Dance Business Weekly
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It's not just tornadoes and hurricanes. Even everyday disasters—a failed server, burst pipes, a fire—can cripple a small business. Use these advance-planning steps so you'll be able to jump into action when you need to—and keep your business thriving.

When Jayne DiPierro relocated her Staten Island, NY, store On Your Toes Dancewear, her reason wasn't to avoid damage from hurricanes—she was expanding into a bigger space. But as it happens, when Hurricane Sandy blew in, the new store was in a safer neighborhood and suffered no flooding. Even so, like many local businesses, DiPierro's business was closed for five days because of power outages.

"Small businesses are particularly vulnerable in the aftermath of a disaster," says Carol Chastang, spokeswoman for the Small Business Administration's Office of Disaster Assistance. "Many don't come back." A disaster-preparedness plan can help, but three out of four small businesses don't have one, according to a Symantec study. This is a short-sighted and costly mistake because the more quickly you get your business up and running again, the less revenue and the fewer customers you'll lose.

Here's what disaster and insurance experts have to say about protective steps your small business should take now—before disaster strikes—so that you can jump into action should you ever need to.

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Q: I'm looking to create some summer rituals and traditions at my studio. What are some of the things you do?

A: Creating fun and engaging moments for your students, staff and families can have a positive impact on your studio culture. Whether it's a big event or a small gesture, we've found that traditions build connection, boost morale and create strong bonds. I reached out to a variety of studio owners to gather some ideas for you to try this summer. Here's what they had to say.

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Studio Owners
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Dance studios are run by creative people with busy schedules, who have a love-hate relationship with props and sequins. The results of all this glitter and glam? General mass chaos in every drawer, costume closet and prop corner of the studio. Let's be honest, not many dance teachers are particularly known for their tidiness. The ability to get 21 dancers to spot in total synchronization? Absolutely! The stamina to run 10 solos, 5 group numbers, 2 ballet classes and 1 jazz class in one day? Of course! The emotional maturity to navigate a minefield of angry parents and hormonal teenagers? You know it!

Keeping the studio tidy? Well...that's another story.

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Dance Teacher Tips
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Q: Do you approach your K–12 classes differently than when you teach at a studio?

A: When shifting from teaching at a private studio to a public or private school, people need to rethink what the function of their class is. In a studio, the goal is most likely to teach technique, but that is not necessarily the case in K–12. Here, much of the students' days are filled with critical thinking, and my classes offer a chance for creative exploration.

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Studio Owners
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Q: I own a studio in a city that has a competitive dance market. I've seen other studios in my community put ads on Instagram and Facebook for open-call auditions in April, long before most studios have finished their competition season and year-end recitals. Is this fair?

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Just for fun

As dance teachers, we're always looking for new treats to hand out to our littles at the end of class. Rewards for good behavior can be a lifesaver when dealing with rambunctious up-and-coming dancers, but if they get too predictable, the candies can lose their persuasive effect. Thank goodness for seasonal trends in treats—they give us just the shakeup we need!

Since Easter is coming up fast, we thought we would share with you five different candy ideas to hand out this month. They're the break from lollipops that you've been looking for!

You're welcome!

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Just for fun
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The one thing that can unite all of us on April 15 is the fact that everyone hates doing their taxes. Though they are necessary, they are exhausting and time-consuming, and just plain no fun for anyone!

To help you cope, we've captured what doing taxes feels like through a series of dancer memes.

YOU'RE WELCOME!

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Studio Owners
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Today is National Equal Pay Day, and according to the U.S. Department of Labor, women make 78 cents for every dollar that a man earns. As studio owners, you are in a unique position to combat this statistic.

Here are three things you can do to make a difference in the future financial success of your students and employees:

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