DAY 10! The final day of our 10 day challenge. We're back. 2020 dancing year as well and truly begun for all of us now. How are your numbers? What age groups are you lacking? What classes are going to be costing you money to run? Personally I'm feeling mixed emotions about my first day back. There was a good energy, and numbers weren't terrible - but they could have been much better. Last year I had almost 30 in my 12/u Troupe, and this year I've got 14... but my Senior troupe is the biggest it's been in years. It's crazy how it ebbs and flows. Most of the non-troupe classes today were at around half-capacity. The disappointment is a struggle. I'm hoping numbers continue to grow over the next few weeks. But it was really nice seeing the kids. And teaching again was just brilliant. I'm definitely in my happy place when I'm teaching, dancing and choreographing.
Some random thoughts and crumbs of advice, from the inner monological pondering of a studio owner after first day of the year:
- The pressure to "keep everyone happy" is paralysing. Not just parents, but students too. I feel like it's harder and harder to keep people happy, content and satisfied. I swear it used to be easier. I wonder if the trick is to worry more about making ME happy. In the end if I'm happy with what I'm doing, how I'm teaching, what we're offering and what value, experience and training my studio is providing, then I think that is what matters most. So the little chicken nugget of advice here is make sure that your product/service is something that you are genuinely honestly wholeheartedly proud of, and then you will be so confident about it that whether a random customer loves it, likes it, is indifferent to it or hates it... doesn't even matter to you, because you believe in it so much.
- Just when you think you've got it figured out, something changes. Just when you think your numbers are soaring, the trend changes. Expect the unexpected.
- Our happiness as dance studio owners really does not come from success or money. It's the kids. We do it for the kids. We are in service of them. There is beauty in that, and great honour. Enjoy the little moments, like the excited look on a pre-schooler's face when they are given a sticker. Or the hallway full with reuniting hugs of friendships you have fostered by creating such an amazing community and environment.
- Remember that our goal this year is to provide a stress-free sanctuary for our students.
- Be generous with your attention, affection, energy and kindness - and keep looking for those who need it most from you.
- As studio owners and as teachers we really need to inspire the students... and to do that we NEED to out-passion them.
- Money and wealth are two totally different things. It seems so obvious and yet I still haven't managed to get my actions to follow my knowledge that to SPEND is foolish, but to INVEST is wise.