As more and more children take up dance, the number of dance schools opening has increased immensely. But, how do you know which dance school is best?
Of course, you have to think of things like budget, proximity to your home, and the school’s popularity but are there more important aspects you need to look into?
Have you thought about safety? Experience of the teachers? What exactly are they qualified to teach? Will they get my child to where they need to be before starting college or university? Don’t fret. We have made a mini guide for all parents of budding young stars so you can make an informed decision as to which dance school is best for you.
The most reputable dance schools in the country all have experienced and qualified dance teachers. They will have spent years and years in the business, spending a lot of time and money on training.
A lot of teachers will have performed all over the country, internationally, or on cruise ships. Having the experience of performing means they can not only teach your child dance steps and routines, but they can also give them an insight as to what life is like as a professional dancer.
They will have been to a dance school themselves during childhood and gone on to study at a performing arts college or university. However, being a performer doesn’t mean you can then go straight into teaching. Having a teaching qualification means you know how to apply your knowledge to others in a nurturing and safe way.
Being a dance teacher means that you are always learning. Teachers who continually strive to improve and keep up to date with new teaching methods are the ones who will get your child to where they wish to be. Continuing Professional Development courses are available in this sector so keep an eye out for teachers who love to learn.
Every business needs insurance. Even dance schools. Public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance are necessary. Should anything go wrong or not be of a high standard, then there is coverage for both sides.
Have all the staff had Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks? A requirement when working with children. This is something the school will be happy to confirm.
The dance studio should have procedures in place for fire safety and general health and safety policies. They will have carried out risk assessments and have them on hand to show to you should you wish to see them.
Do they have a policy for accidents and injuries? Do they have a policy for making sure each child is going home with a known parent or guardian? What is their safeguarding policy?
One aspect that a lot of parents may not have thought of is does the studio have sprung floors?
Sprung floors are very important at a dance school. They are engineered to absorb and reduce the force that is generated by dancers performing leaps, jumps, and lifts throughout the routines. This helps reduce the risk of injuries such as stress fractures and joint problems.
Dancing on a hard and unyielding surface can lead to discomfort and fatigue. Sprung floors offer a more forgiving surface that reduces the strain on the body allowing them to practice for longer periods.
If a dance school is not using a sprung floor, it can cause early wear and tear on cartilage in joints, shin splints, and knee and ankle pain. This could result in months worth of physiotherapy let alone joint issues in adulthood.
The main point here is to DO YOUR RESEARCH! Any reputable dance school will either have all the information you need on its website or will gladly help you with any questions you have, even invite you for a tour and/or a trial class.
Don’t ignore your gut feeling!
You will know when a dance school is right for your child. You will be made to feel comfortable, welcome, and included as soon as you step through the door. No question is a silly question.
If they have the passion and determination to teach your child all they need to know to further a career in dance or to give them a hobby they will love all the way through to adulthood then they are worth looking into.