If most dance studios seem to have qualified, experienced, friendly teachers, and a big show at the end of the year, aren’t they all pretty much the same? Does it really matter which dance school you decide to your enrol your children at? The answer is….Yes! There are at least five 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 five of the things that every parent should consider before deciding on a dance studio for their child.
1. Is the facility designed as a dance studio?
Dance is a very physical activity that requires adequate room size, proper flooring, ballet barres, and mirrors. It is important that the flooring is raised and cushioned above a concrete surface. The surface layer should be designed for dance. There can be different types of surfaces depending on the dance discipline. (e.g. hardwood for tap, non slip for ballet. etc.)
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 professional dance floors. At Dance Theme all our studios have special floors that help reduce the risk of injuries and allow students to dance longer without getting tired.
2. How qualified are the teachers?
Are the teachers mature with dance teaching experience and respected in the dance community? Is there one person who supervises the teachers and programs giving everyone a sense of direction? All teachers start somewhere but it is important that if a teacher is new, they have a curriculum and guidelines to follow and are supervised. At Dance Theme we encourage our students to pursue teaching careers if they possess the dance knowledge, energy and love of teaching. We offer a structured and monitored Teacher Training program to our older students who are passionate about teaching. Many of our students have gone on to become sought-after dance teachers in the community.
3. Are there additional costs during the year and how much commitment does it require?
You are spending money on your child’s education and you should be aware of what you are getting for your money. Ask what the extra costs are throughout the year. There may be costume fees, competition and/or festival fees and exam fees. At Dance Theme we try to keep the costs as low as possible while providing as many opportunities to our students as possible. As with all activities, the more hours that a student spends training, the stronger they will become, but we respect that students and families have different goals in their dance training. To meet everyone’s goals, we also offer short-term programs that offer fun, exercise and dance training in a more recreational environment. All our programs are taught by our qualified staff members in our professional dance facility.
4. How long has the studio been in business and is it a professional studio?
If a studio has been around for a number of years, they are obviously doing something right! Is the director’s main focus dance and/or music education or is it a part time job or hobby? The more involved a director is with the dance community the more current they are with what is happening in dance education and the industry. At Dance Theme the teachers are members of the Alberta Dance Educators Association as well as serving on the executive. They are sought after adjudicators and teachers who are highly respected members in the dance community.
5. Can I get immediate assistance and customer service?
In many 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 a 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.