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A Dance Studio Owner’s Best Friend

Kathy Blake and Suzanne Gerety of Dance Studio Owner

Although I stay within the metropolis of Houston now, I grew up in a small city and have taught most of my life for “hometown” studios, the place a dance studio proprietor is sporting all of the hats, and juggling all of the balls, and feeling solely liable for the expansion (or failures) of their faculty and enterprise. Are you able to relate? I’ll guess you possibly can, as a result of hometown studios are in all places, whatever the native inhabitants measurement.

Hometown dance academics and studios are close to to my coronary heart. That’s why, slightly over a decade in the past, I launched Dance Benefit. Again then, to be a part of the web dance group, I joined a pre-hastag twitter and located a handful of individuals tweeting about dance. No actually, like 5 of us. A type of people was Suzanne Gerety who, alongside together with her mom Kathy Blake, had simply launched Dance Studio Proprietor, a membership web site designed to assist dance studio house owners begin, run and develop their enterprise. As I wrote in 2008 in my first submit about Dance Studio Proprietor (DSO), I discovered Suzanne to be a honest and beneficiant individual from the start of our digital affiliation. I additionally related to the DSO mission and acknowledged that Suzanne, too, might relate to the sort of devoted and decided dance studio proprietor that I knew as a result of she was the daughter of considered one of them.

Through the years, Suzanne has contributed articles to Dance Benefit, she and I (in addition to her mom Kathy and enterprise associate, Jill Tirone) have met a number of occasions in individual, and I’ve advisable that dance studio house owners hunt down their experience and providers. It’s been about 10 years since Dance Studio Proprietor started and round 5 years because it turned a part of REV UP Manufacturers, and I really feel privileged to have witnessed and been a really small a part of its success.

What I’ve all the time felt is vital, and makes the providers provided by Dance Studio Proprietor stand out inside the business, is that its central intelligence comes from studio house owners within the thick of enterprise possession, such as you. They’re there to maintain you from getting misplaced in it and feeling on their lonesome. This type of help is necessary alongside what can typically be an isolating profession path. In celebration of DSO’s 10-year milestone, I caught up with Suzanne to speak about its “why” and what’s new, together with the second annual Energize occasion to be held in Chicago this August.

Dance Benefit: Do you see lots of your mother’s earlier years as a studio proprietor within the tales (and faces) of the studio house owners you’re serving to right now?

Suzanne Gerety: Undoubtedly Nichelle, each e mail or social submit written to our members, I actually visualize my mother studying them — and she or he does — and I ask myself, would this resonate with different studio house owners, too, based mostly on what we’re personally dealing with at our personal studio? Typically members will e mail me and ask, “Are you reading my mind?” I put on my coronary heart on my sleeve, maintain it actual and train and share what I do with my very own studio and employees. This enterprise isn’t for the faint of coronary heart nevertheless it positive is exclusive and rewarding.

Although every proprietor is totally different, the core enterprise points and challenges we face are very comparable from how one can discover new college students to retain those we’ve and maintain the mother and father pleased! I’d additionally say that despite the fact that we’re celebrating our 45th season at our personal studio, yearly we nonetheless need to “create it again,” so to talk. Whether or not you’ve been in enterprise for many years or simply getting began, these college students nonetheless have to register, be positioned in courses, get fitted for dancewear and extra. I wish to strategy each season and every part I do with our members with as a lot “beginner’s mind” as I can because it helps us all be our greatest.

Kathy Blake and Suzanne Gerety of Dance Studio OwnerMom and daughter duo, Kathy Blake and Suzanne Gerety

DA: Within the 10 years you’ve been working with studio house owners, has something stunned you? What have discovered about them that you simply didn’t anticipate?

What surprises me, in a great way, is simply how completely resilient, decided, and hard-working studio house owners are. I’ve been operating this on-line web site by way of financial downturns and watched many studio house owners overcome horrible pure disasters in addition to private challenges and extra. If there was any group of people who you would belief to go to the ends of the earth to make it occur, simply name a dance studio proprietor. The creativity and coronary heart mixed with such unimaginable work ethic is superb. Studio house owners are my individuals! They by no means give up and are enthusiastic about their dance group.

DA: What are the most important modifications that you simply’ve seen over the previous few many years of being a witness and concerned within the enterprise of studio possession?

SG: Little question, social media and the rise of aggressive dance have been the 2 largest game-changers in how dance studios run and create their packages. That is true for the very smallest studio and the large, multi-location ones.

As you and I each have been early adopters of social media (I’m grateful that’s how we met!), we all know there was much more listening and natural methods to attach. Now it’s extra difficult, when it comes to the fixed modifications but in addition in what a studio proprietor feels he/she must focus their time an power on. I nonetheless consider and witness that the studios who’re constant in all features of their studio advertising, social media particularly, are discovering success. They’ve their uniqueness shine by means of and they’re constructing engagement over time.

Aggressive dance — it’s in all places! The erosion of the leisure dancer has been felt throughout many studios however the inclusion of the leisure dancer into competitors has created new challenges for studios too. This development to maneuver to a year-round aggressive mannequin is widespread outdoors of dance as properly – throughout all youngsters’s actions and sports activities. We’ve got to repeatedly stability the calls for of the time with the core values we maintain as a dance faculty. I do consider that you would be able to have non-competitive efficiency alternatives balanced with tracks for many who need to compete. It takes a variety of vigilance to maintain the studio tradition constructive and the drama low, which leads again to social media. That is one slippery slope the place if it turns destructive, or if mother and father get too caught up in comparisons, or if dancers lose sight of the exhausting work required to construct method, it may well harm studios. I’m all the time serving to our studio house owners be artistic problem-solvers in addition to leaders who direct the general tradition [of their studio]. It’s not a simple job however it makes a distinction for therefore many dancers and households.

Jill Tirone and Suzanne Gerety of Dance Studio OwnerJill Tirone and Suzanne Gerety

DA: Know-how and the Web have initiated massive modifications for all companies. Inform me a bit bit about the way you started working with Jill Tirone and the evolution of her position in your group.

SG: Jill and I met on Twitter in 2009 once we have been simply getting began serving to studio house owners and I needed to seek out somebody who personally understood the challenges that dance studio house owners face of their enterprise. Jill is DSO simply as a lot as I’m! She has a background in dance in addition to enterprise, and expertise educating in addition to elevating two women in a studio. She simply “gets” advertising, the studio life, and what it’s wish to be a dance mother. In the present day, Jill and I focus our full time efforts for our members world-wide as a part of the REV UP Manufacturers. She’s actively serving to our members with their social media, web site, and common advertising daily. We additionally work intently with our whole staff on the bottom in Niles, IL on the Revolution Dancewear headquarters, the place we create all of our studio services.

REV UP Brands, DSO, Revolution, Tenth House and Nimbly

DA: What has being part of REV UP Manufacturers allowed you to offer to the DSO group that will not have in any other case been potential? And/or how do the missions most align?

SG: At REV UP Manufacturers, our first precedence is and has all the time been the studio proprietor so every part we create and do has the studio proprietor in thoughts. From our costumes, to dancewear packages and past, our aim is to companion with studio house owners and assist them achieve success. Dance Studio Proprietor turned part of the REV UP household of manufacturers in 2013 and it was the right match as a result of our mission has all the time been to assist dance studio house owners hold their ardour for dance alive as they run and develop their enterprise. Collectively, all of our manufacturers are a complete useful resource for studio house owners. We assist studio house owners develop their scholar base, retain their dancers, improve their profitability by means of costume gross sales and dancewear packages, which in flip permits them to deliver on extra academics and make investments again into their studios.

DA: An internet group means quite a bit to academics and studio house owners who’re regularly strapped for time and assets however there’s nonetheless nothing like nose to nose interplay. Was the Energize occasion developed in response to requests from the DSO group?

SG: We love our on-line group and we have now members actually from all corners of the globe. However there’s one thing you possibly can solely get if you’re in individual — you get to the touch, really feel, and absolutely expertise all of our manufacturers. Energize happened by means of this want for our members and clients and was created by our workforce at Revolution. Since we have now been doing occasions akin to a reside style present, purchasing occasions, seminars and trainings through the years at our headquarters within the Chicago space, it made sense to mix all of these nice occasions into one superior weekend for studio house owners, academics, and their employees.

We now have 4 manufacturers that assist you run your studio efficiently: Our costume and dancewear flagship model, Revolution Dancewear; our elite efficiency line, Tenth Home; our Studio Useful resource, Dance Studio Proprietor; and our on-line dancewear and costume gross sales for studio house owners to promote to oldsters, Nimbly. For these that may make it to Chicago, IL in the summertime, Energize is a superb alternative for our clients to have time with us in individual to attach with us and discover ways to get probably the most out of every useful resource.

DA: What have been probably the most profitable elements of final yr’s Energize program?

SG: Our clients and members say it’s the private connections, and that they get to really see how the costumes go from concept to creation. That is an intimate occasion the place we make time to for attendees to attach and collaborate. Our main objective is that you simply depart understanding you’re a valued buyer, good friend of our manufacturers, associate on this dance journey, and the bonus is that you simply get to see a few of our behind-the-scenes on how the whole lot works. Whenever you obtain your costumes, dancewear or login to our web site, you really know the group and all of what occurs to make your dance season a hit.

Coming to Energize fires you as much as have a tremendous dance season by means of the courses and seminars for studio house owners, academics, and employees. We additionally go above and past to please and shock our clients and members, whether or not that’s via the good content material being shared, the enjoyable cocktail social gathering with nice meals, bringing in dozens of dancers for a trend present, it’s all about our attendees and making it the spotlight of their summer time dance expertise.

DA: What’s new this yr?

SG: We’ll all the time look to our attendees to maintain enhancing. This yr, we added extra seminar subjects introduced by different studio house owners, which is actually superior, as they’re all nice assets. We added extra studying tracks for all the studio. The subjects are related for workplace employees, classroom academics, and operating the studio normally. We’d like to have your Dance Benefit readers attend, use code “DSOBONUS” to get a $150 REV UP Manufacturers Merchandise Credit score to make use of once you attend. Seize your tickets right here:

DA: Is there a second or story from Energize that sums up the accomplishments of the final 10 years?

SG: Every single day my objective is to assist studio house owners maintain their ardour for dance alive as they develop their enterprise. Operating a studio may cause burnout and it’s straightforward to get disheartened by mother and father, complaints, and all of the calls for. At Energize, we got down to invigorate, encourage and undoubtedly re-energize our attendees to have a terrific season. Final yr, we held Energize on the finish of August and Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston space instantly after. The Keynote I had introduced was referred to as, “The Unexpected Gifts of the Studio Life” and it was about learn how to flip any problem into your biggest alternative. At the moment, I had no concept this horrible hurricane was going to hit.

We have been all in shock watching the destruction and I acquired this e-mail from a studio proprietor who had attended:

I attended the Energize conference this weekend and was so impressed. I especially enjoyed Suzanne’s keynote. I was wondering if there was a video or transcript you could share with me. I searched the website but couldn’t find it. My studio flooded during Harvey, and I would really like to experience the speech again. We have started a Houston Dance Studio Owners FB group as well to help each other that I would love to share it with also, if that’s ok. We could all use a pick-me-up right now. Hope y’all had a safe trip back. I haven’t made it home yet, but I hope to make it back to Houston tomorrow to start the rebuilding process. Thanks for your time and consideration!

This studio proprietor shared our message together with her group and colleagues throughout this terribly troublesome time. If I may help yet one more studio proprietor keep robust, keep impressed, and hold bringing the enjoyment of dance to their group, then it’s a success. I like to think about myself a studio proprietor’s greatest good friend in dance, holding their hand, strolling collectively to remain robust and sustain their good work. What I do know circles again to my earlier level — studio house owners are robust, sensible, and extremely resourceful.

For extra particulars from Suzanne about Energize 2018, go to


Energize, Aug. 10-2, 2018 #Energize2018