Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lynne Meredith Golodner inspired every single one of us during her presentation on Thursday at our recent TOP Seminar, held in Atlanta, Georgia, from 3/14 - 3/16.  Ms. Golodner followed up her presentation by posting this article about us on our Corporate Facebook page. We appreciate her kind words more than we can say.

Lynne Meredith Golodner has been a journalist for more than 20 years and is the owner and chief creative officer of Your People LLC, an award-winning marketing, PR and business development company focused on helping businesses build by building strategic relationships.  She invites you to visit her blog at

Doing the Public Relations Dance with Fred Astaire Studio Owners

Yesterday I spoke to a packed room of the best-dressed business owners I’ve ever met: Fred Astaire Dance Studio franchise owners from around the country, gathered in Atlanta to enhance the way they run their businesses.
It’s an interesting world we live in, where a livelihood can be derived from one’s passion. So many of the franchisees are themselves incredible award-winning dancers – evidenced by the poise with which they sailed through conversations and the high-fashion they presented as they graced the conference sessions.
While the world of dance is one I haven’t inhabited in years (rectify that!), I can easily relate to their desire to make a good living doing what they love.
Yesterday, I spoke about relationships and storytelling – and how the two are intertwined and the only real authentic ways of building business. I took them through how to craft their story, how to stay consistent with messaging, and whom to tell this story to, in what ways.
Many are the ways we send our message out to the marketplace. And when it comes with a genuine desire to connect, person to person, a business is golden.
It’s easy when you own a business borne out of passion and hobby. If you personally like to dance in competitions and with partners, if you can appreciate the ease of gliding across the parquet and the rush of adrenaline that comes with learning new steps and dazzling crowds, then it’s an easy sell. If you sell from the heart.
That’s the thing about business today. It has to come from the heart. There is no other way, in an economy where everyone has what they need … except connection.
The more distantly we connect (think social media, email, websites, smart phones), the lonelier we become. And the lonelier we are in our everyday lives, the more room there is for someone to care.
Businesses today must care about their customers. Otherwise, they’ll lose them to someone who does.
I didn’t stumble off the stage in my pretty heels yesterday (thankfully, as I was speaking before the nation’s most graceful business owners!) but I know that I connected with many amazing people. And that’s what being in this business is all about.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

'I've learned to be respectful to others': The Rewards of Ballroom Dancing for Kids (In honor of Fred Astaire Dance Studios teachers)

Last November's hard-copy version of inStep featured an article by Andrea Bisconti about an annual marathon at her studio, FADS, Willoughby, Ohio, that supported the 'Dancing Classrooms' project to benefit local schools. This great project is also supported by other Fred Astaire Dance Studios.

Andrea's story comes to mind every time there's something in the news related to the burdens too many students bear as they face their morning walk through the schoolhouse doors. Simply put, they have too many worries: from not fitting in, to having the 'wrong' clothes, to being bullied or worse. Many kids have poor self-esteem, as well as poor peer relationships. They suffer from a lack of focus and a lack of respect for others.
 It's hard not to think, 'Gee, maybe ballroom dancing should be available to all kids, considering the amazing things it does for them.' With improved social skills, higher levels of confidence, enhanced academic performances and better peer relationships, the benefits of ballroom are not only significant — they're timely and appropriate.

So, here's a link to a great article (and video) about 'Dancing Classrooms,' and how ballroom dancing can really help kids. It was written by Jennifer Smith Richards for The Columbus Dispatch last month. It's posted here in honor of all the great FADS dance teachers who put their hearts and souls into making life better for people everywhere, one dance at a time.

Thank you for all you do.