Finding the right dance studio can be an overwhelming task. There are dozens of studios in our local area, all with their own unique programs and focuses. Some studios are purely recreational, others are preparation for a career in dance, then there are also the competitive studios, and the ones that are just for fun and fitness.
So, which one is for you?
Here are some things to think about.
Does your child want to participate in performances? If so, how many?
Are you interested in competitions?
Formalised systems of training that include exams, is this something that interests you?
Your unique family situation will help determine your choice of commitment level: recreational, semi-competitive, competitive, examination, and pre-professional.
Next you should look at the qualifications and experience of the staff. Be wary of studios that you’ve see the students and teachers, great dancers don’t always make great teachers. Always check whether student teachers hold a Certificate III in Assistant Dance Teaching or equivalent in-house teacher training.
What you should look for.
You should look for sound teaching qualifications, good communication skills, excellent understanding of safe dance practice, appropriate safe dance space, First Aid certified, a basic understanding of Occupational Health and Safety obligations, awareness of age appropriate content, costumes, activities, and lesson structure, positive and nurturing learning experienced, and clearly defined assessment procedures.
Can you ask questions?
A well run studio will make asking questions easy. Ask the teacher or studio owner some of the following:
What are the studio’s aims and objectives?
Do teachers participate in professional development?
Does the studio teach a recognised syllabus or its own curriculum?
How are students assessed?
Does the studio follow safe dance procedures?
Is the studio covered by public liability insurance?
Is there an illness and injury reporting procedure?
What is the studio’s policy regarding exams and competitions?
What is the studio’s dress code? What is the studio’s policy for parents observing classes?
Does the studio have a Child Safe policy or statement?
Do all staff hold Working with Children Checks?
What are the fees and fee policies?
Lastly, ask for a trial or a money back guarantee, if no trials are available. Every studio is unique, there is no right or wrong, just what feels right to you.