When our receptionists answer the phone at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, they say, “How can we make you smile?”
Although it isn’t our formal mission statement, I consider it a motivating mission for our team for sure.
Dance brings joy to people. They take off their street shoes and put on their dance shoes and their demeanor changes. A smile creeps into the corners of their face. Friends find one another and start to chat. The stress of the work day melts away and I see shoulders relax, faces soften.
We say it over and over again, how can we make you smile, to remind us that that is our mission, to make sure everyone who comes to Fred Astaire ends up with a smile on their face and happiness in their heart.
In business, a good mission is integrated into everything the company does. At a successful business, the employees and administration keep the mission as their driving force, front of mind, ever connected to the tasks they do every day.
For us, it’s no small thing to make people smile. It has to be lodged in our hearts, a true part of who we are as we progress through our days.
It’s the little changes that overtake people, subtly, once they come here.
To see a wedding couple come in to learn their first dance, to see they are nervous, to see them work together, with excitement, it’s really cool.
It happens in so many ways. We have different unique groups of students here – a group of widows who have become friends and connected following their husbands’ passing. An engaged couple, where the husband is in a wheelchair, so excited that they will actually be able to dance at their wedding. Breast cancer survivors, finding joy again in their bodies from dancing, and telling their story through dance. Autistic adolescents and adults learning how to interact comfortably.
That’s the heart-wrenching part of this business – being able to see the connections made, the hearts fulfilled, the joy.
It makes me smile to make you smile.