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 which place you decide to enroll at? 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 “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 “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. Our studio has a floating floor that has over 700 high density foam blocks under the floor surface and a Marley top surface that is imported from England. Our special floor helps reduce the risk of injuries and allow students to dance longer without getting tired.
2. WHAT IS THE SIZE OF THE CLASS?
If the dance class has fewer students in it each student will receive more personalized attention, learn more and have more fun. With younger students it is easier for a teacher to maintain control over the class and make sure each student understands the concepts and instructions. Our smaller class sizes make sure that no fundamental concepts 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 of our classes (ages 7 and up) to a maximum of just 12 students per class. With our pre-dance classes (ages 3 - 6) we limit all of our classes to a maximum of just 8 students per class.
3. WHAT KIND OF QUALIFICATIONS DO THE INSTRUCTORS HAVE?
All of our dance instructors are highly qualified and have university training. At a minimum we require our instructors to have acquired a bachelors degree in Dance, while some of our instructors also have graduate level education in addition to professional performance experience. This allows our school to offer a broad range of dance formats for students of all ages and levels while also ensuring our students are learning the correct movements and developing the right habits to reduce the risk of injury.
4. 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.