As artists, we often want everything to be perfect; we want our vision conveyed. This philosophy makes perfect sense when working at professional levels, but when we are working with our students and parents (a.k.a. our clients), it is important to be realistic in our expectations. There are times when simple measures outweigh supreme gestures, even if it means reaching a point of compromise. Some examples are below:
- Elaborate hairstyles are not necessary. Each routine does not need a new “look”, especially when an event is running on a tight schedule. If the routine contains good storytelling and dancing, the point will convey.
- In performance, less can be more in staging (in re: to lighting, sets, etc.). Often, studio owners are not working with huge show budgets, so it is better to show what you do best (dance!) than to shift the focus to other, lesser quality items (sets, large props, etc.). This is easier, more cost effective, and places the dancers as the focal point of the show (which pleases parents).
- When planning your year, keep in mind that your parents are often juggling multiple activities and multiple children; be realistic in your expectations. A 10-day tech week may not practical for your clients’ schedules. Know your audience.
At the end of the day, remember that your job is nurturing and growing students while maintaining realistic expectations. We are not just training dancers; we are also creating citizens and future arts advocates. Maintaining passion and connection to the arts in a structured, conductive, reasonable environment is the priority.