So it's been a few months since our crazy relaunch of Bey Dance as a Fancy Official Very Proper Company, and things haven't got any less crazy for us here in Bey Admin. "Slowing the pace" just doesn't seem to be a thing any of us can understand!
Firstly, thank you SO SO much to our students, new and old, who have patiently stuck by us through this transition. We know just how confusing and frustrating it's been, believe you me. It's always hard when you're used to things working one way, and suddenly it all up and changes. We asked no small thing of you getting used to a new way of doing EVERYTHING and we love you for believing in us. Change is hard for all of us, and we really wanted to maintain the core value of fun, inclusivity and community at the heart of Bey Dance. It was especially hard having to increase our prices, given that we want to keep Bey Dance affordable for people as much as possible. Please know that this was done with no inconsiderable amount of careful thought, based on huge increases in overheads associated with becoming "Official". Essentially, our price increase has not been implemented to rip people off, but to encourage people to pre-book and commit to courses. You pay no more for the course in full if you pre pay than you did previously. We had to do this to minimise admin in dealing with cash and to protect us against too high a student drop off from casual attendees. Courses run better and are more fun for everyone if people join at the start and stay for the duration, rather than dropping in and out. We thank you for your commitment to courses and for letting us know in advance when you can't attend.
That said, we do cater to the commitment-phobes here at Bey Dance with our casual drop in Bey Party class at the LuWOW. This class will be coming soon to Adelaide also so keep an eye out. You don't need to pre book for Bey Party and can drop in casually with no requirement to ever show up again...although of course we hope you will ;)
Our brand new Perth classes start in the coming weeks, with Love On Top soon to be added to the calendar for those who missed out on Bootylicious. We're sorry for the delay in getting the course up for you eager WA beavers! Please know that this was in no way due to lack of enthusiasm from us and purely based on lack of studio availability.
Here in Melbourne we've been very much enjoying an unexpected trend of students dressing up in costumes for the final filming of the last class in a course. Students Justin and Joseph even brought UV lights and paints for our last Blow class! We would love to see the same enthusiasm for dress ups from Adelaide and Perth...you know you want to ;) Remember to tag us on Facebook and Instagram if you do!
Our Dance Captains all gathered on the weekend of May 23rd in Anglesea at the lovely Gen's family holiday house (can't thank the Simmons family enough for this!) for a weekend of training and prep so that we're ready to launch all the new classes with everyone on the same page and as prepared as possible to make a flawless experience possible for our students. This training camp was also the perfect chance for the Captains to get together and have fun in each other's company after a hectic few months of being ships in the night running between classes. We art therapied and danced and chatted and ate too much food on top of prepping for the term to come. It was especially wonderful introducing the Melbourne team to Bey Boss Lauren from Adelaide and to our head of Perth Bey Dance, Mel, for the first time. It was an amazing feeling to see what a great team we have assembled and how much love everyone has for each other and what we do. We were only sad to be missing Keely, who is currently in India, Chloe, who had to stay back and work in Adelaide and Angie, who has sadly left us to return to the UK. But let's leave a smile on your faces with this very tongue in cheek tribute we filmed to Beyoncé's iconic 7/11 video. No small amount of wine was involved in the filming of this...apart from for me. But more on that later!
As part of the training weekend we introduced our newest dance captain. Stacey has absolutely shone with enthusiasm in classes this year and we're delighted to add her to the team. For the moment, Stacey will be mostly in charge of workshop classes, but we hope to have a regular week night class for her soon. Stacey is originally from Perth and has studied all sorts of different dance styles as well as performing burlesque. We're so happy to have our Melbourne team complete.
As well as getting our new systems running smoothly and training up our wonderful Captains, I've been as hard at work as ever on the major headache which is getting our Melbourne studio home, Factory Blue, built. This has turned out to be a project of mammoth proportions and cost and has been in no small way heartbreaking. But, I keep telling myself, one day when they make a movie about Bey Dance, we need to have our hero's journey: the Insurmountable Odds Overcome Through The Power Of Love And Dance. Don't you think it will be a wonderful film? Empowering Dance Community wins over a Cold Hearted Council and Wary Neighbourhood through the passion and joy of dancing and optimism? We'll get there! For those who remember, last October we ran a fundraising program involving a showcase performance and Pozible Campaign to raise money to take on the lease on a Brunswick warehouse. At that stage, none of us realised how huge a project this was going to be, especially with the school growing as fast as it was. Through the generosity of students and their family and friends, we raised enough money to sign the lease on our dream warehouse and put some aside for renovations. However, at this stage, council processes became a huge road block. The lease was signed in December 2014 and here we are by June 2015 with the space still empty and un-renovated and chewing through vast financial resources. However, it's not all bad news. We now have the ok from Council for the studio to be built, conditional on meeting sound proofing requirements. We have to build a semi soundproofed studio WITHIN the Victoria St warehouse to ensure that noise levels from classes are below the legal guidelines and cause minimal disruption to neighbours. We don't STRICTLY need to build a sound proofed studio, but I would rather Bey Dance cause as little angst to the street as possible as I can think of nothing worse than running classes in a hostile environment. At this stage, my goal is to move Brunswick classes to Factory Blue by August, but fingers crossed, I've been burnt before! For everyone involved in fundraising last year, don't you worry, your work and donations have not gone to waste! We will get our studio home. Just...a little later than we'd hoped. On that note, there was a bit of disruption to our distribution of Pozible rewards. If you haven't yet received yours, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally? Big news for me personally which will impact a little on Bey Dance. In early April I discovered, quite unexpectedly but not unhappily, that I was pregnant. Over the past two months, teaching in between bouts of exhaustion and morning sickness while working on all of the above mentioned projects has been a challenge like no other, but I'm reassured that it should get easier soon. We will have a little Beyby by December, which is a little more than my brain can wrap around right now! It was so exciting sharing the news with students over the past few weeks and finally being able to explain why I've been scattier than usual in class. Watch to the end of this Love On Top class video to see how the 9pm beginner class took the news. I can't wait to rock out my leotards once I have a proper baby belly to show off. But I will be cutting back on classes in the coming months. Despite my determination to continue as before, I'm finding teaching is taking more out of me than I would like. So I'll be moving down to just Wednesday classes in the near future. As much as I live by the rule WWBD? sometimes you've got to take the pressure off and say "just cos Beyonce did the Billboard Awards AND Glastonbury while pregnant, doesn't mean YOU have to". Also...full time in house staff and a chef would help a great deal...just an observation ;) The best news is, now I will be better prepped than ever before to devise Mummy and Beyby classes, which we'll get going in 2016.
Other big projects in the works are a Melbourne student showcase for October currently in the planning (let your Captains know if you want to be involved) and Flashmob classes for Brisbane Fringe in August, hopefully soon to be followed by regular QLD classes. We just want to keep spreading the Bey Love and hope to see you in a class, wherever you may be, REAL SOON!
All the love,