How To Choose A Dance Studio
Before you begin to look at studios, ask yourself why you want to take dance classes. There are a few possible answers to this question, depending on your previous training (if any) and your needs. You may want to take classes for fun or recreation, for exercise and health benefits, or for technical training and preparation for competitive or professional dance. By understanding what you want to gain from dance, you can determine what type of studio fits your needs.
The first step in choosing a dance studio is to research the studios in your area. Searching on the internet for local studios will provide their contact information and websites. Studio websites can be a great source of information, and may answer all your questions. It is still a good idea to visit the studios that you are interested in to speak with the owners and teachers directly and to see the studio in person. There are a few basic questions that you should ask the studio owners:
- What is the basic philosophy of the studio? Keep in mind your answer to the main question above, and make sure that the studio is equipped to meet your needs.
- What classes and services are available? Ask about the classes offered, and the levels of training. An offering of private classes can be helpful if you may need additional assistance. Also, ask about student participation in community or competitive activities.
- What is the level of training and experience of the teachers? The studio should have a bio for each teacher. It is important to remember that a good dancer does not necessarily make a good teacher; their teaching experience is just as important as their performing experience.
- What are the fees involved? Ask about the cost for the dance classes you plan to take. There will be a different fee depending on the number of classes per week or month. There may also be fees associated with competitions, recitals, or special events. You may also want to ask about any deals offered for multiple-student families or registering at a certain time of year.
Once your questions have been answered, ask if you can observe a class that is close to your age and ability level. While in the class, observe the atmosphere of the studio. Are the students friendly with one another? Do they seem comfortable with the teacher? Does the class size and level of training meet your needs?
If you are able to talk to the current students and/or parents, remember that not everyone can be pleased all of the time; take each comment at face value, and use their opinions in conjunction with the information from the studio owner and your class observation.
Ultimately, choose the studio where you feel most comfortable and where your needs can be met.