It’s halftime! No, I’m not talking about football (and I call the Packers’ mid-game break “intermission” anyway). I’m talking about halftime of the DANCE SEASON—the midway point for studio owners between the first days of class and the finish line of recital.
By now you are far enough into classes to be past the busyness of the season opener and into a routine of the season. Your time is likely stretched carefully between the behind the scenes work that keeps the business going during the day and the actual work of serving your clients in the evenings. Running a dance studio is a delicate balancing act of time management, often with no margin for error.
Time may be at a premium, but don’t let that be an excuse to overlook one of the most critical pieces of your business: meaningful communication with your teachers. As a studio owner, this is an ongoing challenge for me. I have five kids under the age of 14 and I am no longer in the classroom on a regular basis. I work on the studio every day, but because I’m not always at the studio when the teachers are, it’s really important to establish routines to keep communication flowing.
There are all sorts of tools that we use at the studio to keep in touch with teachers on a regular basis such as weekly emails, private Facebook groups for staff and quarterly meetings with the whole group.
For as great as all of those things are, nothing replaces the importance of meeting a teacher face to face in the middle of the season to give and receive feedback before recital and competition season kicks in.
If you are ready to step up your communication with your teachers, keep reading for 5 Ideas for Mid-Season Dance Teacher Reviews.
Dancers get injured from time to time. It might be due to an overly rigorous practice schedule, an accidental fall, a nutritional deficit, or some other reason. However, when it does happen, it can be immensely frustrating and poorly timed. Dancers may have a big performance in a few weeks or may be looking to audition for a prestigious dance group. Whatever the event is, dance injuries aren’t fun. Consider these five common dance injuries and how to avoid them.
1. Lumbosacral Injuries
If you aren’t a dancer, you might think dancers most commonly experience injuries involving the ankles, hips and knees. While those areas are commonly affected by dance, the spine is also affected. Most often, dancers deal with lower back issues from the amount of movement they do during practice and performances. According to the Centers for Orthopaedics, most spine injuries for dancers are lumbosacral and involve intense pain. This injury can be caused by poor stability, uneven leg length, bad technique, scoliosis and even high heels. According to Dance Teacher magazine, some dancers may have lordosis, which can cause muscle spasms that make them more vulnerable to spine injuries. Following proper dancing techniques, stretching, and building core, pelvic and hip strength can help dancers avoid this common injury.
2. Snapping Hip Injuries
This injury sounds just like its name. Dancers will hear, and feel, a loud popping noise in their hip as they dance. This snap is the illiotibial band shifting over the upper leg bone and snapping. It can be incredibly painful, but there are usually a few warning signs. Most commonly, this happens when the IT band is too tight and hasn’t been stretched or warmed up properly. It can also be caused by weak muscles on the outside of the hips and lordosis. Dancers can prevent this these dance injuries by toning and strengthening all of the pelvic stabilizers, such as the hip flexors, abductors and and adductors, as well as working on the lower abdominal muscles and the core.
3. Achilles Tendonitis
Some people forget about the Achilles tendon and its importance on the body. It’s the longest tendon and connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. Dancers tend to overuse this muscle, which leads to tendonitis. Usually this injury occurs if dancers experience frequent shin splints or lower their arches during warm ups, such as barre exercises. Overtraining, dancing on a hard floor and lack of stretching can also lead to this injury, which can be immensely painful and debilitating when it occurs.
4. Neck Strain
Many dancers forget about the stress they can put on their necks when they dance. However, a common dancing injury is neck strain, especially for dancers who do a lot of varied choreography. Dancers can prevent from straining their neck by lengthening it and elongating the spine when they move, instead of collapsing it.
5. Rotator Cuff Injuries
Most dances involve plenty of arm movement. If dancers continuously use their arms during practices and performances, they may end up with an overuse rotator cuff injury. This overuse can cause tendons to strain and tear, leading to intense pressure in the shoulders. Teachers should discuss proper form with students as well as the mechanics of movement. If a dancer is able to understand where the scapula is, he or she is less likely to point an arm in that direction.
As with any injury or health issue, please consult your physician. These tips are meant to be informational only, and should never replace the advice of a licensed medical practitioner.
One of my favorite parts of this job is when I get to unveil a new aspect of or enhancement to our service.
I especially like it when we deliver what our clients have asked for.
Coming off of the 2014 Recital season, two things were very clear. Number one, that our clients really appreciate the service we provide, and value it greatly for the drama it helps them avoid during recital season. Number two, that we could make the service even better by focusing on two things:
Visibility and Communication.
Our studio clients wanted to see more “behind the scenes” during the setup process. They also wanted to be able to see which families were buying tickets as the sales were proceeding. Finally, our clients expressed a need for a better way of communicating during the hectic recital season.
That’s why we’re proud to unveil the new TutuTix Client Portal.
Check out these posts for more information on the TutuTix Client Portal:
One of the cool new benefits of the Client Portal is that you have real time visibility into the TutuTix setup of your event.
The Event Tasks widget enables you to see exactly where we are in the event setup process, and what information is needed in order to get your event completely ready for onsale.
The key pieces of information we need to get your event on sale are:
Event Date / Time
Event Title (how the event will be advertised to the public)
Venue Image (a bird’s eye view of the venue seating arrangement, also called a seating chart)
Venue Details (the name and address of the venue, as well as details of how the seating is configured if reserved seating is preferred)
Onsale Date and Time
Seat Holds (optional)
Promo or Discount Codes (optional)
Most of that info is usually collected during the sign up process, but sometimes details need to be added or changed. The new Help Cases functionality provides a better method of communicating about event setup tasks and changes.
During the hectic recital season, email just doesn’t cut it as an effective communication method. Emails can get lost in transit, inadvertently dumped into spam folders, accidentally deleted, or unnecessarily duplicated. When you need quick TutuTix help, the result can be frustrating.
With this in mind, we’ve reinvented the way we communicate with our clients. Introducing “Help Cases.”
Now, clients have full access to view and create TutuTix help cases within the client portal.
To access Help Cases, just log in to the client portal and select Menu – Help.
From here, you can create a new case within the simple online interface. As soon as you create the case, an email confirmation is sent to you and your case is issued a unique case number. Referencing this number in email and phone communications about the case will keep us all on the same page and will help us address your needs more efficiently.
On the right hand side of the screen, you’ll see one of several statuses:
New: TutuTix has received the case, and has assigned a case number and a support team member to look at it.
Open: TutuTix support is actively working the case
Escalated: TutuTix senior level support is actively working the case
Need Client Action: Our team needs some additional information from you in order to complete this request
Closed, Need Future Action: This has been addressed, but will require future action by TutuTix
Closed, Need Client Action: This has been addressed, but requires future action from you
Completed: This case has been fully addressed
Creating a new Help Case
To create a new help case, you have two options:
Log on to the client portal and create the help case yourself. This is the preferred method, since your contact information will be attached to the case and we can work it more efficiently. Additionally, you’ll have immediate access to your case number.
Contact your territory director and have them enter the case for you. This method is preferred if you are uncertain about some aspects of your event, or if you need expert assistance. Be sure that your director provides you with a case number.
Communicating about a Case
Always reference a case number, whether in email or via phone support. This helps us ensure that we’re all on the same page.
Re-opening a Previously Closed Case
Simply submit a new case using the steps above and reference the old case number.