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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DANCE STUDIO

We know it's a big decision to choose the just right place to join a dance family!

Here are some important things to consider and how The Dance Studio measures up!

WHO IS TEACHING AND WHAT ARE THEIR QUALIFICATIONS?

While many dancers are great teachers, it is important to consider the experience and education of the professional(s) in the room.
Here at The Dance Studio, all of our instructors are adults with degrees in dance and education. We have in depth knowledge of dancers abilities and capacity for growth at every age, making our instruction, choreography, and programming developmentally appropriate. In addition, we are experts in injury prevention (employing instructors who are also physical therapists) and will ask dancers to do only what their bodies allow safely when they are ready.

IS THE SPACE SAFE FOR THE DANCING BODY?

In conjunction with a safe approach for physical movement in class and in choreography, the dancing space itself should be spacious for movement and most importantly, the flooring should prevent injury as well (no tile or concrete with thin subflooring, even if there is a layer of marley over it).
Here at The Dance Studio, our studios are spacious for comfortable movement. Our floors are hardwood (with natural give and movement for safe dancing), or are lifted and sprung with rubber marley laid on top. When dancers jump especially, the floor beneath them should give to absorb their landing and support their take off. This protects their joints when completing otherwise strenuous movements.

WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF THE PROGRAM?

As a dance family it’s important to know what the goal of your studio’s dance program is and how that aligns with your values.

Here at The Dance Studio, our focus encompasses a bit of everything. Our programs run in a conservatory style; dancers take classes with their similar aged/ability peers. In addition to these classes, if dancers so choose to be a part of our all inclusive performance team, they will take part in rehearsals in addition to their classes, thus focusing for a full hour or more on their technique separate from their choreography for performance. This will prepare them for any possible future career/study in dance. If dancers are to learn skills and tricks, we ensure they have the physical facility/ability to safely do those things and will not push them to do so until they are ready. We teach foundational concepts that are woven into the most advanced classes so dancers intimately understand the HOW in their movements to better execute choreography. Our performance team uses competitions not as a venue for winning, but as a tool for gaining feedback from other dance professionals and for a chance to practice performance multiple times per year. We focus on team work, support, and lessons in humility. Our end of the year showcase uses professional lighting and sound production to mimic to the best of our ability any professional or collegiate dance concert our dancers may encounter some day.

WHAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT?

It is important to consider the values of the dance studio where you settle with your family. As they grow, dancers will often spend more time in the evenings and weekends at the studio than they do at home. As we know, it takes a village to raise a child, and as quoted on our website from Risa E. Sanders in The Washington Post, "Nearly everything I needed to know in life, I learned in a dance studio."
Here at The Dance Studio, we take this responsibility to heart. Our mission is to provide a structured and positive learning environment that will foster creativity, self esteem, and perseverance. Our staff will encourage dancers to learn technique, grace, coordination, body awareness and control both personally and in their movements. The Dance Studio's staff strives to give each dancer the "STAR" treatment, regardless of a dancer's race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, ethnic background, body type, or ability. We are truly and inclusive environment, treating everyone with kindness, dignity, and respect, welcoming all to experience DANCE!

WHAT DANCE STUDIO IS BEST FOR MY EARLY CHILDHOOD AGED DANCER?

Young children developmentally need some time to acclimate and find comfort in new experiences. The repetition in lessons and routines with during classes with gradual increases in difficulty helps to create a safe and predictable learning environment. When dancers are comfortable in class with what to expect, they can focus on developing their technique, understanding of rhythm and patterning, and age appropriate socialization with their peers.

WHAT DANCE STUDIO IS BEST FOR MY ELEMENTARY AGED DANCER?

Elementary aged dancers (5-8) is when the focus of their dance journey shifts to finding the right style for them. Dancers should find the environment that makes them feel engaged in what they are leaning in class. Not all dance styles are the same; picking the correct style will make or break their dance experience. Dancers at this age should explore and try whatever styles they are interested in until they find the one they like best!

WHAT DANCE STUDIO IS BEST FOR PRE-TEENS AND TEENS?

Developmentally dancers at these ages are dealing with many other factors outside of the studio that can follow them into the studio, including social issues and self esteem. They are also highly influenced by social media trends and messages. “Nearly everything I needed to know in life, I learned in a dance studio,” (Risa E. Sanders, The Washington Post) rings very true for adolescent dancers. Dancing should be a positive experience and influence in their lives by promoting healthy social relationships, positive body image, and age appropriate movements. Dancers should feel they have a safe and trusting environment to grow, make mistakes, learn, take risks, and recognize boundaries.

WHAT DANCE STUDIO IS BEST FOR ADULTS?

Adult dancers fall on a wide spectrum, but the majority of adult dancers who are interested in dancing recreationally either used to dance during childhood or were always interested in taking lessons but never did. If you’re not sure where you’d like to start, a great first step is to try a fitness class! This will help adults who are developing an interest in movement to get some exercise and further decide what type of dancing they’d like to try. Class should feel slightly challenging, but should overall be a fun experience where dancers can participate to the fullest extent or with modifications that make them feel most comfortable.

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