Ask Rhee Gold

Ask Rhee Gold | Different rates for different work

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, You talk about hiring directors for different programs like preschool or summer sessions, but how can a studio owner afford to pay an hourly teaching rate to a teacher functioning as a director? Should I hire an outside person who could be paid less? Your input would be appreciated.…

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Ask Rhee Gold | No-text policy

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, Is it OK for parents to contact dance teachers through text messages? I feel like I am at work 24/7 because there are messages waiting for me when I wake up, and more messages come in all day and night. I never have the chance to fully get away…

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Ask Rhee Gold | A passion for dance, at any size

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I have a student who has sized out of all the costume companies’ charts. She has been with me since she was a baby and is only 13 years old. She loves to dance, but I don’t know what to do if she registers again this year. Should I…

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Ask Rhee Gold | The importance of keeping control

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I lost a teacher to a nearby school. She took about 20 percent of my enrollment with her and I am devastated personally and financially. The hardest part is that I let this teacher take over my most advanced classes. After 22 years of teaching, I thought it was…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Stepping back

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I am proud to have made it through many trials and tribulations during 27 years of studio ownership. My business has been a godsend, and I love that I have created a special studio community where 200 kids feel safe. Although I see myself continuing to run the business…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Saying no to perks for friends

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I’m a new studio owner. Many of my students are the children of parents who are my friends or people I grew up with. In the beginning, I thought I was lucky to have all this support from people who cared about me. But as I enter my business’…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Social Media Marketing

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I’ve employed all kinds of advertising during the 14 years I’ve owned my studio. Last year I began dabbling in social media marketing, and as I use it more and more, I wonder how frequently I should post. My once-a-week posts have seen good results, but some of my…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Announcing the sale of your studio

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, 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…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Asking for a raise

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I teach more than 20 hours a week. I love the kids, and my own children, who also dance, are with me at the studio. My dance life feels right. After our recital, I received a call from a studio owner whose business is located about 15 minutes away…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Keeping your recital short and sweet

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I just finished my 27th recital and should be thrilled, but I know my clients were upset. The show was almost four hours long. It’s time for a change, but I need some advice about how others do it. As it is now, my show consists of all the…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Focus on the positive

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I am in my seventh season of studio ownership, but the past couple of years have not been easy. The business has grown so much that the studio has moved into larger spaces twice. My faculty is up to 21, with 6 office employees. All that is good, but…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Staying in the know

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, After 26 years of owning my studio, I have stepped back from being at the studio every day. I enjoy doing my daily office work in my home office where I am not distracted by all the goings-on when the studio is in full swing. Yet I’m starting to…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Creating new opportunities for students

Advice for dance teachers Dear Rhee, I’ve been in business for 17 years. Lately I have been losing students because they want more than a weekly class, but can’t or don’t want to make the commitment to our competitive team program. They feel they have gone as far as they can go. Is there something…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Changing with the times

Advice for Dance Teachers Hello Rhee, I remember that you spoke years ago at Project Motivate about how teachers can assure that their male students look masculine by having them do the same arm positions as the girls, but with fists instead of feminine hands and such. When I judge, I often comment on this,…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Thank-you card etiquette

Advice for Dance Teachers Hi Rhee, This year I started working at a new studio, and was overwhelmed with gifts at Christmas. I spent almost two hours writing thank-you notes, then started to panic about forgetting someone or overlooking a gift, and maybe causing offense. In one small class I received gifts from all students…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Setting policies for dance trips

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, Some of my studio parents have backed out of our upcoming performance trip to Disney, causing a lot of issues at the studio and stress for me. These same parents still want to attend this spring’s competitions. The Disney trip was our original plan—the competitions weren’t added until later.…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Lesson Planning

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, Do you have a solid estimate of how much time teachers should spend on class planning per class? I know it varies depending on the discipline, but I’m trying to help my two full-time staff members figure out what portion of their work week can reasonably be spent on…

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Ask Rhee Gold | New Music Choices

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, I’m frustrated and want to pick your brain about music. I spend endless hours making it easy for my staff to choose fun and interesting music for recital dances. I research new music every week. I set up Spotify playlists and provide Kindles in every classroom with playlists for…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Looking for New Teachers

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, What is the best time of the year to search for new teachers? I’m looking for someone to start in the fall. Is it too soon to post an ad? I’m thinking the sooner the better, so that the teachers I hire can make any plans they need. Also,…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Selling Your Studio

Advice for Dance Teachers Hi Rhee, I have been teaching for 42 years and I’m ready to retire. I have a beautiful studio in the center of a very nice town. My teachers love to teach but no one wants to take over. Is there any procedure to follow? I am not sure where to…

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Ask Rhee Gold | The Importance of Being on Time

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, I have been teaching for 25 years, and I’ve owned my studio for four and a half years. I’ve become increasingly concerned that parents don’t seem to be aware of the importance of bringing their children to class on time. This year, tardiness is at an all-time high. At…

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Ask Rhee Gold | Parents Who Don’t Get Along

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, I’m in need of suggestions on how to deal with competition parents who have a hard time getting along with each other. They are adults—I shouldn’t have to police their interactions. Most conflicts arise over fundraising: they can’t agree on a fundraiser, no one steps up to take the…

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Ask Rhee Gold | The pros and cons of renting holiday costumes

Advice for Dance Teachers Dear Rhee, I have been presenting a holiday performance for many years. The expense of purchasing costumes has deterred some students from dancing in the show. To encourage more participation, I am considering renting holiday costumes to my students. I’ve never done this before and I am wondering if you have…

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