Standing Out When You Are the “Old Studio” in Town


Tiffany Henderson with Amanada Scott 

It’s August, a brand new studio pops up down the street and here I am beginning my 20th dance season. Being the “it” studio for preschool and school-aged children often defaults to who has the shiniest, newest mirrors and not necessarily who has the best track record for training dancers and creating kind humans. However, today I want to talk about how being the established studio has its perks. 

From the years of sweat, tears, and success building your dance studio business comes wisdom - something new studios cannot just “Amazon Prime” and have in two days. You have weathered the storms of beloved dancers quitting and you are no longer occupied with all the “one woman show” tasks that consume you those first few years.    

As I enter my third decade in this business, I am always finding new and exciting ways to connect with my customers; especially now that I am not the dance teacher they have starting day one at the studio. Our goal as dance studio owners is to create meaningful relationships with our dancers and families to inspire customer loyalty. 

Here are four things you can do today to connect to your dance families: 

  1. Host Live Events 

    • Schedule a “Back to Dance” night at the studio and stream your event on Facebook live. Introduce yourself as the owner, talk about why you founded your studio and your mission statement. 

    • Set up a “Free Trial Week” for new and current dancers to sample a class on your new season schedule, offer a promotion for them to register that day (for example, waive their registration fee), and give out goody bags. 

  2. Create Engaging Content Online 

    • Write weekly or monthly blog posts focusing on the experience you create at your studio. Themes can be what to expect on the first day of dance class, the benefits of taking 2 classes per week, why you have a dress code, etc.  

    • Highlight classes weekly on Facebook and Instagram with a cute photo or short video. 

  3. Have Good, Old-fashioned Conversations 

    • Phone calls - You or a member of your staff should be answering the phone from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm during regular business hours. Call dancers who were previously enrolled and not yet in classes this season to see how they are doing and if you can help get them registered. 

    • In the lobby - Walk through the looby during some of your recreational classes and introduce yourself to the parents, ask them about their experience at the studio, and how their dancer is liking the class. 

    • Online - Offer an incentive to your current customers when they share a review on Google or refer a friend.  

  4. Connect to Your Curriculum and Teachers 

    • At my studio we use Twinkle Star Dance. Talk to your staff and dance families openly about the curriculum you offer, why it is important, and how it benefits their dancers.

    • Advertise that your teachers are trained on the same curriculum and that you provide consistent training across the board.  

As Tiffany embarks on her 20th dance season, join her for the 2020 Dance Studio Owner Challenge. Starting this September, gain exclusive access to monthly small-group coaching calls with Tiffany Henderson and a private community of like-minded studio owners. Check back for more information. 

Why Dress Code is Important and Why You Need One Your Dance Studio 


Tiffany Henderson with Amanda Scott

In addition to saving dance parents time and money, implementing a dress code at your studio can bring in additional revenue for your business. At Tiffany’s Dance Academy our dress code is mandatory; however several times per season dancers may wear whatever they choose to class. 

If you are interested in offering a dress code this season, consider the benefits below for your dancers:

1) Helps a dancer understand they are going to a structured class (compared to unstructured playtime). When dancers put on their uniform, they get into a specific mindset before dance class. 

2) Ensures that the clothing is not a distraction during class. My second year of studio ownership “The Little Mermaid” was all the rage and every 3-4 year old came in the princess outfit mermaid, tail and all. One problem was that dancers were so distracted by the costumes, they could not focus for the duration of the class. 

3) Ensures that the dancer is appropriately dressed. As teachers we need to be able to see dancers’ bodies and make necessary corrections. When dancers are in dress code you can easily make changes. 

4) Ensures that each dancer has the same brand, style and color of shoes and tights for on stage performances. Uniformity on stage during a performance starts with dress code. If you want everyone to be in the same shoes, tights, costume, and hair style at recital then you need to set the tone in class each week. 

Looking to revamp your existing dress code or start selling dancewear at your studio this fall? Join Twinkle Star Dance in Orlando July 12-14 and attend our special “Setting Your Dress Code” Workshop:

Can’t make it? Join Tiffany for a free webinar July 18 at 10:00am PST / 1:00pm EST:

Balance and Grace: Using the Principles of Dance to Thrive in Life

Christine Dion, Mode Dion

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Learning to balance life with grace is both a personal and public practice. As an educator and business owner the demands on your time can be overwhelming. Working with children, managing their parents, along with your own family and personal life can often leave you drained, even feeling empty with little left for your own well being.

Here are just a few tips proven to help you move through life with balance and grace:

  • Personal time- Do not answer the phone when it's not part of the work day. Do not listen to messages unless it's part of the work day. Learn to separate work from personal life. Students, parents, and teachers often respond by calling you for answers instead of taking a moment and thinking things through. It's a reflex and the one hurt the most by it is you. It's surprising how people work things out on their own when they are forced to.

  • Get quality sleep-Shower or take a bath at night to wash away the day. Find a pillow that's truly comfortable and spray Lavender on it to calm your emotions. Listen to relaxing music for sleep to calm and focus your mind away from the day.

  • Drink water- Your body is dehydrated from a nights sleep. Drink a full glass of water with lemon upon waking to hydrate your body and mind for clearer thinking. Stretch and breathe. Oxygen is vital to muscles and moods. Practice breathing and stretch to get the blood moving.

  • Practice gratitude- While your stretching or getting ready make a list in your mind of all you are thankful for as Gratitude is the seed to all happy thoughts.

  • Stop negativity- Be kind to yourself and avoid negative self talk. Forgive your mistakes and know they are for learning. Do not think about negative situations or people that cause you stress. You are in charge of your thoughts.

Dealing with Worry and Stress

Thinking of the situation you are worried or stressed about can create the actual response in your body as if it occurred. Don't even go there. Think of the best possible outcome and focus on that and the solution to get there. Instead of worrying…

  • Take a Nap- When it all becomes too much to handle and you loose it take a nap if possible. Find a place to close your eyes and step away form the chaos if only for ten minutes to come back into alignment.

  • Get a Massage- Massage is a great way to increase circulation and DE-stress. When life is stressed you need a massage on demand. Buy a neck/back massager. It will be the best money you ever spent and can help with those knots and strains whenever needed at anytime.

  • Get into nature- When you start to feel the stress come on go outside into nature. Look at the trees how they weather the storms through the years. Look at the birds how they go about their day in perfect harmony. Look at the flowers how they throw all their passion into their blooms of color. You are part of nature and can connect for a moment to find balance and harmony too.

  • Learn meditation- Learning how to detach and remove yourself from the chaos of the world around you can greatly improve your balance around others and your ability to control your emotional state.

Social Grace

Social grace and communication skills are a must for those working with the public. Knowing in advance how to read others, listen to others clearly with understanding and inspire others to listen to your message is not only a skill but a gift. Dealing with an angry, rude and disrespectful customers requires a lot of grace. Of course you want to be liked and your business to have a positive recommendation without negative gossip. Unhappy customers can do a lot of damage in a short time by spreading negativity as they try to win others to their side and point of view.

In my workshop I will cover many social communication skills for success but knowing difficult clients are the most stressful here are a few tips to help:

  • Private conversation- Do not bring anything negative out in front of others. Negative discussions must be handled privately. Inflamed situations can quickly escalate in front of others. Pull the client over to a private area so it's easier to calm them down. Always maintain a positive public image.

  • It’s not personal- Don't take complaints personally. Be objective, empathetic and open minded for a solution. Clients often have other issues going on behind the scenes that have nothing to do with you.

  • Listen- We will go over many listening skill tips in the workshop the most important take away here is make eye contact, keep your facial expression pleasant and let the customer speak. Do not talk over them or make excuses.

  • Voice control- Use your calm soothing voice to diffuse the situation. Speak slowly and clearly stating you want to find a solution. Your voice sets the tone and the mood.

  • Policy- Create distance between you and the issue. Those that use “I didn't know”, “Nobody told me”, “Why can't you?” to not follow your policy can quickly be diffused by a signed policy protocol. When accepting a new student and parent be sure they sign a policy sheet stating they read what is required, studio rules and what's expected. The signature is your proof they agreed to it. This allows you to refer back to “I understand but it's not our policy to do it that way” or “When you enrolled you signed and confirmed you understood that was expected of you.” “If I bend the rules for you I have to do it with everyone. There are reasons we do it this way.”

  • Remain Calm- Breathe and check your emotions. Do not escalate the rage instead remain calm, tactful and show a genuine concern. Often just being heard can calm the situation down. Remember your life is not a dash. It is a long marathon filled with an ever changing landscape to adjust to. Pace yourself and take time to enjoy it. See you in Orlando!

Be sure to join me this summer at Twinkle Star Conference in Orlando Fl. July 12-14 in my workshop. The tips below are just a small part of all the great insights, tips and proven techniques to be presented. From learning to balance and manage stress to facing social, client and personal challenges with grace. This workshop will help you embrace your life to the healthiest and fullest potential.

About Christine Dion

Christine Dion has been setting trends in the Dance and Talent Industry for close to 40 years as an Author, Speaker, Columnist, Beauty and Image Expert. After working internationally as a professional makeup artist in television, beauty photography, fashion shows and theater. She became well known in the dance world from her numerous monthly beauty columns in Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and Dance Informa Magazine’s where her Polished Stage Face became the industry standard. Christine saw a need for quality cosmetics with appropriate colors that are easy to apply for parents and performers so she designed MODE DION Cosmetics & Training. Her book “High Performance Beauty” (published by Princeton Press) is a must have for anyone who steps on a stage or in front of a camera. Christine became specialized in personal development in Los Angeles through her works as lead instructor for John Robert Powers Finishing School/Beverly Hills, New Model Coach at ELITE Modeling Agency, Director of John Casablanca’s Image Center and Owner MODE DION Image Center. Her book “RISING STAR Skills to Empower and Achieve” was the result of those years of training and provides performers the special skills needed for success in the performance industry. Her popular Stage Beauty & Rising Star workshops are taught at Dance Teacher Conferences, Dance Conventions & in studios across the country.

Exclusive Disney Performing Arts Workshop at Walt Disney World!

Disney Performing Arts- Dance Performance.jpg

We are excited to announce our newest Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference event presented by Disney Performing Arts. Join us for a magical, unique Disney Performing Arts Workshops experience at Walt Disney World® Resort for registered conference attendees only on Thursday, July 11 from 3:30pm - 6:30pm. All transportation will be provided. 

Click here for more information and to opt in:


A friendly reminder to book your hotel room at our $125 disounted rate; we are over 50% sold out of our block at this time. Click here to reserve your room: 


If you are ready to register for the Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference July 12-14 in Orlando click here.

Recital Inspiration...A Message for the Brave


May is winding down and I have been here before...a mixed tape of emotions ranging from excitement to exhaustion and the overwhelming thoughts of starting all over again in a few short months. As this season closes, I am starting my 20th year as a dance studio owner.

Most days I feel like my job is the absolute best and yet some days I am dreaming of an escape to a far away land where responsibilities are a distant memory, Canada eh? In past years I motivate myself into the next season with the replaying message of how I am helping change and shape the lives of young dancers. This year it is different. Going into my 20th year I am motivated by own strength, perseverance, and bravery.  

I, much like you, took the risk of starting my own business and family at the same time. I rode the waves of change while steering my ship through calm and treacherous seas. Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have considered my own strength, nor would have I lauded my own success without giving credit to those around me “helping” me. Twenty six year old Tiffany would have said that I had a “good team” and that the love and support of my family, which I am forever grateful, was the sole reason I was successful. I feel differently now and I see the impact of embracing my own power.  

My sixteen year old daughter recently wrote me a beautiful Mother’s Day card and in one sentence called me a “Boss” and wrote that she hopes someday someone will tell her she is “just like her mom.” She watches me do hard things daily. I am the leader, I gave myself that title, and I am the one who has to step up and do what so many won’t. YOU, my friends, are the same!  You embody the strength and bravery that leads to your success.  Own your power, embrace it, and watch it be carried on in all those who are around you.  

Best wishes for a fantastic Recital,


Want more dance studio business inspiration and practices to put in place next season? Catch Tiffany at the Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference July 12-14 in Orlando.