#FromTheSQJudge’s Chair – New Year’s Revolutions
January 9th, 2020 by Elizabeth Radabaugh
As teachers and studio owners, what can we do to make the most of our holiday break to recharge and reinvigorate ourselves? It’s time to set yourself up for success in the coming year and create your resolutions. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do as a teacher and/or studio owner.
Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
I’m sure one of the things on your list of resolutions is to save and make more money. One of the best ways you can do so is to reduce, reuse and recycle. Not only in our everyday lives should we practice this but, also in our dance lives. Costumes are one of the most wasteful things we go through as dancers. In the competition world, we wear them for less than a year and then they spend a lifetime hung in a basement somewhere. Using a simple buy-back system you can make the most of the costumes your clients buy. Simply purchase the costumes back from your clients and rent them out to future ones or even to other studios. It’s a great way to make money off the same costumes for seasons to come and reduces the number of one-time wear costumes. If this system doesn’t work for you, try donating costumes to struggling theatres or studios for a tax write-off (or just donate because it makes you feel good!). Declutter your studio and closet and try utilizing better ways to reduce, reuse and recycle costumes.
Stop Being Afraid
This is going to be easier said than done. Stop being afraid. The only way we get better at doing something hard is to practice it. If you haven’t already, draw a hard line in the sand. Promise yourself that you are not going to accept certain things at your studio or in your classroom. As cliché as this is, try writing it down. Somehow, when ideas make their way onto paper they become more defined and finite. Promise yourself that you are not going to be afraid of your clients threatening to leave your studio, teachers quitting or students misbehaving on social media. When things arise, nip them in the bud immediately. Yes, it’s uncomfortable but, you’re a leader. Your studio will respect you more if you have a hard line and stick to it. Remember the more you implement your policies with conviction, the easier it will be to deal with situations head on and resolve them.
Use this month to decompress. If you haven’t done so already, announce that you will be unavailable and take the time you need away from your studio. Don’t answer emails, hold rehearsals or worry about whether Susy-Q is keeping up. As teachers and studio owners, we work our best when we are truly inspired and in love with dance. Sometimes we need a break away from something we love to truly realize it’s wonder. Do something totally unrelated to dance. Take a yoga class, bake some cookies and watch some football. Moreover, the trick is to find these moments within the year to come. As a resolution, perhaps decide for yourself when these decompression moments happen for you. In a day, week or month, find something for yourself that recharges your batteries as an educator and stick to it.
Setting your New Year’s resolution can be a chore but, look at it as a treat. A treat for your wellbeing. Reset and recharge your hardline. Continue to think of ways to reduce, reuse and recycle things at your studio that can be wasteful. Find a way to decompress in between classes, competitions and recitals. Find a way that works for you and your wellbeing. Set yourself up for success in the year 2020!
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Marissa Anderson is a performer, choreographer, teacher and adjudicator for StarQuest with over 20 years of experience in the dance industry. She also hosts, writes and produces her own podcast on iTunes called “Beyond the Mirror: A Dancer’s Podcast”.