4 Things every parent should know before choosing a dance studio

If most dance studios seem to have qualified, friendly teachers, experience teaching children and a big show at the end of the year, aren’t they all pretty much the same? Does it really matter which place you decide to enroll at? Yes. There are 4 main things that can make a huge difference in the quality of instruction your child receives, the amount of extra work and hassles the parents must deal with and the overall enjoyment and satisfaction of being involved with a dance program.

Aren’t all dance schools the same?
Does it really make a huge difference which school I choose? Yes it most certainly does.
Here are 4 things that every parent should consider before deciding on a dance studio for their child.

1. What type of dance floor is used?

Dance is a physical activity that requires a lot of jumping, which can put stress on bones and joints. The best way to prevent against potential injury is by choosing a studio with a professional “floating floor”.
All movement activity generates energy. Energy directly returned to the body can result in shin splints, back and knee problems, fatigue, strains, and even broken bones. A non-energy absorbent floor or flooring system is dangerous. It can result in injury. Concrete is non-energy absorbent. Any substance put directly on concrete does not remove you from the concrete unless it contains air (like foam). Basket weave and foam sprung floating subfloors provide shock absorbent characteristics that eliminate the problems associated with hard, non-absorbent floors. Some studios place grey or black Marley right over concrete causing harmful injury to a childs body.

It is important to have a safe top layer over the floor. Wood and marley are acceptable, systems that protect the dancers body should be used.

2. Are the dance teachers qualified to teach?

ISTDIn the USA there is no certification required to teach children. Some local schools believe that a pre school teacher with some dance experience has enough training to teach a beginner class, or that because the teacher was a professional dancer she knows how to teach dance. Do not fall for these common mistakes or errors.

Children require a teacher who has an understanding for both the physical capabilities and the physiological developments of a young child.

At Penny Lane all our teachers hold a degree in the arts and go through a training program here at the academy to make sure they understand and follow our safe curriculum. Our curriculum was designed by the owner Miss Andi who is an associate member and certified to teach by the British organization I.S.T.D. Imperial Society For Teachers Of Dance.

ISTD WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1904 IN Covent Garden UK. It is highly regarded as a leader in dance education.

3. What are the "Extras" required for the year end show?

Most studios have an end of year show that require that the parents buy expensive tickets and sit through hours and hours of other children’s performances. They also require you to purchase the studio copy of the DVD at an inflated price. At Penny Lane we keep the cost of tickets very low and allow parents to tape their own child. We never require parents to sew their own costumes, all costumes are ordered for you and you purchase them to keep at the end of the show. We never charge you to rent costumes for recital.

4. Can I get immediate assistance and customer service?

In many studios the teacher or the studio owner conducts classes and does the administration. By trying to do two jobs at once, the class may suffer as the teacher has to use class time for customer service issues, or the studio may have no customer service available if the teacher is in a class. To have a good experience it is important to choose a studio that can assist you with details like costumes or schedules, even if a teacher is occupied in a class. Our studios have office staff on hand during all regular class times, so you can get immediate assistance.