Whether it be choosing a dance studio for the first time or switching studios, there are many factors to consider and weigh. To help you make an educated decision, here are some important points to think about!
Quality of Teachers
When looking at the faculty at a dance studio, you should make sure the teacher has several years of dance experience, training and maybe even a certification of sorts. Just like the teachers who are responsible for educating your child at school and have years of college and knowledge backing them, dance teachers should be held to the same standards.
In addition to having quality instructors, it also helps if the studio is structured with a clear and concise class level pathway. You should be able to see on the schedule that there are classes for each age level that your child will move up to year after year. Each level should have a set syllabus so that all students learn the same thing at the same level. This also helps to create more of a team-like commodore between the staff helping to keep all parents, teachers and students on the same page.
Do they offer the class/program you are looking for?
If you are looking to train in a specific style of dance, it is best to check with the studio to see if they offer the class and also to see how many levels they offer. Also, when you start looking for studios, it is important to know the level of commitment you are hoping for currently and in the future. If you are all in and want to eventually be involved in a competition team or ballet conservatory, you need to ask the necessary questions regarding number of classes, cost and other details even when your child is just starting.
Make sure to tour the studio space before enrolling in a class. Ask questions like what type of flooring they have (the best being sprung floors), if there is air conditioning and if there are viewing windows or tv monitors for parents. You will be able to see if there are mirrors and barres and possibly any other equipment that could be used in class. Ensure that the space your child will be spending time in is safe and set up for success!
When It Just Feels Like Home
Sometimes you just walk into a place and it feels like home! The way the staff and teachers welcome you and your child to the studio can say a lot about the everyday environment. Look for positivity and friendliness in staff members, other parents and other students at the studio. More items to look for are professionalism via email/social media and in person, response time to your emails or questions and really how much the staff goes out of their way to make you feel special. You should enjoy every moment spent at the studio!
Performance Opportunities and Philosophy
Make sure you know how many performances (or opportunities to perform) there are per dance season. Usually, every dance studio has an annual recital at the end of the year in May or June. Often times, there are also extra performances such as a christmas shows or community events. If you are on a competition team, there will most likely be several more mandatory attendance weekends for competitions. Again, know what is expected and what you are willing to commit to. Lastly, find out where the artistic director stands in terms of age appropriateness in regards to costume and song choice. Often times, it is helpful to attend a show to see for yourself what the studio is all about!
Among the many variables that come into play when choosing a dance studio, these are a few that may help make or break your decision!