Renovation… Unsteady Progress

A few weeks into June, with nothing other than a new wall accomplished, I admitted to myself that having the room ready for July summer classes was a bit ambitious.  Could we have held classes with a boombox on the carpet?  Sure.  Was that the first impression of the new and exciting space I wanted to give my clients. Uh, absolutely not.

So, onto painting.  But wait!  First the other studio location has to have a pipe burst!  And flood the entire space!  And ruin lots of things!  And require insurance inspectors and summer camp last-minute changes and new rugs and potentially ruined marley!  Because chaos!

::deep breath::

So that was a fun weekend of clean-up and tears and then realizing that a pipe bursting during summer and destroying a bunch of old costumes is not the worst thing in the world, even if it is inconvenient and a pain to clean up (imagine if it happened a week before recital and ruined THOSE costumes?!).  It is also just a bit disconcerting to find your entire space covered in water.

 

 


But, back to the matter at hand – oh yeah, I was supposed to be painting, not mopping up water.

And look, a new window!

It turned out, when picking out window sizes that this size was the best one to go with because any bigger was a big jump in expense.

 

Making progress…

To Do List

X Connect spaces

X Build waiting room wall

X Waiting room window

X Paint waiting room

X Paint dance room

– Install dance floor

– Furnish waiting room

– Buy sound system

– Ballet barres in dance room

– Order and install mirrors

Next up… flooring!

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The Renovation Begins

So the first task in the New Space, was to connect the new space to the old space.

A refresher on what we are trying to accomplish:

So I began renting the space in June with the very, very VERY optimistic goal (did I mention VERY optimistic) of having it ready in time for July summer classes.
My contractor and I went over what I wanted and he gave suggestions and little tweaks that made more sense with things like electrical outlets and windows and building code.
And then on June 2 (five days before our end of year recital) the work began!
It was amazing how quickly the wall went up – they framed it out and had the sheetrock up in no time.  The hole is for the observation window eventually.
Looking through the “window” into the dance room.

And connecting the two space (new space is purple, existing studio is beige).

Ahhh!  I don’t know why, but when I saw this, I started getting super excited!  It’s real, it’s real!
Looking back through at the narrow waiting room.

So that was pretty much it with the professional help other than the mirrors and window installation, the rest is on me and my husband!

To Do List

X Connect spaces

X Build waiting room wall

– Waiting room window

– Paint waiting room

– Paint dance room

– Install dance floor

– Furnish waiting room

– Buy sound system

– Ballet barres in dance room

– Order and install mirrors

Next up… painting!

Summer Moving, Happened So Fast

Summer moving, havin’ a bla-a-ast!

Summer?  In October?  Ok, its been a crazy last few months – but I finally have had some time to write about my summer adventures!  Hope you are all having a wonderful start to your school years – I’ve missed blogging and am happy to get back to it.

A little background – I have two studio locations, with the smaller location having one dance room. We are in a strip of businesses and we are currently the second-to-last unit from the end. The last unit on our end used to be rented by a Curves (workout for women), but the owner decided to move on and the space went up for lease last January.  It sat vacant for a few months and I looked at the space, did some calculations, negotiated the price and by June, we were in contract!

It may sound like I jumped in quickly, but in reality, I tried to make sure it was a smart decision, talked it over with just about everyone I could think of who could give me some perspective and triple-checked my break-even calculations.

So here is a super short tour of what we started with, and I apologize for the poor quality cellphone pictures:

That is standing in the front of the building, looking towards the back. The doorways back there lead to a utility closet (furnace / AC units) and bathroom.

And here is standing in the back by the bathroom and looking at the front.  Our existing space is to the right (“through” the purple wall). Windows look out onto the sidewalk and parking lot and there is an exterior door to the left.  Also strangely located air conditioner to the left and yellow ladder, which did not come with the space, much to my husband’s disappointment.

Here is a floorplan to help visualize. The new space is in purple:

So as you can see, the purple Curves space is a loooong room, but with a lot of potential!  And a lot of PURPLE.  Purple walls, purple trim, purple rug. What’s hard to see in the photos is that the ceilings are actually 10′ tall – which is awesome!
After brainstorming, our potential game-plan into turning this into a functional dance studio was this:
1) Divide the space and create a waiting area – one of the biggest struggles of our existing space was the waiting room was very narrow and small.  It was impossible for anyone with a stroller to enter and would be crazy when one class was leaving and another arriving.  I wanted to make the new waiting room a little bit deeper to help fix this problem.
 
2) Adding connecting doorways – we needed to connect the two spaces together, by joining the waiting rooms and in another spot.  In the waiting room, I wanted an open doorway to make the rooms feel very open and encourage overflow from the narrow waiting room into the larger one.
I also wanted to a door connecting the two studios, but <SPOILER ALERT> apparently the wall between the two studios was filled with bricks?!  My contractor found this to be annoying and confusing (as did I).   The only other place that had just sheetrock separating the two spaces was all the way in the back through the furnace closet.  Not ideal, but as Tim Gunn says, we made it work.

I know you are anxious for beautiful before and after photos, which I PROMISE will happen, but in another post!

Our Elf, Izzy

When I read Maria’s post asking her readers about their elves, I knew I had to share!

Our studio Elf on the Shelf, Izzy, has made a lot of friends at dance school!
First we got an official letter from Santa telling us why our elf was so special:
Like the Santa stationary?  I got it from here

 

Then Izzy lit up our dance studio with some lights, which put everyone in a festive mood!
Izzy showed off her split skills at the Split Wall.
She even signed her name!
And then got into the sticker supply….
Christmas colors of course…
And made herself a tutu out of tulle…
Izzy, I don’t think that’s what the measuring tapes are meant for!
I guess she decided the kids were behaving and decided to watch the parents in the waiting room instead… 🙂
I don’t know what she’ll do next!

I enjoy sharing Izzy’s adventures on our studio Facebook page and Instagram so everyone can see what she’s been up to!

Do you have an Elf at your school or home?  Is he or she mischievous or well-behaved? Share in the comments!

Preparing the Studio for a New Season

My studio’s dance season opens Friday and these last few weeks have been a whirlwind of projects, phone calls, paperwork and a bit of end-of-summer procrastination.
This year will be my fifth season as studio director and I am excited to challenge myself this year with being more creative and at the same time more organized.
So here’s a glimpse at the last few weeks of studio life.  I had planned to share some of these projects as I was doing, but in reality, they will be shared in a future post… once students and classes settle down into their routines!
 
Wishing you all the best on your new dance season!
Cait

Cleaning floors…
…messy rooms
Arts & Crafts…

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10 Hair & Make-Up Tutorials For Recital

Recital season is upon us in the US, and with it comes lots of parents and kids who have never done stage hair or make-up before!  I used to do demonstrations for some of my classes, but it is difficult to find the time when everyone is available, so I have switched to emailing YouTube links.  My students’ parents love it when I point them to a YouTube tutorial – and I have learned a few tricks myself!

Here are some of my favorite tutorials for applying stage make-up and doing hair.  And be sure to share your favorite tips and tricks in the comments!

MAKE-UP TUTORIALS

For older students:

(JAM Cosmetics)
For children:

(JAM Cosmetics)

From start to finish w/little explanation, just her applying make-up:

More specific tutorials

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