Thursday, September 27, 2012

NMM: September Contemporary Playlist

It been a while since I've done a New Music Monday post, so I thought I'd share my updated music from my contemporary classes.

I'm teaching a beginning contemporary class this year of ages 10-14, instead of just my usual 15 and up class, so it has been a challenge to find some music that is relatable to a 10-year old.  In fact, when I tried playing the slower, lyrical-type music for the younger class, they asked if I had any faster or "fun" music.

So far (third week in), I have found a balance of "fun" and "serious" music keeps everyone happy - we are working on emotions in combinations, but then we keep it more upbeat during technique portions.  What do you find works best for this age group?

Songs For Contemporary Combinations

All links open in iTunes 

Songs For Contemporary Class - warm-up, across the floor

Friday, September 21, 2012

Currently Loving: New Capris

I was recently doing some shopping for fall clothes (online, of course, because who has time to go to the store anymore?!) and I grabbed two pairs of these babies from Forever21.

I use Forever21 for cheap tank tops and basic T-shirts to teach in and to layer under other shirts / over leotards, basically anything under $5 because I know its not great quality, but I'll get some good wear out of it and I like options.  I had a gift card to use and they had a sale so I added something over my usual $5 limit:  the Contrast Ruched Athletic Capris (colors too!). 

Just got them in the mail today and I LOVE them!

I was expecting the usual cheap cotton fabric, but they're actually quite nice being spandex, nylon and polyester.  They fit like leggings rather than capris, but I like that there is color on the bottom.  They ran me $15.60 each - I think they're now $17.80, but that's not too bad considering I will probably wear them every week or so.

They will be a cute update to my usual BLACK on BLACK teaching uniform. 

What do you wear to teach in (or take class)?  Score any new stuff for the new teaching season?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Will An Electronic Signature Hold Up In Court?

Does one click make this contract legally binding?
Have you switched to online registration, but have the urge to chase people down to sign a paper copy because you're not sure if the electronic signature will hold up should you ever need it to?

Maybe you don't have to!

Disclaimer:  I am not a lawyer and "The Dance Buzz" is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice.  If legal advice is required, please seek the services of an attorney.

The signature is only as good as the contract.

First things first.  If your contract on paper wouldn't hold up in court, then an electronic version won't either.

Have your registration contract created or reviewed by a legal professional to make sure you are including the right language and terms.

Be sure to tell your legal professional what you want the contract to do:  Cover liability?  Create a tuition contract?  Be very specific in your contract and make it air-tight.  Once you have a good contract, then we can move online.

What exactly is the law?

Hand On MouseIf you operate in the United States, your electronic signatures will most likely be governed by the Uniform Electronics Transactions Act (UETA) and E-SIGN law.

The UETA has been adopted by 47 states and Puerto Rico, so unless you live in New York, Washington or Illinois, it will cover you.

How does UETA protect me and my dance studio? 

A large part of this act applies to electronic signatures, which how your customers "sign" your contract and policies when they register online.

Two of the most important parts of UETA are Section 7, which gives electronic signatures as much legal value as a paper signature would, and Section 12, which eliminates the need to retain a paper copy of a registration form.  This means that in court, e-signatures = paper signature and no more paper filing for us!

Anything else I should know?

Your must provide a way for your customer to print or save the contract or agreement from your website or else it will not be legally binding.

The UETA words it as making the information "available to all parties", which means there must be a way to print or save the contract at the time of signing online so that they can keep a copy of it if they wish (Section 8 or UETA).

pen and paper
No more chasing down parents to sign registration forms!

So bottom line, should I have parents sign a paper copy even though they signed up online?

Nope, an online signature is legally binding and a paper copy of the same contract would be redundant and unnecessary paperwork on your end.   

Save yourself some time and effort trying to get all those parents to sign the registration forms!

At our studio, I make available a paper copy of our online contract and policies.  I leave them out on the wall for people to take.  I would say only about 10-20% of our customers will actually grab one to take home or read.  

Ok, I live in New York, Illinois or Washington or somewhere else the UETA does not apply.  Am I covered?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Attempted DIY: Dance Quote Sign

Please ignore my alien hand and unpainted fingernails.  Ok admit it, now you're staring.

The Problem

Last year, we installed a drop-ceiling in one of our dance studios to relieve some echoing and to save some heating costs.  Can I get a "what what" for leasehold improvements? 

While the studio looks great, it left this ugly spot in our dressing room area where the back of drywall shows through.  

Unattractive dressing room side.

I didn't have any leftover paint from that room to disguise the grey sheetrock.  I did however find a piece of wood they removed during the project and Voila! an idea was born!

The Plan

I would make a sign with a dance quote on it to help fill in the empty space!  

I debated for a while about what to put on it... should it says something bold like "Through this door, stars are made" or something inspiring like "Dance like no one's watching" or something strict like "RESPECT"?  I finally settled on an inspring, but not quite as cliched quote:

"We are the dancers. We create the dreams"*

* Side note... this is actually then ending of a longer quote that I love:  "Dancing in our heads... We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams." This source attributes it to Albert Einstein, but don't quote me on that (pun intended).

The Process

To begin, I made a mock-up of my design on the computer and played around with fonts and layouts.  

Looking back, I wish I had gone a little bit bigger with the font-size, so that the quote filled in more of the sign, but I still like how it turned out.

I printed out the design onto paper and taped it onto my board:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September Blog Challenge: Inspiring Video

Participating in this month's challenge?
Feel free to this bad boy to your post
so you can be official!

Back to School, Back to Dance

For many dancers, parents, teachers, September means one thing: Back to School!

While I'm sad summer is ending, a new dance season is always exciting and my time off has made me anxious to start teaching again.

I've spent the last few weeks searching for some new music and watching dance shows and performances for some inspiration.

September's Blog Challenge Mission:

Last month's challenge was to share the inspiration from books. For September, your mission is to share a video that inspires you.

Your video that you share can be a dance performance you find inspiring on YouTube or just you vlogging about why you dance, teach or just love dance. (Just don't go all eharmony cat lady on me about your love of pointe shoes or something!)

How to Participate:

If you have a blog, share or link to your inspiring video and post a few words on why you like it.  Then make sure you leave a comment with a link to you post so we can all read it!

Don't have a blog? No problem! You can participate by leaving a comment below, tweeting @thedancebuzz or posting to our Facebook wall a link to your favorite dance video and why!

Can't wait to see your inspiring videos!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Preparing The Studio For A New Season

My studio's dance season opens Friday and these last few weeks have been a whirlwind of projects, phone calls, paperwork and a bit of end-of-summer procrastination.  

This year will be my fifth season as studio director and I am excited to challenge myself this year with being more creative and at the same time more organized.

So here's a glimpse at the last few weeks of studio life.  I had planned to share some of these projects as I was doing, but in reality, they will be shared in a future post... once students and classes settle down into their routines!

Wishing you all the best on your new dance season!

Cleaning floors... 
...messy rooms
Arts & Crafts...

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