Monthly Archives: January 2017

  • A Dancer's Guide to New Year's Resolutions

    By: Jordann Smith-Kingston, Curtain Call® Intern and Model

    1M-T4060As a college student majoring in dance, I not only spend a lot of time dancing, but also writing, talking, and thinking about dance. My improvements in dance determine my grades, and with constant new ideas, it can be difficult to stay focused on improving. I often easily forget the reason I love to dance. To gain direction and reset focus, I have found goal setting to be an effective solution. The start of a new year is the perfect time to reset the stage and rework the choreography. Here are my 10 resolutions of 2017:

    1. Dance Anytime, Anywhere!
    I often find the urge to do a grand jete or pirouette unbearable. Though, I always refrain, knowing the strange looks that will follow from bystanders. This year I hope to say, “so what?” to the onlookers and move freely, as I wish. I hope my joy for dance will remind me, life is a performance and I don’t need a barre or a class to justify dancing.

    2. Clean Out That Dance Bag
    My dance bag has everything from old homework and orange peels, to athletic tape and bobby pins. It is easy to quickly cram everything in and decide to deal with it later. But, later, is now. A clean dance bag, is a clear mind… which will help me easily find the things I do need, (like the left shoe that always disappears just before class). Keeping the stinky dance shoe smell away is important, too. I recommend after-use spray for shoes, scent balls made for athletic gear, or small bags of lavender.

    3. Ice, Ice Baby
    Icing can help with treating an injury, coping with an ongoing pain, or even preventing a future injury. For many dancers, including myself, this is often ignored advice. The constant strain our bodies endure from dance and other activities increases our risk of overused joints and shin splints. Icing more frequently will help me approach every class and rehearsal more fully charged.

    4. Eat Healthy
    Our diets play a large role in our attitude, energy levels, skin, digestive patterns, and so much more. For dancers, it’s difficult to balance a healthy diet with rigorous rehearsal schedules. To focus on a well-balanced diet, I have decided to implement a few little tricks. Packing light, energy loaded snacks of almonds, berries, or rice cakes with peanut butter, for long days of rehearsal. Precooking my meals, rather than buying on-the-go, to control portions and regulate healthy ingredients. Controlling indulgences, rather than letting the indulgences control me. And lastly, listening to my body and not overeating.

    5. Cross Train for Cardio
    Stamina is my weakest point of dance. To improve this, work must be done outside of the studio to concentrate on strengthening the heart. For dancers, the most beneficial activities are low-impact: swimming, elliptical, hot-yoga, cycling, or Pilates are some excellent examples. These exercises will also build muscle in areas not always utilized through dance.

    6. Get Back to the Basics
    Continuing to take beginner level classes helps to concentrate on basic technique. It is the perfect opportunity to remove the complexity of phrases or movements, and focus on small details, like muscle initiation or positioning. After all, life is about enjoying the little things, like nailing a triple pirouette en pointe for the first time!

    7. Wear Supportive Gear
    Although it’s easy to throw on a pair of flip-flops in the summer, they provide minimal support. Make conscious decisions when choosing proper footwear. Choose something that protects your feet, while supporting your arch and helping you to maintain proper posture and weight-distribution.

    8. See More Professional Dance
    Living in D.C., there are always popular groups or individuals coming to perform. Immersing yourself in professional performances allows you to see things differently or learn something new. Supporting other artists helps to find fresh inspiration and is also a great way to network with other dancers!

    9. Rehearse Before Rehearsal
    Rehearsal is intended for learning new choreography and reworking to perfect technique. It is not, however, time for reviewing old material. By rehearsing before, more time can be spent cleaning and the choreographer will view you as a well-prepared, professional student.

    10. Dance for ME!
    Every dancer has reasons for staying up late and spending hours in rehearsals and class or enduring large amounts of pain. Whatever the reason is, it always boils down to a love of dance. This year, I plan to keep that focus in mind as a mantra. I refuse to dance in order to make someone else approve or to try to dance like someone else or to try to change myself. I will dance because it has been and always will be my first love. It is the one constant in my life and brings me an inexplicable resounding joy that I want to share. Dancing defines me!

  • Dance Studio Owners: Here’s How to Make This Your Best Year Ever!

    Angela&SteveBy: Steve Sirico and Angela D’Valda Sirico, Dance Teacher Web

    "Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination" -Fitzhugh Dodson

    Every year around this time we love to reflect over what has taken place during the past year. Once the New Year hits it is important to have your focus on track as to what you want to achieve for the New Year. Not thrilled about something that has taken place at your studio? Don't fret, now is the time to throw out the things that are dragging you down and replace them with a new and fresh outlook.

    Keep in mind that you are the leader of your dance studio. If you are distracted and unhappy that will spill into your business. We believe your business is a reflection of you!

    Here are some quick tips to help you to have the right mindset for the New Year.

    1. Make your vision a priority. We have had studio owners who are, in our Dance Teacher Web consulting program, tell us that their clients are tough to deal with. That they are demanding and push them to the limits on everything. We tell them that the only way to change that is to set your standards and don't change them for anyone! We believe that if you let your customers push you around they will continue to push you around and it will only become worse, not better. Take a day and write down the perfect picture you have of your studio. How the parents, students, staff and faculty act. Now visualize ways that you can create that in your studio. Don't think for a minute that it can't happen! Share your vision with your team and let them know this IS going to happen. Set your standards and you will be thrilled and proud each day that you walk into the studio you have created.

     

    1. Get rid of the bad apples. Yes, I know this may be difficult but if you have a teacher, staff member, student or parent that is constantly a pain in the neck, you must make the move to get them out of your studio and life! No one should steal your joy. NO ONE! You work too hard and give too much of yourself. You deserve the utmost respect and happiness. Just before or right after the New Year are great times to meet with the problem people and inform them that your studio is just not the right fit for them. Thank them for being a part of your studio and wish them all the best but let them know that as of the New Year you are moving in a different direction without them.

     

    1. Keep your mind in a good place. Running a business is hard work. There are and will be challenging moments, Lord knows during the 30 years we have had our studio we have had plenty of those moments. But if you keep your mind thinking about how you can make your studio better and how you can increase your business you will see improvement. Opportunities are all around you if you are looking through the right glasses. Try not to focus on all the problems, I know that is not easy at times, believe me, but when you focus on what can be instead of what isn't then you will be shown the way to resolve any troubling issues you may be facing.

     

    1. Set your New Year goals. This is the fun part. Look at where you are right now and then decide where you would like to be. This overview may include your student count, income, faculty, choreography, competition results and anything else you can think of. Don't forget your personal ones as well. The only advice we would give in the goal department is, BE BOLD! We have always set lofty goals. Now we can't say that we have attained them all but we have had a lot of fun trying to achieve them and we have improved in any of the areas where we have put our focus. And, we have exceeded many as well!

    Now It’s Your Turn…

    Once you have finished reading this article please get a brand-new note pad or planner and start to make notes to yourself. You can name it something fun like My 2017 Goal & Idea Planner.

    On the first page write in big bold letters:

    I can easily achieve all my goals!

    I have everything in place right now to build the studio of my dreams!

    Focus on ideas no matter how big or small they are and ways that you can turn them into reality. Let’s face it, who knows your studio better than you do? You know all the good and all the not so good. But there are also hidden gems right under your feet at your studio. You just need to take some time to think about what can you do better, differently or completely new! Hopefully you don't have anything negative happening at your studio but if you do, start making plans to eliminate whatever it is. Keep your mind positive even in trying times and set those lofty goals. As the saying goes, "Go Big or Go Home!"

    We wish you a terrific New Year where all your dreams become reality!

     

    About D’Valda and Sirico

    Angela D'Valda Sirico and Steve Sirico have owned and directed a very successful dance studio in Fairfield CT for 30 years. They also have been teaching master classes, choreographing and producing shows. In 2007 they founded Dance Teacher Web now the #1 online resource for dance teachers and studio owners worldwide. They produce the live event every summer called Dance Teacher Web Live Conference and Expo . Steve and Angle have partnered with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to create Dance Teacher University a cutting-edge teacher certification program that offer two exciting levels with a diverse curriculum. They have also co-authored two books “It’s Your Turn!” The success blueprint for the dance studio owner and for the dance teacher with motivational guru Robert Landau

    In 1979 they formed the Adagio team of D’Valda & Sirico. Their performing credits include "Scala" Barcelona, Spain, Casino Estoril, Portugal, Theatre Royal, Oxford, England, Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, Hotel Tequendama, Bogota, Columbia, Teatro Nacional, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and as Guest Artists for Wayne Sleep's smash hit "Dash", Dominium Theatre, London.

    They were featured artists in Royal Command performances in Spain and had the privilege of performing for Princess Diana of Wales. D'Valda & Sirico's many television credits include "David Letterman", "Star Search", and "Tarde Para Todos" as well as variety shows in the U.S.A, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Portugal, Italy and Argentina. Their combination of explosive choreography and exciting partner work has been given rave reviews both nationally and internationally. Their choreography for the acclaimed "Brother Can You Spare a Dime" was commissioned by Boston Ballet II and performed by the company. Angela and Steve have owned and directed the D’Valda and Sirico Dance and Music Centre Fairfield, Connecticut since 1987. Their students have received scholarships and contracts to American Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Hartford Ballet as well as the National tours of "Fosse", "Fame" and "We Will Rock You" and on Broadway in "Chorus Line".

    Angela and Steve have been on the faculty of Dance Educators of America’s Teacher Training program. Steve is the author of his Jazz Dance syllabus and together they authored their Partner syllabus both used for Teacher Training worldwide. Angela served as Chairperson for the Tri State panel of the Royal Academy of Dancing and they have taught as guest faculty for Mt. Holyoke College, Michigan State University, The University of Arkansas, Yale University and University of Nevada Las Vegas. They teach Master Classes in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical Jazz and Partner work all over the world including residencies in England, Spain, Costa Rica and Mexico.

2 Item(s)