Becoming part of the dance community in Winnipeg can be fun, but also a bit confusing. When choosing dance lessons Winnipeg parents can face many unknowns throughout the registration process. There are so many styles of dance to pick from, and different age and skill levels. Then there is the choice between competitive or recreational dance lessons. So what does it all mean? Hopefully we can help to decode it!
Styles of Dance
This is the best place to start. Choosing a style of dance for your child is extremely important. Do you have a child who loves to pretend to fly and sparkle around the room like Tinkerbell? Ballet is a good class to start with. What about a child who can’t stop tapping his or her toes to the beat of the music in the car? Tap class will be a perfect fit. Styles like Jazz and Hip Hop dance offer a more upbeat solution for the high energy dancer. With so many styles to choose from, you’ll have a lot of great options for your dancer at registration.
Ages and Levels
Most dance studios will offer dance lessons for a variety of age groupings and levels, to ensure students can learn at a pace that helps them grow and succeed. Typically, age groupings will keep children of similar ages in a group together, allowing for positive friendships and emotional development to occur, along with their dance training. Is your dancer new to dance? Likely he or she will go into a beginner or all levels recreational dance program, versus a dancer who has years of experience at an elite level.
Recreational Dance Programming
Most new dancers come into their first dance lesson at a recreational level. Recreational dance lessons in Winnipeg allow dancers to learn at a more relaxed and modest pace. With that said, a good recreational program should also still challenge students and push them to progress throughout the length of the program. Many dancers choose to remain at a recreational level their whole lives. This is for many reasons, but for most, it’s because they simply love dance as an activity, but do not wish to pursue it at an elite level.
Competitive Dance Team
It’s very common for dancers who dance at an elite level to be invited to a competitive team. Often called Competition Teams or Performance Teams, dancers at this level take lessons in a variety of styles, dancing multiple days during the week for longer duration. Teams are often selected by invitation or audition and require an high level of training and dedication. Elite dancers on Teams are required to commit to a number of extra practices and performances throughout the year.
These programs will almost always have extra costs attached to them as well. Costs include extra costumes, registration fees for competitions, choreography or extra classes, and team outfits. This level of dance also requires extra family support and dancer/family commitment, as the elite schedules tend to be busier, and their training is much more intense.
Ask to Be Evaluated
Not sure where your dancer fits? Before registering for dance lessons Winnipeg studios can provide evaluations of a dancer. These short testing classes will help the studio Director figure out the appropriate level and style for a dancer. Evaluations are great for first time students, but also for dancers who are moving from one studio to another, as studios set different standards for their levels and programs. Regardless if you’re a new or returning dancer, evaluations are a great way to ensure you’re in the right level for your dance lessons.
Still not sure? Ask questions. Dance studio staff are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to placing a dancer in an appropriate level or style of dance. At registration, don't be afraid to come with a list of questions for staff to answer for you. It benefits everyone as a whole when dancers are placed in the proper classes.