Rhee Gold’s DanceLife Blog
Frustrated and tired? This is for you.
You’re over it. You are frustrated, tired of trying to please people, and lost on what to do next. Finances are a mess. A staff member just had a meltdown. Two moms complained last week about some utter nonsense. From quarantines to masks debates, COVID-related issues remain. Ballet shoes are backordered. And time just won’t slow down.
I get it. I really do. I’m here to tell you that countless studio owners have felt (or currently feels!) just like you. You are not alone, and I want offer you a sense of camaraderie and a few thoughtful suggestions…
Feel this virtual hug. You need to know that the rest of us are NOT, in any way, shape, or form, absolutely killing it, performing miracles, and rolling in dough. We might not be in the same boat, but Friend, we are riding the same waves in the same sea of doubt. We are all busy staying committed to making our businesses work and counting our pennies. We’re fielding calls from unhappy parents and helping teens battle through mental health challenges. Masks are still a hot topic in our studios, and we have orders outstanding, too. Please be assured that you are not alone.
Pitch a fit. Yep, I said it. Find a safe place to freak out, for real. Cry, yell, and swear. Throw rocks in the water. Break sticks. Tear paper. Do what you need to do. Get it all out. Well-meaning blog posts like this one and glossy, happy memes are almost insulting. I understand that. Sometimes we need to, as we say in the South, pitch us a royal fit. It can be incredibly therapeutic. Stay safe, and certainly don’t hurt anybody else, but go raise cane (another Southernism) then put on lipstick and come right back.
Get gone. One way to decrease the amount of negative energy you’re experiencing on the daily is to physically separate yourself from it. If the studio is dragging you down, consider taking a step back for just a moment. Sit on the back porch and have tea. Find a new place to take walks. Get a hotel room in town or out of town. Leave all work behind, and silence your phone. Give yourself permission to stop thinking about work, find your center, and gain some clarity. A change of scenery and fresh air can change your whole perspective. Don’t make a face, because that sounds cliché. It works.
Politely excuse yourself. Give yourself a mental health break from negative people energy. You do not have to respond, nor do you have to show up. It’s okay to prolong your response or not respond at all to emotion-loaded demands and complaints. It’s time to distance yourself from that toxic person. You are justified in taking a social time out to examine your circle, purge those harmful to your well-being, and surround yourself with a choice few who love you, support you, and champion your success. And Sister, do it cold turkey, and don’t look back.
Seek new perspectives. Wake up tomorrow morning determined to put your frustration and ego aside just long enough to consider different viewpoints. Get active on the IDEA Facebook page. Message another studio owner, and introduce yourself. Sign up for a seminar. Spill your guts in a post as honestly as you can, and watch who comes to your side. Exchange your current solo pity party for a slate of smart, go-getters. We grow when we allow our thoughts to be challenged, take counsel from strong mentors, and seek opportunities to evolve.
Refuse the rut. Stop rehashing the last email over and over in your mind. Block the jealous “friend” who gives you bad advice. Put down the spoon, and return that tub of ice cream to the freezer. Give yourself a swift kick in the pants, or find someone to tough love you when you need it. Virtual hugs, relaxing trips, freedom from negative energy, and new ideas will not come to you on the couch. Bitterness and aggravation can blaze out of control, yet so can optimism and strength if you feed them. Make the choice to get up and start over.After spending time online with my Gold Alliance friends, reading some IDEA member posts, and talking with a few fellow studio owners, I wanted to offer these thoughts first and foremost to assure you that you ARE NOT alone. Second, I want you to feel empowered to make changes. And third, I want you to get a hold of yourself and be your best you. Please reach out to Rhee Gold, his team, any Gold Alliance member, or your IDEA tribe if you ever need help or a hug. Not an IDEA member? We’re still here for you. Membership has exclusive benefits, of course, but this community believes in building people up, lending a hand, and encouraging dance colleagues.
Remember all this when you’re feeling low, when one more shiny quote with the ocean background might put you over. Know you’re not alone, change your scenery, adjust your crowd, go looking for new ideas, and reject the pity routine. You got this. Let’s go.
Amanda Herring LOVES her job! Owner of Center Stage Dance in Hernando, MS, she is passionate about sharing the love of dance while inspiring and encouraging everyone who walks through her door. She loves BIG and has a heart for new dancers joining a class for the first time. She takes pride in offering stellar service to dance families and specializes in efficiency, organization, fair policies, and strong communication. Her shows are HUGE with plenty of lights, effects, and stagecraft. Amanda wants her students to feel like they are a part of something big, and it is always her goal to bring more to class and to the stage than her audience is expecting.