How to Choose a Dance School for your Child?
There seems to be a dance school on every corner. With so many dance schools, how do you choose one that suits your child? You will require a dance school that can provide technical development and a passion for teaching children.
Give the school a call and have a chat. This will give you a feel for the school and help decide if this school will be the one for you.
Visit the studio. Lots of dance schools offer a free trial. This will help you in more ways than one. Firstly, if you’re new to dance you can try the different types of classes offered. Options include but are not limited to ballet, tap, jazz, modern contemporary, hip hop, leaps turns stretch, musical theatre and so much more. With so many to choose from you can try them all and then discuss with your child which ones they liked the best. For a description of the various dance styles, read more here:
Ballet is a foundation for so many other styles of dance so no matter which one you choose, it is also best to take at least one ballet class per week as well as which ever styles they liked in their free trial. Avoid studios who offer no ballet or limited ballet classes as ballet is required as foundation to all other styles.
When visiting the dance school you will get a feel for the vibe and friendliness. Check to see a sense of rupport among students, staff and families.
Are the teachers qualified? Ask if the dance teachers are qualified. The minimum qualification is a Certificate III in Dance Teaching which is different from a Certificate in Dance Performance. You need to know they are qualified so that they understand childrens bodies and will train them correctly, incorporating safe dance practices so that your child won’t incur injuries now or in the future. Qualified teachers are able to teach students of different body types, abilities and learning styles. A dancer with a fantastic performance resume may not be able to teach beginners or children.
Stretching is great for the body when done correctly. Teachers who are qualified won’t push children into positions and movements that will cause injury and strain to their developing bodies.
Do they have working with Children checks? It is compulsory for all dance teachers to have Working with Childrens checks. This is important so that you know your children are in safe hands and have not been charged with any offences against children. You can check with the Office of the Childrens Guardian if you live in NSW. The Office of the Childrens Guardian is a government organisation. A Working With Children Check is a requirement for people who work or volunteer in child-related work. It involves a national criminal history check and a review of findings of workplace misconduct.
Some schools focus on classes for recreational students wanting to undertake classes for fitness and socialisation, while others focus on students who wish to take their dancing more seriously with an aim on students who would like a career in performing arts. Some schools cater to both the recreational and more serious student.
The needs of students and their parents will of course vary but giving them a taste of many styles will help them in their performance and dance skills. Of course the age of your child will also determine their needs.
Some studios offer examinations for students. Whether you decide to send your child for exams or not you know your teacher is recognised by an organisation. If your studio offers examinations with an organisation you know your teacher has been accredited by an organisation and therefore has reached a level of expertise in order to be able to send students for exams.
Exams and performance opportunites can be very exciting for children and offer them a range of skills that they can take into their every day life such as commitment, being able to present themselves or speak in front of their classmates (and in the future work colleagues)
Exams are not the only way to see if your dance school is successful. If your child is happy in class and wants to attend their next lesson and is rarely injured and seems to be learning new skills then the school you are in is meeting your expectations.
A good dancer doesn’t necessarily make a good teacher. Students pick up on their teachers technique and attitude. Unqualified teachers may teach incorrect technique that will take years for the child to unlearn.
What are class sizes? If your child is in a room with dozens of other students, will they receive individual attention or be lost in the crowd?
It is important to check that the studio you choose offers age appropriate costuming, songs and movements.
Parents should look for appropriate qualifications, good communication, understanding of safe dance practices, awareness of age appropriate costumes, music choices and movements. Lessons should be well planned and structured. The environment should be nurturing, safe and positive, building your childs confidence.
A well managed school will keep parents informed about fees, concerts, whats happening in the studio and students progress. Teachers and studio owners should be approachable so you can ask questions. Are you kept informed and can you ask questions? Before and after class is not the best time to ask questions. The teacher will be preparing for their next class so you don’t want to take class time away from students. Ask the student to give you a phone call or send them an email.
Find out if your studio communicates via social media, email or a notice board.
Check your studios website and social media for Testimonials. Don’t take the teachers word for it. Ask what other parents think about the studio. This is a very good indication of how you may feel.
Can you see into the studio? Some studios have viewing windows you can see into the class. Parents in a class can often distract the students. Studios that don’t have a viewing window may offer parent days when you can visit the classroom and see how your child is progressing.
Find out what the dress code is for the dance studio and the appropriate footwear required.
Each style typically requires a different set of shoes. Correct dancewear allows instructors to be able to see the dancers body to correct alignment and posture.
In summary phone a number of local studios and chat with the teacher or studio owner and see how you feel. Ask questions – are the qualified, do they offer exams, do they have a WWC (Working with Children Check) and book a free trial. Visit the studio get a feel for the vibe. Take a free trial at lots of studios until you find one that fits your needs.
Jeanette Briggs Dance Academy is currently enrolling new students for the St Helens Park studio. We enhance the lives of children through creativity, confidence and happiness. To see how we can help you. Contact us now.
Why Choose Us?
Highly Qualified and Trained Owner
Jeanette Briggs Dance Academy was opened in 2005 after studying dance for more than 20 years.She danced professionally throughout Australia and internationally.She has a passion for teaching, especially children.She loves to see people continually improve, achieve and flourish.She loves to see people happy and see children develop their confidence.It is particularly rewarding to see people feel good about themselves and see shy children becoming outgoing, confident kids.She loves to see the positive effect dance has on all other aspects of childrens lives.
Jeanette has continued to study and continually improve herself so that she can offer the best education to her students.She has a Bachelor of Business, Diploma of Dance Teaching and Management, Certificate IV Workplace Training and Assessment.
Professional Dance Teachers
At Jeanette Briggs Dance Academy we believe in teaching correct technique from the beginning.We pride ourselves on offering a fantastic training ground for children of all body types, ages and abilities.
Curriculum and Class Sizes
We offer small class sizes so that every child in the class receives the same quality education.No one is stuck at the back of the room and forgotten.We are constantly improving on our curriculum to provide the best technique and experience of all of our students.
We teach more than dance
We provide a positive environment with positive role models for our teachers and students.We instill values and life lessons that will help with students not only in their dance class but also throughout their life.
Strong Management Skills
Professionally managed dance schools are rare.We offer a well organised service to make our dance families experience positive.Today our lives are so busy that we want to make dancing and activity that is easy for your family to enjoy.We are continually improving our systems.
Jeanette Briggs Dance Academy enhances childrens lives through creativity, self improvement, happiness and confidence. Contact us now to see how we can help you.