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Dance Studio Owners: Develop a Winning Team!


Studio Owner Article


Improve Staff and Customer Communication

Your faculty and staff will create the studio environment. So, make sure you choose wisely. Over the years I have been in studios and have seen and have felt a bad energy. The surprising thing is that the studio owner was usually a very nice, outgoing people person. But they had chosen the wrong people to be part of their team. To make matters even worse this person had become entrenched in their studio and it would be an issue to get them out.

Let me state it right here and be very clear. If you have a bad apple either find a way to get them in line or get them out! Read that a few times please so it really sinks in. This is a deal breaker for you to have a great team. You cannot get around this one.

So, let’s take a look at what we have developed at our studio over the years that has helped us create an amazing team that we absolutely love!

Winning teams keep improving.

This is not just a mindset but an overall philosophy that we use at our studio and I highly recommend you do it as well. We are always looking to see how can we do it better. From the front desk operations, handling issues that pop up and teaching methods. Everyone on the team understands that we value and want feedback. Now we don’t use it all but we want to have as many eyes looking at what we do and to present any thoughts as to how we can do it better. This environment will foster good feelings with your entire team. People feel more invested in places that they feel they have contributed to the success of the business. Remember Happy Staff = Happy Customers

Winning team members care about each other.

This may seem obvious and simple but after running a successful dance studio for 34 years it is easy to forget. There is that old saying “People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care” Our team members know how we feel about them because we not only tell them we show them. And we want them to feel that way about each other. This comes from respecting each other and working together. These team building actions can happen all of the time if you find creative ways to get everyone on the same page.

Winning teams are inspired.

Boredom… Nothing is worse! After 34 years we have to constantly work at keeping things fresh. Change it up from time to time and find ways to inspire everyone on your team. That could mean finding a new way to answer the phone, or explore using a new software or decorate the studio differently. With the teaching staff it may be taking them to some teacher training events like the Dance Teacher Web Conference and Expo or give them new teaching tools that they can use. Maybe you can find a way to send them fresh music each month in a certain genre they are working on. Sometimes you just need to have a short meeting to get their feedback or to brainstorm on how to teach something a different way. You can also print off articles from Dance Teacher Web and hand in out to your teachers with some teaching tips. To inspire your students, you need to be inspired. Same with your front desk staff. If in doubt, ask them what inspires them and then see how you can work it in.

Winning teams will evolve.

We have been lucky because most of our team has been with us for many years. Even the ones we have moved on from we are still in contact with and on good terms. The reality is, not everyone will be up to the challenge of progress. Change is not always embraced by everyone. Sometimes you will need to let someone go. Not easy or fun but if it is done with care and consideration then all parties should be ok with that decision. It could be that you present that person you are letting go with a letter of recommendation as they are leaving. This way the door is not completely shut and there will always be an understanding that you have appreciated their efforts while they worked for you. Look professional sports teams move on from some of their best coaches and players because the time had come for everyone to move on in another direction. If someone is not doing what you need and you cannot get them to go that way then it is probably best to say thanks for all your hard work but we are going to go in another direction. This is best to do after your season is over and you can start fresh.

One thing I can tell you for sure is to make sure you are hiring the right people. This is a process that needs to be done with care and by asking the right questions and knowing what you want the answers to be. Once you have the right people in place give them the freedom to express themselves and help them to grow. And they will reward you by helping you build an amazing environment and culture at your studio.

Here’s to your success.

Did You Know?  That Dance Teacher Web is the LARGEST online resource for dance teachers and studio owners with 1000+ videos, 100's of articles and lesson plans so that you can stay current and creative all year long. For the busy Dance Studio Owner, we offer fantastic articles on topics like marketing, how to get more students and increase revenue, business building video seminars, downloadable manuals, sample ads and forms that can help you increase your profits 30% or more!

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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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