JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts Brings Poise & Grace To Service Culture With The Joffrey Ballet 

Global Luxury Hotel Brand Incorporates Foundations of Dance into Associate Training Program

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts and The Joffrey Ballet are taking guest service to a new level with the launch of "Poise and Grace," a series of inspirational video training tutorials led by Ashley Wheater, artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet.  As part of the luxury hotel brand's commitment to service excellence, the program was developed to inspire associates to develop and bring natural confidence, poise and grace to the guest experience. The training series includes exclusive content and tailored instruction that teaches associates how to incorporate the foundations of dance into everyday guest interaction. 

"At JW Marriott, we look to identify associates that live the brand vision of orchestrating the exceptional, crafting luxurious experiences for guests that are inspired by their passions," said Mitzi Gaskins, vice president and global brand manager of JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts.  "Poise and posture are globally recognized cultural cues that reflect the care and dedication our associates provide in every service interaction."


Featuring Wheater and JW Marriott associates, the videos focus on the importance of Warming Up, Proper Breathing, Flow of Movement and Connecting to the Audience while emphasizing the importance of both verbal and visual cues including posture, squaring one's shoulders and two-handed delivery and engagement techniques.  Videos are typically shown during Daily Rehearsal – a team stand-up meeting where associates focus on JW Marriott's unique service culture and discuss the business of the day.  Videos are inspirational and flexible, not prescriptive, and can occur one-on-one, in a group setting or even during a hotel-wide meeting.  Associates can also access content via a web-based app called Orchestr8, which allows hotels to share with one another how they have orchestrated exceptional guest experiences.  The new program will be deployed across all 68 JW Marriott properties in 26 countries by August 30. 


JW Marriott worked with brand partner and Chicago Tribune's Chicagoan of the Year Ashley Wheater to identify the four core behaviors that help dancers embody poise and grace.  Although hotel guests do not see the videos, they do experience the end result – confident, intuitive associates who make an impact, from strong first impressions to establishing a meaningful connection guests.


"We are proud to partner with JW Marriott on the Poise and Grace video training series," said Wheater. "Ballet technique breeds discipline, self-confidence and a genuine interaction between people. Dancers epitomize poise and grace, and this program is a wonderful way to both celebrate our brand partnership and enhance the JW Marriott guest experience."


The JW Marriott Chicago (151 W. Adams) served as the host hotel for the creation of the Poise and Grace videos due to its longstanding relationship with The Joffrey Ballet and its standing as #1 in guest satisfaction among JW Marriott properties in the last two of three years. Director of Sales & Marketing Steve Conklin at the JW Marriott Chicago explains how associates have embraced the program on property:


"When you think of poise and grace, the perfect metaphor is ballet. It's an easy association for the team. The exercises, which include everything from practicing flow of movement through an obstacle course of tight spaces to noticing eye and heart placement when making a connection with the guest, have truly helped our associates to carry themselves with confidence and deliver a superior level of service to our guests."  

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