Dear Studio Owners,
Wow! What a WILD time we are experiencing right now.
I know that you are struggling with a lot of tough decisions, and I want to applaud you for all that you are managing. As you prepare to take your training online, here are three super fun ideas to add to your online studio course.
1. Dance on Film Challenge.
Offer a course on how to create a dance on film. Teaching dancers how to create a concept video allows them to tap into their creativity and artistry. This platform will offer the students a chance to flex their choregraphic muscles as well as providing a positive outlet for their personal feelings to flow through. At the end of the year, you may even choose to debut the ideas at your very own studio film festival!
2. Create a Vision Board Challenge.
A Vision Board is a collage of images and words that represent a person's dreams, goals, and desires. By taking the time to honestly think about what it is that you want to experience in life, you are more likely to achieve that goal. Often the dancers are so busy with school and dance; they barely have time to ask themselves what it is that they want to achieve. A vision board helps to make their goals and dreams more clear, increasing creativity and confidence, as well as setting up the dancer for greater success.
3. Daily Creative Challenge.
Of course, dance is our first love, but what other modalities can we offer the dancers to experience that will support their artistry and dance? Daily Creative Challenges such as cooking, painting, drawing, writing, or photography can enhance confidence and support the expansion of personal creativity and expression. Many master teachers in the industry do other artistic things such as acting, interior design, singing, or cooking. Offering an opportunity for the dancers to explore their creative passions will only enhance their abilities and confidence in the classroom.
The truth is, most of the dancers WILL continue training at home, but not at the capacity and focus that they would if they were with us, in the classroom. The goal now is to create an opportunity that engages the student's passion, creativity, and training, capitalizing on this opportunity to empower in a way that we have never done before.
I for one am excited to see what magic unfolds during this time in our lives and I ask you, what is it that you always wanted to offer, teach or experience but you just didn't have time?
Well now is your time!
Needing More? Here are a few other ideas.
Creative Writing Challenge.
In the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, she encourages the practice of what she calls "morning pages." Morning pages are free writing that you do every morning before you get out of bed. Dance unlocks the messages of the spirit and writing unlocks the musings of the mind.
Tik-Tok Tuesday- Create a Tik Tok that the whole family participates in.
Create a hashtag that will support your studio brand and...... have fun!
Record a "Master Class" series of your teachers.
There are so many masterclasses that are online now. For example, Misty Copeland has one that shares her journey in dance. Sharing stories is how we learn and relate to one another. The teachers at the studio are GOLD, and I wonder how much of their own story as to why they love to dance and their philosophy on teaching is known. Highlighting the teacher's story can deepen the community connection and help us to get to know one another better.
Keep it light, keep it positive, and keep it motivating.
Create Topics on Mental Health and Self Care
The arena for mental health in dance is a hot topic lately. Teaching tools such as meditation, yoga, and breathwork can truly benefit the dancers, especially during this uncertain time. Encouraging the dancers to explore what brings them peace and settles their nervous system will add to their overall well-being. It can also cross over into their performance, as they will know how to calm their nerves before a show or competition, allowing them to be able to set themselves up for peak performance opportunities.
You may have parents within the studio that have a background in these modalities (or more). Don't hesitate to reach out to your community to see what offerings can be made.
For many studio families, most of their time is spent apart from one another. Between school and dance hours, most parents only see their child for a few hours a day. This is a great time for families to come together, and what better way to do so than through dance. Offering parent classes, such as cardio, pilates, and yoga will keep your community engaged in the culture that you have built.
You can do Monday Mother/Daughter Challenges where the mom learns ballet with the daughter. Tik-Tok Tuesday, where the whole family dances. Fitness Fridays where dancer and dad challenge each other to a certain amount of push-ups, or better yet, participate in your online hip hop class.
Overall, get creative and have some fun. Approach this time as an opportunity to think outside of the box. Don't forget that it is also a chance to SLOW DOWN. Take advantage of the chance to reconnect to life in a way that the heart has always desired.
Sending you all so much LOVE and APPRECIATION.
Julie Nguyen is a certified Life Coach and has been in the Dance Industry for the past 23 years. She is the host of Studio Soul podcast and can be found teaching master classes all over the world.
If you are interested in one-on-one coaching, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org