Some of you studio owners might cringe at the thought of these two words: dance moms. Your scared expression might be because of the hit show, or because of dreaded memories of dance moms past and present.
But we’re here to be your voice of reason. Your studio’s dance moms can potentially be your greatest asset! From helping you run dance fundraisers and events, to supporting your dancers and teachers at competition, dance moms can have a profoundly positive effect on everyday studio life. Here are a few tips and suggestions on how to make the most of your studio’s dance moms (and dads).
#1. Delegate your workload.
You are only one person. You might have good help at the studio from your fellow teachers, but that still might not be enough. Enlist the help of your dance moms to help you organize recital costumes or decorate the studio for Christmas!
#2. Take advantage of their real jobs.
One mom might own her own graphic design company, and another dad might run his own construction company…hello, amazing props! Find out what your dance parents do in “real life”. If you need to partner with local businesses for a fundraiser, your dance parents could very well own those businesses. It’s a win, win!
#3. Hire dance moms as front office staff.
This situation might seem scary for some of you, but don’t stress too much. If a dance mom is willing to work the front desk because they need part-time work, be willing to trade for tuition for their dancer. Just make sure to explain that there is no drama in the workplace, and they obviously should not discuss anyone’s account information with other studio parents.
#4. Give them duties at competition and/or recital.
Enlist your studio moms to be volunteers backstage for competition or recital, or both! And bonus: some of your dance parents may have danced themselves and know how backstage works.
#5. Keep your dance parents happy.
One of the best ways to keep dance parents happy is to treat each of your students equally and fairly. Also, hire good teachers to help their kids learn the most they can, while having a fun and enriching experience. Have a “parent watch week” every semester to show your dance parents how much their dancers are learning. And lastly, include parents in fun activities and games at the end-of-the-year party. Parents just want to feel involved in their dancer’s life, and you can help them by keeping them feeling included.
#6. Listen to your parents’ concerns and criticisms.
Take each and every issue from a parent seriously. They are the ones paying for their child to dance and can help you and your studio grow from their problems and concerns. Even though it may seem difficult to deal with 100 emails from the same mom, some of her points may be quite valid, and listening to them may contribute greatly to the overall studio atmosphere.
By Allison Gupton of Dance Informa.