1. Choose the Right Dance Studio
When you are choosing a studio for your dancer, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you find the right fit:
- What is main focus of the studio? Are the dancers there for recreation, competition, to achieve a high level of examinations, to become dance professionals?
- What size is the studio? Are they a large, competitive studio with many students in the classes, or a smaller, family-oriented studio with limited class sizes so students get individualized instruction?
- Are the facilities built for dancing? Does the space appear professional, clean and designed specifically for dance? A dance studio should have full length mirrors so dancers can view themselves to ensure proper form and sprung floors to protect joints and bones and prevent injuries.
- How is the customer service? Is the staff friendly and able to answer your questions? Were your questions answered to in a reasonable amount of time?
- Are the fees reasonable and provided to you up front? Does the studio post their fees or give you a good idea of what to expect? Do they tell you the additional fees to plan for (such as exams, competitions, pictures, show tickets, etc.)?
- Are the instructors professional, qualified and experienced? Do the instructors hold certifications in their dance type? Are they passionate about teaching and passing on their love of dance?
2. Choose the Dance Classes
Now that you’ve decided on a studio, what type of dance is your child going to register in? Consider their personality – are they very high energy, always looking for something to do? A high energy dance type such as Irish or Hip Hop may be suitable. Or, is your child very particular, focused and has a high attention to detail? Something more technical such as Ballet or Highland might be a good choice.
If your child knows they want to dance but doesn’t know where to start, Ballet is the perfect choice. As the foundation to all dance types, Ballet will provide a good introduction to the technique, strength, positioning and flexibility for whatever dance types your child pursues. As your child spends more time at the studio and is exposed to various types of dance, they may be drawn to a particular dance dicipline.
3. Submit Your Registration
After you’ve decided on the best studio for your child and what classes they’d like to take, you are now ready to register! Some studios will accept registration online, over the phone, or have set registration dates to come to their studio.
It is also common for studios to take payment for a registration fee at that time. This helps to cover the administration costs, and hold your space in classes.
4. Become Familiar With the Communications & Policies
Your dancer’s studio may send out important messages by email, a monthly newsletter, a letter handed out in class, a message board in the studio, a notice on the website, or a combination of these. Know how news and events will be communicated to ensure you don’t miss anything important. Usually there is calendar posted in the studio or on their website too, with important events for the dance season – mark down the dates that apply to your dancer to avoid scheduling conflicts later in the year.
The studio will also likely have a set of policies the the dancers and families are expected to follow. Find out what these are, so there are no surprises during the dance season.
5. Read the studio’s dress code and go buy dance gear!
Find out what your dancer is required to wear for their class – there may be specific brands or colors of bodysuits, tights, or other accessories that they need depending on the dance studio and type of dance they are taking. Ensure you also know what the proper footwear is for their dance type, and if there are any brands of shoes that are recommended or that will not be accepted.
The studio may have a store on-site, or dance suppliers that they recommend.