CONFERENCE CALL! DANCE TEACHER WEB LIVE CONFERENCE & EXPO 2014!

YES!! It's that time of year again when we are getting closer to our annual Dance Teacher Web Conference & Expo at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada! Join us July 27th-30th for what is sure to be the most knowledge, dance and info packed conference of the season!! From a vast array of movement classes, business classes and endless events, there is something for every teacher and studio owner from around the world! With our talented, multi- faceted and eclectic faculty, there is no end to the professional development and inspiration you will acquire and bring back to your own students and studios! Led by our very own Angela D'Valda Sirico and Steve Sirico, we are certain this year's conference and expo will be the one to beat! We chatted with co- director Steve Sirico about this year's goodies!

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THE TASK OF HIRING NEW DANCE FACULTY

Studio directors, with another amazing dance season about to begin, who you choose to keep on or hire to be part of your studio family for next year says a lot about the tone you set for your business and the kind of training being offered. I've seen many directors go through massive teacher turn-over year after year and can't figure out why they can't seem to find a consistent staff who "gets" what the studio's mission is and comply to it. While you might not fully know someone's teaching style and whether they are a good fit for your studio until they're teaching week after week, consider some of these things during the hiring process so you have a mental checklist of what you are ultimately looking for.

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DANCE TEACHERS...THE TIME TO START PLANNING FOR NEXT SEASON IS NOW!

For many of us this is the time of year when are season is winding down and we are either immersed in the end of year performances or trying to recover from the pressures of producing choreography that makes our students shine. Now is the time to take a deep breath and reflect on the season. Looking back always helps us to move forward in a more positive way. How did you feel that your year went? Did you accomplish all the things that you set out to do at the beginning of the year and were you happy with the results?

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VALUING KNOWLEDGE BEYOND MOVEMENT

From my experiences as both a student and a teacher, what I have come to recognize is that learning the why's and how's of technique, composition, history, anatomy, etc, is what ultimately separates the dancer who watches, repeats and may perform well with that who becomes an artist of their craft. Getting students, at an early age to understand and value the importance of where things come from, how a technique evolved, who the pioneers of a certain genre were and what their contributions to dance were, how a particular muscle works to achieve a desired position, the back-history of a musical, how changing the effort quality of a movement changes intent in a work, etc, can catapult our students into what I call "whole dancers" as opposed to solely trained moving vehicles; those literally just going through the motions.

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WHEN YOUR DANCE STUDENTS WANT TO TEACH..............

As studio owners we all have those students we've trained from the time they could walk. We have molded them, nurtured their technique, taught them classroom etiquette, celebrated their accomplishments and wiped tears during defeat and injury. When they arrive at that pivotal age where they are about to "leave the nest," but are still at the very beginning stages of their dance career, the idea of having these "mini-me's" transition to teaching is something all of us has considered. On the surface it seems like a logical transition; especially if these students understand your expectations and the way in which you go about your training curriculum. Realistically, they have had the extensive training themselves. They have seen how your faculty teaches, the material covered, etc. But is that enough? On the flip side, doesn't the the skill set and requirements for being an effective teacher and choreographer take years and years in itself to develop and learn? So, is a 17 year old really capable at that stage of their dance career to be catapulted into a permanent faculty role? I'm not so sure.

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THE DANCE TEACHER'S SUMMER GUIDE TO REINVENTION!

With the summer season quickly approaching, a lot of dance teachers and studio owners will be able to engage in a bit of down-time as recital and competition season comes to a close and before summer sessions commence. Before you know it, September will be upon us and it will be a brand new year to get working on new projects and curriculum building! While students receive a well- deserved break during the summer months, dance educators often forget that we too need to pause; in order to refuel our own creative juices and let ourselves become re-inspired. As with any artist, a little respite is a great time to self-reflect on the teaching year; choreography we were proud of, things that did or didn't work in our curriculum, changes we'd like to make for the following season and what new information we can use to reinvigorate ourselves and consequently our students.

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