Brand New to Dance?

If most dance studios seem to have qualified, friendly teachers, experience teaching children and a big recital 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 it does.

Here are Five Questions Every Parent Should Ask Before Choosing a Dance Studio.

It’s always important to make sure that your child’s instructors are qualified. A “qualified instructor” should be a dance-trained adult with experience working with children. 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 such national organizations. 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 dance instruction and will provide a healthy learning atmosphere that will put the well-being of its students first.

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 complement your child’s classroom training, though – not replace it.

Music, costuming and choreography should all be reflective of a student’s age and ability level.

A quality facility will provide a clean, neat and safe environment and offer amenities such as a comfortable waiting area, observation windows (for easy viewing of classes) 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 free-floating sprung floors, which are specially designed to reduce fatigue and prevent injuries. The surface of the dance floor is also an important factor. A vinyl-composite “marley” floor is accepted worldwide as the best surface layer for ballet because of its non-slip feature. A solid wood surface is seen as the most ideal surface for other disciplines such as tap and modern dance.

A studio that offers good customer service and assistance should have regular office hours and regular office staff in addition to the faculty teaching classes. Information about policies, costs, payment options, performance schedules, etc. should be clear and concise and offered in written format as well as communicated verbally.

Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater (SNHDT) is committed to providing our students with dance training in a caring and nurturing environment. We offer a complete curriculum ranging in classes for the pre-school student to the pre-professional dancer. Programs of study include our highly successful Early Childhood Dance Program for students ages 2-6, our Enrichment Program for recreational dancers and our Intensive Program for serious students. Our college educated, professional faculty are affiliated with Point Park University, School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, Boston Conservatory, Butler University and Regional Dance America to name a few.

Southern New Hampshire Youth Ballet, SNHDT’s affiliated performing company, is a member with performing status of Regional Dance America Northeast, part of a national organization of pre-professional dance companies.