Small businesses / big challenges: the dance studio becomes virtual only
Aloha dance studio was founded by Tiffany Dick in 2002. Studio Līhuʻe has five part-time independent adult instructors and five student teachers. Dick says thousands of keiki have danced with the studio over the past 18 years.
How are you coping with the COVID-19 crisis?
The dance studio has closed its two Līhuʻe locations. Dick says that before COVID-19, the studio offered 30 ballet, hip hop, lyrical, jazz, contemporary and tap dance lessons for ages 3 through adulthood.
“Our cash flow has completely stopped. No lessons, no income, ”she wrote in an email.
Did your business continuity plan work or were there any surprises?
Dick says she tries to keep her teachers connected to students through a private Facebook group and a mobile app called Band that allows teachers to go live or chat with students and post choreography or warm-up videos. She adds that teachers encourage all household members to join students in these activities, which are currently offered free of charge.
“Most families cannot afford the monthly tuition fees right now due to unemployment, so we are offering our services to our current students and family out of love for dancing,” she wrote in an email. .
How has this crisis impacted your rental contracts for your studios?
Dick says the two owners showed empathy.
“They are very understanding and said to keep us posted and let us know what’s going on right now,” she said. “But they’re not giving late fees or demanding payment right now. I think we are all in this situation.
She adds that she applied for a disaster loan from the Small Business Administration for help.
How are you feeling as your business deals with the crisis?
“It’s very scary not knowing if our studio will be able to recover if things go on for a long time,” she wrote in an email. “I am hopeful that once we can return to classrooms free from COVID worries, our classrooms will be overflowing with students eager to dance and become sociable again with a new love of dancing. “
Have you found any glimmers of hope in these difficult times?
She writes that while most students miss the classroom, many enjoy the new online challenges instructors give them.
Do you have any tips for other local small businesses?
“I think a lot of people will adapt if we just give them that option,” she said, adding that “we’re all going to go through this together. It’s easy to worry and stress, but we have to be thankful that there are options so that we can continue. “