Choosing a Dance Studio
Updated: May 3, 2020
Picking a dance studio, or switching to a new dance studio, can be tough. If you type Dance Studio Winnipeg into your online search engine, so many options pop up! It can be confusing and intimidating. Dance is supposed to be fun, so picking a good dance studio shouldn’t be a negative experience, and it won’t be if you are prepared with the knowledge needed to pick the best place for you!
Basic Dance Studio Information
As you’re searching for a new studio, it’s important to gather the basic information. Stuff like location, hours of operation, social media pages, and teachers can help you get a general understanding of the studio. While surfing a dance studio’s website, or phoning around to ask questions, it’s important to consider the following to help you get a better understanding of the studio:
- Is the location close to home? Does it have parking and is it close to bus routes? - Do the hours of operation work with your schedule? - Who are the teachers? Are the experienced? - What’s on the social pages? Do the pictures and videos make you want to join? Is the vibe of the page upbeat and encouraging? - Can you come for a tour?
- When shopping around for a Winnipeg dance school, dancers and parents should always pick a place that lines up with their values and goals, so the above questions help set a baseline in the search.
For young dancers, there are usually only a couple of options (usually ballet and tap, or a form or creative movement), but once a child hits age 7, dance opportunities are more plentiful. When you’re searching, keep in mind the dance styles you want to register for, and see if the studio can offer what you need.
It’s always important to ask about levels and age groupings. If you have a 12-year-old child who is at a beginner level, is he or she going to be in a class with 7-year-olds, or does the studio offer beginner teen classes for your dancer? A good dance studio will have a variety of levels and age groups to pick from. If your dancer is dancing at a higher level, you may want to ask about the studio’s competitive dance programming, or see if your dancer can be evaluated to ensure you are registering for the appropriate level.
Class sizes are also important. Some places pack a class full of thirty 3-year-olds. That is a lot at that age! If the class sizes seem large, ask how many teachers are in the room with the children. Some studios have large classes, but have multiple teachers and student assistants in dance class. When looking at class sizes, you want to ensure your dancer isn’t getting lost in the shuffle. After all, you’re paying for your child to learn to dance, not fade away into the back of the room, unnoticed.
When looking at a dance studio, parents and dancers should also be mindful of the studio policies. Are there drop-out policies if a dancer decides she doesn't like it? We know with young children, one day they want to be a dancer, the next they want to be an astronaut! And sometimes, sadly, dance simply isn't what a child expected, so you'll want to know if there is a fee penalty if you drop out, and if any refunds are given for registration fees, costume fees, unused pre-paid class fees, etc.
Dress codes are also often enforced, but all Winnipeg dance studios enforce different dress codes. You’ll want to ensure you know of any colour, style, and brand requirements, or restrictions, for dancewear, shoes, and hair styles.
Many dance studios also have a Code of Conduct to set expectations of all staff, parents, and dancers to follow. If you see the Code of Conduct, ask yourself if it aligns with your beliefs and if it is easy to follow. If it seems unreasonable or you don’t align with it, then the studio you’re researching probably isn’t the best choice for you.
All studios run their dance recitals differently, but the key point is that you get to see your child perform what he or she has learned throughout the year. Ask questions about date(s) and location of the recital, and if there are videos or pictures from past recitals you can see. This helps you set expectations for the year end, and determine what type of learning outcomes are realistic for your dancer. It also allows you to plan early for recital, and ensure you can bring your dancer's fan club to cheer him or her on at recital.
Yes, this is a lot of information, but as you go through the process of finding a dance studio, you’ll know if a studio is right for you. If you narrow it down to a list of two or three places, always go in to tour the studio and meet the directors. Being in the studio will always help you to determine if it’s the right place for you.