I have been planning to write another blog for months. I CAME up with ideas, but I always felt it was forced just out of necessity. I didn’t want that, I wanted it to come naturally. Recent events have just made me think that I need to find a way to express feelings and events that have occurred lately in the 2nd season of the studio. Or maybe I just felt like I had to document them, even if only for myself.
My first year of studio ownership was such a whirlwind that looking back it was almost like I was on autopilot. The decision to open the studio happened so quickly that decisions were made almost out of necessity instead of taking more time and thought, but that is what it had to be at the time. This year I felt more of my vision, my plan and my passion come through. The funny part is that it was not a SET plan. It just came naturally AND the OUTCOME (at least current outcome) is what made me realize it. Although it is only my second year owning a dance studio, I have been involved with dance studios all of my life. So here comes the corny part, bear with me, it is the holiday season. ;)
I have NEVER experienced such AMAZING people involved in a studio IN my entire life. I always feel weird saying it out loud (or typing it) without knocking on wood. I feel like I will jinx it. It is hard to believe, or maybe I am just imagining it out of wishing thinking. But the proof is in the pudding. Every time I think it is just luck, or a coincidence, it happens again. It just seems that the right people always find each other, this includes staff,students and families.
There is not a day that goes by that someone doesn't say something amazing and positive to me about the studio. This includes students, parents, family members and even people walking in off the street.
Actual quotes- “I love it here, I never want to leave”, “You are my best friend” (to a teacher) “Wow, you are a good teacher, I have never been taught like that before”, “I have so much fun here”, “You can really tell how much you care about the kids”, “I love how positive it is in here”, “Can we have a sleepover?, I am free tonight”,”Not only does my daughter love you, but I love you too”, “This is just what I was looking for”, “My daughter is so happy when she is here”….I could go on and on but I think I am making my point.
I love that we have a place where not only parents like a hanging out, but extended family, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings love coming in the studio and be a part of our dance family. I absolutely love that! Because we are located in a busy strip mall, families are sometimes up there for other reasons and they always come in to talk to me or give me a hug and even sometimes buy me a sandwich ;)
At least four or five times a week people come in off the street just to see what we are all about, I believe this to be because we appear to be very open and inviting. They always comment about how great it seems in the studio. I also still get calls and e-mails from people through word of mouth of our current families as well as people who know us in the community that want to come try our classes.
Now I agree, it is starting to sound like bragging,but that is not what this is about. This is about how it all came together, I wish I could say there was a checklist, some design, but that is not really it, It more was a gut feeling about what was NOT right last year and what just felt right this year. It just all seemed to fall into place. There is no ONE thing. It involves many pieces coming together to make it right. I truly believe that. I feel like I found the formula that works best for MY vision. First and foremost, an absolutely UNBELIEVABLE staff. Not only are they all professionals, but they all are here for the art, the passion, and the children. They all have full time and more than full time commitments other than our studio, but you never feel that from them. They are all dedicated to not only offering the best performing arts education but to also make sure that their students love what they are doing, love coming to class, love each other, work hard and most importantly ...HAVE FUN! This is because they lead by example, THEY love what they do, they love being there and it shows in the way they relate to the kids. I love seeing how much the kids love all the teachers and the bond they have all created.
Secondly, having amazing,positive, supportive families really makes a difference in how the studio runs, this also includes the students. We are all here for the same purpose, the same goal. There is no reason for drama, for problems or issues. Why would people come here, pay money and take their free time to be here if that were the case. I feel like this is a happy, inclusive and safe place. It takes the whole village to make that happen. It feels amazing to finally have that. I owe that to everyone involved in the studio.
I also have loved the local business community. I feel getting involved in the local community and making connections also makes people get to know who you really are and everyone around this community has been so wonderful not only to me but to my business. When we are all there for each other, it helps everyone.
I started this year with a goal in mind. I wanted to double my amount of students,of course, thinking that wouldn’t happen. Well I have more than doubled them and STILL have more students starting with us in January. I know that those numbers don’t define success, but I do know that having happy students, parents, families and staff DOES define success, well at least as far as I am concerned. I am SOOOO excited to start the 2018 off running. This positive atmosphere really does create amazing creativity, and I can not wait for everyone to see our show in June, it will be our gift to ALL of you as our thank you for all you have done for us. Thank you everyone! Happy New Year!