“If dance is in you, you’ll end up doing it somewhere down the line – you can’t avoid it!” said Jamie Theriot, owner of the Clermont Academy of Dance, located in Clermont, Florida.
Theriot grew up dancing and majored in the art during college. After graduation, she worked at the Walt Disney Company for a number of years, but her dance roots got the best of her and she struck out to open her own studio in 1997. Since then, she’s grown a thriving business that aims to inspire, motivate and educate through the art of dance.
A Step Above the Competition
In addition to having a recreational dance program of around 250 students, Clermont Academy of Dance has a number of options for students that want to take their love of dance to the next level. Theriot explained that what sets her dance studio apart from its competition is that she and her staff offer classes for just about every interest, age and skill level.
“For the size of our little town, there are quite a few dance studio options,” Theriot explained. “We want to be something else and give dancers another option. We do that by offering the two tracks – recreational and intensive study.”
In the intensive study program, called ISP, dancers are held to a higher standard of achievement, both in the studio and outside of it. Students are expected to commit to their goals and represent the studio in a positive light through their social and academic activities. ISP students are also given the opportunity to participate in the Main Attraction dance company, which performs at community events, or the competition team, which holds a number of national titles.
However, just as much careful thought and consideration are put into the recreational programs at Clermont Academy of Dance. Theriot strives to offer a variety of classes in different genres, for different age groups and interests. One of the studio’s newest offerings is the Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy, where young students between the ages of 3 and 6 are taught the basics of ballet through a series of classes based off the popular children’s books. The program not only teaches pirouettes and plies, it also encourages students to read more with in-class reading activities. The little dancers even have a special uniform, complete with adorable mouse ears.
Keeping Customers Happy with TutuTix
At the end of each season, Clermont Dance students and teachers show off the hard work they’ve put in throughout the year at their big recital. However, Theriot, like so many other successful studio owners, realizes that recitals aren’t just about showcasing talent. They’re also an opportunity to boost return on investment and win over potential new customers.
“One of the last things you want to have trouble with is selling tickets and seats,” Theriot explained. “It’s integral to your business because that’s where you’re going to make your money!”
After having a “nightmare of an experience” with another online ticketing site, Theriot tasked TutuTix to handle her recital ticketing in 2013. The ease of use and thoroughness of the customer service representatives sold her on the benefits of the service.
“The No. 1 thing on my list is customer service, and this company understands dance teachers,” Theriot said. “They understand studio owners, and they know that the biggest and most stressful time of the year is recital time.”
Both Theriot and her dancers’ parents were thrilled with the proactive service they received from TutuTix. Theriot noted that she happily recommends the site to other dance studio owners, especially those who have the weight of the world on their shoulders and could use a helping hand during recital season.