choreograph your classes’ dances, that’s really the extent of the average teacher’s involvement. With Studio Go recitals, the teacher is responsible for literally every aspect of the performance, from setting the date and time, to finding the space (of course with the help of the school), to decorations, to preparing costumes and props, and putting the show together. This is my most favorite part of the year, because it allows me that extra outlet to be creative and do what I love, and show the parents of my students all of the hard work they have done that year. Another aspect of our recitals to note, is that each recital is 20-30 minutes long. I’ll say that again. Each class gets their own show that lasts for 20-30 minutes! So your parents are watching their students dance for about 10 times longer than they would at a traditional dance recital. This gives us the opportunity to really show them everything that we have learned throughout the year, not just a 3-minute slice of it. It has definitely been one of the biggest praises we get from parents at the end of the year. Everyone knows of the dreaded 3 hour recital that goes on and on, and your child is only on the stage for 2 minutes. This model completely shocks our first-time parents who are used to the traditional way, and really is a selling point for a company of this type.

 

To give you an idea of how my days with Studio Go run, here is an example of a typical day for me with Studio Go:

I arrive at my first school at 8:45am, sign in with the front desk and make my way to the gym, where our classes are held. I unpack my roll book, speaker, iPad, Bitty the Ballerina, and shoes and skirt. I tape the floor with the number of spots I need and an ‘x’ front and center, with one spot on either side to use for across the floor activities. Then I look over my roll to be sure I don’t have any new students I need to be sure to pick up, and remind myself of how many students I’ll be picking up. Once I have the number in my mind, I walk around to each classroom and collect my students, and bring everyone back to our classroom.
I take roll, and each student recites the ‘magic word’ for that day when their name is called. We have our class, get our stamps, and line up at the door to go back to class. Then it’s time to pick up a few spots, because the second class is smaller, and then pick up the next group and do it all over! Once the students are back in their classrooms, I put the room back the way I found it, pack up my teaching supplies, and head to the front desk to pick up anything she has for me (this time of year, it’s recital costume forms!).
Then I pack up my car, and have a couple hours before my next class. So I run errands, pick up lunch, or head to the school early (our class is held in an empty church classroom) and read or do some yoga and stretching. I get this room all taped and ready, just like earlier that morning, while another teacher does the same in the room across the hall. At this school, the preschool is two floors down, so we snag the elevator and make our way down. One of us meets some students in the hallway; while the other goes a little further down to get more. This is a very big group of students (what a problem to have!), so we have two classes running at the same time for both pre-ballet and tap-ballet. At this school, we have to help the students change into their ballet clothes before class, so once we get back upstairs we start to get them changed. We get everyone dressed together, then split the two classes and get started.
Once our pre-ballet classes are done, their parents pick them up and sign them out as the second group is coming in. Once the tap-ballet group gets settled with their tap shoes behind their spots, we get started just the same. We make it through the class, and the students change into their outside shoes (because tap shoes are so loud in the hallway!) and line up at the door to be picked up and signed out. I, once again, pack my supplies, make sure the room is the way I found it, and head to the car.
And these days, that’s it! Done by 2:30! What more could you want? Getting home in the afternoon before traffic (at least in Atlanta!) gives me so much time to get other things done. I can work on choreography for our recitals, plan out classes or recital decorations, submit my invoice, any number of things. While we do have classes that end later in the afternoon (5:00-5:30), the majority are over earlier in the afternoon. It is definitely a benefit over a traditional studio with exclusively evening classes.

 

All in all, Studio Go Dance has changed the dance education game in Atlanta, and our other markets. Leah has taken the traditional way of offering dance classes and really made it into something so marketable and unique. Her commitment to keeping things fresh and professional, while still offering quality technique and performances makes all the difference in attracting new students. I have loved every second of working for this company, and I look forward to many more seasons in the future.

 

Cheers!

Lindsey

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 🥂

*** Please note that some of the links are affiliate links. There is nothing extra on your end, but we may receive a commission if you choose to buy a product. We only support products that we believe in and love! ***

Inspiration: Kicking the Business Blues

Inspiration: Kicking the Business Blues

Recently, an online follower wrote in to express the need for tips on picking yourself up when feeling down about your business. Girl, we’ve got your back! We have been there before, and we see you. All of you dance studio owners, on-site dance owners/directors, contracted instructors, and anyone in between, you are not alone.

Both of us have had to “pick the other one up” from time to time, so we happen to have a few tricks up our sleeves!

Let’s get to it!

 

1. Some words of wisdom. 

You know, they say that Israel’s King Solomon was a wise guy. We’d definitely say he got it right with this phrase.

via GIPHY

 

Impermanence is the nature of life. NOTHING (good or bad) is here forever. Work, wealth, people, happiness, sadness, abundance, scarcity, and even health are never permanently guaranteed. As Tracy Lawrence says in a 90’s country song, “The only thing that stays the same is everything changes, everything changes!”

This should bring us comfort in the rough times and gratitude in the easy ones. We suggest looking at whatever it is that’s dragging you down now as the construction site for the bountiful reward of tomorrow. In our opinion, it if weren’t for the rough patches in our careers or work-flows that have happened in the past, we would not fully appreciate the moments of success in the present or future!

2. Write it down. 

Take time to write down both your frustrations and your thoughts of gratefulness. If you don’t have a simple journal, we suggest snagging this one by clicking HERE.

There is something magical that goes on in the brain when we physically write out our emotions. We’re not psychologists around here, so we’re gonna just leave it right there, we promise you… It’s true!

If you find yourself in a rut when it comes to your business in particular, we suggest writing out the top 3 things that are bugging you in a small, fine print. Immediately under that, include the top 5 things (in your business or life in general) that you’re most grateful for today. Try writing those in a larger, bolder print. Take time to meditate, consider, or pray over these lists. You’ll be surprised at the clarity and peace that comes with simply putting those struggles AND rewards side by side. Who knows? Maybe a step of action to alleviate the issue will come to you during this quiet time!

After several days or weeks of this practice, you’ll start to notice feeling a little more “in control” of the stressors in your life, and you’ll be practicing regular thankfulness. Even if the circumstances don’t change, you’ll have changed and that’s all we can control in life right?

3. Ask for back-up. 

This one is super simple. Absolutely no one can do life alone. Whether you have an office assistant, best friend, business partner, life partner or lead instructor who just “gets” you, everyone needs back-up. Reinforcements are part of each and every complex military system, successful business structure, strong medical facility, or any other elaborate organization. They’re essential.

Call in someone whether you need a quick vent session, a shoulder to cry, or a person to carry a piece of the burden (even if it’s small). People need people. We were designed to be herd animals. It sounds silly, but it’s true. Look it up, y’all!

via GIPHY

 

Note: We do suggest limiting how much stress you topple on your life partner, though. More on that below. 😉 

4. Monitor the $#*+ you bring home.

Excuse our bluntness. But, this is real life. Your partner chose you not based off your work, but based off… well, YOU.

For both of us, this probably falls into one of our greatest struggles. Separating home and work may always be tough! However, it is possible to strike a balance. That balance may shift as times change, and you may have to re-direct your course a bit, but it is possible! We share a ton of our professional details, frustrations, and stress with our husbands, but we’ve both been in situations where we know we’ve brought too much work home!

Your home should be a safe haven. Yes, you need to be heard and understood by your partner. Just take stock of the mood in the room the next time you divulge work grievances at home. Do you need to limit that amount of times you bring it up each week? Do you need to simply limit of the length of time y’all spend on the topic? Are you continually spending your entire nightly meal talking about this one arena of your life? Do you need to monitor how worked up you get when the subject arises? These are all questions to ask yourself, especially if you KNOW you’re in a specifically stressful professional circumstance right now!

5. Re-charge your battery.

We’re all just like our cell phones. Not only do they require a charger every single night (and some during the day), but every now and then they need a full system re-boot. Every time my phone (Lauren) needs to simply be switched off for a bit or when it requires a software update, I get frustrated for dayyyyys. It never fails. I spend upwards of a week staring at my screen, silently cursing at it, and getting worked up over an extremely simple fix. Just turn the poor thing off for a while and walk away!

Our bodies and minds are the same way. Take a minute to think of one or two things that always bring you immeasurable joy, right this minute. If it’s singing at the top of your lungs to music from your high school days, open up Spotify and let her rip. Do you LOVE getting your nails done? Make the appointment for some time this week. Is there a book or movie that resets your brain? Schedule 20 minutes each night this week to soak it in. Does exercise re-calibrate your mindset? Make it happen!

via GIPHY

 

6. Blocking your day.

Here’s a bit of practical advice to actually tackle whatever issue is happening at work. Block out your day!

Write down every bit of “free” time that you have during business hours today. Walk away from that and start a separate list of each task that is before you this week. Prioritize which tasks are most time-sensitive. Go back to that hourly break-down of your day and realistically plug in the most critical actions of the day. Don’t short-change yourself on time! If you know that a task takes at least 25 minutes, give yourself 30. Be wise and kind to yourself!

Reward yourself along the way with your micro-wins! Indulge in that second cup of coffee, take a few minutes to scroll Instragram, or any other small treats that will keep you motivated throughout your day.

 

Friends, you are not alone! We are rooting for you, and we know you’ll conquer your frustrations if you keep your head up.

 

Comment below or email us (cheers@studiotogodance.com) with your victories!

 

We love doling out advice. 😉 Let us know how we can be your back-up!

 

Cheers!
Lauren + Leah

Out and About: An Australian Dance Educator Who Doesn’t Know She’s My Spirit Animal

Out and About: An Australian Dance Educator Who Doesn’t Know She’s My Spirit Animal

Have you ever felt down-in-the-dumps, depleted of energy, and lacking inspiration in your baby dance classes?

 

I can certainly say that I have been there from time to time! After-all, we teachers are human and it’s impossible to keep the pace of your classes at maximum level 24-7. (I would venture to say that your average civilian would be amazed that we do this day-in and day-out after spending just one hour with 13 three-year-olds. Let the record show: WE ARE FREAKIN’ ROCKSTARS.)

If you happen to be in one of the “lower“ moments of your personal professional roller-coaster ride, allow me to introduce you to a dance educator who is rocking my world on social media.

via GIPHY

Little Lights Dance, a studio in Australia, is owned and operated by Sonja Ebsary. Although I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her, I feel like we would be BFFs were we not operating on opposite sides of the planet. Experiencing her Instagram feed gives me a glance into the way that she views preschool dance and let me tell you – it lifts my dance-teacher-spirits on the days when I am in a slump. She reminds me why I told my parents that I would be a ballet teacher when I was four-years-old after my very first ballet class.
I think we could all use a small spark like Sonja that reignites our passion every now and then!
My favorite recent post from Sonja revolves around the class theme “Le Petit Cirque” in their classes. The props and costuming that they utilize in are amazing. These kids are never without reason to engage in their class. So much of what we do as dance instructors requires us to capture the imagination of our students and then maintain it for the entirety of our lesson. I often wonder what Little Lights’ props inventory must look like!  😜  But, I bet if we had the chance to “pick her brain” she would probably say that she reuses and recycles her materials from theme to theme. These people seriously speak to my crafting inner goddess, y’all! Hobby Lobby people, unite!
(SIDE-NOTE: My Family and friends know how obsessed I am with John Crist. 👆🏼 He’s hysterical!!!!!)

 

While we’re on the Sonja train, she just posted the following quote:

“Create what you want to see in the world.”

 

If that doesn’t prove my point, I don’t know what will. >>>>>> So, what do I want to see in the world?

I want to see people being more kind to each other.

 

 

That was easy. Now, you may be thinking, “what in the world does this have to do with preschool dance?” It has everything to do with it, my friend! Asking myself this question realigns me with my bigger purpose, especially as it pertains to my job. It refuels me to continue creating preschool dance content that revolves around character development. Our Concierge members (monthly subscribers) received their October content on Monday. Put simply, we’re focusing on perseverance this coming month.

🎃 “Fall Into Dance: Learning Perseverance and Determination!” 🎃

 

Our clients will be instilling these traits in baby ballerinas all over the world for the next several weeks. THAT reignites my fire to keep going! So thank you, Little Lights Dance. I’m refueled and ready to go!

What are you putting into your mind based on what you’re consuming in social media? Are you following dance educators who constantly complain? Or, are you following other masters of this craft that ignite flames of excitement and energy for you? I urge you to consider using your fancy “unfollow” button if need be!

 

 

Be sure to follow Little Lights Dance by clicking HERE.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired by a whimsical idea that invigorates your approach to preschool dance!

 

 

Cheers,
Lauren