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Tag: chasta hamilton

Ring in that Summer Cha-Ching: Ways to Keep the Revenue Rolling During the “Off Season”

girl dancing in summer

 

The #1 way to generate revenue for your dance studio is to keep as much of your revenue in-house as possible. While summertime is typically known as the “low-revenue season,” it doesn’t have to be that way. 

With a little strategy and planning, you can reap the rewards of an excellent summer session that will likely (1) generate revenue, (2) introduce your programming to a number of new, prospective students, and (3) serve and affirm your current client base. 

 

house with opportunities

 

Below are some DOs and DON’Ts to help you rock your summer months! 

DO:

  • Survey your community to understand their summer interests and needs.
  • Mix up themes and keep the vibe FUN! 
  • Be flexible! Have a flexible make-up/ proration policy for people that may have advance, inflexible travel plans. Clients will appreciate it. 
  • Follow-up with all summer program participants about enrolling for the main dance season.

DON’T:

  • Feel like you have to operate on a similar schedule to your regular season (e.g., close for a vacation week, take a break from weekend classes).
  • Stress about discounts/deals. With it being a recovery season, don’t neglect to focus on your financials.
  • Hesitate to cancel low enrollment programming. Set a required minimum, and if it isn’t met by 30 days out, offer to transfer students into something else (Note: never cancel programming last minute if it risks placing your clients in a bind.) 
  • Wait until the last minute. Summer programming is much more enjoyable with advanced planning, communication, preparation, and strategy.

Looking for more great ideas from Chasta? Check out the following articles:

Chasta Hamilton is the Owner/Artistic Director of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, NC. She authored the best-selling book Trash The Trophies: How to Win Without Losing Your Soul. Later this spring, her TEDx talk “You Weren’t Built to Break” will debut, combining her passion for performance with the necessity of resilience. 

Follow Chasta on Instagram at @chastahamilton or @stagedoordanceproductions or via her website www.chastahamilton.com.

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Falling ≠ Failure: Three Steps for a Graceful Recovery

dancer in leaves

As dance educators, we know how GOOD it feels when our students persevere. Whether it is the music cutting out during a performance or a brave recovery after an unexpected fall, we champion and encourage their resilience, in rehearsal and in performance. 

In our industry, we’ve surpassed the year benchmark of COVID-19 shutdowns and challenges. As we continue to move into the future, we need to ensure we are championing ourselves and our teams as we continue to make decisions that will determine the future success of our studios. 

STOP MAKING EXCUSES 

During the pandemic, we’ve had a lot of things happen to our industry. In the beginning, it was scary, unsettling, and unknown.  While it can be easy to feel victimized and vulnerable, NOW is the time to take control of your circumstances and set yourself up for future success. 

  • Every day, we gain more knowledge. We have to use it to propel ourselves forward.
  • Keep in mind that the pandemic affected EVERYONE in different ways. Avoid making excuses and be empathetic in hearing others’ stories, as well. 
  • Inventory your systems, protocols, and operations and make sure everything is operating at your expected level of excellence. If you disagree with something or it doesn’t fit or contribute to the growth and development of your business: Change it! 

PICK UP THE PACE 

As things slowly start to normalize, be prepared to pick up the pace. 

  • Because there have been many months of atypical operations, prepare yourself, your team, and your students for the upcoming change of pace. 
  • As we prepare for performances, be prepared to re-educate students, families, and staff on the expectations, especially since there may still be modifications in place. Communication is key. 
  • Do not delay scheduling and enrollment cycles. Be ahead of the game. 

PRACTICE GOOD HABITS 

Over the past year, many people have formed new habits, some good and some bad. Offer training sessions to reinforce positive behavior within your community. 

  • For Goals: Are you ahead, on time, or behind?
  • For Self-Awareness: Are people making positive contributions to getting your studio back on track or are they hindering the pace/ development of the brand? 
  • For Health (Mental & Physical): Are you taking care of your mind and body? How are you supporting your return to performance? 
  • Lead By Example: Let your actions positively motivate your people. 

Keep in mind: the windshield of your car is bigger than the rear window of your car for a reason. Know what is behind you, but keep your focus forward! 

Give yourself grace for the trips and stumbles of the past and invest your energy into doing what we do best: changing children’s lives through dance! 

FALLING DOES NOT EQUAL FAILURE!


Looking for more great ideas from Chasta? Check out the following articles:

Chasta Hamilton is the Owner/Artistic Director of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, NC. She authored the best-selling book Trash The Trophies: How to Win Without Losing Your Soul. Later this spring, her TEDx talk “You Weren’t Built to Break” will debut, combining her passion for performance with the necessity of resilience. 

Follow Chasta on Instagram at @chastahamilton or @stagedoordanceproductions or via her website www.chastahamilton.com.
 
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Time to Get it Done: Bossing Up and Being Present

Girl in butterfly costume

Happy New Year! 

We are still trucking through the COVID-19 crisis and salvaging our businesses. But we have more knowledge than ever and gain more with each and every day!

It’s 2021, and that means it is time to GET IT DONE. 

One of my favorite quotes is: 

“You can’t talk butterfly language with caterpillar people.”

This year, are you a butterfly, or are you a caterpillar? The choice is in your hands and will be based on the actions you take NOW.

BOSS UP

The days of feeling defeated are over. 

Now is the time to shift frustration, exhaustion, and discontent into strong and effective leadership tactics that will pay off in the long run. What contingencies are you setting in place to make sure your programs generate revenue and run creatively, safely, and in alignment with your brand? 

Have you considered that:

  • Competitions may not happen 
  • Recitals may not happen in their traditional sense 
  • Travel opportunities may have to be postponed
  • Shipping and the supply chain may continue to face delays/disruptions (aka get those costume orders in ASAP!) 

Instead of waiting and watching and having another off-the-rails spring semester, take this into your control, and create opportunities for your clientele to heighten the return on investment of your brand. 

Prioritize YOU and align yourself with third-party vendors that help instead of hurt your cause. 

BE PRESENT

It may be easy to say

  • “I don’t know what’s happening, so I can’t do that.”
  • “This is so out of my control.”
  • “I don’t have the energy to do what I used to do.” 

These are all excuses, and they are excuses that will ultimately hurt your business. 

Leave the excuses in 2020 and start figuring out how you CAN make things happen. 

  • Set the Schedules
  • Use Project Timelines to Keep You On Track 
  • Hit the Deadlines 
  • Apply for the Funding
  • Meet With Your Staff
  • Keep Your Clients Looped In 
  • Build Excitement for The Things That Are Coming

While it may not be identical to the way we’ve formerly operated, it is important to generate a confident, forward motion that embraces the resources and opportunities we have. 

FIND YOUR MOTIVATION

If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, find some sources of inspiration. 

  • Read a book
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Call a studio owner friend
  • Heck, call a non-studio owner friend 
  • Send a survey 
  • Check out a webinar or online symposium 
  • Create a vision/inspo board 
  • Listen to a mood-boosting playlist

You’ve made it this far. 

Don’t stop now! 

Instead, let’s rev it up and work the opportunities in front of us. 

You can do it!  Be a butterfly this year!

 


Looking for more great ideas from Chasta? Check out the following articles:

Chasta Hamilton is the Owner/Artistic Director of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, NC. She authored the best-selling book Trash The Trophies: How to Win Without Losing Your Soul. Her upcoming seminar on January 17, 2021, Disruption by Design: Meaningful Change to Maximize Impact in Your Dance Studio, is a must-attend for studio owners.

Follow Chasta on Instagram at @chastahamilton or @stagedoordanceproductions or via her website www.chastahamilton.com. TutuTix Logo

Rocking Your Recital Dance Exec TutuTix

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Making the Most of Your Minutes: Planning with Purpose

Daily planner with pens and scarf

We all know the song “Seasons of Love” from the musical RENT. It asks, “How do you measure, measure a year?” If you’re like me, many of my minutes in 2020 were measured through processing, applying, and mitigating public health information, applying for grants and funding, and spinning on the hamster wheel of the global pandemic while keeping my small businesses sustainable (hello, anxiety). 

While a light switch isn’t going to make 2021 this immediate, magic wonderland of yesteryear, it gives us the opportunity to move ahead with insight, focus, and control over how we are spending our time and maximizing our productivity to guarantee our success into the next season and beyond! 

INVENTORY YOUR TIME

We are closing out a year unlike any other. Like Elsa says, “the past is in the past—Let it GOOOOOOOO.” Whether you’re guilty of too much doom scrolling or simply feel paralyzed in the unpredictability of each moment, it is important to know how you are spending your time. 

Time is your most valuable resource. 

This is one of my favorite productivity exercises, which can also be shared with your staff and team. 

  • Pick a day and set up a table in 15-minute increments. 
  • Document the way you spend each 15-minute segment. 
  • Review how you’re spending your time and consider ways you may be misusing your time (aka “trim the fat”). 

MAKE A PLAN

It only takes 21 days to form a habit. Once your time inventory is complete, honestly ask yourself:

  • Is this time well-spent
  • Does this make me feel good
  • Could this be delegated
  • Am I using my time in a way that motivates my personal and professional goal forward? 

For items that need to be extracted from your daily routine, take action (this includes micromanaging, which is easy to revert to during a crisis). Lock your phone in a timed jar, set an intentional schedule for multitasking, and set aside time to make sure you are healthily recharging and energizing. Do what needs to be done to get YOU back on track. 

STICK TO IT 

Frequently revisit the way you are spending your minutes. This way, you’ll make sure you aren’t falling prey to former bad habits. If you find yourself feeling guilty that you’ve missed a journal entry or haven’t read as much as you’d like (I’m talking about myself here), make the moves to get it done. 

  • Write it down: Keep your schedule in a planner, digital or electronic, and track your time. 
  • Have an accountability buddy: Pick a team member or friend to help hold you accountable. 
  • Celebrate: When you successfully acknowledge and make small changes, they can have a huge impact. Acknowledge them! 

Remember, more minutes = more you can accomplish! As you move through 2021, this will be important as we continue to regain momentum and rebuild. 


Looking for more great ideas from Chasta? Check out the following articles:

Chasta Hamilton is the Owner/Artistic Director of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, NC. She authored the best-selling book Trash The Trophies: How to Win Without Losing Your Soul. Her upcoming seminar on January 17, 2021, Disruption by Design: Meaningful Change to Maximize Impact in Your Dance Studio, is a must-attend for studio owners.

Follow Chasta on Instagram at @chastahamilton or @stagedoordanceproductions or via her website www.chastahamilton.com. TutuTix Logo

Rocking Your Recital Dance Exec TutuTix

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How to Not Get Holi-Dazed: Avoiding Burnout and Maintaining Your Momentum for 2021

woman meditating on yoga mat with dog

It’s the most wonderful time of the year? If you feel like you’re crawling into 2021, you aren’t alone. Crisis leadership is exhausting, and we haven’t had a break since March. With holidays feeling unusual amidst an escalating pandemic, the heaviness may continue to weigh on you during this festive season. Now is the time to take a breath, inventory where you stand, and prepare for the push forward. You’ve made it this far, and you can make it to 2021 and beyond!

TAKE A BREATH

Give yourself space. When the adrenaline and/or fear kicks in, it can be easy to feel reactionary, stressed, angry, out of control, and /or frustrated. Using the tips below, monitor your self-awareness and give yourself permission to breathe.

  • Monitor your health: exercise, stay hydrated, eat healthily, and sleep! 
  • Have non-professional hobbies: find a new project, skill, or activity, and dig in! 
  • Seek inspiration: make sure you aren’t becoming paralyzed to the new reality, seek inspirational sources. 
  • Monitor your time: do you find yourself doomscrolling or plunging into the wasteland of social media? Be mindful of how you’re spending your time. 
  • Reach out: talk to friends, other businesses, and maintain your connections.
  • Self-advocate: skip the gathering, decorate for Christmas early, do whatever you need to do to protect your well-being.

INVENTORY WHERE YOU STAND

Now is a great time to review the months behind us while looking forward to the future. Make sure you aren’t only looking to the immediate future. Continue your long-term strategy, as well. 

  • Continue to mitigate: keep your studios and classrooms as safe as possible through consistent messaging, cohesive leadership, and standardized enforcement. Remind your community that it is a shared responsibility to keep the community safe. 
  • Recognize your accomplishments: celebrate your pivots and recognize the fact that you have worked really hard to get to where you are today. Take a minute to reflect on what worked, what didn’t, and how you can learn/grow from this experience in the future. 
  • Do the numbers: this may feel painful, but it is necessary for your financial planning and projections. What’s your percentage compared to past years? How long can you sustain? 

PREPARE FOR THE PUSH FORWARD

While you may want to stop, don’t. Keep going, keep planning, and keep dreaming. Never lose sight that YOU create and inspire magic! 

  • Create contingencies: There’s no need for surprises or panic-inducing situations at this point. Create contingencies and work smartly, so you do not have to rework strategies or plans. 
  • Think beyond the pandemic: When this subsides, what do you want your business to look like? How will you continue to grow, scale, and serve your community? 
  • Involve others in the conversations: Lean into your team, a mentor, a therapist, and/or a leadership coach to help you navigate the now and the future. 
  • Stay optimistic: optimism isn’t the same as always being positive. Keep your outlook in check and remind yourself that you have the power to influence others.

Looking for more great ideas from Chasta? Check out the following articles:

Chasta Hamilton is the Owner/Artistic Director of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, NC. She authored the best-selling book Trash The Trophies: How to Win Without Losing Your Soul. To stay connected, follow her on Instagram at @chastahamilton or @stagedoordanceproductions or via her website www.chastahamilton.com. TutuTix Logo

Rocking Your Recital Dance Exec TutuTix

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Rocking Your Recital From Now Till Final Curtain

Rocking Your Recital

Recital Season is upon us! For most dance studios, this is “the big game” in our industry. It is an opportunity to build community over a shared interest, celebrate your students’ progress, and impress your clients. There’s no better marketing tool than an efficient, polished, and purposeful recital experience!

In order to make it happen, you have to (1) be prepared in your organization and leadership, (2) you have to communicate expectations and standards in advance, and (3) you have to follow through.

Below are 3 tips that have helped us immensely in curating an amazing Recital Weekend Experience!

THE RECITAL ROOKIE

For many in the dance industry, the concept of a dance recital is second nature. This likely is not the case for the majority of your clients. Often, they are new to the recital experience, or at the very least, they may be new to your studio’s systems and processes.

Your clients are also probably busy and juggling a million things. They may miss an email, feel overwhelmed at the thought of making a bun, or misinterpret the correct way to put on a recital costume. That’s okay!

It is easy to react with frustration, but this season, shift the perspective and approach your clients with empathy and understanding. It will go a long way in building client loyalty!

We’ve helped educate Recital Rookies in the following ways:

  • Chat groups
  • Personal posts that are counterintuitive to your professional/personal brand
  • Language that may seem degrading to another studio or program.

THE DIGITAL EVOLUTION

Outside of the strategies listed above, consider how you can use digital opportunities to create a more interactive, modern experience for your clients.

A few ideas include:

  • Make sure studio sound stations/equipment are appropriate for modern technology
  • Implementing easy ways for families to enroll and pay for programming.
  • Transition from printed program books to digital program books
  • Create marketing materials that showcase well in digital content
  • Revise/ modernize your Recital Photography + Videography Procedure
  • Create a studio-wide motto/hashtag that generates brand consistency between digital and actual platforms

 

Looking for more great ideas on how to Rock Your Dance Recital? Check out the following articles:

 

The Dance Exec Returns: “Expert Advice from Chasta Hamilton” series is brought to you by Stage Door Dance Productions and TutuTix.TutuTix Logo

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