Friday, November 14, 2008

The Reason Behind NJ Dancers

I created a Social Network for Dance in August and in just 3 short months I have gained over 50 members. This may not seem like many to most, but I am very proud of the progress we have made. Some of you may wonder my reason for starting my Network, so here it goes...

On my main page my mission statement reads...

Welcome to my Network! Thank you for your support in my effort to create a positive, motivating, non competitive place for us to interact and share our love for dance. My goal is to be well known as a encouraging support system to our Dance community, and best of all, its Free! Help me in my effort and ask others who love dance in NJ to join too. Get yourself a badge or send them and invite. Questions, comments, suggestions are always welcome. I look forward to hearing from you all. Peace, Love, Dance!

As a young dancer I can remember my dance environment being extremely competitive. For instance; among other local dance schools, at competition(of course), auditions, and even among the girls in my own class. When my mother and I opened our studio, one of our main goals was to change that competitive attitude between dancers. We should unite, not be bitter towards each other. We all love dance, why not share our knowledge and motivate each other. We instill this positive behavior in all our students and accept nothing less. We also do not compete our dancers, we chose to teach our students to appreciate dance as an outlet and art form, nothing more. I wanted a companion to the mentality we have within our studio and to share our teachings with hopes that it will become contagious, hence NJ Dancers.

I recently opened up the Network to those who may not live in NJ, but who promote dance over the Internet. You can't really localize what they do, so we have adopted them into our NJ Dance Community. For example; dance bloggers, dance apparel, dance instructional sites, dance forums, etc. I feel this will be very useful to our members because not everyone has the time to search for all the valuable dance info out there on web. That's where I come in, providing resources at your fingertips on Dance NJ. You can find these awesome people under "featured members." I will also alternately display one of these members weekly on the main page so you can't miss what they are offering us.

I would love for you to stop by and visit NJ Dancers. I also love comments, suggestions, and questions.
As always, Peace, Love, Dance!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Power of the Net

You have all heard me mention before that this was Uptown's year to use the Internet to our advantage. It was long over due, using the power of the Net for advertising and networking. Our adventure started this past summer before our new season began. A very close friend of mine, Graziella Baratta, opened me up to the power of the Net. Sure the studio and I had Myspace accounts, but how about all of the other opportunities out there that are not as "popular". She informed me of Twitter, which has opened up many other doors and has motivated me explore. She also encouraged me to get an official website which was pretty easy since she was my web designer. She is very talented and creative, together we came up with a well received Site that many students and parents are enjoying. Here we are about 4 months later and I want to share with you some of my experiences.

Twitter: Short and Sweet. Follow people with similar interest. Attach links and info, meet and connect with people. So far I've met some awesome dance bloggers, one in which inspired me to start my own (Thanks Nichelle of Dance Advantage.) I've also been introduced to dance communities and sites through Twitter which I will make note of below.

Ning: Similar to Myspace or Facebook but a little more specific. My Ning Network is for Dance in NJ. My goal is to be well known as a encouraging support system to our Dance community, and best of all, its Free! I'm making a big effort to create a positive, motivating, non competitive place for us to interact and share our love for dance. I will talk more in detail about my mission behind this in my next post.
*Two other Ning Network for Dance: Dance New York and Dance Advantage Interactive

Helping Hands, My circle of Info.
Below I will list my dance discoveries thus far in my effort to make full use of the Net.

GenDance: "The NEW weekly e-newsletter and trend-zine for the NEXT GENERATION of dance." Dance Trends, News and Media. I found GenDance at the UDMA Costume Preview Show.

DanceHere: "You’ll find the best news, advice, reviews, and resources from within the world of dance." I found Dance Here on Twitter.

Dance Teacher Web: “Proven tips, tools and tactics to gain, train and retain better students!” Videos and articles for dance teachers and studio owners. You must become a member to access the info on this site. I found Dance Teacher Web at the UDMA Costume Preview show, we won a free month =)"A collaborative online community and resource that is full of information on everything you need to know to attract more students, retain top talent, inspire loyal faculty and staff and love the business of dance." I found DSO in a Magazine where they were offering a FREE ebook and Tip of the Week Newsletter. You have limited access to the website for free and must join for full access. I became a member and highly recommend the site. Some time after I also found DSO on Twitter.

Dancer Universe: Everything dance wrapped up into one site. Uptown Dance is listed with this site under Dancer Lessons. I found Dancer Universe through their magazine.

Merchant Circle: A well know place to promote any business. You can join the 620,000 businesses across the country who rely on Merchant Circle to manage their online reviews. Best of all, it's FREE!

Dance Plug: "The ultimate Dance Network featuring Online Dance Classes." I found Dance Plug through Nichelle of Dance Advantage.

Dance Jam: Another Network for Dancers. Create a profile, upload and vote on videos. Imagine a Myspace/Facebook combined with YouTube, but just for Dancers. I found DJ on Twitter.

I hope you all find this information useful. Maybe you will find opportunity just like I did. I am very much enjoying the benefits and hope you find something that interests you in the post as well. Questions and comments are always welcome. If you know of any sites, networks, blogs, etc. please share.

Peace, Love, Dance!
Miss Leslea