First published 2nd of Jan 2018
As we head into 2018, how are you looking to manage your dance studio this year? If you are currently using Movitae well with your students but would like to use it more with staff and for administration purposes, there are lots of options.
Movitae is a flexible platform, so as well as video, information and dance education sharing with your students there are many ways for you to support the running of your dance studio. Here are five suggestions for you that you may not have thought of.
1) Use Movitae as a social media-checking tool:
After paying a subscription to use a buffering tool for draft social media posts produced by the team and having lots of problems, we started using Movitae. Anything that needs checking is shared with the team as a whole or just to me for comment and sign off, first. Easy. It has meant that more team members can post directly to Movitae’s Facebook or Instagram page on behalf of Movitae after checking it with me, substantially reducing my workload. If there is something in the post I want more input on I can create a copy and share the post on to another member of the team, or if it needs rewriting I can create a copy, re-word and share back to the creator (note, the creator has to have ticked ‘allow copy’).
The ability to create collections of posts within an item that are to go out in that week also gives me an overview of what is planned for when and what might’ve been missed. I can also re-order the posts and title or comment directly on the image or video if I need to.
A scheduling tip for individual items is to use our date filter to order posts by the date on the post rather than the activity on it. This means you can change the date on the post so it is at the top ready to be created on the correct day for the person that is doing the posting. Note, there seems to be some evidence that automated scheduled posts from buffering tools may be penalized by social media so the fact that the final posting is natively through Facebook appears to be an advantage.
2) Create a monthly focus for the school (these can be general or specific e.g., lower leg, arms/port de bras, extensions, turns, balance, presentation, grooming, dance history,...):
Many teachers are doing a great job at supporting the class experience with tips, class vids and conditioning exercises from the Movitae database for their students, but even the most motivated teachers can find a group focus helpful and it is a good way to unite your studio. You could ask teachers to share their ideas for the focus that month?
Find a useful vid on YouTube or Vimeo (and/or an article or blog) that embodies your focus and share this with your teachers to share with their class groups. Ask them to support this focus in class and with appropriate exercises from the exercise lists for the students. If you want to really encourage home practice, ask students to share ‘evidence’ of their practice back to you or the teacher and use the Movitae rewards feature when they do.
3) Use Movitae for your school’s handbook:
The great thing about having the handbook on Movitae is that you/your administrator can update it with new information at any time and your students and parents will always have the latest version. Just edit the original item at any time. If the change is very important just share a new item telling everyone to check the handbook for changes (use #handbook on the original item to make it super easy for everyone to find). Note you could also do this with show information, studio policies and upcoming events.
4) Use Movitae for staff feedback and management:
More and more tools are being developed for small businesses to help them manage, motivate and encourage loyalty and a positive team culture from their staff. Movitae is not designed to be one of these, however, there are a few useful functions you can use Movitae for without having to pay for another ‘app’ (these appear to cost around $50 p/m for a small team). For example, team rewards. You could share an item giving the team or an individual a ‘High Five’ for excellent work or feedback from happy parents.
You can encourage Team members to award each other High Fives also. This can be a really nice way to encourage a positive and supportive team culture. Movitae’s new rewards feature could be used in this way for staff as well as for students. At Movitae we also use a system where each week team members note down their key focus or goals for the week. At the end of the week, they comment or tick off whether they have followed through with these and rate how they are feeling out of 5. I review this and comment back if needed. It takes the staff member/teacher 5-15 minutes and typically takes me 5 minutes per staff member, but is a great way to keep on top of how staff are feeling and any issues that might need addressing and provide staff with more support if needed.
There are a number of ways you can do this on Movitae, just create an item linked to a Google doc if you want a more open forum for your teachers. Or, just ask staff to create a new item at the beginning of each week (with a hashtag like #weeklyfocus to make it easy to find). Ask them to share this item with you at the beginning of the week and update it item at the end of the week. You could give them a Movitae reward for doing this. Comment #reviewed when you have checked it and catch problems before they become big issues.
5) Share lesson plans with relieving staff:
There are always those stressful occasions when a teacher can’t fulfill their teaching commitments at the last minute. Being able to prompt a teacher with what they could teach can be really helpful. There are a number of ways you can do this. For a written plan you can write out the lesson and share this (text in the item, pdf, word etc), or you can use the link in Movitae to link to a Google doc (make sure you have set up the permissions on the doc correctly for viewing). For video(s) of the lesson plan you can share a collection of videos from your phone or computer or use the ‘Add Exercise’ feature if your syllabus provider is on Movitae (note, you probably won’t need to share the music if the teacher has access to wifi or is happy to use their own data, as the audio on the videos will be fine and for studios who have their syllabi on Movitae relieving teachers could simply access the exercises with music via the programs tab).
If you don’t have your own videos on hand but need to send them something, remember you can always share a video from YouTube or Vimeo and Movitae itself has a few options for you – for example we have a number of hip-hop steps and combinations by Gabriel Sutton of Identity Dance Crew (across 3 different levels) that you could share to a teacher that perhaps struggles with that genre and has to relieve a class at short notice.
That’s five ideas for now but there are lots more and please do get back to us with any of your own thoughts, we love to hear them! Wishing you all a happy and successful 2018.
Want to hear how The Studio of Performing Arts Springfield use Movitae to support their students? Check out this blog!