4 Things Everyone Should Know Before Choosing a Dance Studio
4 Factors That Make Our Studio Unique
If most dance studios seem to have:
- qualified, friendly teachers
- experience teaching children
- and a big show at the end of the year
Aren’t they all pretty much the same?
Does it really matter where you decide to enroll your children?
There are four 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.
What Type of Floor is Used?
Dance is a very physical activity that requires a lot of jumping. This 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 foam to absorb the shock of jumping. A high-density foam 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 “Harlequin” floor is accepted worldwide as the best surface layer for recreational to professional dance. Facilities such as the Royal Academy of Dance in London, and Riverdance – The Touring Show – all use these floors as their dance surface. A harlequin 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 harlequin floors because of the expense involved, and usually opt for a regular floor vinyl for a studio floor. All of our studio locations have floating floors that have over 700 high density foam blocks under the floor surface and a Harlequin top surface that is imported from London. Our special floors help reduce the risk of injuries and allow students to dance longer without getting tired.
What is the Size of the Class?
If the dance class has fewer students in it each child will receive more personalised attention, learn more, and have more fun. With younger students it is easier for the teacher to make sure each student understands the concepts and instructions. Our smaller class sizes makes sure that no fundamental changes are being missed. A smaller class size also allows our teachers to ensure that students are not developing bad habits or improper technique. Our studio limits all classes for students aged 5 upwards to just 14 per class, while pre-school classes are set at just 10 per class.
Can I get immediate assistance and customer service?
In many studios the teacher or studio owner conducts classes and does the administration. By trying to do 2 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 class. Our studios have office staff on hand during all class times, so you can get immediate assistance.
What are the ‘extras’ required for the end of year show?
Want to give your kids the chance to perform but not keen on a lot of extra travelling and high costs? We are fortunate enough to be able to hold our dance show in our own venue in Haddington, making life a little easier for parents and students as there’s no extra travelling involved. Students perform in age groups across a week, making the show a more comfortable length for parents’ and not too late a night for our younger dancers. Most studios put on an annual show. Students that perform in the show must have a costume for their dance number. Some studios may require parents to sew their child’s costumes, or pay extra and the parents must find their own seamstress to do the sewing. This can be inconvenient and frustrating for parents who are busy or can’t sew. Most studios also require parents to purchase tickets for the recital performance night.Our studios use our own professional seamstresses to sew and alter costumes, so parents do not have to worry about any costume hassles. Our studio now also gives each family 2 free tickets for our year end show, and a free film of the recital.
Can I view a class?
Like to know what’s going on in class and getting slightly cryptic responses from your kids? In addition to our annual dance recital we provide 2 class viewing sessions each year where parents and friends are invited to watch a regular class in action. This gives parents the opportunity to see what actually happens in class, how classes are structured and witness their children’s progress in a more relaxed environment.
Is there somewhere to wait between classes?
Not sure how to pass the time between drop off and pick up? Our Cafe is open during all teaching hours providing a range of drinks, snacks and meals. It’s an ideal place for parent’s to enjoy a cup of coffee and read the paper or catch up on emails while waiting for children in classes. We also have a waiting area at our front door Reception.
Am I too old to start?
Definitely not. We have classes suitable for beginners at any age. The best thing to do is give us a call on 0845 528 1059 and we’ll find a class that will suit you.
Why is important to attend classes regularly?
As with any enriching educational activity, consistency is key. You and your child can play at the pool once or twice over the course of a few months, and have a great time. But if your goal is to have your child become safe and comfortable in the water, you’re probably going to want to take regular lessons. That’s why it’s recommended that students regularly attend class, so they can get to know the teacher and their classmates, so they have the chance to build on the learning outcomes worked on in previous weeks and so they can gain a greater understanding of the dance style. But most importantly, consistency and the repetition and affirmation it affords will provide students with a wider base for their own creativity within dance both in and out of class.
How old should my child be to start dancing?
The average age for a child to start attending a dance class is around the age of 3 years. As with most ‘averages’ there are exceptions to the rule and some children are confident enough to begin at 2.5 years while others may benefit from starting later than 3 years.
The ‘readiness’ of a child to start is based on the following criteria:
- An enjoyment of music and movement
- Confidence to attend a class without a parent or prime carer in attendance
- Familiarisation with a more formal group structure – is the child already attending nursery or playgroup for instance
- Awareness of the need to listen and cooperate
- Preferably no longer wearing nappies