Dec. 04, 2020 01:14PM EST
Leap! Executive Director Drew Vamosi (Courtesy Leap!)
Since its inaugural season in 2012, Leap! National Dance Competition has been all about the little things.
"I wanted to have a 'boutique' competition. One where we went out to only one city every weekend, so I could be there myself, and we could really get to know the teachers and watch their kids progress from year to year," says Leap! executive director Drew Vamosi. According to Vamosi, thoughtful details make all the difference, especially during a global pandemic that's thrown many dancers' typical comp-season schedules for a loop. That's why Leap! prides itself on features like its professional-quality set design, as well as its one-of-a-kind leaping competition, where dancers can show off their best tricks for special cash and merchandise prizes.
<p>When 2020's competition season was abruptly cut short due to the pandemic, Vamosi got right to work preparing for the next. With its<a href="https://www.leapcompetition.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> 10th Anniversary Tour,</a> Leap plans to double down on its detail-oriented approach to deliver a seamless and safe 2021 competition season, as more and more dancers finally get the return-to-the-comp-stage moment they've been dreaming of. </p>
<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg0NjcwMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1OTM0MTI4NX0.x2EhBUi1GbnTkL9xD2dxFeTqU0ILDpIUx-3qZR1XBaM/img.jpg?width=980" id="b5f35" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="efd2037bb88aaf5dcb5d28f6c029a978" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Dancers at Leap!'s new Ambassador Series convention (Courtesy Leap!)<p>"I spent most of our downtime working on our relationships with venues, as well as <a href="https://c4dc3734-7b17-44b1-b43d-bda3b7efd80d.filesusr.com/ugd/eb04aa_e09e8aac32924f33b6b7a842ac895f07.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">safety protocol,</a>" Vamosi explains. That protocol includes limiting audience members, requiring both dancers and audience members to undergo temperature checks and wear masks at all times (except when performing), adding more awards ceremonies throughout the weekend, and taking a whole new approach to scheduling. </p>
<p>In order to minimize close contact between dancers from different studios, Leap! groups together pods of only two to three studios to compete all of their group numbers at a time, with separate, sanitized dressing rooms for each team. That way, dancers can avoid the quick-change insanity that comes with group numbers back-to-back, while <em>also </em>avoiding the classic four-hours-between-your-two-group-routines dilemma. "Studios like being able to come in and get almost everything done at once safely, while also still having that aspect of competition that keeps it from feeling like a recital," Vamosi explains. </p>
<p>It wouldn't be a proper 10th anniversary without some new tricks. Launching this season is Leap!'s brand-new competition/convention experience, known as the <a href="https://www.leapcompetition.com/ambassador-events" target="_blank">Ambassador Series</a>. "We're excited to offer the thrill of competition, and the education of a convention, all in one experience," says Vamosi. To help dancers make the most of their weekend, Leap! will hold the convention <em>after</em> the competition portion, rather than during or before. "That way, dancers have gotten everything else out of the way and don't need to be worried about competing later on," Vamosi says. And Leap! has something special for teachers and studio owners as well: a private luncheon hosted by Vamosi himself, featuring an open-forum discussion about the dance studio and competition industries. Leap!'s next Ambassador Series event will be held in <a href="https://www.leapcompetition.com/copy-of-sacramento-ca" target="_blank">Bismarck, ND, in April 2021.</a></p><br>Visit <a href="https://www.leapcompetition.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Leap!'s website </a>to learn more about the 2021 season, including the competition's new Ambassador Series.<p class=""><br/></p></div>
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Sponsored by Just For Kix
Nov. 16, 2020 11:53AM EST
A personalized e-commerce tool like Just For Kix's Dance Teacher Program could be the one catchall that makes your job a bit easier. (Courtesy Just For Kix)
Being a dance teacher, coach or studio owner is no easy feat—especially right now.
But whether you're calmly prepping for next season or frantically gluing rhinestones for a performance that's now earlier than you expected, a personalized e-commerce tool like Just For Kix's Dance Teacher Program could be the one catchall that makes your job a bit easier.
With incredible customer service, special prices on exclusive products, and the option to create an online storefront for your team, Just For Kix's Dance Teacher Program provides coaches and studio owners with a simple way to generate income and make dancewear-buying more convenient for dance educators and parents alike.Dance Teacher spoke with Cindy Clough, owner and director of Just For Kix, and Kelsey Vercruysse, head coach of the Minnetonka Performance Dance Team, to learn how teachers can maximize the Teacher Program's stress-saving perks.
Special Pricing on Exclusive Products<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDc3ODU3OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwODk0NTA4NH0.N13DHypxrJiU4xXUmCu0DGahBE3T92H2kSQ0EnUL4rI/img.jpg?width=980" id="c4397" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="67ca9bd909070be42cb51eb3149096f1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The Teacher Program includes special promotions, confidential wholesale pricing and volume discounts on new products.
Courtesy Just For Kix<p>We all know teachers and studio owners shop way more frequently than the average dancewear consumer, which is why the <a href="https://www.justforkix.com/teacher-programs" target="_blank">Teacher Program</a> includes special promotions, confidential wholesale pricing and volume discounts on new products. Plus, members can combine other coupons with their Teacher Program discount for an additional 10-70% off.</p><p>"There are so many costumes that aren't in our catalog that nobody has seen," says Clough. "They're in this 'Teachers Only' area. So you can go in there and select them knowing that the parent has never seen the price, which is a great advantage." Costumes are priced as low as $9.99, which teachers can mark up as they see fit."</p>
Your Own Team Store<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDc3ODU4MC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDQzODExM30.AVGwW5Y1gTdzbYevGZuAxHMwyYWHobPyWC4ppliy-UM/img.png?width=980" id="c371d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="29f32be74d0e965b5fd5f86f5fbb10d6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The Move U team store allows Teacher Program members to set up an online storefront for parents to have exclusive access.
Courtesy Just For Kix<p>Just For Kix's <a href="https://moveu.us/stores" target="_blank">Move U store </a>allows Teacher Program members to choose from hundreds of customizable dance essentials and set up an online storefront for parents to have exclusive access.</p><p><a href="https://moveu.us/stores" target="_blank">Move U</a> includes everything "from sports bras and jackets to masks, hats and backpacks," says Clough. "The beauty of it is that a teacher can set this up, and then she can go 'Alright, parents, here's your log-in, here's what you have to purchase.' Then, they purchase what they need with the prices she's set. She doesn't have to touch the money. She doesn't have to do anything, but she makes the profit," she adds.</p><p>Vercruysse gets her team poms made using her Move U store every year. "Everything in my closet that I've ordered from years past, I still wear. And I know my dancers do too, because they come into practice with their things from years ago," she says.</p><p>Although <a href="https://moveu.us/stores" target="_blank">Move U</a> was created specifically with dance teams in mind, it's something studios can take advantage of as well. Having all of your studio-approved products in one place not only saves parents the hassle of going from store to store for all of their dance essentials, it frees you up from having to answer questions about what they need to buy for each class, age group or performance. So now you can spend more time building relationships with dance parents and less time debating the right shade of tights for ballet class. </p><p>"You can say, 'Here are your tights for class, for competition. Here are your shoes for tap, for ballet.' And you can put whatever you want in there," says Clough. "If you're a school team and you travel a lot, you could have a garment bag or a backpack. If you're a studio team, you could have their practice leotard, tights and recital outfit." </p><p>In-stock items ship the next business day, and they even provide members with 10 percent back on a Visa gift card for their store sales. "We've had teams order $12,000 worth of stuff. So, when you get your 10 percent back, that's kind of a nice kickback for that coach," says Clough. </p>
Game-Changing Customer Service<p>"I run <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/joinDCTU/" target="_blank">a Facebook page for about 9,000 different coaches and studio owners,</a> and the biggest complaint you hear on there is 'I called (insert company here) and they never answer me back! I'm just wondering where my costumes are!'" says Clough. "The cool thing about Just For Kix and Move U is that you can talk to a person and they will help you. And we'll call people back!" she says.</p><p>"This year has been very strange," says Vercruysse. "We had two weeks to get our fall team in order. I contacted Just For Kix and said 'How fast can you make masks?' And they were at my doorstep within two weeks."</p>
Endless Possibilities<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDc3ODU4MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTQzOTQ3OX0.50CyIt1oABNZz5xGPCifvbwv75wHF7sTWAiGtvX7e08/img.jpg?width=980" id="a0741" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6071eae3f3ef2594d2397bca9e3a8fc6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Just For Kix resident costume consultant Stacie meets virtually with Teacher Program members to answer any questions and give costume suggestions.
Courtesy Just For Kix<p>The longer you've been a dance teacher, the more you understand the challenge of picking a fresh recital theme each year that your dancers will be excited about. If you're ever stumped on ideas for an upcoming show, Just For Kix has been known to help out, offering potential themes, music and costume suggestions. And custom T-shirts for themed shows and holiday recitals aren't off-limits either.</p><p>"I have an idea, and I ask," says Vercruysse. "Even if Just For Kix doesn't have it right away, they've always gone above and beyond to figure it out for me." </p>
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