By Angela D’Valda Sirico of Dance Teacher Web
I am what I am today as a result of years of being shaped by others. I think for me it all started when I was 3 years old. I was appearing in my first dance performance as an Eskimo and it was my job to be the first one out of the igloo and down the slide. I was at the front of the line and jumped onto the slide and away I went! I didn’t realize that no one followed me I was apparently just as happy as I could be doing my Eskimo dance! What did I know? I was 3 years old. I found out later that the rest of the dancers were too scared to take the plunge! Obviously in my mind the show had to go on! That was my first experience as a dancer and each step that I took as I got older led me to a successful career in dance as a dancer, choreographer and teacher.
There were other instances where I was put in a position of leadership by others who were shaping me; leader of my house in high school, Dance Captain in almost all the shows I was in, Union representative for Disney on Parade and Company Manager for a spectacular in Asia. I have to admit that I never felt ready for these positions at the time, but others felt I was capable and so I trusted them. I learned a lot and started to have an understanding of what a leader is. I never had any idea or thought of owning a dance studio but when the opportunity presented itself Steve and I jumped right in there with a wish and a prayer, and later a dream.
Like the great Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have a dream!” and so many of us have said or thought to ourselves that we have a dream. The question is how can we not only make that dream a reality for ourselves but also a reality for everyone around us. The only way to become successful and to get other people to buy into your dream is to be or become a leader. So what exactly is a leader and how will being a leader lift the people who work for you, study and trust in you to educate their children to a level above mediocrity?
Leadership is an investment made by you for your people who will in turn give you their devotion, loyalty and trust. The most important ingredient in this investment is that the people around you know with absolute certainty that you have their backs no matter what. It is simply a choice that you make… to allow everyone around you to grow individually and in time help you to grow too! People will work tirelessly for you if they believe in you.
Being a leader does not mean that you have to be the best, the most knowledgeable or the most creative. It means you need to provide an opportunity for others. Leadership is a group effort! The key is to trust yourself, be yourself and stay real. If you have a winning attitude, so will everyone else!
Things are constantly changing and evolving and your team can be a great source of strength for you, but you need to have a purpose to make a difference and that is what we do each day in the life of a studio – we make a difference!
To build solid relationships with everyone who is a part of your studio you need to go beyond success in order to be significant.
To be the leader that you can be, you need to look back at all the moments in your life where you have been put in a role of leadership and just do more of the same with the help of the team that you have in place.