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How To Choose The Right Dancing Studio

14 Dec 2015 12:13 PMLauren Nairne
How To Choose The Right Dancing Studio

 

Choosing the right studio when you may not have any prior knowledge of the industry or any current leads/affiliations can be hard!   Unfortunately though, making the right decision is paramount when it comes to the journey your child will take within the creative industry. 

 

Whether your dancer chooses to pursue a career in Performing Arts or not, being at the right studio will play a bigger role than you ever imagined and if you don’t sign them up to the right studio it may be over before it’s even begun. 

 

Now, I’m not about to list the top 10 studios in the country or post the winners from the 5 biggest Nation wide competitions.  What I am going to do is outline the things that you need to look for within a dance studio to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right one for your family. 

 

Try before you buy

 

Most studios will offer a ‘free trial class’.  Use this to your advantage when thinking about starting at a new studio or finding a studio to start your childs dancing journey.  Kids are pretty cluey; they will often have no hesitation giving you their honest opinion when it comes to their class experience.  Other things you want to look for when trialling classes are:

  • Do the staff (administration or teaching) seem friendly, helpful, experienced and knowledgeablebe ?
  • Does the establishment seem organised and easy to deal with
  • Is the environment safe?
  • Does the venue seem well cared for?  If they care for and take pride in their dance space they will likely care for your child with the same attitude. 
  • Do the kids seem happy?  Do they walk in and say hello to teachers, fellow mothers, other dancers and administration staff?  Community moral is very important!
  • Does the studio offer styles that your dancer is interested in.  Ie.  If your dancer wants to take Hip Hop, don’t enrol in a Ballet studio…
  • Do the teachers have current Blue Cards and Working With Children Checks. 

 

Chat to the teacher after your trial (if available) or arrange another time to meet or chat. Ask their honest opinion.  We have some wonderfully supportive, kind and caring teachers within the Australian community.  They only want what’s best for your dancer.

 

Visit Local Competitions

 

Competing in competitions isn’t necessarily the only path you can take with a dance studio.  Many studios do exams as an alternative or simply conduct relaxed social classes.  It’s important to think about the level of involvement you are will to commit too.   When a dancer is involved in a competition team or a studio with multiple commitments it can take up a lot of your spare time on weekends, holidays and weeknights.  If you not sure… start small.  Don’t over commit yourself you will only disappoint your dancer and your dance teacher. 

If you are specifically looking for a competitive studio, it’s always a good idea to check out your local competition.  You’re not necessarily always looking for the winning studio.  Look for studios with happy kids (on and off stage), kids who seem well trained, educated and well mannered, well groomed.  It’s a great place to suss out the mums too J

 

Location, Location, Location

 

There are lots of great studios all around our country.  Before you over commit yourself to travelling too far out of your local area to attend the best city school, check out the studios in your local area.  You may be surprised what smaller suburban studios can produce. 

When talking about Location I always tend to remind parents that although you may only sign up for one or two classes a week, during busy times (concerts or exams) you may be required to travel to dancing on weekends, public holidays and extra days for additional rehearsals… If you’re studio isn’t close, that’s a lot of extra driving you need to be prepared for. 

 

Budget

 

Now, I’m not trying to scare you out of enrolling your child (don’t do that) but dancing can be EXPENSIVE.  Additional to class/term fees I’ve listed a ‘few’ extras that could cost you considerably once your dancer starts to get more heavily involved.  Make sure the fees suit your budget keeping in mind the added costs of having a dancer/s in the family.

  • Costumes
  • Shoes
  • Dancewear
  • Make-up
  • Exam Entries
  • Competition Entries
  • Equipment

 

 

Remember these are just a few of the things that you should be looking for when you are on the hunt for a studio to suit your family.  When all these things have been considered or if you just can’t decide… go with your gut.   Your childs happiness should always come before choosing the studio you believe is the ‘best’ if you child doesn’t enjoy dance class, or isn’t happy in or around the studio environment chances are that you may have choosen the wrong studio.  Try again, for every bad experience I promise there are 5 good experiences just waiting around the corner… For you and your dancer/s!

 

'Dance is the hidden language of the soul' - Martha Graham

 

Happy Dancing!