Happy Fall, everyone!
As you probably already know, we tend to focus on the bright side of things here at Leap 'N Learn. We feel infinitely grateful for a career that brings us so much joy, and we love taking time to appreciate all of the things that make us happy. Sure, like any business owner we have our struggles, but at the same time, our positive attitude often leads to overcoming those obstacles. With the holiday season kicking off, we are in a festive spirit, but before we get to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, I wanted to share some of the more dance-related reasons why we are celebrating right now —
1. Classes are in full swing at our studio. All of you know about my dance studio, The Ballet Studio (TBS), and most of you are aware of the newest part of this business, Lafayette School of Performing Arts (LSPA), but we are still getting the word out about this locally in Lafayette. This is the first year we've fully moved over to using only our new and improved studio location too. Changes like these require an adjustment period, so we are balancing the strong reputation and awareness of TBS while introducing LSPA and our new variety of classes including music, theatre, aerial silks, and gymnastics. It's been a blast seeing students in both dance classes and in these other new offerings, and the ease of having only one location again sure is nice. How is your dance year going so far? Have you ever changed names at your studio or gone through a transitional period like this?
2. We love our dance students! After much encouragement from my good friend Sam Beckford, I hosted a student appreciation party at The Ballet Studio and Lafayette School of Performing Arts to show my students how much they mean to us. While we'd always love more students, we never take for granted the ones we have, especially those families that have been taking classes at our studio for multiple years. We gave away branded t-shirts with both The Ballet Studio and Lafayette School of Performing Arts logos to each student and sticker decals to each family for their cars (which not only act as thank you gifts, but also help us increase brand awareness for LSPA and its relationship to TBS). We also had lots of food, games, prizes, and fun. You can check out some of the activities on our newest Pinterest board. Feel free to ask us if you have questions about what we did or would like suggestions for hosting your own party — we're happy to share even more of our ideas and resources with all of you. Have you hosted events at your studio recently; what activities did you include? How do you show your dance families that you appreciate them?
3. Our newest hire is finally official. Finding incredible dance teachers is one of our biggest challenges (we're talking more about it in this month's Dance Discussion), so we're beyond excited to welcome a new member to the TBS staff. His name is Dadier Aguilera Ramos. The long story short is that his brother who works for my son performed a perfect port de bras standing in first position, and I asked him how he knew how to do that. He answered that his brother graduated from the Cuban National Ballet School, was in a company there, and was currently dancing professionally in Brazil. I knew that type of talent would be amazing to have at TBS. We talked to him about the opportunity to work for us, encouraged him to move to Lafayette, and the rest was history. We were hoping to have him start teaching classes at the beginning of the year, but we had to wait for his paperwork to be processed for working in the states... and it finally has been approved! This situation partly fell in our laps through coincidence, but it also meant a lot of hard work and patience while working through the legal aspects of hiring someone from another country. Thankfully, it paid off, and now I'll be able to scale back some of my own teaching hours to spend more time on other things that need my attention. If you want to talk more about building the best staff, please head on over to this Dance Discussion.
All in all, we're glad to have all these reasons to celebrate. And we'd love to know what you're celebrating too. Leave a comment below, and let's get in the mood for a thankful holiday season together.