Friday, August 22, 2008

How to Select a Dance Studio

Scary dance studio horror stories abound that deal with bad teachers, mangled feet, poor body image, and more. Look for a dance studio that strives to treat dancers and their families with respect and by the Golden Rule.

The Basics

Explore the various dance studios in your area. Be aware of cost, distance from your home, style(s) of dance, costume selection, shoe/costume fit, and more with your family.

  • Are classes taught in a sequential manner?
  • Is the dance material age appropriate?
  • Are the children dressed too old and mature for their years?
  • Does the studio have guest artists or performers that offer a new manner of exploring dance?
  • Is the flooring of the dance studio you are considering conducive to dance?
  • Is the flooring resilient? If the floor is not resilient, the constant movement on the floor can cause back pain.
  • Is the music appropriate?
  • Is the music appropriate for the dance?


Watch to see how the instructors relate to the students.

  • Are the teachers professional, knowledgeable, skilled, and caring?

Good, caring teachers are essential to aid your student. Be sure the teachers teach the foundational basics to dance along with technique.

  • Are the teachers at the dance studio you are considering taking courses during the off season to continue to improve their skills or are they resting on their reputation in the community?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the instructors?
  • Are the teachers someone you can trust?
  • Do the teachers say hello and smile?
  • Do they circulate around the studio offering tips and encouragement?
  • Does the studio have experienced, professional teachers that enjoy, study, and take their craft seriously everyday.

Recital Attendance

If possible, attend a recital from the dance studio you are thinking of selecting for your child. A recital will let you be aware of the type of dance the studio participates in, the capabilities of the teachers, if the type of dance is consistent with your family values, etc.

If possible, view the dance studio's VHS/DVD to view previous dance recitals.

Recitals are important to a dance studio, but should not be the entire focus. Ask the owner(s) and teachers when they start to prepare for the recital.


Interviewing the studio owner(s), teachers, and/or students is another way to learn if this studio is for your child and your family. Recommendations by other students and families help eliminate many (if not all) anxieties. Learn the reputation of the dance studio you are considering from the community.


If a studio requires a contract, be certain you understand all the requirements of the dance studio and what you and your child are responsible for.

Child's in put

Take your child with you when looking over a potential dance studio for her/him and listen to what your child has to say.

Toe dancing is a dandy attention getter,
second only to screaming.

— Agnes de Mille (1905–1993)