Don't Dis Your Dance Moms with Kylie Stegman from Boss in Ballet Shoes
Are you a boss who runs his/her own studio or teaching practice? Do you wear ballet shoes often?
If you answered yes, then this week’s Backstage Blog is gonna be perfect for you!
I’m chatting with Kylie Stegman, the boss babe behind Boss in Ballet Shoes, a business that’s helping new studio owners get off the ground with practical resources, tools, and support. Today Kylie shares her background and passions with us, and tells us why Dance Moms can be great!
KC: What’s your earliest memory of dance?
KS: My first dance class at 3- years-old was in a local museum on the second or third floor. It was such a cool building, that I remember more about the stairs and architecture than the actual dance class! I will say, it would make an amazing dance studio room today with its wood floors and large windows looking out over the town.
I also remember the old-style, box-shaped shoe bag I took to class each day. I would give anything to have it again!
KC: What’s your background with dance?
KS: I have spent the better part of my life in the dance industry in some form or fashion. I was part of my college dance team for two years, I opened my dance studio in 2012, I danced professionally for hockey for three years, and I’ve coached drill teams and cheer squads, along with years and years of choreography for various teams in our area.
KC: Was it love at first plie?
KS: I’ve been told I was a natural from the start. Apparently, my first dance teacher told my mom, “We will see her on a bigger stage one day.” I did not, however, dance from age three until now. I actually stopped dancing for a few years to pursue cheer, basketball, and a lot of other activities around 11 years old. It wasn’t until my aunt talked me into being part of the school drill team that everything literally came flooding back into my brain and the rest was history for me.
KC: How did you get into dance?
KS: In the very beginning, my mom put me in dance at 3-years-old. There was only one place to go at the time in our area, so it was probably “the thing to do.” I continued dancing for several years and really enjoyed ballet, tap, and clogging. I spent all of high school on my school’s drill team and cheer squad. Once I got into college, I started out as a dance major, which helped further my dance training and knowledge, while being part of the school’s dance team.
KC: What’s your favorite thing about it?
KS: Gosh...this one is always a hard one for me. As a teacher, my favorite thing is watching a student’s eyes light up when they catch on to something. As a dancer, it’s just one of the most natural things I’ve ever done. Dancing is comfortable, easy, and I still feel the need to perform every once in a while!
KC: Who are your dance heroes and why?
KS: I’ve always loved Fred Astaire. I make sure to watch Holiday Inn every Christmas, mainly for him! I also really love what Misty Copeland has done for the dance industry. She is a true dance hero for so many.
KC: Tell us about your business, Boss in Ballet Shoes:
KS: Boss in Ballet Shoes is my online business where I can help other studio owners within their first several years of business. I believe getting a studio off the ground is SO challenging, and you cannot do it alone. It’s a balancing act to “teach all day in ballet shoes” and then turn around and “be the boss” and manage a business.
KC: What’s one of your goals in your work?
KS: My goal for Boss in Ballet Shoes is to provide a comprehensive toolkit and/or plan for anyone thinking about or just getting starting in opening a dance studio. I would also love to be part of a dance conference one day in the future.
KC: What’s one of your favorite funny or heart-warming stories about dance/teaching/working with clients?
KS: Working with so many 3 and 4-year-olds, I can’t even count the sweet, funny moments! The ones that stand out are when they tell me they love me or that I’m the best teacher they’ve ever had. It’s amazing to watch a child discover their passion and then also get to watch them grow in your studio year after year.
KC: Are there any cliches or preconceptions about dance you try to correct in your work?
KS: I’m always defending the notion that “dance moms” are crazy. I think if you know how to handle parents and treat them respectfully and listen to them, you won’t have many issues. Dance moms are GREAT and incredibly helpful when you need something last minute or run out of ideas!
KC: Is there one thing you think the dance community needs more of, less of, or get better at?
KS: I believe there should be more guidelines or requirements for opening a dance studio, as far as what knowledge and experience someone has. I hate the thought of a parent going to an unqualified studio, spending their money for a year, and then realizing it was “wasted.” I see it fairly often and wish there was some sort of approval process or something, but at the same time, it could be a “be careful what you wish for” scenario too.
KC: What’s next for you and your business? DO you have any exciting projects on the horizon?
KS: There are so many exciting things coming for our brick and mortar as well as Boss in Ballet Shoes! Our studio is expanding this season by adding new instructors and styles, and we are hopefully relocating this season or the next.
I’m wrapping up my first E-book (pre order HERE!) and launched a new program in August, and will continue one-on-one coaching this year as well. Please reach out if you have any questions!
(Kylie just also launched a new podcast, Boss In Ballet Shoes, available on Apple, Spotify and Google!)
KC: And now, just for funsies…
Burritos or tacos?
KC: Legwarmers or ballet skirts?
KS: LOVE legwarmers!
KC: Rainbows or disco balls?
KS: Ooh...tough one. Both again!
KC: Flashdance or Center Stage?
KS: Hands down, Center Stage (I used to play the final dance scene every morning before school my sophomore year)
KC: One word to describe yourself?
Thanks SO much for sharing your insights and time with us Kylie! Make sure you keep Boss in Ballet shoes on your radar - you can follow along on Instagram or Facebook or click a share button below to pass this interview on to a friend or fellow teacher you think would love it!