At first glace, it may seem unexpected that four male software developers created StudioWorks dance studio software. When you dig a bit deeper, however, you find that we have a long history of using innovative technology to solve problems. And we have a personal connection to dance that started us down the path of creating an online registration program and has led us to a complete studio software solution.
StudioWorks is dance studio management software created by Atek Solutions. To understand how we got here, we need to start at the beginning. It’s a pretty long story, but we’ll do our best to stick to the most interesting points.
Father and son team Ed Sr. and Ed Jr. founded Atek Solutions, originally called Amaitis And Associates, in the 1970s. Ed Jr. had ideas for innovative technological solutions to problems that businesses were facing, and in the 70s, technology was new and in demand.
The company was immediately successful and the father and son team were able to build it into an accomplished family business (see great old picture of the original family!). Amaitis And Associates stayed on the cutting edge of technology and saw success working with companies to create solutions that helped their businesses grow and maximize profits.
When Ed’s nephew, Matthew, graduated from college, Ed was excited to bring him on and let him take the company in a new direction. He was ready to take on the mentoring role as Matthew worked to realize his dream just like Ed had when he finished college.
The New Direction
And then, one conversation over pancakes on a Sunday morning set Atek Solutions on its new course. Ed, Matthew, and Matthew’s wife, Calyn, were having brunch and, as usual, they were talking about work. Calyn, a dance teacher and studio administrator, was struggling to find dance studio software that offered online registration that would work with their dance program. They were looking for something that would let them setup online registration and still make sure that students were registering for the correct classes.
Their customers had been asking for online registration and they wanted to give the customers what they wanted. And it wouldn’t hurt if they could save time and money in the studio too. But after looking at a bunch of programs they realized that all of the popular registration systems wouldn’t actually solve the problem they had. They needed to streamline or eliminate the time-consuming process of manually registering their students.
All of the software solutions they evaluated did allow for students to register online. Sure, this would save the office workers time because they wouldn’t have to manually register students in the studio (and the customers would be happy). But the staff would now have to spend as much, or more, time checking every student’s registration, making sure each registered correctly. Then even more time would be needed to contact customers, change registrations, and refund payments when mistakes were inevitably made.
At this point, Ed and Matthew’s wheels were turning. They had an idea and thought they could create a program for her that would make sure that students could only register for the correct classes online. This would eliminate the need to spend hours or days checking registrations with the added benefits of happier customers and a more efficient office.
And that’s when the idea for StudioWorks was born. We started focusing our time on developing something that would make life at Calyn’s studio easier, and before long we’d developed a full dance studio software solution.
Obviously, it wasn’t called StudioWorks at first, and it certainly wasn’t as pretty or feature-rich as it is now, but it was a program with functionality that couldn’t be found anywhere else. Studios could have the flexibility they needed to enforce the rules they had spent years developing and would also have the control to assure that students were registering for the right classes, even with online registration.
The StudioWorks team instantly loved working with dance studios. Each dance studio is different and brings its own challenges and ideas to the table. The artistic minds of dance studio owners and employees encourage us to think differently and to come up with more creative solutions.
So, basically, we’re just doing what we’ve always done—helping people find a way to make their business more efficient. But that’s not to say that there haven’t been some major changes around the office.
As a group of software developers and engineers, we never thought we would walk down the halls and overhear people talking about Tippy Toes, Cecchetti, and how much time you can schedule between a ballet class and a pointe class. There’s been a lot to learn, but it’s been fun to get involved in an industry that we knew very little about.
Over the years that we’ve been developing StudioWorks, we’ve grown, brought on new team members, and started working with a growing base of customers. But it’s still important to us to run StudioWorks the way that we’ve always run our business. We also want to make sure that every customer has a software solution that fits their needs and actually makes running their studio easier.