Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.


Teacher Nightmares


Studio Owner Article


Self-help and Life Enhancement Tips for the Business Owner

This one is not about waking up in a sweat because the students you taught all year can't remember their routine for your year end show. Oh no, it's worse! One of your teachers, has turned into a nightmare! Now you have to deal with this whole mess. If you have had your studio long enough, I am sure you know what I am writing about. The teacher who is back stabbing you. Stealing from you or scheming to steal your students and open their own place. Just to name a few. It happens from time to time and is a part of the business we all need to be ready to deal with. One thing is for sure, try to focus on your clients and that you are in control, even if you have to fake it till you make it! I know that some of you have been burnt by some people that you have helped and have done the most for. We try not to take it personally. I know, not very easy to do. Yet it is best to help you keep your sanity.

I can speak of this as we had a very unpleasant experience this past season at our studio in which we had to let two teachers go within a three week period in April! The last thing we want to do is disrupt a class right toward the end of the season. Some parents were upset, because their children were upset over change. Funny thing is not as many as we thought were all that bothered. One thing we did was let everyone know that we were in control of the situation and had their best interest in mind. If you are calm and cool they will follow your lead. You can swear and sweat in private. To make matters worse, these teachers tried to get some of the students to go and take class with them somewhere else during our spring break. A plan by the way, which by the way failed miserably! Sometimes faculty over estimate their own importance and think they have more pull then they do. These things have a certain self life then burn up and go away if handled properly. One thing we did was reassure the parents that we had replacements in place. Then we reminded them why they came to us in the first place. Their reasons had nothing to do who is teaching them, at least not initially. We hired these teachers in the first place and we will find others of like or better quality.

It is amazing how people will rally around you when you are in a crunch. Talk to the children and let them know that as adults we have to make tough decision but we have their best interest in mind and while their may be a transition period, we have a new teacher they will love. With younger children it is best to just communicate with their parents. You do not have to apologize or discuss any reason for the dismissal. We don't like to say why we had to let anyone go, bad mouthing them never looks good. We just say it was a business decision and decided to make a change. If they persist, we say well something serious must of happened for us to make such a decision this late in the season. One thing is true about running your own business, we all wait to long to fire some one. We keep hoping they will get their act together or be on time or stop doing some behavior we have talk to them many times about. Over the years we have noticed that once an employee takes a turn for the worse, it's probably a good idea to start thinking about replacing them. It is better when you can do it on your terms. Most of the faculty we have had through the years have been great. As business owners we can't go around not trusting our staff. Communication is the key. If there is a breakdown then deal with it promptly and if you have to pull the trigger, then do so. As it turned out the decision we made to replace the two teachers was a great one for our business. We found better teachers and have a more pleasant environment at the studio. We love our faculty and enjoy their company. Isn't that what its all about.


Angela D'Valda Sirico

Angela D'Valda Sirico

Originally from England, Angela spent her early years in Hong Kong where she studied with Carol Bateman. She continued her training at Arts Educational Trust in England. After moving to New York City she continued her studies with Martha Graham and Matt Mattox. She appeared with the Matt Mattox Company and toured with the first Disney On Parade working with Disney and N.B.C. Contracted to the Teatro National of Buenos Aires she performed for one year and spent an additional year as a featured soloist at the Teatro Maipo, Argentina. Travelling to Madrid, Spain she worked for Spanish television in a weekly variety show Tarde Para Todos and from there decided to form her own Dance Company. With the Company she choreographed and performed throughout Spain in theatres, and on television. Angela met her husband Steve while working together on a television special The Valerie Peters Show filmed in Tampa, Florida. In 1979 they formed the Adagio act DValda & Sirico appearing in theatres, clubs and on television shows such as David Letterman, Star Search and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In 1982 they were contracted to Europe and appeared in a variety of shows in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Italy before going to London, England where they appeared as Guest Artists for Wayne Sleep (formerly of the Royal Ballet) in his show Dash at the Dominium Theatre. Angela and Steve have owned and directed their dance studio in Fairfield, CT. for the past twenty two years and in 2005 added music and vocal classes to their curriculum. Angela served as chairperson for the tri state panel of the Royal Academy of Dancing and is Co-author of a Partner syllabus currently used for teacher training by Dance Educators of America. She continues to adjudicate and teach for major dance organizations and choreographs for theatre, television and conventions and was commissioned by Boston Ballet 11 to choreograph the highly acclaimed Brother Can You Spare A Dime? DValda & Sirico are currently in production choreographing the opening to the National Speakers Association convention on Broadway at the Marriott Marquis for August of 2008. Angela is co-owner of Dance Teacher Web designed as an online resource for teachers worldwide.

1580 Post Road Fairfield, CT © Copyright 2022 by