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4 things every parent should know before choosing a dance studio
If most dance studios seem to have qualified, friendly teachers, experience teaching children and a performance at the end of the year, aren’t they all pretty much the same? Does it really matter which studio you choose for your child? Yes! There are 4 main things that can make a huge difference in the quality of instruction your child receives, the amount of extra work and hassles the parents must deal with and the overall enjoyment and satisfaction of being involved with a dance program. Here are 4 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 “Sprung Floor.” A Sprung floor is a floor designed specifically to absorb shock and is considered the best available for dance and indoor sports.
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 Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England, and Riverdance - The Touring Show, all use marley floors as their dance surface. A marley 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.
Both of our dance studios are equipped with professional sprung floors with a Marley top surface. Our special floors help reduce the risk of injuries and allow students to dance longer without getting tired.
2. What is the size of the class?
Smaller class sizes allow students to receive more personalized attention, learn more and have more fun in their dance class. With younger students, smaller class sizes make it easier for an instructor to maintain control over the class and make sure each student fully understands the concepts and instructions. A smaller class size also allows our instructors to ensure that students are not developing bad habits or improper technique.
3. How do I know how my child has progressed and what class I should enroll him/her in the following year?
Individual student evaluations are an important component in a child’s dance education. Just as receiving a report card from school assists parents in understanding their child’s progress in school, an evaluation from their dance instructor assists parents in understanding their child’s progress in dance.
Parents are encouraged to check their child’s progress with the teacher throughout the course of the year, but receiving written evaluations at the end of the dance year provides the parent and student with feedback regarding the student’s strengths and weaknesses in dance so there is an understanding of what the student needs to focus on in future classes, as well as the areas in which the child excels. This feedback provides valuable information so the parent and student understand the class placement recommendation for the upcoming dance year.
4. What are the “Extras” required throughout the year?
Most studios and other youth activities require many additional commitments throughout the year. Whether it is cleaning, fundraising or volunteering your time in other ways, most organizations require that parents spend time or money to help keep the programs running.
Our studio knows how valuable your time is. We do not require that you volunteer or charge you for time that you can not commit to. While we do rely on (and appreciate very much!) parent volunteers during the week of our year-end show, the volunteer work is minimal and not mandatory. And since we know how valuable your time is, we show our appreciation with a $15 (junior show) or $25 (senior show) credit towards the following years' registration fee.