Choosing a Studio

Qualities of a Good Dance Studio

Use These Criteria to Find the Perfect Dance Studio for Your Child

By Treva Bedinghaus                                                  Dance cast 1 for Sleeping Beauty

A Certified Teacher

Just as all dance studios are not alike, neither are all dance instructors. Your choice of dance instructor is crucial to your child’s future success as a dancer and to the physical safety of their body. Bad habits learned at a young age are extremely hard to break and can cause muscle and postural imbalances later in life. Make a point to check the dance instructor’s qualifications. Make sure he or she holds a degree in dance, is certified to teach a specific dance syllabus, or has danced with a professional company.

Realistic Expectations

A quality dance studio will not offer serious ballet training to dancers under the age of 7 or 8. Experienced dance instructors know that before the age of 7, the body is not ready for the demands of ballet. Also, a quality dance teacher will have very strict guidelines as to when your child will be able to start dancing on Pointe Shoes. Dancing on your toes requires tremendous strength and ability in order to prevent long-term injuries to the feet and ankles.  Typically dancers should be receiving a minimum of 2 ballet classes a week outside of a Pointe class and be at least 13 years old once the growth plates of the feet have fully developed.

Small Class Sizes

The fewer students in your child’s dance class, the more individual attention he or she will receive. It is easier for a teacher to maintain control over a smaller class, and having a small number of students at a time allows for more personalized instruction. Observe a few classes at the studio to count kids, or simply ask the instructor. Each dancer in the class deserves proper instruction and correction from the teacher.

Quality of Teaching

* Is the dance teacher caring, knowledgeable, patient, and willing to work with EACH student?

* Does the dance teacher have a working knowledge of anatomy?

* Does the dance teacher provide a disciplined, encouraging, and FUN learning environment?

* Does the dance teacher inspire, motivate, and instill a joy of movement in his/her classes?

* Does the class have a moving spirit?

* Does the dance teacher encourage individual expression?

* Does the dance teacher teach what they are truly qualified to teach?

Would you call upon a plumber to fix your leaking roof?  An electrician to build your deck?  You shouldn’t expect a specialized ballroom teacher to know how to teach tap or a certified ballet instructor to teach hip hop.  Just like trades, genres of dance are individual and not all teachers are well versed in every area of dance.  Years of experience and maturity also play a factor in the overall development of technique, would you want an inexperienced student teaching the younger students?  Teenagers, who are still students themselves,  may be qualified to demonstrate skills in class, but should not be left in charge of a class of 15 children with no adult supervision. What if there were an emergency?

Does the dance teacher have patience in dealing with students?

The youngest children (1st grade and under) are the hardest to teach, requiring patience, creativity and experience.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: