Much like stay at home mums do I get the phrase said to me ‘oh your just a dance teacher’ this is of course after asking me what else I do. I know people think I’m just off all day. This couldn’t be further from the truth… Now let me start by telling you that I have my own dance academy. I don’t own a premises but I do rent several buildings to teach in. Not being in one base means I have over 220 pupils at present. That’s a lot of kids! My classes range from 10-18 children each, no more, thank goodness. So that’s 220 pupils I manage, 220 parents.
In any one day I can get up to say 30 texts ‘*insert name* can’t come today’ ‘what’s the song they are dancing to?’ ‘Have you seen *insert name* coat/water bottle/school bag) ‘I have this friend, can she start’ You get my jist… this is time consuming. On top of this there are the new starter enquiries which are constant and worse still the ‘I’ve been on the waiting list a year, how far along am I now?’ Which always make me feel awful. I am also contactable via email, phone and WhatsApp. I have a very active Facebook page too and a relatively new Instagram (that actually I keep failing to post on, is it any wonder why? ha ha!) I play constant catch up replying to people.
I teach 22 classes in total in a week, 8 cheer, the rest dance. I work 6 days out of the seven… yes I just teach after school but all these dances need choreographing. At any one time I can be choreographing over 40 dances if classes are learning more than one routine. That’s ALOT of dance ideas to churn out and remember! I do some on the spot but I do have to take out at least 15 hours a week for choreography. Also the music doesn’t download itself and certainly doesn’t edit itself… one track can take several hours for cheer.
Then there is the admin side. Registers, enrolement forms, emails keeping parents in the loop, slips to hand out in class. Don’t get me started on keeping up with accounts too! Keeping up with UKCA information for the cheerleading. If we’re doing merit awards they all need filling out and medals ordering. It’s not unusual for me to be doing admin till 1am in the morning at times.
Then there is the annual show… for dance this is every May. The show whilst not until May gets prepped by me from January. Not that people realise… it takes me a whole five months of graft to put together that two hour performance you see on stage. Endless planning, letters, staffing – plus chaperone licensing. Costumes… I sort all the costumes… everyone has two. Yup… that’s around 300+ costumes I kid you not. Some just simple t-shirts etc but they all still need sourcing and sorting. Ticket sales, seating plans, lighting plans, props, running orders, dressing room arrangements, rehearsal arrangements… the list is endless.
On top of my usual working six day week I quite often work a Sunday too doing dance parties. Which whilst I love them are probably the hardest of all. You see little *insert name* loves to dance so she’s having a dance party… this doesn’t mean all the other kids do though so you have a hard job keeping everyone interested and involved. Add to this the birthday child might be turning 7 but she’s got several 2-3yr old cousins that are running wild and make sure you bring your loudest voice because your not only shouting over the 25 party kids also the chatting parents. I’m not gonna lie… after a party wine usually follows ha ha!
Some weekends we enter cheer competitions which takes over the whole day (usually a Sunday) these take a lot of preparation for. Through the summer months we sometimes dance and cheer at local carnivals.
Like many kids activities I stop for school holidays… ahhh rest time! Ermmm no… if I’m not working I don’t get paid and whilst I do have some school holiday time to myself I also run holiday club to keep my wages coming in. This consists of me entertaining up to 25 kids all day. Dance, crafts, sports, games etc. I’m paid to play, I love it but this all needs planning.
Now all this sounds like I’m moaning about my job… but I’m not. I absolutely love it! Not so much the admin side as the actual creative side but I live to dance. Dance is life for me and without it I would be half a person. I am blessed to teach so many children and be part of their lives… I am grateful every day for that. I don’t go to work… I go to dance! I like to think of us as one big dance family. I pride myself on actually knowing the children as well as just teaching them. I like to know what’s going on in their lives and hear about what they’ve been up to (Some of the stories I hear are hilarious – I know everything about you parents ha ha!)
But no… I’m not just a dance teacher… I’m a business owner, marketing expert, girl boss, choreographer, administrator, accountant, stylist and events planner… does that that cover it?… and you know what… I wouldn’t have it any other way ?