5 Things Every Parent Should Know Before Choosing a Dance School
If most dance studios seem to have qualified, friendly teachers, experience training children and a big show at the end of the year, aren’t they all pretty much the same? Does it really matter which place you decide to enroll your child? Yes. 5 main things can make a huge difference in the quality of instruction your child receives, the amount of extra work and hassles the parent must deal with and the overall enjoyment and satisfaction of being involved with a dance program. Here are 5 things that every parent should consider before deciding on a dance studio for their child.
1. What type of dance floor is used?
Dance is a very physical activity that requires a lot of jumping, which can put stress on bones and joints. Most dance footwear does not provide any cushioning or support, so the shock of dance movement can place a lot of pressure on the knees and back of a dancer. The best way to prevent against potential injury is by choosing a studio with a professional “floating floor”. A floating floor is a dance floor that rests on a system of high-density rubber, to absorb the shock of jumping. A high-density rubber base is superior to a “sprung” floor, which usually consists of a wood structure built on the regular floor. The top layer of the dance floor is also an important factor. A vinyl composite “marley” floor is accepted worldwide as the best surface layer for recreational to professional dance. Facilities such as the Houston Ballet, New York Ballet, the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England, and River Dance – the Touring Show, all use marley floors as their dance surface. A marley dance floor allows dancers to slide with a degree of “controlled slip”, but is not slippery so there is less risk of slips and falls. Very few studios use professional marley floors because of the expense involved, and usually opt for a regular floor tile for a studio floor.All of our studio rooms have floating floors that have over 700 high-density foam/rubber blocks under the floor surface and marley surface that is imported from England. Our special floors help reduce the risk of injuries and allow students to dance longer without getting tired.
2. What are the “extras” required for the end of the year recital?
Most studios put on a end of the year show in a professional theater. Students that perform in the show must have a costume for their dance number. Some studios require you to pay high recital fee and costume fees and you do not get anything in return. This can be frustrating for parents to understand why they have to buy a mandatory number of recital tickets, purchase a DVD separately, and buy a program.
Our studio bundles all these items in one hassle free recital package. Each dancer will receive a program, trophy, and personalized t-shirt; in addition, each family receives a professional DVD and 2 free tickets for our year-end show. This way you as a parent will not be faced with any extra work or expense.
3. Can I get immediate assistance and customer service?
In most studios the teacher or the studio owner conducts classes and does the administration. By trying to do two jobs at once, the class may suffer as the teacher has to use class time for customer service issues, or the studio may have no customer service available if the teacher is in class. To have a good experience it is important to choose a studio that can assist you with details like costumes or schedules, even if a teacher is occupied in a class. Our studio has office staff on hand during all regular class times, so you can get immediate assistance.
Fewer students in the class means that your child will receive more personalized attention learn more and have more fun. With younger students our small class size allows the teacher to maintain control over the class in order to ensure that each student understands the concepts and instructions. With older students, our small size allows the students to progress more quickly and the teacher can be confident fundamental concepts are not being missed, and students are not developing bad habits or improper technique.
Our School limits all of our pre-dance classes (ages 3 – 6) to a maximum of 12 however, in some situations, we will allow class limits go beyond 12 but we will add a TA (teacher assistant). This is a combined total of two instructors in the class room at all times. For our older students (ages 8 and up), classes are limited to 18 students per class with a teaching assistant.
Most schools do not consider the age of the child when choosing music or choreography. They may have the child dancing to music with inappropriate words and meaning; furthermore, some choose costumes that are not appropriate for body type, too revealing, or too old for a child.
“At our studio, we make sure the music & choreography are age appropriate and tasteful”
Dana Sparks – Owner/Director In-Step Dance