DDF – The Studio That Became Family

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DDF – The Studio That Became Family

by Michelle Mesch, instructor

Have you ever wondered why you chose the studio you did to study and train at? One day you find yourself a few years into your journey and look around and think, “How did I end up with such a great, dysfunctional family in my home away from home?” For me, when I started at DDF, I was worried about class sizes and the individual attention I might need starting out – would class run smoothly? Would I feel like I stood out too much? Would I even get along with anyone let alone make new friends? All of these questions haunted my mind before I went, but I did it anyway because I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, and as I’d soon found out, pole=life. So fast forward to the end of my first class – none of my anxieties ended up happening, I was hooked, and already asking to take privates. Now I find myself 4 years in, teaching, and still feeling just as accountable & connected at the studio than ever before.

So what about my first class kept me there? Well, for starters, it wasn’t just the first class. There’s a study around businesses that says a customer is about 40% likely to come back to an establishment after a good first experience. Even after a second visit with a great experience, the customer is still only 43% likely to visit again. It’s only after a 3rd visit with a positive experience that the likelihood of a customer returning jumps to 74%. So why does that matter? As dancers in an intimate studio environment, the studio isn’t just about working out – it’s much more personal than that. It becomes a safe haven, a place to make new friends as adults, a place where we can try new things and feel both vulnerable and comfortable at the same time. The importance of the studio setting feeling like a family environment with positive, encouraging peers is an integral part of the customer experience. It brings the entire workout experience to the next level and provides a myriad of benefits for us as students.

​Overall, it’s a much less pressured situation than that of a gym or more competitive environment. You can make mistakes and laugh at yourself, you can provide help and feedback to each other (respectfully, of course), and you can YAAASSS GIRLLLLL til’ the cows come home all in the name of supporting your fellow students. You’re also more likely to end up around individuals who have the same wants and needs from a studio and are usually following a somewhat similar emotional path as yours. That being said, EVERYONE is welcome here, and treated with the same respect no matter their background, level of dancing, path in dancing, or reason for dancing. Smaller classes make things much more personal, so you should get to know the other students rather well. Also, with all of the events and group hangouts we have, you’re bound to make some close friends one way or another, and eventually, you’ll probably start to feel like they’re your family too.