We know that the biggest supporters of our dancers are their parents and if you are a Dance Mom or Dad, please know that we appreciate you! I get asked by parents all the time "how can I help?" This usually comes in the two minutes between classes or the end of a long night of rehearsals and at that point, all I can do is smile and say "thanks, but I think we are all good." It's only later in quiet moments that I think, I should have taken them up on it. So, for all you dance parents out there who want to help, here are my top ten ways you can support your studio.
1. Write a positive review. If you love your studio, let other people know. Facebook is our key way to connect with parents right now and we would love to have you take five minutes to give us a 5 star rating and tell people why you are committed to your studio. We wouldn't ever ask you to do it, but it sure would be appreciated.
2. Pick up trash. We know, it's not glorious, and we don't like it either. But you know how you send your kids with their snack, dinner, drink, homework - it all adds up to piles of trash. And at the end of a long teaching day, the last thing we want to do is maid service, but we do! If you're there to pick up your dancer, take ten minutes to walk through the studio and pick up the trash that's on the floor (trust me, it's there) and get it in to the trash can. It means more than you know!
3. Say hi to our office staff. Stop by the window to just say hi and give them a smile - they work hard. They are greeted by fussy customers, demands, and complaints all day and they face it all with a smile. They'd love someone to stop by not because they needed something, but just to wish them a great day.
4. Bring healthy snacks to a long rehearsal. If it's a long rehearsal day, bring down some snacks - but make them healthy please. We know the kids love cupcakes and it's fine to have a treat every once in a while, but bringing down some water bottles and fruit would be fantastic! And if you clean up afterwards, we're even more grateful.
5. Stay connected. Read the emails and newsletters. Visit the website or Facebook page. We spend a lot of time and energy putting out information. Before shooting off an email to us asking a question, take a look here first. The less time we spend on emails, the more time we spend developing curriculum for your dancer. If you know what's coming up, it's a huge help to us. Even better, if another parent isn't sure, you can help them out.
6. Volunteer. We have many activities throughout the year that need volunteers. We put out online volunteer sign-ups in advance of each event. Please sign up to help!
7. Keep time! Bringing your dancer to the studio on time for their class and picking them up promptly after their class is a huge help. Our teachers are going straight from class to class and we don't want to leave your dancer alone. Dancers waiting for parents means a teacher is waiting with them and not able to give attention to their next class, or to get home to their own family.
8. Respect personal time. It may seem like we live at the studio, but we do have a life outside of those four walls. If you need to reach the studio - please email or call the office. While we may use Facebook or cell phones for certain events, texting or messaging studio issues at all times is not fair to your teacher. Their time outside of the studio is precious, they deserve time to be a person and not just a dance teacher. Wait for business hours and contact the office.
9. Spread the word. A studio's best advertising is their own students and your support of the studio can help build a stronger program. If you love your studio, let people know. The performing arts needs people like you who see the value in artistic endeavors. Let your community know that you support the arts and share the benefits of dance education. Take a moment today to tell a friend where your child dances and what dance means to them.
10. Follow the "True, Kind, Necessary" Rule. When you start to say something about your dancer, about their teammates, about the studio - ask yourself, is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? If you can not answer yes to all three, keep the thought to yourself. Remind your dancer of this same rule. Contributing in a positive way to your studio is the best way that you can possibly help. Take it one step further, walk in to the studio with the goal to say something encouraging. Tell a dancer you enjoyed their performance, compliment a teacher on their patience with the students, tell a parent who always volunteers how much you appreciate their energy. There are so many great things going on in a dance studio, take time to appreciate them.
We are so lucky to have dance parents at our studio who not only help in all of these ways but in so many more!