ward school of dance

The Opportunity

When Kirsten McQuat started dancing at the age of three, her family had no idea how dancing would influence the course of her life. Like most students, after spending 8-10 hours a week at Ward School of Dance, the studio became a second home. In the beginning, the school was run by two Joan’s—Joan Ward and Joan Lienau. The two Joan’s taught her the foundation of dance and sparked a passion that burns to this day.

After 13 years in dance classes, Kirsten became an assistant teacher, and later an instructor. Teaching dance helped her pay her way through college, and by specializing in child and youth development she has been able to approach young dancers in a unique way. There was no surprise when Kirsten jumped at the opportunity to take over ownership of Ward. 

Ward was a well-known school, but it had been around for over 40 years and the administrative processes reflected that. Scheduling staff, booking clients and managing the finances were all still managed with pen and paper. Kirsten struggled to find time for all the necessary work from managing the finances, to updating paperwork and still teaching classes.


The Solution

Kirsten wanted to grow, and she set out to streamline her business as much as possible. Anywhere she could make administration easier would free up time to focus on growing the enrollment, and she was determined to bring everything into a manageable system.

Moving to the Pike13 platform had been on Kirsten’s mind for awhile. The software Ward had was cumbersome. Kirsten spent an extraordinary amount of time handling her employee’s questions and working around features the software didn’t have. 

Now Kirsten is looking to learn more about online marketing, and how to build relationships and keep her current clients. She looks to Pike13, who helped her streamline so many activities, to help her understand the best practices of other small businesses.


The Results

With Pike13 at her side, Kirsten is better equipped to communicate with parents, and employees are able to easily understand the software without much training. It’s also helped Kirsten balance work life and home life. With less time spent on the administrative side, she finds it easier to leave the office and spend more time with her family. 

With less time spent dealing with software, Kirsten can use the newly found three to four hours a week to focus on improvements for Ward. She’s increased enrollment in classes, which will allow them to make the move into a new, improved space. Ward has been around for decades, and Kirsten knows the importance of keeping the brand fresh. She’s investing more in the curriculum and creating continuity so that students have clear expectations on the skills necessary to move up in a dance style. Ward has also changed some of the ways they handle their business. Because of Pike13 they’ve been able to ease the process for the parents of students. For example, they now have the ability to send over details via Pike13 software so that parents don’t have to come in to sign up their child. In the end, Kirsten is confident about Ward and using Pike13.

“We’re on the right path, we’re making the right choices and we’ve got the right software with Pike13.”