I painted one of my studios this summer and hadn't gotten around to putting the posters back up. I guess I have been enjoying the simplicity of the bare walls. I felt like the wall above the barre was looking a little too bare, so I thought about what to do with the space:
- Put the posters back up – our posters were getting faded and ragged, so this idea got thrown out – aside from looking for new posters.
- Have someone paint a mural – might be expensive and I couldn't decide what to put up.
- Some sort of special wall the students could help make (handprints, signing the wall)…
I wanted something large and graphic but not so distracting that it would take away from class. I also didn't want to spend more than $100 for supplies and /or labor. I starting searching craigslist and eBay for any posters or large graphic. That's when I came upon this:
Wall stickers! And available in a ton of colors too (found on eBay). I decided to go with white so that it wouldn't be too distracting.
It was a little daunting when it arrived – the sticker comes in 8 pieces, each about three and a half feet tall by one and half feet wide. The instructions said to tape all of the pieces on the wall first, but I decided to do one piece at a time. I chose the one labeled "A" so I was at least going alphabetically.
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Today was the season opener at my dance studio. I don’t teach on Saturdays, so I worked in the office and got to sit back (ha!) and observe for the first part of the day.
On Saturday mornings, we have many of our preschool classes and I always love watching kids experience the joy of dance for the first time! I overheard a little girl tell her teacher, “I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so excited to do ballet!”
It’s also fun to watch the first-time parents… nervous that their child will follow directions or like the class – as a teacher I used to think the parents were watching me, until I had a niece take class and all I wanted to do was watch her! We had a lot of dads bringing students today, which is also funny to see their reaction to “Daddy, look at my plie!”
After our morning classes, our performance team danced at a local community event (free advertising!) and then I enjoyed the rest of the night off! After our first week back, I plan to take my office manager out for some margaritas… we’ve been working so much overtime these last few weeks to get everything ready for today, I think its high time for a night out!
If your studio opened this month, congratulations on a new season! What did you do on your first day “back to work”? Did you feel prepared? Stressed? Relaxed? Hopeful? Leave a comment!
For a studio owner, getting ready for fall classes means a lot of things… piles of paperwork, phone calls and emails to return, attendance sheets and class signs to prepare. For me, it also always means painting the studio! It seems like every year I end up painting one or more of the rooms.
Maybe it's just me, but I get very anxious when selecting a new color to paint the studio. Perhaps it's because I will be spending the next two or three years (if the paint is good) staring at the wall color, who knows? Although I do fine choreographing formations, I'm not a very good visualizer of the end product. I need something more. I used to get a bunch of little samples, tape them to the wall and deliberate for a week, asking everyone who walked by whether "summer white" looked nicer than "classic beige".
But wait, there's a solution!
My favorite tool to use before painting is Sherwin William's "Color Visualizer" tool. You can upload a picture of any room and "paint" using their colors.
Now I can digitally "paint" my rooms and change them around as much as I like before purchasing paint! Hooray!
If you are still having trouble choosing a color or narrowing your choices consider the following:
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Click here for Part 1
After much deliberation, I decided to order an 8-foot portable double barre from the Ballet Barre Store. I liked that the barres were advertised as lightweight and easy to put together. I also was pleased to see they have a 30-day return policy — I would just have to foot the bill for any shipping it needed to be returned.
Both barres are adjustable, and the higher barre can go up to a height of 45 inches. Compared to similar style barres, the $135 price tag was fairly inexpensive. I did a bit of research on the company behind the barre, Vita Vibe. They also have a 5-year warranty on their products for full replacement or repair, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
After placing the order through their site using PayPal, I received the barre in about a week (but it was during the Christmas rush, so its possible your order would get to you sooner). The package was long a slim and barely fit in my station wagon! For those of you ordering longer barres, it might be wise to ship directly to your studio if possible.
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|An example of a homemade metal ballet barre
I have been on a hunt for cheap but sturdy ballet barres to replace the adjustable single barre we've had at our studio for 20+ years. It no longer "adjusts" and just sits at the lowest setting.
After hours of research on the web, I am deciding whether it's worth my time and effort to build my own, buy a kit or just bite the bullet and pay the shipping for a pre-assembled barre. After the jump are my research findings – hopefully saving you some time!
If you have any suggestions about ballet barres – chime in with a comment!
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Choosing a Dance Program for your Pre-School Boy
Just read this insightful article by Nichelle Strzepek on MySonCanDance blog. If you’re a parent looking for a dance program for your son, give this one a read. If you’re a studio owner wondering why you don’t have many boys, check this article to see what red flags your studio that could be sending to parents with boys. For example:
“2. A school without pink walls
A studio’s pink walls equivalent might be princess themes or anything that unnecessarily genderizes dance. Pink is a fine color and for the moment, pink is actually among my son’s favorite colors. However, a school that is “painting their walls pink” is either hoping to appeal to only one demographic or it has never really crossed their mind that a boy might enter the establishment as a student. Either way, it is reason enough for me to look elsewhere.
It may seem like a small thing but, for boys and young men, no pink walls can make all the difference. It is about feeling welcome and comfortable in an environment.”
There is also some good advice that is useful to any parent looking for a dance studio for their child:
“Look for a school whose older dancers move in a coordinated, pleasing fashion.”
Looking at a studio’s advanced dancers is very often a good indicator of how serious a school is or what their focus is on.
Either way, good article – read on!