Choosing a Dance Studio
Four Things Every Parent Should Know in Order to Choose a Dance Studio
Most dance studios seem to offer similar programs with friendly experienced teachers and performing opportunities. Aren’t they all about the same? Does it make a difference where you choose to enroll? Yes. There are 4 critical factors that can make a difference in the quality of dance instruction your child receives. Parents need to understand what they are expected to do while their child is enrolled. These factors will affect the overall enjoyment and satisfaction while participating in a dance program. Here are 4 things that every parent should consider before choosing where to send their child for dance class. These factors will highly affect the overall satisfaction and enjoyment of your family’s dance experience.
- Are Classes Age-Appropriate?
- Dance training must be age-appropriate for the young student - physically, socially and emotionally. In order to train effectively and safely, young dancers should be learning skills that their developing bodies are ready. Progression in levels is a very important factor. A studio should be able to provide a program which offers the student a chance to progress from a beginning dancer to an advance dancer in the disciplines taught.
- We describe our studio as “family-friendly”. We teach classes which are age appropriate and we provide a wholesome environment for positive learning. Technically our studio provides a graded system of levels so that we can make sure that students are ready to advance to the next level of training. Our goal is to develop a strong foundation whereby the dancer can move to appropriate levels as they advance within our program. Teachers work together to determine the correct placement of every individual student at our studio. The dancer becomes a part of our dance family and we take their advancement very seriously.
- What Is The Size of The class?
- The dance class should be a reasonable size so the instructor can teach effectively and maintain class control. This allows a teacher to provide individual attention and be aware of the student’s individual needs. The smaller class helps the teacher make sure that concepts are understood by each student and prevents students from developing bad habits or using improper technique.
- Our studio limits the size of our classes. Tiny Tot classes are generally 8 - 10 students. Other classes are generally 12 - 15 students depending on the type of class and age level. If a class becomes too large we will split the group to make up two classes. Our goal is to make sure that the student gets the individual attention necessary for personal attention and advancement.
- What Type of Dance Floor Is Used?
- Dance is a physical activity which requires jumping and springing. This can impart stress and pressure to the joints of the feet, ankles, knees, hips and back. Injuries can occur if a dancer is training on an improper floor. Studies have shown that it is very important to provide a floor which has spring action when participating in highly physical activities. This floor will provide a buffer to absorb the shock that is imparted to the body. The type of flooring used in professional studios and theatres is called a “floating floor”. A “floating floor” is built on top of a structure of high density foam pads. These pads act as shock absorbers to the body. This system is superior to a “sprung” floor which is generally wood built on top of the regular sub-floor.
- The top layer of the floor is an important factor to the dance student. A vinyl composite known as “Marley” is manufactured especially for the dance studio. The Marley surface is the accepted flooring used by major dance companies and theatres throughout the world. The finish of the Marley surface allows the dancer to slide with a degree of control. It is not slippery enough to cause falls.
- Our studio has installed the “floating floor” system in each of our studios. There are hundreds of high density foam pads under each floor which protect students and teachers alike. The top layer is a special Marley vinyl created for the dancer. Our floors help to reduce the risk of injury and keeps students from getting tired while taking class.
- Communication and Customer Service?
- It is important that parents are kept informed as to what is going on at the studio. It is not a good experience for a child to miss out on a special practice because the information wasn’t communicated to the parent. A dance studio must make pertinent information easily available. Also, there should not be unexpected surprises when it comes to Production time. Of course, Productions do take extra time, but it is important that you know in advance what is expected of the parent and child.
- At our studio communication is a top priority. We provide a policy form which explains what we expect from our parents throughout the year. In addition, our brochure, newsletter and web site will provide very helpful information concerning tuition policies, class attire etc. During our bi-annual Production year we have a mandatory parent meeting in November to explain show procedures. We also give each student a very detailed Performer’s Packet as a convenient resource. Our office staff is available during regular class hours for your immediate assistance.