After months of watching your son or daughter practice their dance moves in front of the mirror, you may have finally decided that it’s time to get them formal dance lessons. Even if dancing is just a fun activity for your child, signing them up for a dance program is still a great idea to get them out of the house and involved in an active, social environment.
8 Things You Should Know Before Choosing a Dance Studio
Keep in mind that not all dance classes are created equal. When making a final decision as to where to send your child for lessons, there are some variables that you should pay attention to before making any commitment:
Speak to the dance instructors
You will need to speak to the instructor to get a feel for their personality. If you’re uncertain, ask if you can sit-in on a class. The dance instructors are who your child will be spending most of their time with and from whom they will take instructions from. The instructor should be experienced and know a great deal about technique, as well as have a background in instructing kids. Instructors are crucial because they will ultimately determine how enjoyable of an experience your child will have in class—so take your time with this step.
Research the dance academy’s reputation
As a parent, it’s your job to make sure you are leaving your child with an organization that has a proven history of providing quality service. Speak to some of the other parents; ask them how they feel about the academy and more importantly their child’s experience with the academy and its instructors.
Inquire about their policies concerning the role of parents
If you’re the type of parent who will want to speak with the instructor after every class, give suggestions, and be in the room while your child is actually dancing—then you need to find out if the dance academy is comfortable with that level of involvement. If not, then don’t put yourself in that situation. If you are comfortable with not being very involved, and trust the dance academy and its instructors to do their jobs, then that’s something you also need to know before committing to an academy. This may not seem important, but it can cause tension if the level of involvement isn’t clear beforehand.
Find a Dance Studio in Your Area
There aren’t that many dance studios, and there are even fewer good dance studios. But that shouldn’t deter you from at least trying to find dance classes that are in your neighbourhood or somewhat close to your neighbourhood. Many parents get deterred if they have to travel distances they feel are too long, and it’s really the child that suffers.
What Type of Dance Classes Are Offered?
Different dance schools specialize in different forms of dance. Some schools may not take recreational dancers and may only work with those who are looking to make dancing a career. Others may only focus on ballet or hip hop or some other specific genre of dance.
Who Are the Dance Instructors?
It’s important to know the professional dance background of the instructors before making any commitments. You want to know if they have a history of professional dancing, but you also want to know that they have some experience as a dance instructor. The more passionate and experienced the instructor, the more engaged your child will be during lessons.
What Are the Communication Policies?
This sounds a bit more complicated than it actually is. All you really need to know is how the dance school communicates with parents. Is this done through mail, e-mail, phone, or through some kind of intranet system. Whatever their method, communication is crucial, so take the time to find out the practices of that particular school.
Are Classes Strictly Professional or Recreational?
Parents choose to involve their children in dance for a number of reasons. Not all parents expect their child to be professionals; they see dance as a recreational activity their children can enjoy. So, before registering your child, make sure you know if the dance classes are professional, recreational, or a combination of the two.
Performing Dance Arts is happy to offer dance lessons for both casual and competitive dancers. We have some of the most experienced dance instructors in the country and bring in world- renowned guest choreographers to help host our intensive dance camps and lead classes throughout the year.
We encourage you to do your own research on our academy—you’ll find that we have a strong reputation in the GTA. Contact us today to learn more about all that we offer at Performing Dance Arts.