Why #encorefamily…?- From a teachers perspective.
You’re looking for a dance school.. you ask for a recommendation on social media, you have a quick google search.. and before you know it you are faced with numerous webpage results and hundreds of recommendations from parents all over the coast.
So yep, suddenly you’re more lost than you were at the start of your search.
I had a similar experience when I moved to the coast 3 years ago. However I was on the other side of the fence as I was looking for somewhere to work. It’s quite hard to look for recommendations when you don’t know a single soul in the industry… and scary.
I come from a studio in the UK that was very much about family and loyalty. I was 3 years old when I started, I completed all of my exams there until I graduated and then returned after my full time training to complete my teaching qualification with them. It was my home away from home. My dance teachers were my mentors, not just through dance but life. I was supported, loved and guided. So you can imagine the standards that were set when I came across the pond to Australia to try and find a similar studio. I wouldn’t settle for less.
I emailed around 10 studios on the coast, I taught here and there but nothing beat the feeling I felt when I walked into Encore. Call me cheesy or cliché but its true. I instantly received the biggest welcome by Miss Kate & Miss Zoe and all of the students.
What made the difference for me was how I didn’t feel like I was on a ‘trial’ (although I was). I was allowed to teach the class how I wanted to teach the class with the reassurance of Miss Kate saying ‘I am teaching right next door if you need absolutely anything’. Instant support.
What I do know though, was that the lovely teaching assistant (Miss Kaylee) and all of the students I taught on that evening were asked how they enjoyed their class with me. This whole experience instantly told me 2 things about Encore;
1- Teachers are allowed to bring their own ideas and influences to the studio.
2- How the students react to their classes and their teachers was extremely important to the studio. They had a voice and it was heard.
It soon became apparent why the studios mantra was #encorefamily. It literally is a family.
Fast forward to now and I am about to start my third year as a teacher for Encore. If you have been following the journey over the last 6 months you’ll know about our new programme ‘Encore Kindy Kids’. There’s one thing that massively excites me about my programme, which hasn’t really been spoken about but I want people to think about, purely because to me it really adds a new meaning to #encorefamily. It is being able to offer our students a place to continue their journey when they reach prep or that want for a more structured dance class, our home studio’s Encore.
I have previously worked at numerous places all across the coast and my most common question was ‘where can I send my child now they are too old for this programme’ and I use to hate not having an answer. Parent’s wanted their child to continue with the same teachers and I couldn’t offer a solution. Prep is a big enough transition for little ones without their joy of dance being disrupted. I love love love that my programme has TWO home studio’s that I can now send little ones too and continue to dance with them. It’s not just about the dance. I get to hear about their day, I get to go through the journey of exams, the reassurance of worries they may face, other achievements, pass on advice from my own lessons that our seniors are now facing, their overall progress in life! I get to have contact with their parents and help them with things they might not know how too. I get to grow with them.
It gives my ‘job’ that extra meaning.
One of my favourite moments from last year was having one of my pre-junior’s worried about her first end of year concert. Our favourite time of year to bring our #encorefamily together. However, I had NO idea she was worried. She would be there waiting at the studio door waiting for the class to start, she would come bouncing in and have the most fun in class. She knew her dance, she loved her dance.. so you could imagine my shock when her mum pulled me to one side a month before concert to let me know of the conversations at home. “I don’t know the dance” & “I don’t want to do the concert”. It was like another child. But thanks to our communication I was able to have positive talks with my class as a whole and offer a chance for everyone to ask any questions about the concert. Worries and excitements were discussed regularly throughout the classes and soon it was concert time. This little star absolutely smashed her performances and she did not stop beaming! She absolutely loved it. It was just an absolute confirmation of how we all work together, parents teachers and students and create nothing but positivity and love.
That is just one small example of how students and parents are supported at Encore. But I’m a teacher at Encore. Not an owner, not a student, not a parent. A teacher. A proud one of that.
Encore wasn’t where I trained, it wasn’t my home studio. I have only been part of the #encorefamily for 3 years. And I love it, oh how I love my ‘job’! And I will keep putting the word ‘job’ in quotations. Because I feel lucky every single day that I get to come to Encore every day for a living. I am challenged, I am pushed, I am influenced and I am SO supported. I still have so much to learn. I have so much room for growth. And Encoreis where I am going to get that.
No one ever hears of things from a teachers perspective. But what you see is what you get. It’s not a marketing stunt, it’s not a paid add. It’s my new home away from home. It’s my life.
It truly is #encorefamily.
Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to- Richard Branson.
Miss Emily, x