How to find a good dance school
7 things to look for when choosing a dance studio
1. Friendliness of Teachers
These are the people that will be teaching your child. Did they make sure to meet each child and learn their name? Your child should be in an environment where they feel comfortable, special, and cared for.
The Dawsonville Dance Difference
The teachers at Dawsonville Dance strive to cultivate good relationships with their students through personalized instruction.
2. Qualification of Teachers
Do the teachers have adequate dance experience? Dance, especially ballet, is something that most teachers will have started training in when they were children. Teachers should have years of training and performance experience. They should also continue their education by attending conferences, seminars, and shows.
The Dawsonville Dance Difference
Dawsonville Dance has an extremely qualified staff, as indicated by their bios and the numerous awards they have won.
Children are healthiest when they are allowed to just be children. A studio that focuses on health and technique does not need to have compromising moves or costumes. Also, a studio should not introduce your child to mature music with questionable lyrics.
The Dawsonville Dance Difference
At Dawsonville Dance our goal is to partner with you as a parent to do what is best for your child. Dawsonville Dance will always have non-compromising costuming and clean song lyrics.
As with any physical activity, there is a risk for injury. But a good dance studio will take great efforts to reduce the risks. A reputable dance studio will have a specially constructed dance floor. Dancing on concrete can send shock through a dancer’s ankles and knees, potentially creating injuries. A good dance floor will be “sprung” – have cushion – on the bottom, and a special vinyl mat – often called “marley” – on the top. If a studio spent time and money in making sure you have a safe area to practice, you can bet that they’ll watch out for your safety during class too.
The Dawsonville Dance Difference
Dawsonville Dance’s floor is state-of-the-art, and we even have a 6″x6″ model so you can see how it was constructed! Also, our teachers will not instruct students to attempt anything that would be hazardous, and we encourage students to not push through injuries that they should be resting.
5. Class Placement
Being placed in the proper class is very important for maximum growth. Children should be in a class where they are challenged to grow and learn, but not feel over their head. Often times in dance classes, this will mean placing students by experience and ability rather than based solely on age. This is a great time for your child to make friends of different ages. Sometimes a teacher will move a child to a new class they feel the child will do better in. This is a responsible thing for a teacher to do, because they should want your child to have the best dance class experience possible.
The Dawsonville Dance Difference
At Dawsonville Dance, we initially place new students based on age with more challenging programs becoming available as they progress through a level placement system. We also employ mid-year evaluations to make sure that students are progressing as needed.
6. Class Size
Having crowded dance classes is less than ideal for several reasons. First of all, there should be enough room in the studio for students to stretch and move in a group without worrying about bumping into each other. Secondly, there should be a reasonable amount of students in the class so that your child gets adequate attention from the teacher. Several things in dance classes are done by taking turns, so you want to be sure the class is not so full that they hardly get their turn.
The Dawsonville Dance Difference
Dawsonville Dance is proud of our small class sizes, designed to give your child the most benefit from their classes.
7. The Overall Feeling
Are students and parents happy at the studio? Is the staff pleasant? Is the studio well-kept and cared for? These are all signs that you are at the right studio. A studio should be a safe environment for children to learn and grow.
The Dawsonville Dance Difference
Dawsonville Dance is a family studio, run by a family, and run for families. We love our students and are honored that you allow us to be a part of their lives!
Read more about our studio’s journey and how you can become a part of it.
Do we sound like the right dance studio for you?
Choosing a Dance Studio – A Guide for Parents
By Emily Yewell Volin of Dance Informa.
A studio is only as good as its instructors and different classes require a different type of instructor for optimum benefit. While professional performance experiences with reputable companies are frequently a guarantee of technical ability on the teacher’s behalf, the same doesn’t always translate to top-quality instruction. Find out where current and former students of the studio are and what they are doing. The goal is for your young dancer to find a place with excellent technical training alongside a passion for embracing youth development. This partnership of purpose helps young dancers generalize lessons from dance study to inform their future endeavors. Pay attention to the variety of teachers employed by the school – the more diverse, the better.
What type(s) of dance does your child hope to study? Find out what genres the school offers. Options include, but are in no way limited to, classical ballet, creative movement, jazz, contemporary, modern, tap, world dance, hip-hop, social dance, leaps and turns, and stretch. Ask the school for class definitions and then compare what your child seems interested in with the options.
Find out how the studio communicates with its students and their families. Does the school utilize a website or social media to keep families informed of news, weather-related closings and general announcements? What are the payment options for classes? Are discounts offered to those who pay for a half-year or a full year instead of monthly? Can you pay online or set up an auto payment? And on which day of the month will tuition be due? Notice if audition postings, summer study fliers and dance-related news, health and tips articles are available to students. A vibrant studio will have a constant influx of current news and information available for students and their families.
Student Placement & Progress Reports
Ask how the school will properly place your child into class. Is there a placement audition or will the child be asked to sample a few classes and decide, upon consultation with faculty, where he/she best fits? How will your student receive feedback about goal-setting and accomplishment? Is there a system in place for student reflection about his/her progress? Also, find out if/when parents are welcome to observe class. Most schools designate a parent watch week and a few schools offer one-way mirrors or live video feed from the studio to the lobby for interested parents. Know that it is important for your student to be able to do his/her class work without constant parental input, but that it is important for a parent to be aware of his/her child’s work ethic and progress.
Conservatory, Competitive or Recreational
Deciding what type of school or class is best for your child can be tricky. Is your child drawn to dance because of a particular exposure to movement? Does your child enjoy performance and/or competition or want to dance recreationally? These are questions to ask your aspiring dancer. Most studios offer a few different tracks for dancers. You can register for once weekly recreational classes that may or may not include a performance component – typically a recital or informal event. However, if your dancer hopes to be involved in large-scale productions and commit to a conservatory-type of training in various genres for several hours a week, you may want to audition for placement in the studio’s youth company. Finally, some studios offer a competitive option. These schools typically offer the opportunity to audition for inclusion on a traveling competitive team.
What type(s) of dress codes are in place at the studio you are considering? The answer to this will inform your knowledge of the studio’s approach. You hope to find that the school requires form-fitting clothing as well as appropriate footwear, no jewelry and hair secured off the face. Dress codes for a recreational class will be less formal than for the conservatory or competitive classes. However, it is typical for a youth company format to involve a celebrated succession of color leotards that denote accomplishment of level. For example, the youngest dancers begin in ballet pink, the eldest and most accomplished dancers graduate to navy blue. Instructors must be able to see body alignment in order to provide essential body alignment information. Dress codes also ensure appropriate coverage and support of the body during class.
Visit the school and assess its cleanliness, safety of the entrance and parking lot and studio arrangement. Find out if there are student dressing rooms, accessibility to water and adequate lighting. Is the studio atmosphere vibrant and are materials (mats, barres, floors) in good condition? Ask about the flooring system in the studios and be certain your dancer will not be dancing on concrete. The gold standard for studio flooring is a floating floor covered with marley. Find out what your dancer’s developing body will be spending hours training upon.
Plan a time to visit the school with your aspiring student. Aim for arriving during the bustle of classes and, without causing disruption, peek into the classroom windows to get a sense of how classes are conducted at the school. Are the classes conducted in an orderly way? Pay attention to the rapport among studio faculty, students, parents and staff. Do people seem happy to be there and at ease? Do you see evidence of individual and group accomplishments being celebrated by the studio’s community via a newsletter or bulletin board postings in the studio? What types(s) of programs are in place for helping dancers at the studio feel part of the larger studio community? Big Sister/Big Brother programs between the older and younger dancers, open studio days, flash mob participation, fundraising activities and other recreational events help students and their families find the benefits of authentic community through the studio.
Does the idea of performing excite or terrify your child? Find out which class, company or competitive expectations best fit your student’s interests and register accordingly. Ask about the rehearsal time, financial commitment and volunteer expectations involved with the different options. Be realistic about discerning the best balance for your family.
View performance samples from the studio. Many schools share these samples online. If not, ask for access to a recent recording. As you are watching, assess the age appropriateness of the choreography and costuming as well as the overall quality of the performance. Regardless of the technical ability of the dancer(s), the performance should look well rehearsed and polished.
Photo (top): © Antoniodiaz | Dreamstime.com
Related Items:choosing a dance studio, dance advice, dance studio, dance studio resources, dance tips
How to choose a dance school?
Dance classes are more popular than ever before. Many who want to try their hand at this art, feel the positive impact of this type of activity, develop special skills. It is not surprising that the number of dance sections and circles is growing rapidly, because great demand gives rise to an abundance of proposals in this area.
You can practice dancing professionally, devoting all your time and energy to it. Such a person sets clear goals and does everything possible to achieve them. It is also possible to be an amateur in this area, for whom success in the art of dancing is not the main task. It's just a hobby that brings a lot of positive emotions. But regardless of whether there is a desire to connect your destiny with the dance art and make it the main business of life, or you just want to be able to sometimes enjoy an exciting pastime, you should approach the choice of a dance school responsibly. nine0005
The concept of the dance school
So, first of all, decide what goals and results you are pursuing what you expect from classes. This will allow you to understand what exactly your “ideal” dance school should be and rush in search of it.
When choosing a school, ask what educational opportunities it offers. Specify which programs and formats it operates, what tasks it is focused on. There are those that are aimed at preparing exclusively professional dancers. Naturally, in this case we are talking about regular and serious classes, enhanced training. nine0005
Training will need to be approached very responsibly. There are also sections and schools that offer dance classes to everyone who sees them as a way of exciting pastime, active recreation and a charge of positive emotions. They do not practice too strict approach in teaching. You can attend classes if possible or if you wish. However, any coach will say that regularity is extremely important if you want to achieve certain results (lose weight, tighten your body, become more graceful, develop dance skills, etc.). nine0005
Also modern dance schools can be conditionally divided into three types:
- Working exclusively with adults or children . To work, for example, with children, teachers must have specific knowledge, skills, and experience. Such professionals have a certain specificity of work, and therefore the preparation must be appropriate. Not every school is ready to teach very young dancers.
- Highly specialized . We are talking about studios that work in a certain direction and style - Latin American, oriental, ballroom dancing, etc. However, there are fewer and fewer of them. nine0030
- General schools . They offer dance training in various styles, working with both adults and children. Anyone can apply, regardless of age and level of training.
What kind of dances are you interested in? Even if you are not sure that, for example, bachata , kizomba , pole dance or some other dance style is yours, it's not scary. Some schools offer free trial classes. Also, no one forbids visiting several workouts, trying different directions in order to be able to decide what exactly your soul lies in. nine0005
The dance of a thousand hands is traditional in China. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that it is always performed by 21 dancers. Their hands are so synchronous that an amazing illusion arises, as if there is one woman in front of you, skillfully moving many hands. Just imagine what preparation and how many rehearsals such dancers need to go through before entering the big stage!
One of the key values of the dance school is carefully selected team of teachers . They must have excellent theoretical and practical training, have decent work experience, be able to interact and establish communication with different people. They must be masters of their craft. Before making a choice in favor of a particular studio, ask who will teach you how to dance . What achievements they have, what regalia they have, how long they dance and teach, whether they improve their professional level - all these are significant indicators. nine0005
It is also worth paying attention to how long the school has existed. Great if it has been working for a long time. This indicates the stability and high quality of the services provided. Agree, if the school taught dance poorly, the students would not stay in it and, in the end, it would not have existed for a long time. And vice versa: a good school is practically not afraid of either adverse circumstances (including economic ones), or the fact that it will be left without its wards. The best advertising is satisfied customers who speak excellently about the studio, thereby attracting new students. nine0005
Variety of dance styles and programs
Multidisciplinary schools offer a wide variety of dance styles. And this is very good. It is possible that over time you will want to try some other areas of in addition to those for which you came to the studio initially. This will allow not to change the school, but to continue studying in comfortable and familiar conditions.
If you have not yet decided which dance direction to prefer, consider a few points:
- First of all, listen to yourself: what do you expect from the classes - to improve your physical fitness, have a good time or the opportunity to become an athlete?
- Secondly, if you want to dance alone, in a couple or in a group, how much time are you willing to devote to training?
You can consult with the school's specialists what dances and what format of classes may suit you. With more experience, they will be able to recommend what you should try. You can also watch videos of people dancing in certain styles. nine0005
Suitable learning format
Classes can be held individually, in group format and in the form of master classes . Here you need to decide which option is more preferable for you. Group trainings are aimed at working out the basics of dance, general learning of movements and ligaments. Not much attention is paid to each student. If you want to study at your own pace, which is convenient for you, improve your skills, it is better to choose individual lessons. They are also necessary for those who are preparing for competitions. nine0005
As for master classes, they will allow you to improve your dance “literacy”, gain new experience in one direction or another, and form skills. With their help, the skill of the dancer increases.
It is important that dance halls are spacious, bright and preferably with mirrors . But not only. Comfortable conditions in changing rooms is another indicator of a good dance school. They should have enough space, warm in the cold season and cool in the warm season. nine0003 Not bad if there are showers . This will allow you to freshen up after a busy workout, put yourself in order.
Let's say you don't know exactly what you want out of dancing. The so-called "trial period" will help you decide, during which you can listen to yourself and your feelings, understand what you like most and what you don't. Already today you can start enjoying the dances that you will learn under the strict guidance of experienced and talented trainers. And it doesn’t matter at all what result a person is most interested in. Dancing is always an opportunity for self-expression, revealing one's physical potential and comprehending an unimaginable range of emotions. nine0005
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Dance School - Balance Club
01 September 2016
Due to the wide popularity of dance art, there are many dance schools in Russia, the number of which continues to grow. A new dance school in Moscow appears almost every month. In this regard, parents who want to enroll their child in dance classes face a difficult task of choosing. nine0005
In order to determine what is best for your child, first of all, you need to think about what exactly you expect from dance classes. Maybe you want your child to eventually become a professional dancer, or do you expect that the dance school will help your child develop a good correct posture and acquire a beautiful figure? Or maybe dancing classes for your child are of interest to you, only as a fun pastime and communication? All these reasons, both individually and in their sum, are enough to enroll a child in a dance school. And only to choose a particular dance school, it is necessary to clearly understand the motivation. nine0005
A dance school focused on competitions and performances is not suitable for you if your child needs dance classes just for fun. It will be very difficult for a child to get exactly what you want, because there the training program is result-oriented and very demanding in completing its tasks. Such a dance school is more suitable for those who want to see their child on the big stage someday.
Find several dance schools that are convenient for you and visit each of them. Each dance school in Moscow will provide you with detailed information about their classes, from listing dance styles and showing a choreographic class to information about their teachers. Ask about what “philosophy” the dance school adheres to, how they treat students being late and missing classes, what level of the group. Tell the administration of the dance school about your motivation and they will tell you which dance studio suits you best. By the way, it would be nice to take your child with you (unless, of course, he is already old enough) - let him try to ask questions of interest to him and later express his opinion. Your child can also attend a trial class, which is usually discounted by the dance school. nine0005
Children's dance directions at the Balance Club Dance School!
If you have friends whose children attend any dance school in Moscow, then ask them to share their opinion about classes at this school. Parents can provide you with information that the dance school itself cannot give you. The opinion of parents can be considered quite objective, because. they are not interested in unnecessarily embellishing or, on the contrary, belittling the dignity of this school.