What I'd REALLY like is a studio that can separate their "home" from their "business" and stay organized, keep their staff informed, and keep everyone apprised of what purpose they serve within the food-chain so there isn't any "I dunno" confusion when people ask questions and want real answers. People who get too lazy and casual and "I dunno, lol, hadn't thought ahead that far yet" are really doing a disservice to other people who need to operate under more stringent uniformity for students who respect things like punctuality and reliability. Keeping everyone in the loop and not just assuming whatever word it is will get around is important. I believe in semi-regular business meetings, whether or not there's any real business to cover, so everybody knows what's what. Students need to be students, teachers need to be teachers, and owners need to step up when they need to. There needs to be some motivation, some incentive to keep students coming back, otherwise they start to ask themselves "Why on earth am I paying so much to do this? I'm not getting anything out of it!" and they'll go right back to whatever it was they did before dancing.
Back to topic- it's a small thing, but a place to store your junk would be nice, if, as another poster mentioned, it didn't become a catch-all. In the break room, we have a 'shoe closet', but it inevitably becomes "Whose are these? Are they even here anymore? Hey, they're my size..." so maybe that's not such a bad thing.
I just want to say thank you for this thread. I reread it all the time just to make sure we are implementing all of these thing a at our studio. Sometimes we just get so busy we tend to lose focus on what makes a good studio from the student perspective. So thank you dance forums.
I took it for granted until recently, but readily available water is a HUGE requirement in my mind. One studio I go to would be phenomenal (three rooms, great floors, accessible location) as a practice space, but they don't have a drinking fountain and their solution is to charge 2 bucks for a bottle. I'm stuck choosing between lugging two nalgenes in with me, refilling from the bathroom sink, or paying quite a bit to have enough water to make it through an hour of practice.
Our studio had bottled water, but stopped when people started taking a bottle, unscrewing it, and then leaving it, otherwise untouched for us to clean up. To top it off, the dudes even tried to hide it under tables, etc. which took more effort than to just walk their lazy asses up to the garbage can and toss it, or just bring their own. So now, if someone says "Got any water?" We give them a cup and point them to the faucet. Ideally, I'd LOVE to carry at least the little bitty water, but the expense AND the effort of policing it isn't worth it in a small studio. Bigger, sure, though.
I'm just praying that the statewide smoking ban gets passed this year, too. The owners smoke and some of the students, and they don't understand how many of our students the reek has run off.
In my area (Washington, DC and Baltimore), studios are extremely competitive for business because in this tough economy, there is less available disposable income. Therefore, all studios are putting their best foot forward if you'll pardon the pun.
The main difference of commonality that I've noticed is that studio staffers have become more "personable" in their approach. Many have "greeters" (like Wal Mart) to make us dance consumers feel more welcome. Many have changed their decor to make the studio appear more "homey" such as couches, tables and lamps in the studio foyers to make the place of business appear more like "home." One studio (The Promenade) even has a coat room.
Studios are bending over backwards to ensure our loyalty. For us consumers, this is WIN/WIN!
interesting...I would hate having a greeter when I walk into a studio...I would probably automatically assume that there would be a hard sell coming...even if it wasn't true...just simply because I have never had that sort of thing except at places where a hard sell was immanent...also, rightly or wrongly, I sort of feel suspicious about a place that is too much about its decor....I tend to look at the quality of the dancers, and the floor itself...but I could see how, in a very competitive venue, the extras make a diff.
gag...that would never work for me....both of my parents were heavy smokers...I can barely go through a revolving door with a smoker and not feel ill...no offense to smokers...I am just very sensitive to it
Yeah, I don't know that I'd like having a greeter, per se. That said, I remember showing up at a couple of studios for the first time and not being clear on what to do, where to go, how to pay, etc., and feeling kinda lost and ignored. It's not an issue for me now that I know how the ballroom world works, but I do think that it's good for there to be an obvious receptionist, or at least for someone to promptly welcome newbies.
Not IN the studio- but there's a break room that is not well-ventilated at all. It's embarrassing. I love my dance family, but that's one thing about it I don't love and wish I could change without offending anyone.
I can see both sides on the greeter...I'd hate to think I pay more to have someone's sole job be saying hi when I walk in, but having someone up front to direct people to the right rooms and take payment for groups/floor fees is definitely nice (though I also like studios/teachers that go by the "honor system". Call me quaint, but it's nice having a teacher or studio trust you.