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Studio owners, how often do you and your staff/faculty partake in weekly, bi- monthly or monthly staff meetings? Do you have a regimented protocol to keep abreast of the things currently going on at the studio and projections as such? If not, there are a million reasons to add these studio "touch-bases" to your agenda..........

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Studio Directors, is faculty selection of music a constant stress? Do you have to approve all music choices because teachers choose the same music or inappropriate content, music that does not match your recital theme, dated and overdone songs, etc.? How do you diplomatically suggest to faculty that you'd prefer them to think of another idea? Being able to balance artistic directorship without stifling teachers creativity is a fine line. Sometimes though, for the sake of the business and developing memorable works that showcase professionalism, variety and artistry is necessary.....

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Studio owners, if you've given thought to bringing in master classes, workshops or guest choreographers for your students, this can be a wonderful experience for a number of reasons. While the faculty you hand select should be a group of teachers who consistently challenge your students, raise the bar and have high artistic merit while evolving year after year, sometimes new blood in the studio is a way to shake things up and expose your dancers to a whole new experience. Giving your dancers an opportunity to learn from different teachers with many different styles and aesthetics is an invaluable opportunity that will only enhance their vernacular and artistic palette.........

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Teachers are human. We are indeed the ones our dancers look to for training, motivation, discipline, artistic inspiration and guidance, but indeed at the end of the day we are human. We are not immune to creative blocks, bad days, lack of patience and finding our own selves on autopilot from time to time. While we all strive to be this beacon of light that waltzes into the studio with an infinite stream of ideas readily on tap, the fact is, the day after day and year after year grind can burn out the best and most brilliant teacher...............

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Improvisation is still one of those areas of dance which mystifies some studio dance teachers and terrifies dance students (mainly older students.) Most of the time you'll get an, "I love improv" or an "I hate improv" from the crowd as there is generally no ambivalent feelings on the subject. Usually, the younger we are the more uninhibited we are and the earlier we introduce improvisation as more than just "freeze dance," the tendency will be more of a joy to freely move vs. being self-conscious as to what to do next. It will also inadvertently start to build a sophisticated movement profile and palette for little ones as they develop into more mature dancers down the road. For youngsters, it's easier to just move and not think but the older we get the more our brains get in the way. Sometimes as a dance teacher I have to tell my older students, "stop thinking, just do it and move" and that goes with executing choreography too, so you can imagine the terror that comes with not having the steps laid out for them...........

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