DTM_Aug2010

This article was featured in the August 2010 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine. Chasta was interviewed by the magazine as one of three dance studio owners, and the section about her studio appears below. It is available online here.

Article Text

Chasta Hamilton Calhoun
Stage Door Dance Productions
(265 students)
Raleigh, NC

To help cover general operating expenses at Stage Door Dance Productions, Chasta Hamilton Calhoun holds several Parents’ Night Out events each year. While their parents have a night out to themselves, children ages 3 and older stay at the studio for four hours, learning fun dances, playing games and making crafts under adult supervision. “The children have a great, safe time and it reinforces our studio as a staple within the community,” says Hamilton Calhoun. “Everybody bonds and creates great friendships.”

For $35, each child gets pizza, juice boxes and a special craft, such as jingle-bell bracelets during Nutcracker season or animal visors for a zoo-focused function. The Halloween-themed “Tutu Boo” activity night cost $50 because the studio partnered and split the profit with a local tutu company to provide materials, so students could create their own tutus. In addition to making tutus, the children watched a Scooby-Doo movie, colored and learned a routine to “Monster Mash,” which they performed for their parents.

Hamilton Calhoun offers a half-price discount for a sibling, as well as an occasional half-off incentive for bringing a non-studio friend. Older students who volunteer to help with the events receive tuition credit. Payment is collected in advance and there is a strict no-refund policy. Each Parents’ Night Out attracts about 15 children and costs $50–$75 to produce. The profit ranges between $275 and $600 per function. “I personally love the events because they give me time to interact and learn about our students in a non-classroom setting,” says Hamilton Calhoun.