Today is the day I am retiring the phrase ‘Dolly Dinkle’ as a dance studio descriptor, and I hope others will join this movement. The phrase is uncomfortable, and it is downright insulting that our industry would have such a degrading label to describe dance studios. Whether you approach the topic of the ‘Dolly Dinkle’ studio with pride or an aversion, the connotation and intent insinuates that a ‘Dolly Dinkle’ studio is ‘less than’ its peer studios. There is something seriously flawed in this type of mentality. Among us, who wants to be labeled less than anything?
Why are we so focused on other schools? Do we find enjoyment in pinpointing or describing the ‘Dolly Dinkle’ school? In my research for this article, I was appalled with the blog posts, tweets, comments, articles, and discussion forums that centered on this issue. People offered varying perspectives and interpretations, with descriptions ranging from small basement studios with quality training to large, money-hungry competitive studios lacking solid technique. In my reading, there was no clear definition of the ‘Dolly Dinkle’ studio, but there was an awful lot of judgment. Should we not invest that energy, focus, and time into our own projects?
What if we removed the labeling and focused on improving our industry? After all, we are one of the few child-oriented, privatized industries to require no level of accreditation or regulation. Collectively and individually, we must commit and choose to hold this industry to a higher standard. Make your studio the best it can possibly be and approach your work from a business-oriented perspective. Let’s strip away this industry stereotype so that we can evolve into our fullest potential. If we commit to this paradigm shift, the ‘Dolly Dinkle’ label will eventually only be a distant memory of the dance studio industry’s history…and, I don’t know about you, but I think ‘Powerful Polly’ sounds much better than ‘Dolly Dinkle’. 😉