It’s unfortunate that I have allowed life to get in the way of me pursuing my professional dreams. Fortunately, in my absence from the blog, my husband and I have been able to fulfill one of our personal goals. This fall, we purchased our first home and have been working to get settled over the last few months. So between a longer commute, working two jobs, attempting to unpack from the move, and life in general, my blog and studio planning have had to move to the back burner.
However, as my full-time job becomes more and more hectic, I find myself more and more determined to take real, concrete steps towards studio ownership. A while ago, I purchased a few books on business start ups and have been using that to help jump-start my brainstorming on what is most important to me as a studio.
There are many dance studios in my community so opening a new one has to offer something special that students won’t be able to get elsewhere. Every studio has a different focus and overall philosophy based on what each director feels is most important to their dancers’ training. I have tried to develop my core philosophies and the environment that I would like to grow within my studio and will use these as a guide for my decisions moving forward. I see these as kind of a precursor to my business mission statement and vision.
I believe that my dancers will succeed best in a studio that values the following things:
- A Healthy Dancer
- I am a firm believer that every body can dance. I believe that dancers should be encouraged to live healthy lives and embrace their body’s natural shape and size. I also seek to eliminate the historical “ballerina body” that often leads to poor self-image among ballet dancers. Anyone can learn to dance and anyone can learn ballet.
- A Ballet Focus
- Ballet is the foundation for so many other dance forms- jazz, modern, lyrical, etc. The discipline required improves a dancer’s technique in other dance forms as well as in live outside of the art world. I strive to teach my dancers the importance of ballet’s history and evolution and how it has and will inform the art world as a whole.
- A Supportive Atmosphere
- The art world requires an intense amount of competition in the real world. However, I believe that dancers should strive to not only work to be the best they can be, but also support and encourage their fellow dancers to be their best. Competition to be better than you were yesterday is more important than competition to be better than your classmate. Watching your fellow dancers succeed is much more fulfilling than a rivalry against them.
- A Community-centered Artist
- Dance does not exist in a bubble. Like other art forms, choreography is influenced by your environment. Not only to I wish to develop a passion for dance as an art form, much like most studios, but I hope to create a culture that respects the community around us and encourages each dancer to be an active member through service and performance.
I still have much work to do to hone in on how I plan to create the studio environment that I envision. I hope to be able to carve out more time moving forward to work through these concepts in the blog. I think my next step is to review my college capstone project outlining the studio structure that I had in mind when it was completed and compare it to my values now.