Sheila Parkins

Academy of Dance and Music

4701, boul. Saint-Jean
Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC
H9H 2A7
☎ (514) 626-1981

4 THINGS EVERY PARENT SHOULD KNOW BEFORE CHOOSING A DANCE STUDIO

If most dance studios seem to have qualified, friendly teachers, experience teaching children and a big show at the end of the year, aren't they all pretty much the same? Does it really matter which place you decide to enroll at? Yes. There are 4 main things that can make a huge difference in the quality of instruction your child receives, the amount of extra work and hassles the parents must deal with and the overall enjoyment and satisfaction of being involved with a dance program. Here are 4 things that every parent should consider before deciding on a dance studio for their child.

1. WHAT TYPE OF DANCE FLOOR IS USED?

We have a "Floating" Dance Floor which rests on a system of high density foam to absorb the shock and impact of regular dance movement. This benefits students by reducing fatigue and preventing injury that can result from dancing on hard surfaces. The top layer of this special flooring surface is a professional vinyl composite "marley" floor similar to the surfaces used by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Royal Academy of Dancing in London, England and shows such as Riverdance. This marley floor surface has a certain amount of controlled slip to allow for sliding in dance movement, but is not slippery.

2. WHAT IS THE SIZE OF THE CLASS AND STUDENT TO TEACHER RATIO?

Class sizes range from 12 students in preschool classes to 16 students in older class levels. We have 1 to 2 class assistants on hand in all classes for ages 3 to 8 yrs old. The ratio in preschool classes is 1/6 or less if we have 2 assistants. Other than helping the teacher in the classroom, the job of the class assistants is to greet your child in the reception area, take them to their designated area in the dressing room, and help them get ready for class. One assistant will always be in the dressing room with the children who are waiting for their class to start. The benefit for parents is not having to dress and undress your child. Just simply drop them off in the reception area 15 minutes before their class starts. Go shopping or for a coffee and come back 15 minutes after the class and your child will be waiting for you.

3. WHAT ARE THE "EXTRAS" REQUIRED FOR THE YEAR END SHOW?

Most studios put on a year end show in a professional theatre. Students that perform in the show must have a costume for their dance number. Some studios may require parents to sew their child's costumes or to go shopping around looking for various items at the local mall. At our studio, all recital costumes are purchased from a professional manufacturer in the U.S.A. The costumes are exceptional quality garments; they arrive by late winter which gives ample time for returns and exchanges if your child has had a growth spurt. Each costume comes with all the accessories needed for your child's dance routine. This ensures that parents will not have to spend countless hours shopping around for the correct fabric, sewing costumes and tracking down specialty items requested by the teachers-which can be inconvenient and frustrating for parents who are busy or can't sew.

4. CAN I GET IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE AND CUSTOMER SERVICE?

In many studios the teacher or the studio owner conducts classes and does the administration. By trying to do two jobs at once, the class may suffer as the teacher has to use class time for customer service issues, or the studio may have no customer service available if the teacher is in a class. To have a good experience it is important to choose a studio that can assist you with details like costumes or schedules, even if your teacher is occupied in a class. Our studio has office staff on hand during all regular class times, so you can get immediate assistance.

How does a dance education benefit children? Click here to find out