Whitleigh Cook started her dance studio in a quiet suburb of Charlotte to share with children the passion she has for dance. As she developed relationships with her students, Whitleigh soon realized that she is doing even more than sharing her passion for dance, she is part of her students’ lives.
“I suddenly realized that I have a hand in how my students are raised! I influence their perspective on dance and can guide them in developing respect for their bodies and the abilities they have been blessed with. I can help them grow in ways that reach far beyond dance moves,” says Whitleigh who is the owner of Mint Hill Dance Center.
Developing dancers and conscientious human beings
Students spend several hours per week at Mint Hill Dance Center. They are there to learn and, as Whitleigh has come to understand, they learn much more than dance skills.
Whitleigh operates her center with the help of her mom. Managing the business end of her dance center requires Whitleigh to wear many hats and it could be consuming hours that she would prefer to spend teaching, but it isn’t.
“The reason I can teach and devote time to students is because I have learned to use technology to my advantage. When I put Jackrabbit Dance in place, I was relieved and amazed!
Relieved that I found powerful software that works for my business. Amazed that I can now spend all the hours that I want teaching and getting to know my students and their families,” notes Whitleigh.
How does Jackrabbit Dance benefit studio owners?
As a business owner, Whitleigh is amazed that Jackrabbit Dance can:
- Putting everything in one place so even those phone numbers needed at competitions can be found in mere seconds
- Providing reports for everything. Information can be viewed as graphs or pie charts, if preferred, and used in many different ways
- Making attendance taking possible right in the classroom on a laptop, ipad or iphone
- Giving instructors the life-changing experience of having everything they need available online
- Empowering parents puts them in a great comfort zone.
- Giving parents access to see everything so the staff spends less time explaining
- Providing a portal to parents that enables interactions to focus on what’s really important
“No way those using QuickBooks and Excel can do these things!”
5 ways Jackrabbit Dance helps studios achieve impressive goals
As Jackrabbit Dance became a part of MHDC’s operations, Whitleigh noticed five huge improvements:
1. Enrollment skyrocketed, with a 46% increase in 2 years. Parents can enroll on their iphones!
“Parents love being able to do that and think it is cool!”
2. Collections were eliminated. Parents are required to provide a credit card on their account that gets charged at the first of every month.
“We no longer have to chase people for money! And parents love the convenience of not worrying about payment.”
3. Costume orders and sizes are accurate. Students, classes and measurements are connected. Of 450 costumes, only 3 didn’t fit. And every class had the correct costumes!
“Eliminating confusion and frustration around costume chaos is huge!”
4. All transactions are digital so the use of spreadsheets and legal pads is unnecessary
“Jackrabbit’s ePayments feature has streamlined everything. Everyone who needs information can see it and can search it and find minute details in a heartbeat.”
5. Self-serve features provide conveniences to parents who love the ability to do things for themselves at times they find convenient.
“This is a game-changer because of how happy it makes parents and how much time it saves staff in reducing the questions that need to be answered again and again.”
Jackrabbit Dance handles critical processes and frees owners to be creative
When it comes to rote processes, Jackrabbit can actually do tasks faster and more accurately than a person. Whitleigh is free to be out front to greet students when they come in and with them in class to help them blossom into beautiful young dancers.
“With Jackrabbit I feel empowered to do everything I can to manage and grow my business. If I’m ever unsure about what how I’m using the software, support team members are right there – ready to do what it takes to help me get back on track. I never feel like I’m alone. That helps me tremendously because my work doesn’t come to a screeching halt if I have a question. Their immediacy is a critical part of my workflow.”
How Mint Hill Dance Center gives back to their community
Jackrabbit also gives Whitleigh more time to do the things that sets her dance center apart from competitors like planning fun activities for holidays and participating in service projects that give back to the community.
“We know children love holidays! We have themed dances for every fall holiday.”
Whitleigh is very creative with holiday celebrations, with activities that include costume week for Halloween, a Thanksgiving tree with leaves that show what they’re thankful for and ugly sweater day – plus several other Christmas celebrations. Everything culminates with a performance for Mint Hill Senior Citizens!
“We love giving back so community service projects are a high priority for us. I work hard at making sure we have projects that have us giving back year round.”
One big project is collecting food for the Second Harvest Metrolina’s Food Drive. The student collecting the most canned goods for donation is treated to an evening that includes having dinner and attending the Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker.”
“I know that every student won’t grow up to be a dancer but they will be a citizen and I believe the things we encourage and exemplify will help each student to be a good community member and team member.”