By Steve Sirico of DanceTeacherWeb.com and Dance Teacher Web LIVE Conference & Expo.
Over the years of coaching studio owners and talking to countless others at conferences and seminars, I have heard that one of the hardest things to find is the right people. Oh, it is easy to find someone to teach who can fill the room with the latest moves or to find someone to answer a phone, but the hard part is finding the right fit for you and your business.
To find the people who share your vision, passion and desire is what really matters. This is very individualized for each studio owner. What matters to me may not be so important to you and vice versa. To get your staff and faculty on board with your vision is something that may take some time. It will need to be nourished and constantly reinforced.
The key is, do you know what your vision is? The next big question is, once you know do you share it with your team? If they don’t know and you don’t inform them on how you do things at your school then you cannot blame them for not sharing your vision.
Keys to getting your team on board:
1. Meet with everyone on your team – front desk, faculty and anyone else, like parents or liaisons – and give them a written mission statement of who you are (this is your school manifesto) and the purpose of your business.
2. Meet with front desk staff and help them with ways to connect with your customers. This is one of the most important areas, as they will be the face of your business. If you want happy, friendly customers then you must have happy, friendly front desk workers.
3. Meet with your faculty individually to explain how you want them to treat your students and be very clear on the professional relationship you want them to have with your students and their parents.
4. Meet with your customers to let them know who you are and how you do things. This is very important especially when you are having a problem with one of your students or their parents. If you do not think they are the right fit for your school then it is best to tell them so, wish them luck and send them on their way. This is a BIG key in helping you to keep clarity and positivity in your vision – and to keep your sanity!
5. Tell everyone you meet what the vision of your studio is. It should be your 30-second pitch about your school. It shouldn’t be a sales pitch, just write it out and speak from the heart. It should mention what your school means to you, what you envision it becoming and why it is important to you.
Still can’t find the right people? Keep on looking! They will find you when you put your vision out there for all to see. Don’t keep it inside of you – SHARE!!!
But you don’t have the right people in place or you are not happy with where you are right now?
Remember: Your vision is a powerful force!
It’s one of the most important tools you have to move you from where your business currently is to where you want it to be. You need to have a picture in your mind of what you want your business to look like and if you do you’ll find that it’s much easier to make this vision into a reality.
If you don’t know where you want to go, how will you know what to do? You don’t jump into your car and start driving, with no destination in mind. Before you start the engine, you have in your mind where you want to go, so you know whether to turn left or right at the bottom of the driveway! The same principle applies to your business.
So, what I would like to ask you to do today is imagine another version of you.
Imagine what this business would be like, what your experience of a typical working day would be like. Start imagining it now because it’s available to you. Now find the right way to run your business with the right people in place to help you. They won’t be able to help you (as a matter of fact, they won’t know how to) if you don’t share with them what it is you want.
Ask yourself these questions:
– If I could have my business set up any way I wanted, what would it be?
– What is the perfect business to me?
– Why did I get into this business in the first place?
– Does my team really know what I stand for and what my business mission is all about?
– Do I have the right team in place?
– Do I have the right customers?
– What is important to me?
– What inspires me and how can I share that passion with the people in my life?
It’s so important to recognize that this starts with YOU. Your business has to be built around your vision. You are the driving force in your business, so it’s based on what you want.
Okay, there you have it! Once you write down the answers to these questions you will have the vision of your studio in place. You will see the strengths and weaknesses of where you are and where you want to go. Make the choice now that this will be your best year ever and that your vision will become a reality!
Steve Sirico and Angela D’Valda Sirico.
Steve Sirico and Angela D’Valda Sirico have been teaching, choreographing and producing shows for over thirty years. In 1979 they formed the Adagio team of D’Valda & Sirico after performing in shows and on television worldwide as individual dancers. Their performing credits include “Scala” Barcelona, Spain, Casino Estoril, Portugal, Theatre Royal, Oxford, England, Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, Hotel Tequendama, Bogota, Columbia, Teatro Nacional, Buenos Aires, Argentina,and as Guest Artists for Wayne Sleep’s smash hit “Dash”, Dominium Theatre, London.
They were featured artists in Royal Command performances in Spain and had the privilege of performing for Princess Diana of Wales. D’Valda & Sirico’s many television credits include “David Letterman”, “Star Search”, and “Tarde Para Todos” as well as variety shows in the U.S.A, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Portugal , Italy and Argentina. Their combination of explosive choreography and exciting partner work has been given rave reviews both nationally and internationally. Their choreography for the acclaimed “Brother Can you Spare A Dime” was commissioned by Boston Ballet II and performed by the company. Angela and Steve have owned and directed a very successful dance studio in Fairfield, Connecticut since 1987. Their students have received scholarships and contracts to American Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Hartford Ballet as well as the National tours of “Fosse”, “Fame” and “We Will Rock You” and on Broadway in “Chorus Line”.
Angela and Steve have been on the faculty of Dance Educator’s of America’s Teacher Training program. Steve is the author of his Jazz Dance syllabus and together they authored their Partner syllabus both used for Teacher Training worldwide. Angela served as Chairperson for the tri state panel of the Royal Academy of Dancing and they have taught as guest faculty for Mt. Holyoke College, Michigan State University, The University of Arkansas, Yale University and Fairfield University. They teach Master Classes in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical Jazz and Partner work all over the world including residencies in England, Spain, Costa Rica and Mexico. From 2003-2005 they were presenting faculty for Dance Teacher Magazine’s Summer Teacher’s Conference in NYC.
They continue to be active as adjudicators for major dance competitions and recently choreographed the opening production number for the National Speaker’s Association at their annual convention on Broadway in New York City. In 2007 Steve and Angela launched Dance Teacher Web, an online creative and business resource for teachers and dance studio owners worldwide and each year they produce Dance Teacher Web LIVE Conference and Expo. Described by attendees as “the one and only conference truly for dance teachers and studio owners,” LIVE brings to life everything that is unique about Dance Teacher Web. Three full days are packed with interactive sessions, expo resources and special events all with the goal of providing you with the very best in teaching tools and products to enhance your business, career and life.
Photo (top): © Thinglass | Dreamstime.com