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Dance Studio Owner Guide for Maximizing Your Staff's Potential Part II

Type:

Studio Owner Article

Category:

Improve Staff and Customer Communication

Here is something to consider: Happy Staff = Happy Customers

In part II we will focus on your faculty. Having them in a good place mentally will have a big impact on your business

Focus on Your Faculty

Creating the perfect studio atmosphere will take work and effort on your part. The truth of the matter is your team doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

While Angela and I still very much love to teach, we have been blessed to have many wonderful teachers be a part of our school. The most important thing you can do is to support, encourage and promote your faculty. Don’t worry about who might burn you or who will try to take your students. Let’s face it, if someone is not trustworthy then you are better off in the long run without them. Plus, teaching and running a business are two completely different things.  Just because you can teach doesn’t mean you can run a business. The key is to make sure you hire the right people and if you find you have made a mistake, a quick response needs to be taken on your part.

Here is the solution;

A very important key to helping and nurturing your faculty is to give them tools and guidelines that will help them do the job you desire. One of the most important things any teacher needs is continuing education. As a teacher we are always learning. You never stop, if you are smart. Help your faculty stay current, motivated, and energized by giving them access to tools like videos, memberships to websites like Dance Teacher Web.com and by taking them to conventions and workshops. This continuing education will be a BIG factor in the success of your studio. If you want your studio to be on the cutting edge and your faculty to avoid burn out, then it is up to you to help them.

Here is the plan;

The first thing that I recommend that you do is meet individually with each member of your team to review the good and not so good. Get some input from them because they are on the front lines so to speak and know what the students excel at and where they need the most improvement. If there were any issues like tardiness or not being fully prepared this is when that conversation needs to take place. Fixing issues is never easy but if you understand the cause, you can then both work on the solution.

Secondly, I recommend that you create a faculty manual that is exclusive to how you would like them to teach. If you are looking for a sample to follow and use you can download this as a word document in the template and forms are of the website This manual does not necessarily need to tell them what to teach, although I think it is important to determine the technical content that you want each level to master, but it should also explain to them how to handle all situations that might occur at your studio. If you don’t have this in place, then teachers will do what they want when an issue arises. Here is an example, let’s say that a student is misbehaving in class. The teacher needs to know the exact protocol of how to handle these types of problems. Are you comfortable with someone just screaming and yelling at the students? Our studio plan is that when students that they be dismissed from a class without much fanfare when they misbehave and that they are required to go to the front desk. If you are available you can have a sit down immediately with the student to find out what the problem is and then I would recommend a meeting with student and the faculty member involved where you are the mediator. If you are not present at the time of the incident, I would still set up the meeting between you, the teacher and the student to get things straightened out, this will avoid all of the drama that can be caused by a teacher reprimanding a student. If you want a certain atmosphere then it is up to you to spell it out to your faculty and staff. Let’s face it, teachers who are too harsh and abrasive will eventually cause you a problem. They may have great knowledge and expertise but if they cannot teach children in a dance school setting then they are of no use to you.

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Author

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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