Five Questions Every Parent Should Ask Before Selecting a Dance Studio
By Amanda Ramrup
Extracurricular activities for children are abundant and selecting one that is appropriate and a good fit for your child can be difficult. You want to be certain the activity is an educational and exciting one that will bring your child delightful memories and experiences for years to come. So how do you choose? What questions should you ask? And when you ask the right questions, what answers should you be looking for?
Are you considering enrolling your child in dance lessons? If so, you need to know that not all dance studios are the same. Unfortunately, there are no licensing or certification requirements for dance studios or dance teachers in Canada. So it is important that parents choose carefully and wisely since improper training can result in injury and frustration for the student. Here are the Five Questions Every Parent Should Ask Before Choosing a Dance Studio.
How do I know I will receive quality instruction?
It's always important to make sure that your child's instructors are qualified. Dance instructors are not licensed in this country - anyone can claim to be able to teach your child to dance. Look for someone who has professional dance training, holds a degree in dance, education or a related field from an accredited college or university, or is a certified member of a national organizations such as the Royal Academy of Dance. Any of these is a good indication that the instructor knows what to teach, when to teach it, and how it should be taught. A good school will follow a carefully designed syllabus of instruction in the teaching and well being of its students.
What about the Annual Performance?
An end-of-the year performance is important! It gives a dancer valuable stage experience, as well as the opportunity to use what they've learned during the year. Dance is, after all, a performing art! The year-end performance should be designed to compliment your child's classroom training - not replace it. Preparation for the year end recital should begin approximately 16 weeks before the scheduled performance.
Ask about age appropriateness.
Music, costuming and choreography should all be reflective of a student's age and ability level.
What should I look for in a dance facility?
A quality facility will provide a clean, neat, and safe environment and offer amenities such as a comfortable waiting area, full-length mirrors, sturdy ballet barres, adequate restrooms, and changing rooms. The single most important thing you should consider about a facility is the type of
floor that is used. One of the best ways to enjoy dance safely is to select a school with floating floors which are specially designed to reduce fatigue and prevent injuries.
Ask about Customer Service and Assistance
In many studios the teachers or studio director conduct classes in addition to handling all administrative duties. By trying to do two jobs at once, the class may suffer as the teacher has to use valuable class time for customer service issues, or the studio may have no customer service available if the teachers are in class. To have a positive dance experience, it is important to select a studio that can assist you with your questions when you need them answered. Thornhill School of Ballet is committed to providing our students with solid dance training in a caring and nurturing environment. We offer a complete curriculum ranging in classes for the preschool student to the pre-professional dancer. Programs of study include our highly successful Early Childhood Dance Program for students ages 3-6, our Enrichment Program for recreational dancers and our Intensive Program for serious students. Our college educated, professional faculty are affiliated with The National Ballet School, Banff School of Fine Arts, Waterloo, Ryerson and York Universities, Quinte Ballet School, Toronto Dance Theatre, the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre.
Amanda Ramrup is the owner/director of Thornhill School of Ballet. She has been responsible for educating hundreds of local area children in the art of dance for over a decade. She is available for questions at 905-882-9796.
Thornhill School of Ballet
11 Glen Cameron Road Unit 16
905 882 9796