5 Things You Should Know Before Choosing a Dance Studio
1. What does a package of lessons include?
Some dance studios will include group classes and private lessons together in one package, without differentiating between the two. Private lessons are one-on-one instruction, and are thus more expensive than group classes, as you get individualized attention and will progress much faster and with less frustration. Some studios will package them together as a certain number of "sessions", and will not tell you up front how many of these are private lessons, and how many are group classes. For example, if you call a studio for information on their lessons, they may quote you a package which includes "six sessions" for $99. What they may not tell you is that only one or two of these are private lessons, and the others are group classes and/or practice parties. Another studio may quote you 4 private lessons and 2 group classes for $300, which sounds like more money, but in reality, may be about the same cost per private lesson, and you will get much more out of this package. Be sure to ask, when you are comparing prices, what is included in each package in terms of private lessons. We offer free group classes and parties to our students who are enrolled in a private lesson package.
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2. What forms of dance education are offered?
While private lessons are the fastest and most effective way to learn to dance, a quality studio should offer its students a variety of different options for learning and enjoying the magic of dance. Group classes are the most common type of dance education offered in most studios, and they offer the student a chance to practice and improve in a group setting, as well as to interact and socialize with others of the same interest (dancing!); while your focus should be on private lessons, a good dance studio will offer both private lessons and group classes for the advancement and enjoyment of its students. You should also look for a studio which offers frequent opportunities to utilize what you are learning. Without practice, especially in the beginning, you will find it difficult to retain what you have learned. Besides, you are learning to dance because it's fun, right? The more you use your dancing, the better you will become, and the more fun you will have! Most established dance studios offer regular practice parties where students can come and dance in a safe and supportive environment, as well as make new friends with the same hobby. Our studio offers private lessons at your convenience, a variety of different group classes, and a weekly dance party every Friday night.
3. Do the owners/instructors dance professionally in dance competitions?
Whether or not you are interested in competing, yourself, you should look for a studio where the instructors are professionally active in their field. This ensures that your instructor will be current with the latest techniques and styles of dancing, and can train you accordingly, so you don't end up dancing like your grandma! Also, instructors who compete are generally very dedicated to improving their own dancing on a regular basis, so you can be sure there will always be new elements for you to learn on your dance lessons, and your own dancing will continue to become more fun and interesting as you progress. Our studio owners and instructors compete locally, nationwide, and internationally on a regular basis.
4. What type of floor is used?
Dance is a very physical activity that can put stress on the joints if you are not dancing on the right surface. Some smaller or newer dance studios often do not have the resources to install a proper dance floor, and dancing on a tile or concrete floor can cause injury, or at the very least, discomfort, while dancing. The best surface for ballroom dancing is a professional "floating floor" with a wood surface. This type of dance floor is suspended and/or cushioned so that it is slightly "soft" - it has a bit of give to it. This will be less jarring on your joints, and will feel better and smoother to dance on. Both of our dance studios have proper floating wood dance floors.
5. Does the studio have regular open hours?
Most professional dance studios have specified hours of business. This is very useful to you as a customer, as you will know when someone is available for assistance or to answer any questions you may have. Some smaller or independent studios are only open during scheduled lessons, or for a few hours during the evening. This does not necessarily mean it is a bad studio, but if you want to make sure you can get immediate customer service when necessary, you will want to find a studio that has regularly scheduled hours of operation. Our regular studio hours are Monday through Friday, between 2:00 and 9:00 pm. We also take lessons in the mornings and on weekends by special appointment.
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