Advice

Dancewear Store

Dancewear Store?

Dear Rhee, I have owned a school with more than 400 students for 21 years. Until last summer there was a dancewear store about 10 miles away, where my students and those from many area schools purchased their dancewear. For the last few months I have been ordering my students’ shoes and dancewear from various wholesalers, and I have been making a nice profit from these sales. Last week the space next door to my school became available for rent and the landlord offered me a very reasonable rate. The location would be perfect for a dancewear store. I figure…

I Made a Huge Mistake

I Made a Huge Mistake

Hi Rhee, I made a huge mistake and I’m not sure how to get myself out of it. Two years ago I lost the studio manager who had been with me from the time I started my school, 13 years ago. She was a delight to work with and I considered her my partner in crime because she had been through all the ups and downs with me. She was always loyal, and to this day she is one of my best friends. In my search for a new manager, I asked a mother of one of my students to…

Rhee Responds to a Parent Question

Dear Rhee, Recently I saw that you answer readers’ questions. I’m hoping that you’ll have an answer for me. I have a 7-year-old daughter who has developed tap-dancing skills way beyond what her classmates can do. The other kids in her class have to keep repeating what they learned in previous classes, and my daughter is always ready to move on. When I approached the teacher about my concerns, she told me that my daughter was in the right class and suggested that if she really wants to be a dancer she should start taking ballet and jazz classes. I’m…

Leaps and Bounds Above

Leaps and Bounds Above the Other 4-Year-Olds

by Rhee Gold Hi Rhee, I am a dance teacher/studio owner, and I have come across the most persistent parents I have ever met in all my years of teaching dance (20-plus)—or school, for that matter. (I taught kindergarten for 12 years.) These parents have a daughter who turned 4 last spring. They are angry with me and some of my teachers because I will not allow them to enroll their daughter in the beginning ballet class for 6- to 8-year-olds. My teachers and I have tried to explain that although the child is coordinated for a 4-year-old, she is…

Barre Boredom

Barre Boredom

by Casey Davenport Are your ballet babes bored with barre? One typical Friday afternoon I watched as the 6-, 7-, and 8-year-old petit rats in my Ballet 1 class spent their precious barre time focusing on all the fundamentals that will serve their future dance goals—fidgeting, lip-synching the latest pop tune, and posing for imaginary selfies. All sarcasm aside, I love teaching this age and level of dancers. The information I impart in these classes will be some of the most important material these dancers will ever learn. I’m always thinking up new ways to get their attention. Feeling flustered…

Gregg Russell Teaching Tips

Gregg Russell Teaching Tips: Slides & Warm-Up

Teaching tap slides can be trickier than you think. Most students like to lift their heels off the ground and straighten their legs when they slide; however, doing this makes it harder to control the slide and maximize its length. Three rules to guide them: feet flat (helps maintain balance); plié (makes sliding on a challenging surface like marley easier); and weight evenly distributed (helps with connecting the slide to the next step).

Speaking Truth

Speaking Truth

It is hard to tell a student she is not ready for the next level of study—even harder if I know the student will see that her peers are advancing. But I simply will not promote a student when she is not ready. That would be unethical on my part and dangerous for the student.

Who Owns the Choreography

Who Owns the Choreography?

She intends on still bringing these dances to competition . . . has said she will give me full credit. But, I feel the choreography is mine,

Ready for Change

Ready for Change

I’ve figured out that the business side of my dance school is more than I can take. When I read your magazine, I learn about teachers who are in the same place I am, but their issues seem to be different. It’s not listening to crabby parents that bothers me; I do well with them. And it doesn’t have to do with not making a living, because I have done very well. The hard part for me is having to deal with my employees.

Expected Daughters to Take Over

Expected Daughters to Take Over

I am pooped and feel like quitting this business. It seems the studio is growing faster than I can keep up with, and I am exhausted with trying to keep it organized like my customers are used to. I am seriously considering selling it all and walking away.

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