Keeping the Vision Alive — Lake Arrowhead School of Dance - Mountain News : Business

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Keeping the Vision Alive — Lake Arrowhead School of Dance

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Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 9:52 am

Success over a period of time is something that every business owner strives to achieve, and it is something that Sharon McCormick, owner of Lake Arrowhead School of Dance, has done impeccably.

“I think some business owners maybe don’t go in with their eyes wide open,” McCormick commented, adding that it’s possible that that is one reason why some businesses do not work out in the long run.

Lake Arrowhead School of Dance, however, is different from other businesses. It is a dance school that is open to anyone who, in McCormick’s words, want to experience the “joy of movement.” Even though she is focused on creating successful dancers, she also focuses on making everyone in the school feel welcome – whether they plan to pursue dance as a career or not.

In terms of having continued success, McCormick stated, “It is very important to listen to your customers, and respect them. You need to listen to each other, and ensure that if they don’t understand something, you teach it to them. That is our job.” A job that she and her team of instructors take very seriously.

McCormick credits her teachers for a lot of the success of the business, as well. She said that they are hard-working, passionate, artistic and creative people.

“No one is going to have the same vision as you,” she remarked. “But, you can teach them to hold to the same standards that you are holding for your business,” which, in turn, creates a partnership in the end.

Making exceptions, McCormick said, is what leads a business toward its downfall. She emphasized that, in her dancers, and her teachers, she makes no exceptions. Everyone who is a part of the dance school works under the same rules and guidelines as everyone else, and no one receives different treatment.

As the owner of Lake Arrowhead School of Dance, McCormick is also a lead educator. She is involved in the day-to-day operations of the business and still works as a dance trainer.

“If you are going to open and run a business, then you are the business,” she expressed. “I am never out of reach; if you need me, I am there.”

In terms of her dancers, McCormick stated that, although they are there to dance, they are also learning important life lessons along the way. Students learn responsibility, accountability, respect and artistry.

“You need to have a firm hand on dancers, but you need to love them, too,” McCormick shared. “Dancers don’t command themselves until you command them.”

She said that, of course, this type of command is different with each age group, but it is always present. The same can be said for accountability, although she urges instructors to be realistic with the accountability they are asking of their students.

“We need to realize that their time will come, but we need to let our dancers have their own journey,” McCormick acknowledged. “Everyone has their own time frame and when expectations are not realistic, that creates the defeat.”

In order to keep her dancers feeling inspired and cared for, McCormick ensures that all of them are treated the same. She does not separate them because she wants all of her dancers to know that, no matter what, there is always something to be worked on.

“You also don’t want to create needy dancers because that means they will not take responsibility for their actions,” she noted. “We are preparing them for the future here.”

To McCormick, the most important part of her business is making sure that her students are contributors to the world. There is no record of achievement if her students aren’t contributing something, she mentioned.

“This is when I step aside because it is not about me, and it has never been,” McCormick explained. “It is because of my students; this is why I do what I do – because I love it and I am passionate, and I am always being challenged.”

When people do things for their own benefit or their own success, it can lead to failure. This is something that McCormick stressed, adding that, to her, success means teaching and inspiring her students.

“I love all of my students, and no matter where they go in life, they will never be out of my world.”

Lake Arrowhead School of Dance is open to dancers of all ages and is located in the lower Village, dockside. For more information, call (909) 336-1359 or visit

“I will never stop learning or growing because, once you stop growing, there is no interest and you quit. Growth keeps a business alive,” McCormick concluded.

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