We are about to start a new dance season and with that comes a lot of questions from parents of budding dancers.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a dance studio for your child.
Does the Studio Maintain a Professional Space?
Dance is a very physical activity that involves a lot of jumping that can put stress on bones and joints. The best way to prevent injury is to choose a studio with a professional “floating floor” that is built to absorb the shock of jumping. Each of our studios has professional “sprung floors” that reduce the risk of injury and allow students to dance longer without getting tired. Our studio also boasts a clean organized space with full mirrors, sound systems and barres in each studio room.
Is the Studio Organized and Do They Communicate With Their Parents?
Studios should run efficiently and have systems in place to ensure every client’s registration and administration experience is a smooth one. We keep a very clean and organized office environment with four levels of administrative help to serve you. Our teachers are able to assist with most administrative concerns; we also have a receptionist at the desk on weekdays, and a full time administrator to meet your needs. Finally the owner can address any concerns not met by the other staff. In this way we strive to be accurate, efficient and courteous in all our administrative dealing with you the client. Parents should be aware of what is going on in their child’s studio. We make this easy by providing many methods of getting information to parents. First we send home newsletters several times a year that inform you of upcoming events and opportunities as well as several other information sheets. Second we post all the information on our website and on social media so it can be accessed any where any time. Third we send home email letters about specific events to those who have provided their email address to us. Fourth we review information in the classes to the students so they know what to expect. We also have an app that parents can download on their smart phone to keep all the information on our studio in the palm of their hands. Parents are also invited into the classes twice a year so that they can see how a regular class proceeds.
Do They Have a Professional Year End Show and How Much Are the Costumes?
Dance is a performing art and as such it is important to teach them performance technique and give them an opportunity to perform. This is why we have a year end show ever year and we run it as a professional theatre show in a real theatre to give the students the experience of being in a real show. Or shows all have full lighting and sound. We do a full dress and technical rehearsal ahead of time to ensure that the show goes off smoothly. Our costumes for the show are an important part in helping the students’ look and feel their best on stage. After a seamstress measures your child we order our costumes in standard sizes to save you money. We then have a seamstress alter your costumes for free. This ensures that your costume will cost reasonable amount. Some studios have costumes that range from $100-$300. We ask for a costume deposit early in the year of $45 then ask for the balance when you pick up you costume in early June. Costume balances range from $10-$40 with no Costume ever costing more the $85 total for regular classes.
Does the Studio Offer Good Technical Instruction?
Some studios offer dance classes that amount to little more then babysitting for an hour. We believe this is an unfortunate opportunity missed to teach the child solid and appropriate dance technique. Dance classes should be a good mix of fitness, technique and fun and students should have every opportunity to explore their own artistic ability. Our teachers are all professional members of many dance organizations (R.A.D., C.D.T.A., A.D.A.P.T., P.A.E.C, etc.) that ensure their members live up to professional codes of conduct and ability. Our studio also offers R.A.D. ballet exams to eligible students and even if you do not choose our studio we encourage you to choose one that has R.A.D. trained teachers. Competitive Dance has become part of the mainstream dance world and provides an opportunity to practice performance skills and to receive feedback on technique. We believe there must be a balance between the opportunities competitive dance offers and the realities of the professional dance world. That is why we keep our technique classes and competitive classes separate and do not coerce or force students to compete. Competitive dance is not necessarily a pre courser to a professional career; and as such must be put in perspective. To some studios competitive dance is the be all and end all of the dance training they offer. This does not provide quality dance instruction, as the focus switches from the student’s needs and abilities to winning at all costs. Whether the student is a recreational student, or a competitive student, a pre-schooler, or an adult, they will receive the same attention and quality instruction as all our students.
Hopefully that has given you something to think about. If you want more information about what we can offer to you and your dancer, give us a call or send us an email.