Dance Studio Owner

7 Ways to Know it’s Choreography Season

By Paul Henderson.

The other day I happened to glance down at my wife’s feet. No shoes and no socks revealed a big toe toenail so long that I immediately christened it “dagger toe.” She explained that this toe situation was a direct result of owning a dance studio and would likely remain that way until choreography for the new season was completed. I felt a little guilty since my only obligation that day was making sure 20,000 lines of product data was imported safely into the Costume Manager system. I backed carefully out of the bathroom and fled to the kitchen.

Ten minutes later, she walked up to me and exclaimed “Look at this!” She was looking wide-eyed into my eyes and pointing at her face. I was reluctant to say that I had no idea what I was supposed to be looking at. For a few seconds I just looked stupidly at her while she looked expectantly back at me. I shrugged and said, “I don’t get it…what am I looking at?”

She said, “My eyelash!” And then I saw it. The crescent-moon shaped dagger-toenail was now perched delicately on the top of her eyelash.  Apparently, my comment had motivated her to trim the dangerous weapon from her foot. The toenail flew straight up and landed on her eyelid. She was then upset at me for not immediately figuring out a way to remove the thing. Eventually, the toenail was plucked away and life went back to normal… or as normal as life can be when your wife is in the middle of choreographing a few dozen dances for competition season.

Here are seven other ways to know when choreography is wreaking havoc on your spouse, your kids and your life:

1. Your spouse, if female, hasn’t shaved her legs since early September. If male, he shaves his face only when it itches too much to bear it any longer.

2. Normally you have late-night, pleasant, evening conversations with your spouse. You know it’s choreography season when you glance over at her and she’s curled up on the couch listening to something on her headphones with a notepad in her lap. Alternatively, she’s asleep while sitting up on the couch, with headphones in her ears and a notepad on the floor nearby.

3. Your spouse owns three outfits that are “wrinkle-free” and can be worn over a leotard and tights. These three outfits are the only attire you’ve seen on your spouse for eight weeks. She explains that “time” is the only thing that matters now. If she can save time, she will. Any. Way. She. Can.

4. You notice that you’re doing more and more of the laundry, but curiously, very little of your spouse’s clothes are ever in there. This is a result of the three wrinkle-free outfits I mentioned earlier. If you look under her desk at work or in her car (or giant purse-bag-thing), you will find five or six very old leotards, a couple pairs of wadded up tights and some very worn-out dance shoes.

5. There is a curiously large stash of microwavable frozen breakfasts dominating the freezer. These seem to be meals that are under 200 calories, can be nuked in less than two minutes and don’t require any stirring during the cooking process. They can also be eaten while standing at the kitchen sink or driving. You’ve never actually seen your spouse eat any of these, but someone’s eating them and it’s not you.

6. You get in the car for a family outing. One of your spouse’s pieces of edited music starts playing over the speakers and your children in the back seat start wailing, “No, no, no!  Turn it off!  Turn it off!” Upon further questioning, you discover that the only music they get to hear is the competition music and it’s driving them crazy. Your spouse shrugs and continues listening to the music.

7. You walk into your house and see a pair of lululemon pants standing up in the hallway all by themselves. These are your wife’s one and only pair of lululemons and she’s worn them every day for a few weeks. My suggestion is to buy three or four more pairs of them and surprise her with them. Yes, they are expensive, but the cost-per-use (Return on Investment) is actually extremely low if that’s all she wears. Cha-ching!

Now, I’ve got some online shopping to do. Hopefully this will all be over soon.

Paul Henderson

Paul Henderson

About Paul Henderson
Paul Henderson is an expert on administrative technologies for the dance industry and has been around the business for almost 30 years. His sisters were elite state champion gymnasts and dancers and his mother owned a dance studio and eventually a dancewear store. He managed the dancewear store for a few years before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. He and his wife, Tiffany, currently own and operate Twinkle Star Dance™ – an online choreography and curriculum system for recreational dancers ages 2-11; seven successful dance studios in Northern California ( and one in Southern California. Tiffany’s Dance Academy’s annual enrollment of over 4,500 students caused Paul to invent ways to automate most of the day-to-day business transactions that take up so much of a studio owner/instructor’s time. Paul’s goal has always been to smooth out the business side of the dance studios so that his wife can spend more time in the studio doing what she loves…teaching. Automating online registration and monthly automatic tuition payments was achieved eight years ago but perhaps the most revolutionary invention is his web-based application –

For the past six years, Paul Henderson has worked tirelessly with most of the major costume and dancewear manufacturers to consolidate their catalogs into one searchable website. Developing relationships with these companies has been crucial to the success of and his efforts have paid off for studios all across the United States and Canada. By creating one searchable website, it is possible for a studio owner to browse all catalogs simultaneously, assign items that they like to a dance class, establish their profit margin, create an online store or print a color worksheet for dancers explaining how they can order their required and or/optional items online or via toll free telephone. Dancers purchase their items securely online and orders, receives, sorts and ships the individually packaged items to the studio owner. The studio owner or instructor cashes their “commission” check, hands the bags of goods to the dancer and goes back to teaching. eliminates 90% of the work and all the worry associated with distributing costumes and dancewear to dancers while preserving all of the profit margin…if not more.

To connect with Paul Henderson and CostumeManager visit,, or

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