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A day in the life!

Following on from World Teachers day last week we thought we would have a little chat with our Miss Ava to find out what a typical day is like for her and the teachers of DanSci. Though every day differs, sometimes the teachers are offsite as we run classes in Exmouth and Crediton but this typifies a usual weekday…and it’s jam packed!

5am At around 5am on weekdays my husband gets up to take the dog out. I usually complain and pull the duvet over my head for moment but am trying really hard to get some ‘Me time’ and this is literally the only hour I am by myself so I will stick on a meditation by Calm or the Samsung app then I get up and do a 15/20 min HIit workout. I have a few old niggling injuries, if I don’t do something daily to set my body and warm up thoroughly then I pay for it later on!

6-7am This is a great time to check emails for anything urgent and the day’s activities. Over a cup of tea I will schedule some social media posts and add any reminders for the day. It’s really important for me to get in the shower and my make up done before waking the kids. The other half is fantastic at making the packed lunches, so I’ll nab the bathroom while he does that then swop when I put on the laundry (it’s a never ending mountain of clothes in our house!) He is out the door by 7am, I am sure it’s so he doesn’t have to listen to the kids winging!

7-8am The battle of the little people! The girls have this horrible squawk that leaves your ears ringing if they don’t have guidance in the mornings. Usually I try and split them up. One having breakfast while the other showers then swop. A few arguments over school uniforms and hair styles generally ensues. Toby, just quietly potters about avoiding as much human contact as possible, before he leaves to walk to school at 8am

8-9am We aim to get out of the house at ten past 8. It usually ends up being twenty passed with extra screaming on my part! We have to drive the school run, not because we live far from school, but I just can’t get into work in time otherwise. Once I drop them and do the usual playground catch ups I’m back in the car for 8.45 heading into town (It is at least an electric car as I do worry about all the short journeys I do around town)

9am-1.30pm Each day varies but I currently teach at Exeter college so start the day with 3 ballet classes with the 16 -18 year olds. It’s a great challenge and inspiring to work with this age group who really want to learn. However, it is tiring and the workload preparing for classes and marking assignments etc takes up more time than I would like. Since moving into the new studio and taking on such a financial burden I have had to work else where as the studio is not in a position to pay me anything yet. At the end of the day I still have a mortgage to pay; as a Director of a company I’m not entitled to income support or benefits even though minimum wage is still a distant dream!

Parents think that because we’re always smiling and look like we’re having lots of fun, that what we do is easy! It’s our job to project that to our dancers so that they get the best class they can, even if can be far from the truth.

1.30-2.30pm I tend to ring the studio and check everything is going ok at this point. We have such a fantastic team now that it is reassuring to know that they are dealing with most things on a day to day basis. I do get them to heat me through a panini or hotbox as I am dashing back from college and I’m usually starving by this point! I don’t have long to catch up with the team so this way I can scoff some food while we have a team meeting. Thank goodness we finally are able to serve food in the juice bar! The business is a constant learning process and there are always more hoops to jump through than you can imagine! We recap the finances in the meeting to check invoices are being chased. It has been great moving over to Direct Debit but when we are still in our infancy and running at a loss each month it’s extra important to keep on top of the ins and outs. There are so many hidden costs to running a business that consumers do not necessarily realise such as the council rates, waste & sanitary disposal, music & TV licences, insurance, pensions contributions etc

Of course Miss Harley and myself have to plan our fabulous Weekly Wednesdays however, we re usually like passing ships so generally do most of our planning together via apps and emails…maybe this is why we speak so fast in our videos!

2.30-3.30pm School run time again! It’s time to dash back across town and grab the girls from school. They dance most nights so are used to coming into the studio. They get the staff to help with their homework some nights too!

4pm-5.30pm Luckily, I don’t teach at 4pm except Fridays now as this is a killer after

the school run chaos so I generally put this time aside to covering reception breaks and admin catch up or if I have to prepare a little more for one of the evening classes. It’s a busy time in the studio with kids classes running so I do like to take the time to speak to parents and our dancers as they are in the communal areas and the Juice Bar. I think it is really important to still keep that face to face contact

5.45-8.30 Teaching adult classes. I have different levels to the adult ballet classes now which I adore as it means I can explore more technique with them but does

mean an added lesson plan to prepare. PBT is always fun too as we have so many giggles, any class that utilizes props is always entertaining. The girls are picked up about 6pm to go home for tea. On the nights they have to stay late they ae learning how to take orders in the juice bar. Lucy is getting good at shakes with a little help to reach the blenders!

The studio closes at 9pm so the last half hour is spend just shutting everything down. Answering any questions from the admin staff and waiting for the last few dancers to leave

9.30-10.30pm Finally heading home. I’m generally starving so hope that there are left overs. If collecting Toby from cadets I may drop in for a sneaky peak at the reduced section in Lidl. Love a bargain when hungry! I find I can’t go straight to bed so once I am in. I’ll potter doing any little bits like hanging out the washing and then indulge in a spot of TV. At the moment I am revisiting my youth and watching Two Pints. A half hour comedy is a great way to decompress ready to start it all again tomorrow.

So there it is, a general day. Some days more admin (which I am not great at, being dyslexic and useless at typing it always takes longer than I’d link…not to mention being queen of procrastination!) as I need to bash out the promo stuff some days more teaching as I have back to back classes. Saturdays are great as I finish at 4pm…this time of year that means pizza and Strictly Come Dancing with the kids! The studio is hired out some Sundays, but when it’s not we try to have family days, even if it just a walk to the park. The whole point of starting the studio was so I could spend more time with my kids and spread the joy of our art form. This past year has been difficult trying to remember that when you work such long hours and there is no financial gain but I can already see that things are improving and that it was worth taking the risk to move to the new premises. Let’s celebrate with the show case and see where 2020 takes us!

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