Candy Bar Awards Template--and using Photoshop to Advertise your Program

Today I thought I'd share my experience this year using Photoshop to help advertise the after school ballroom program I started at my school. I also want to include a template to create candy bar awards, which turned out so cute! Continue reading and scroll down to find the template!

Sometimes I wonder how people function without Photoshop. I freaking use it for EVERYTHING. By day I am a business teacher in a junior high. But in my past, I was a big fan of ballroom dancing. I did it all through middle school and high school, and then in college. As my husband is not a dancer, I put the talent away for a long time. But then decided to start an after-school ballroom program at my school back in 2007. It was SO FUN, and for three years I ran the team. Then I took a four-year break while I had kids. This year, I was happy to take up the reigns again, and it has been so fun! For this post, I wanted to talk about how my experience as a business teacher really helps in the arts arena! Some of the stuff I will talk about is in Photoshop, and others in Microsoft Office. But I thought it might be a fun thing to share! Photoshop skills can be used in more than just digital scrapbooking--whatever your occupation, you can find ways to use it to make your experience richer, and make yourself more indispensable. As a teacher, there are MILLIONS of ways to use it in the classroom!

For ballroom this year, I first needed to make sure I had a good advertisement. Advertising is EVERYTHING. Ballroom is dependent on convincing 14-year-old boys that dancing is cool--not an easy thing to do. First, I created these awesome memes. I created them free online, but then I pulled the artwork into Photoshop, where I enlarged it and also added a QR code--though you can't see it in these pictures because I added it after I created this little graphic. Still, it was cool to have the ads up all over the school with the QR code so kids could find my ballroom website and all the needed information.

I also created some other ads in Photoshop--simple ones because I had no real photos to work with, so I went with humor. Very easy to create in Photoshop. I used another program, Print Shop, to print them on 4 to 9 sheets and then taped them together to make a giant poster.

I put these ads all over my school. After three days of signups, I had 78 kids signed up to take the 3-week ballroom workshop, twice a week after school. And yes, half of those WERE boys!

After three weeks we had auditions to choose my team of 20, who would go on to learn the Latin medley I had choreographed over the summer. For three months we worked very hard to learn the new dance. How AMAZING they all are!

Then I got really nerdy. It's quite difficult to choreography a routine for 8 couples in your head and see where each of them will go from formation to formation. So I first used Photoshop to create this page:

This helped me envision each couple, coordinated with a color, and where they would be.

Then...then I got A LOT NERDIER.

I created a PowerPoint and used the animation features to make each dot move as it was supposed to, coordinated with music. It took forever, even though I'm pretty awesome at PowerPoint--I mean, I do get paid to teach it. But it helped me envision the routine, and more--it's helped the students envision it too.

For three months we worked on that routine. It was awesome. The kids worked so hard. And soon it was time to advertise the Talent Show--the performance we would be working for. Here is the ad I created in Photoshop and put up all over the school, to advertise the auditions--I am also in charge of the talent show!

A week after the talent show, we had a Parent Night where we showcased their hard work to friends and family. I invited other ballroom groups from around the area to come, too. Here is the ad I created for that!

And then, of course, I made an awesome program for the evening. As I quipped to the audience that night, "I'm not actually a dance teacher. I'm a business teacher. That's why your programs are so awesome."

And then it was time to create the DVD's for each couple.I know. WHY do I do all of this? I think it's because I'm awesome. Each kid got a DVD with their picture on the cover and DVD, and then also on the inside menu. There were also CD's with pictures on it from the experience, and I made a CD envelope for that using my Silhouette machine and a template purchased from their site. Pain in the butt. But also adorable. Making a DVD cover case, by the way, is not so difficult if you can print onto legal sized paper. It's just a matter of trial and error to get it the right size.

On the night of the show, we had a little party in my room. And this is where I gave out the candy bar awards, mentioned at the top of the post. They were a HUGE success. When I was deciding how to make them, I was looking at all the names of existing candy bars, trying to find a reason to make that bar's name fit the student, and I kept thinking, "if only there were such at thing as a "surprise" bar or a "superstar" bar. That's the one I'd get for so-and-so." And then I was like--hey. I know Photoshop. If I want a superstar bar, THERE WILL BE a Superstar Bar! I designed each bar to fit a standard mid-size Hershey bar. Designing them was SO MUCH FUN. I was up till 1:00 a.m. doing it, and loved every second of it! I also made a certificate in Publisher that went with it, explaining why they got it. When we handed them out, the kids were so excited to get something so personalized.

 UPDATE: Here are some Candy bar Awards I did in 2016 and 2017!

If you would like the template to create your own bars in Photoshop, click here:


Wait...what's that you say? You read this entire post and you are now DYING to actually see my team perform? Well, ok. Here they are at the parent night. The lights randomly stopped working that night, so sorry the lighting is so bad!

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