Welcome to Leap 'N Learn's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, Part I. We are starting off by sharing insider tips on what dance teachers really want this time of year. Don't get us wrong, dance teachers feel extremely honored when students, families, bosses, and co-workers want to give a holiday present, but there are more options than simply something pink or tutu-themed. Here is a list of a few things we personally wouldn't mind receiving as a dance teacher gift, and we're pretty sure other dance teachers out there would also appreciate these slightly surprising presents!
No Chewing Allowed: Original French Truffles, $21.99 — Mmmmmmm, these delectable truffles melt in your mouth for a rich chocolatey treat! Marked with Beverly Spell's seal of approval, she makes sure to have an abundance of these around for the holidays (and they never last very long)! Ballet teachers love all things French, and who doesn't like chocolate? You can't go wrong with these unique sweets.
Something Locally Sourced — Dance studios more often than not are local businesses that survive on community support. So employees of dance studios truly understand the importance of sustaining other small businesses in the area. Plus, shopping locally typically leads to more one-of-a-kind finds. See if you can find a handmade scarf for a dance teacher that's out and about in the cold weather a lot, or maybe just treat them to a cup of tea from a local coffee shop (bonus points if you can deliver it as teachers have a hard time getting away from the studio on busy days).
The Best Is Yet To Come Sinatra Journal, $9.95 — With so much to keep track of as a dance teacher, having a journal around at all times is extremely handy. And how better to store choreography ideas, lesson plan notes, and more, than in a jazzy, glitzy one that inspires an always bright future? Don't forget to include a bouquet of flowers, err, we mean these awesome pencils.
Mulled Winter Punch, $15 — We developed a slight obsession with Belvoir Fruit Farms' Elderflower Pressé this summer, so we would love to get our hands on their spicy, wintery drink. Dance teachers are super busy in December and don't have time to mull their own concoctions, so this gift would let them enjoy the taste of the season regardless. (And we won't tell if they mix in their favorite red wine!)
Roll of Elf Stickers, $2.50 — Leap 'N Learn dance teachers can never have enough stickers! In each dance class, young students can earn a little star sticker next to their name for following the Dancer's Manners + they get a fun sticker for themselves. We especially adore these silly elf ones that would be great for both girl and boy dancers!
Swedish Dream Christmas Soap, $8 — Teaching so many dance classes leads to some very tired bodies. That's why every dance teacher loves a hot bath to soothe sore muscles. Toss in a holiday soap to add cinnamon, apple spice, and lavender scents and you've got a recipe for relaxation! (P.S. If you haven't tried any Swedish Dream soaps yet, do yourself a favor get one for you too. Our favorite is their Eggwhite and Chamomile Facial soap!)
Frederick Ashton's Tales of Beatrix Potter DVD, $35 — Every dance teacher enjoys having a collection of full performance professional ballet DVDs. Not only are they good to watch in downtime to keep inspiration and awe pumping, but they can also be wonderful tools to have on hand when teaching. The Royal Ballet's take on Peter Rabbit is especially charming for dance teachers and students alike.
The Barefoot Book of Dance Stories, $23.99 — Using multiple modalities helps children learn, so Leap 'N Learn dance teachers use books as another medium for their students to experience and relate to what they are learning. Contributing children's books focused around ballet, dance, or movement will help build a studio's library and benefit those young learners.
A Heartfelt Note — Because knowing what we do matters is the best possible gift. Being reminded that teaching little ones to dance impacts them in a positive way is the best way to guarantee a merry and bright Christmas for any dance teacher, especially when it comes straight from a student. Tucking some photos in would be the only way to make it shine even brighter. (If you want to buy a card to write in, we think these merci note cards are cute — but handmade ones can't be beat!)
We hope these dance teacher gifts may be the perfect things to add to your holiday shopping list, or at least help to get ideas flowing about what a dance teacher would like and use. Anything that comes from the heart is great too, so trust your intuition. And of course, there are certain gifts dance teachers don't ever get tired of like crafts that kids make — we love to see budding artists in the making!
What do you like to give to the dance teachers in your life? Anything we've forgot to include? And dance teachers, what are some of the best presents that you've ever received?