Whether your studio is a one-woman show or has a staff of 50, some extra help cleaning mirrors, mopping floors or helping maintain order in class is always appreciated.
Ashley Crockett runs the work-study program at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley, California. With a roster of 20 active participants, the program is vital to SADC running smoothly. Here, Crockett shares seven ways that work-study benefits the studio and students. Considering offering a similar program at your studio.
For Your Studio
1. Facility upkeep: AT SADC, work-study students sweep and mop the four studios every morning. They also clean mirrors and barres, replenish supplies and straighten up the dressing rooms, bathrooms and lobby.
2. Help with events: “For events and show productions, we call on work-study team members for ushers, box office, technical support, concessions and other various jobs,” says Crockett.
3. Training ground for future staff: Crockett notes that many SADC work-study members grow to become either teachers or front desk receptionists.
For Your Students
4. Financial assistance: “[Founders] Frank Shawl and Victor Anderson wanted the studio to be accessible for dancers of all ages and backgrounds,” says Crockett. “We work with many students who are in the midst of finding their way and appreciate the opportunity to work for free dance classes.” At SADC, one hour of work equals one free class.
5. Networking: Crockett says that work-study can be especially beneficial for students new to the area. “A bustling dance center is filled with many connections that can lead to opportunities outside of the program.”
6. Work experience: Students can build their resumés. “We have administration opportunities, where team members work alongside desk staff for special projects,” says Crockett. “We sometimes have them come in for temporary or part-time work.”
7. Skill-building: “Work-study can be an opportunity for learning important skills to take into future jobs, dance-related or not,” says Crockett. Work-study members develop strong work ethic and time management, among other skills.