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 pretty much all the same? Does it really matter at which place you decide to enroll? Yes.
There are several elements that can make a huge difference in the quality of instruction your child receives: the amount of extra work and hassles the caregivers must deal with and the overall enjoyment and satisfaction of being involved with a dance program. Here are some important things that every caregiver should consider before deciding on a dance program for their child.
- What type of floor is used?
Dance is a very physical activity and requires a lot of jumping, which can put stress on bones and joints. Most dance footwear does not provide any cushioning or support, so the shock of the dance movement can place a lot of pressure on the knees and back of a dancer. The best way to prevent potential injury is by choosing a studio with a professional “floating floor.” A floating floor is a dance floor that rests on a system of high-density foam, to absorb the shock of jumping. A high-density foam base is superior to a “sprung” floor, which usually consists of a wood structure built on a regular floor.The top layer of the dance floor is also an important factor. A vinyl composite “marley” floor is accepted worldwide as the best surface for recreational to professional dance. Professional facilities such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England all use marley floors as their dance surface. A marley floor allows dancers to slide, with a degree of “controlled slip,” but is not slippery so there is less risk of slips and falls. Very few studios use professional marley floors because of the expense involved, and usually opt for regular floor tile or wood for a studio floor.Encore Academy of Dance has a floating floor that has over 700 high density foam blocks under the surface and a marley top surface that is imported from England. Our special floors help to reduce the risk of injuries and allow students to dance longer without getting tired.
- What is the size of the class?
If the dance class has fewer students in it, each child will receive more personalized attention, learn more, and have more fun. With younger students, it is easier for a teacher to maintain control over the class and make sure each student understands the concepts and instructions. Encore Academy of Dance’s smaller class sizes ensures that no fundamental concepts are being missed. A smaller class size also allows our teachers to ensure that students are not developing bad habits or improper technique that may cause injuries in the future.Encore Academy of Dance limits all our Rising Star classes to a maximum of 15 students per class. With our Twinkling Stars and Shining Star classes, we limit to a maximum of 10 students, with an additional teaching assistant in our Twinkling Star classes.
- What are the “extras” required for performances?
Most studios put on at least one year end performance in a professional theater. Students who perform in the show must have a costume. Some studios require parents to make or find their own child’s costume. This can be inconvenient and frustrating for parents who can’t sew and/or are busy. Many studios also require parents to purchase tickets to the performances.Encore Academy of Dance orders all costumes or has costumes made by a professional seamstress so parents don’t have to worry about any costume hassles. Encore Academy of Dance has an easy to understand fee plan to cover all performance expenses. Each family is also given two complimentary tickets to each performance from Encore Academy of Dance. This way you, as a parent or caregiver, will not be faced with extra work or expenses.
- Can I get immediate assistance and customer service?
In many studios, the teacher or studio owner conducts classes and does all the administration work. 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 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. Encore Academy of Dance has office staff on hand during class time, so you can get immediate assistance if needed: Monday – Friday (4:00-7:00pm) & Saturday (9:00-12:00pm). Encore Academy of Dance has a message response promise of 48 business hours for phone messages, text messages, Facebook messages, and emails. Also, all the Encore Academy of Dance teachers are willing to schedule one on one meeting times with parents and students if asked.
Please make sure you take these things and more into consideration when choosing a dance studio for your family. Safe floating floors, small class size, no “extras” for performances and excellent customer service are just a few of the things Encore Academy of Dance strives to provide for their customers.
We hope to see you in class soon!