Celebrate Your Seniors

As you are planning the end of your season, it is important to take a few minutes and think of a few ways that you can celebrate your graduating seniors. These dancers have most likely been with you for many years and are special to you, your staff, and their peers.

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At the end of the dance year, there are many ways that you can celebrate them and help them feel special. I am going to share a few different ways that you can celebrate your seniors at the end of this season as well as share a few more ways that you can begin celebrating your seniors as you start your next season.

Here is a list of ways you can celebrate your seniors as you close out your season:
1. Recognize them at your year-end events. For us, this is our last competition, our National Honor Society of Dance Arts Induction, Last Dance Class, Recital.
2. A special gift on the last day of classes.
a. Flowers
b. Their favorite treat
c. Cards
d. Notes from classmates

3. Take them to lunch before or after your Recital Week
4. Write personal letters to them.
a. Have your staff each write letters to the graduates
b. Have their classmates write letters
c. Collect all of the letters and present them in a special way

5. Create banners to hang during your Recital week
6. Include a picture and bio in your Recital program or yearbook
7. Honor them on stage at the Recital
a. Introduce each graduate and tell a little bit about them
b. Allow them to take the microphone and tell the audience something about
themselves and what is next for them, or something that was impactful
about their experience at your school.

8. Over the last 2 years, we have also hosted a prom for our juniors and seniors that has been so much fun for them.

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This is a really big time for these students. They are going through so many changes and experiencing so many lasts. It is important to celebrate them and their commitment to your studio. Help them feel celebrated.

As you look to the future and plan for your upcoming season, take a few minutes to think about how you can celebrate the seniors all year long. It doesn’t have to be too extravagant, just be thoughtful and let them know how much you care for them and appreciate their loyalty.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Welcome the seniors with a treat on the first day of class.
2. Give the seniors a gift before their first event of the season. I like to give ours a
sweatshirt that they can wear to events all season. I put the studio logo on the front and Class of XYZ on the back. They all love it and wear them all season long.
3. Hang photos in the lobby of your seniors.
4. Do Senior Shout Outs on Social Media and in your monthly updates
5. Make Senior Yard signs and deliver them to their house
6. Allow them to be Captain of a rehearsal or routine

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There are many other things you can do, but I wanted to share a few that I have done that have been successful. I love being able to celebrate these students. I appreciate their loyalty and love being part of their journey. It is quite an accomplishment to stay dedicated to an activity all through school, so the more we can celebrate them, the better.

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Pam Simpson is the founder, president, and driving force behind Forte Arts Center, which was established in Morris, Illinois in 1993. In addition to building her business from a small, one room studio to a large, multi-location organization that offers dance, tumbling and cheer programs as well as private music lessons, Pam is a leading force in the realm of small business ownership in the dance and tumbling industries as she travels all over the country speaking to and educating for large organizations such as Rhee Gold Company, Dance Teacher Summit, and More Than Just Great Dancing. When not working on her businesses, Pam enjoys spending time with her family and visiting her daughter, who is a performer at Walt Disney World.

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