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The Dance Studio Re-Opening Series, Part IV: Embracing Uncertainty


Studio Owner Article


Dance Studio Owners

In Part IV we will take a look at the one thing most business owners try to avoid at all cost. And that is Uncertainty!

Uncertainty… That is the one word that can be unnerving to those of us with Type-A personalities. We are constantly looking ahead trying to figure out what’s going to happen before it actually does. We are fixers always trying to predict or manipulate what will happen.

Truth is, now, more than ever uncertainty is all around us.

What will happen with our school system?

Will enough of my customers feel safe coming back to dance?

Will I make enough money?

Will my business ever be the same?

Will I, will I, will I…?

The list goes on and on and if you are not careful, it will keep you up at night.

However, keep in mind uncertainty is where things happen. Uncertainty is your personal pathway to opportunity. It’s the environment in which you and your business will grow, experience new things and produce new, unprecedented results. Uncertainty is where new happens. The reality during this time is that we all have to get out of our comfort zones whether we like it or not. These are uncharted waters we are traveling through and we are going to have to learn and do on the fly.

The truth is you cannot predict what the people you know will do, let alone people you really don’t know all that well, like your customers. There will be uncertain times during these months but new curriculum, programing and revenue streams will be created that will take your business to a whole new level once you get through this period. And yes, you will acquire new customers as well!

Success is never certain. It never comes without risk. Even if you’re the best teacher, the smartest or the hardest working business owner, there’s no guarantee of anything and you know that!

The funny thing is that during my 34 years as a studio owner and 10 plus years as a professional dancer beforehand the one thing I have learned is that no matter how much you chase certainty; you’ll never be able to hold it or retain it. That’s because it doesn’t exist. The universe will always send us little or not so little reminders of its chaos and power, and no one is exempt from the prompting. Nothing is certain. You could go to sleep tonight and never wake up. You could get in your car and never make it to your studio tomorrow. Certainty is an illusion that keeps entrepreneurs awake at night.

That’s why I want you to shift your thinking and say to yourself everyday “I embrace uncertainty” But it is way more than just a saying, it is a way to proceed, to keep you moving forward. You may even want to write that simple phrase down and look at it throughout the day.  Just saying it has a way of giving you the feeling of I can do this! I will get through this!

Look, we all have no idea what is going to happen as we work through the covid pandemic. But what I am recommending is that you use that uncertainty to your advantage. Think about what other programming and use of your space that you can implement. Here’s an idea that we are entertaining. How about setting up your studio as an alternative school learning pod. If you have the manpower, space and can get inexpensive desks and chairs you could offer a place for parents to drop their children off during the hours they would normally be at school. They would do their virtual school lessons on laptops or tablets that they bring in and you would provide a monitor who would be there to assist if any issues pop up. Before you proceed with this idea send out an email to your list of customers and see who may be interested in doing it. Who knows, you may get a great response from your current customers who know and trust you and voila! You have a new source of revenue!

I wish I could tell you that everything is going to be ok. That this is going to be easy and you won’t have to stretch yourself in many different directions. But I think you already know the answer to all of that and that is… I just don’t know. And you know what? That is ok as long as you Embrace Uncertainty and still proceed. I have also learned that when you stop searching for certainty, when you quite trying to make sense or figure out everything a lot of your stress will simply melt away.

I love this saying by Napoleon Hill “In every adversity lies the seed of and equal or greater opportunity.”

So, keep your head to the sky, prepare and then be prepared to change course at a moments notice. Uncertainty is part of life, grab hold of it and work it to your advantage.

So today and everyday, Embrace Uncertainty!

Up next in part V we will look at Ready, Set, Go… How to manage your customers, faculty and staff once you open for business

Here’s to your success!


Steve Sirico

Steve Sirico

Steve is co-founder of Dance Teacher Web the number one online resource for dance teachers and studio owners worldwide.He is Co-Director of the very successful D'Valda and Sirico Dance and Music Center in Fairfield, CT for the past thirty plus years. His students have gone on to very successful careers in dance, music and theater. Originally from Norwalk, Ct, Steve excelled in track and football. He attended the University of Tennessee at Martin on a sports scholarship. Deciding to switch and make his career in the world of dance, he studied initially with Mikki Williams and then in New York with Charles Kelley and Frank Hatchett. He has appeared in a number of theatre productions such as Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls and Mame in New York and around the country and in industrials and television shows. He was contracted to appear as the lead dancer in the Valerie Peters Special a television show filmed in Tampa, Florida. After meeting Angela DValda during the filming they formed the Adagio act of 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. Author of his Jazz Dance syllabus and co-author of a Partner syllabus both of which are used for teacher training by Dance Educators of America, He has also co-authored two books one for dance teachers and one for studio owners in the "It's Your Turn" Book series. He is available for master classes, private business consulting and teacher training development

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