Woohoo! It's time for another Backstage Blog! Today I'm sharing my chat with Claire O'Shea, of Claire O'Shea Coaching, and the rockstar behind one of my favorite podcasts, The Business of Dance. Not only is Claire a breath of fresh air when it comes to new perspectives on seeing and running your dance business, but she hails all the way from Australia (the Backstage Blog is going international!). Get comfy and ready for a great convo my friends, and be sure and give Claire a like over on Facebook, and see all her awesome work here!
KC:What's your earliest memory of dance?
CO: That's a tricky one! I remember always being around the studio, but I would say my clearest first memory was my first community performance with my eisteddfod team at about 8 years old. We had bright blue and orange flare pants with a big flower on our chest! Groovy!
KC: What's your background with dance? Was it love at first plie?
CO: My Mum started me in classes at 3 years old and I have never looked back. I think like everyone we go through times of being tired or "overwhelmed" with school and everything. But my love of dance has seen me through every period of my life so far!
KC: How did you get into teaching? What's your favorite thing about it?
CO: I think like a lot of Teacher's I first started assisting in classes and my passion and skills grew from there. My Teacher growing up was always such a fantastic Teacher herself and always educated us on the best teaching practices and methods. I have always been quite loud and outgoing which many of my students seemed to respond to at first which was a real boost for me at a young age. From there, I started co-teaching classes with other senior students before moving on to taking my own classes and completing my Teaching qualifications through the Australian Teachers of Dancing.
KC: Who are your dance heroes, and why?
CO: My dance heroes are so varied! I particularly love seeing and watching new young choreographers online. There is so much more exposure these days! But at the heart of it, my dance heroes would have to be Studio Owners. I see online through Facebook groups, the emails I receive and also discuss with my clients the daily the struggles of owning a business and all that comes with owning a Dance Studio. But at the end of the day their passion for the performing arts and providing a wonderful dance experience for their students really shines through. Those people are the heroes in my eyes!
KC: Tell us about your coaching business, Claire O'Shea Coaching. How did you decide to incorporate mindset awareness into your coaching?
CO: To me this is such an important part to living a really happy life. You can be the most amazing business owner in the entire world, but if you have a negative outlook on your life or business, or are stuck with a preconceived idea of what your business should be.... then are you really successful? A strong mindset can really change so many things. In our industry, I see a lot of Studio Owners feeling "less than" because of student numbers, money or a myriad of other little things. But with some mindset shifts, we can really start to see the wonderful things about our businesses and focus on the positive aspects rather than the negative. Incorporating journalling or mediation is a great way to get started, find clarity and review your past accomplishments or achievements.
KC: What's one of your favorite funny or heart warming stories about teaching dance?
CO: I just adore receiving drawings or cards from students at random times of the year. It means they are thinking of us at home or school which is so lovely! I also get such a kick out of looking at my senior students and seeing how far they have come since we opened the studio. We also have 'show and tell' in the lead up to any performances and I just love watching the faces of our younger students as they dance. Truly inspiring!
KC: Are there any cliches or preconceptions about dance you try to correct in your work?
CO: That Dance Studios are anything like "Dance Moms". I don't watch that show as I can't stand the fighting. But when people ask if that is what my business is like I respond with a very quick NO. None of us would have any clients (or friends for that manner) if yelling at a parent (or anyone) was at all appropriate. So basically, not all dance studios are drama filled!
KC: What's next for you and your businesses? Do you have any exciting projects on the horizon?
CO: *Insert mischievous laugh here* Yes! We have a lot of new plans and projects in place to ensure that we are always supporting Dance Studio Owners in the best way possible and in the areas they are actually wanting help. As a Business Coach, it is great to help clients with clarity, tasks, projects and goal setting, but now I am thrilled to also offer services to help ease the load for Studio Owners. Aside from that, I am in the process of finalising some more courses to ensure that all types of education are accessible for Studio Owners around the globe! Stay tuned ;)
KC: You've got an amazing podcast, The Business of Dance. Can you tell us a bit about it and how you got into podcasting?
CO: Thank you! I just adore making the Podcast! To me, it started purely because I LOVE listening to Podcasts. I can't get enough! I had seen there was always a lot of questions in Facebook groups, via messenger or through my email and I had noticed some trends in the questions also. I never felt that I could properly answer all of the questions, so thought.... hmmm, what am I good at?? Talking! It is such a joy in my week and I also absolutely adore getting to connect with other amazing women in our industry and chatting! I know there are a heap of great Podcasts out there, but I wanted to create one that is specific for Studio Owners. I want to be a friend in their ear and I hope the content I have created so far has helped even just one person!
KC: How do you describe what you do for a living to people you're just meeting?
CO: I generally say I am a Business Owner or Entrepreneur as there are so many facets to my business! If we continue to chat, I will say that I am a Dance Teacher, Dance Studio Owner & Business Coach.
And now... just for funsies...
KC: Burritos or tacos?
KC: Legwarmers or ballet skirts?
KC: Disco balls or rainbows?
KC: Center Stage or Flashdance?
CO: Centre Stage!
KC: One word to describe yourself?