4 Things Every Parent Should Know Before Choosing a Dance Studio
If most 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 over 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, and Riverdance – the touring show, all use Marley floors as their dance surface. A Marley floor allows dancers to slide, with 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 wood or tile floor for their studio.
All of our studios have floating floors that have over 500 high density foam blocks under the floor surface and a Marley top surface. Our special floors help 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 child will receive more personal attention, learn more and have more fun. With younger students it’s 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 6 and up) to a maximum of just 12 students per class. With our pre-school and level 1 classes (ages 3 to 6) we limit all of our classes to a maximum of just 7 students per class
3. What are the “extras” required for the year end show?
Most studios put on a year-end show in a professional theatre. Students that perform in the show must have a costume for their dance number. Some studios require parents to sew their child’s costumes, this can be frustrating and time consuming. .The Dance Asylum orders all costumes for your dancer so that your involvement in the costuming your dancer is minimal. If by chance your costume doesn’t fit, we also know a handful of local seamstress that can help you with any adjustments you may need. Most studios also require parents to purchase tickets for the recital on the night of the performance and can charge upwards of 10 dollars per ticket to see the performance.
Our studio has fixed rates for all their costumes so you know when you sign up exactly how much your costumes will cost. No surprise fees half way through the year. Ticket prices to all performances are 5 dollars each. We charge the bare minimum to cover the cost of theatre rental, sound, printing and the other expenses it takes to put on the show. In addition to make the performance more enjoyable for your dancer, we provide backstage snacks and drinks, movies, and activities while they’re waiting to go on stage.
4. Can I get immediate assistance and customer service?
In many studios the teacher or the studio owner conducts classes and does 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 is important to choose a studio that can assist you with details like costumes, schedules, or performances, 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.
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