How To Pick The Right Dance School For Your Family

There are so many things we at GRDA strive to provide for our children. Beyond the basic necessities, we also want them to feel successful, joyful, and healthy!  If your child has expressed an interest in dance.  Maybe they watched a cool dance number online, or maybe someone in their life takes dance and loves it!  Fantastic!  Dance is a great choice!

But where do you, as a family, belong?

Finding the Motivation Behind Every Dancer

What studio will match your child’s intent and your philosophy as a parent? What style of dance will suit your child’s interest?  What level of dance: recreational? Competitive?

There are so many dance studios out there offering so many options!  How do you choose?

Today I would love to provide some helpful advice for when you’re considering where to enrol your child (and spend your money!)

Before you set foot in a building, it’s a great idea to check out its online presence. Visit the websites, check reviews, and social media pages of the studios that are within the distance you’re willing to travel.  The image a dance school presents online gives you a great baseline for what to look for when you visit!

Talking to other parents you know who might have experience with dance studios is a great option as well – just be mindful of what they were looking for from a dance studio while listening.  For instance, a family who wanted a heavily structured, demanding competitive-oriented class for their child, and enrolled in a lighthearted recreational school might give an unfavourable account of their experience.  

Do Your Research And Ask These Questions

While doing your research, take note of how important cost, location, and style of dance are for you and your child.  If your child has their whole heart set on a specific style of dance, I recommend trying to be a little flexible on location and price if you can. I know this can be a privilege that not every family has, just be sure to communicate with your child the reality of which options work for your family budget, location, and what lights them up! Maybe there’s an opportunity for your child to earn some money to help pay for their own classes.  

When you have found a few favourable options, it’s a great idea to contact the studio and speak with a staff member. They should be able to answer your questions and let you know if a free trial is available. It’s always great to prepare a list of questions ahead of time!  Here are a few to get you started.

  • What are the core policies and values of the studio?
  • What makes this studio stand out amongst all the rest in the area?
  • What teaching philosophy do they use?
  • What kind of qualifications do teachers have?
  • How often are the staff required to have background checks done? 
  • What is your drop-off/pick-up policy?
What is your viewing policy?
  • What if my child doesn’t like the class? 
  • What will my child learn?
  • What ages will my child be with?
  • What kind of First-Aid certification do the teachers have?

Hopefully, a lot of these questions have already been answered for you from the research you’ve already done, but if not, they are great questions to ask!

Is the dance teacher suitable? 

Some other things to keep in mind while you’re visiting and asking questions are; how do the staff speak to you? How do they speak about other dance schools?  Are they attentive and helpful? How do the teachers sound while speaking to the students? This intel will guide you to the best choice for your family!

Taking your future dancer to see some of the dance schools can be helpful too! See which studios really light up your child’s face, where they feel comfortable, or excited?  Maybe check out different schools end of year shows. Keeping an open dialogue with your child about where they attend dance is important to them enjoying the class you enrol them in!

On a final note, pay attention to your intuition.  Take into account your emotional response to each school, and add those feelings to your notes for when you’re reflecting later!

Remember, dance is a wonderful addition to anyone’s life, and finding the right school will help make that a joyful experience! If one place doesn’t work out, you could always try another studio!  Sometimes it takes time and experience for your child to figure out what works for them.  

Here are a few places you can get a feel for what dancing at Genevieve Ryan Dance Academy is like!  

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If you ever hear a teacher saying “You can’t dance!” you know you are at the wrong school!