5 Things Every Parent Should Know Before Choosing a Dance Studio

ARE ALL DANCE STUDIOS THE SAME?

 

Aren’t all dance studios pretty much the same? Does it really matter which place you decide to enroll your child? Yes.  There are 5 main things that can make a huge difference in the quality of instruction your child receives and the overall enjoyment and satisfaction they feel while being involved with a dance program.  Here are 5 things that every parent should consider before deciding on a dance studio for their child.

 

1.       Class Size and Composition –When choosing a dance program that is right for your child, you will want to know how many students are in a class, as well as what ages and levels are in the class. Some dance programs offer classes with a wide range of ages in one class. For example, all beginners—ages 5 through 11—can be in a class together. Other programs will offer classes for 3 to 6 year olds together. The number of students permitted to be registered for each class also varies from program to program. Some studios accept as many as 20+ students to a class while others have lower class sizes.
At our studio, we provide low student to teacher ratios for more personalized instruction. The ratios for classes at our studio are as follows:

 2 yr. olds – 6 students to 1 teacher and 1 assistant with a maximum of 10 students.

3 –4 yr. olds – 8 students to 1 teacher and 1 assistant with a maximum of 12 students.

4-5 yr. olds – 10 students to 1 teacher and 1 assistant with a maximum of 15 students.

5-6 yr. olds – 10 students to 1 teacher and 1 assistant with a maximum of 15 students

7yr olds and up – 15 students to 1 teacher.

Our average class size is 8 students and our maximum class size is 15.
We form our classes based on age and ability. Everyone in a class is roughly around the same age and at the same skill level. A beginner student would be placed with other beginners of the same age. The music used and skills taught are age appropriate in all of our classes.

 

2.        Dress Code - Every dance studio has their own requirements when it comes to dress codes. Studios may require that hair be worn in a specific style of bun during all classes. Some require specific color shoes, specific color tights, and a specific color or style of leotard. At some studios these requirements are based on class levels.  For instance, a beginner class may be required to wear pink, the next level navy, the next level black, and so on. Some studios may require that you purchase those items directly through them. Other studios may require that all dancers purchase a leotard with the studio name on it.

It is important that students are dressed appropriately for dance class but we are a little more relaxed in regards to the dress code at our studio. While we expect our students to come to class looking like dancers, and not like they have just come off the playground or from school, we have minimal dress code requirements. Hair should be pulled neatly away from the face, appropriate dance shoes should be worn according to the type of class that is taken (ballet, tap, or jazz/hip-hop), but any kind of dance attire can be worn.  We recommend leotards and tights or body hugging dance pants.  Any color or pattern is welcomed.

We want students to concentrate on learning to dance and having fun.  Many times, if students are forced to wear something they are not comfortable in, it stifles the enjoyment of the class for them.  This is particularly true with very young dancers. Preschoolers love to dress up in different skirts and leotards. We encourage them to wear the dance attire that makes them feel like a dancer.  The only classes that we require a more specific dress code in are classical ballet classes for students ages 7 and up. In those classes, a dark colored leotard and light colored tights are recommended. Hair should be in a neat bun.  Our only “no-no” is big, baggy clothing and street clothes. Teachers cannot help students acquire skills when they cannot see their body placement. 

While the studio does sell shoes and tights, it is for convenience only. Parents are free to purchase any items needed—wherever they choose.

 

 3.    Instructors– Most dance programs have highly qualified teachers with extensive dance training. Some instructors have been dancing for many years, and are highly skilled dancers. While this is a very important factor, you will also want to know about their experience teaching dance to children. How much experience does the teacher have teaching dance to your child’s age and ability?  Some programs have their highly qualified teachers teach the advanced students, and less experienced teachers—such as teenagers—teach the younger age groups and beginners.

Our dance instructors are college educated, highly skilled dancers with extensive experience teaching dance to children and adults.  Our studio owner/director has a BA in education/special education as well as extensive dance and teaching experience, which has enabled her to create a program with an understanding for developmental and emotional levels of dancers in each age group.

We believe there are two parts to learning dance successfully; qualified instructors and positive relationships in the classroom.   These relationships are based on open communication between students and teachers, as well as students with fellow classmates.  Although the staff is very qualified, one of the key elements of successful teaching has not been forgotten- the teacher’s ability to relate to the students and the teacher’s ability to instill an attitude of respect for one another in the classroom. A non-threatening environment has been created, where students can make mistakes, be supportive of one another, and root each other on while having fun and learning to dance.

 

 4.       Recitals – Nearly all dance programs offer a year end performance opportunity.  This is a time for students to showcase their abilities on stage for all to enjoy. Recitals are usually held at a theater or high school auditorium nearby. Questions you may want to ask are: How many days will your dancer be performing?  Some studios have multiple performance dates for their recitals. How long is the recital? Some recitals can last up to 4 hours. What time is the recital? Most studios usually have nighttime performances. The cost for costumes and tickets for this performance is additional. Some studios charge separate costume fees, production fees, and ticket fees. Others offer inclusive packages where costumes and tickets are included in a flat fee.  Still others charge a costume fee but you don’t get to keep the costume.

We have one performance date for our end of the year recital. Our recital is approximately  2 ½ hours in length and usually begins @ 4:00 p.m.  We find this to be the perfect time so that younger dancers are not dancing during their bedtime. It is early enough so we are finished in time for dinner. Our recital fees include costumes, tights, cast t-shirt and a professional DVD of the recital.

Our studio offers a unique recital experience in that it is a themed and scripted Broadway style performance.  Our recitals tell a story that links all the dances together; making it easy for the audience to stay interested, even when their own child is not on stage.

       

5.       What is being taught?  How is the class structured, what is the emphasis placed on? Some programs are purely recreational and some are more focused on competitions. Some programs begin teaching the recital dance from the beginning of the season, others teach only skills, and some teach a different dance every week.

At our studio, classes for the pre-elementary student are age appropriate and fun, structured but not intimidating. These classes are a good introduction to dance and help develop beginning dance skills, creativity, coordination, and a love for the art of dance. Classes for ages 7 and up are all structured the same in that there is always a warm up, a time to learn and practice skills/technique, and a time to learn a new, age appropriate combination. This combination is built on and practiced for a period of 4-6 weeks. 

Dancers begin learning recital routines in January and February. During this time, class is carried out with the same structure of warm up, skills, and technique, but the combination they learn is the recital routine. The recital is important, however it is not the focus of the entire class. The emphasis is placed on the process of learning and acquiring skills, as well as having fun. We want to foster every student’s love of dance.

 

 

 

 

  

 

PURE ENERGY DANCE CENTRE, INC    (954) 217-9778

 

 

1306 SW 160th Ave * Sunrise/Weston FL* 33326   954-217-9778
Serving Weston, Sunrise, Davie, Plantation, Cooper City and surrounding areas