Q: Dear Rhee,
Advice for dance teachers
I have owned my studio for 25 years. I’ve been suffering from burnout for the last three years, and today feel fortunate that I’ve found someone to purchase my studio. She is a wonderful person and I am so happy for her and my dance family.
This is my dilemma: how do I announce the sale? Should I call a studio meeting before recital, make an announcement from the stage at the end of our recital, or hold a meeting the week following our show? Our show is in 30 days and we close the sale in 20 days.
Our staffers who know the news have promised to keep it to themselves. I trust them—but you never know for sure. I would hate it if rumors started going around. I want my studio families to hear the news from me. I also don’t want the sale to put a damper on the excitement surrounding our silver anniversary recital. —Unsure
PS: I have enjoyed your magazine for years. I always turn straight to Ask Rhee; then go back and read every page. The magazine has taught me so much and kept me motivated as a crazy dance studio owner. Thank you for all you do.
A: Dear Unsure,
Let me begin by wishing you the best. Thank you for spending 25 years giving kids the gift of dance. I understand burnout, but I don’t see this as an end for you—I see it as a beginning and an opportunity for new things to happen. I have a feeling you feel that way too.
Announce the sale in whatever way feels natural. Don’t think about gossip or what people might say. For 25 years you’ve had an awesome opportunity to lead this school—make sure that everyone knows that’s something you appreciate.
Your statement should clearly state that you are ready for change and that you have found a new director who will take the school into a bright future. Let your clientele know that you completely endorse the new owner and will be there to help her with the transition.
Play down any sense that this change is scary. Instead, design your announcement to stress that this is a new beginning for everyone, and that the studio will stay focused on what is best for the students.
Congratulations on your silver anniversary. Be sure to pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and for finding a way for your studio to continue to serve your community and its children. How cool is that? —Rhee