This process was a fantastic experience. It was wonderful to be able to speak plainly about my vision and ideas but then to have someone independent of it all reflect the very best bits of it all back to me. Christine has a great combination of experience and 'open mindedness' which led me to feel really great about this process.
Where We Started
There was no existing website to take into consideration – Lisa had dabbled with setting one up in Squarespace herself but had not developed it beyond a placeholder. However, Lisa has a strong and compelling vision about the future of Highland Dancing in Australia and beyond – and a highly successful dance school!
Lisa also had the most incredible and vibrant professional photographs of her dancers – a photo series that indeed told the story of Lisa’s passion for young people in a sport that has the capacity to let them shine at all levels – from participation-based community displays to senior international competitions.
Highland Dancing is a sport with strong and long traditions – and an entire community of dance teachers, judges and officials who are extremely protective of their old-fashioned ways. If you ever find a minute to Google Highland Dancing and click on some of the links that pop up you see what I mean – information-heavy, joyless, hierarchical websites that focus on the principal teacher and her corresponding accolades.
Lisa’s desire was to break the mould. We were looking for more than a breath of fresh air – we were looking to create a completely dancer-focused online presence that would be vibrant, inviting, and infectious as well has providing all the information necessary for parents and guardians.
The aforementioned photographs presented a wonderful visual opportunity as well as a technical challenge – with sizes in excess of 14 megabytes each there was some extra badassery needed so that they’d be suitable for online use. very time-consuming but oh-so rewarding.
Speaking of time, our timeline was incredibly tight. With Lisa due to present internationally (within weeks and amidst a tight competition schedule) it was clear that she’d have an incredible opportunity to raise her profile and having this website in place beforehand would be an essential stepping stone towards Lisa’s bigger vision.
The timeline was tight, and the workload to bring our website together from nothing was huge, but Christine didn't once hesitate or do anything without a laugh or her infectious positivity and motivation.
A Badass Result
Lisa’s brave decision to let her vision drive and shape this online presence paid off – and her students and supporters are thrilled with the result, too. I think it is important to note that Ardlair shows up online as they do in real life: exciting and full of life, grounded in the community, passionate about dancers at all levels, with clear pathways and stellar support for all – and a whole lot of fun on the way.
I have only had a toe in online. I am very happy with our website, and the functionality of a blog, testimonials, and also a monthly newsletter is so exciting for me. I have a growing plan of how to utilise these functions and it is all very exciting.