Dance To EvOLvE Blog

10 Questions To Avoid Dance Academy Drama

Posted by Brittany White on Jul 31, 2012 8:23:00 AM

We've all heard a story here and there about dance academy drama. There are the crazy stage moms or the teachers that show too much favoritism...How about the diva that has to be the center of attention or the studio owner that just only focuses on making money? No matter what, when you put multiple performer types all together, things can easily get too political. Some dance academes are worse than others though. Here are a few tricks to avoid the dance academy drama:

1. Ask if the dance academy focuses on competitions or not. Do they have multiple trophies all around the studio?

2. Check how expensive their recital fees are and how much hype surrounds it. Click here for a good example of a recital that is not blown out of proportion. 

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3. See what their reputation is by chatting with some other moms about what they've heard.

4. Get an overall vibe of the dance academy. Is it about creating a positive environment where dancers feel welcome to learn or does it feel cliquey? 

5. Does the dance academy require you to purchase their custom dance clothes or is the dress code too strict? Here is an example of a flexible dress code policy. 

6. See if they offer a trial class or maybe a drop-in fee before you spend a bunch of money. 

7. How does the front desk staff treat you? Are they warm and inviting or does it seem like they don't have time to answer your questions?

8. Observe how the teacher interacts with their dancers. Are they focusing on their class as a whole or a select group?

9. How involved are the other dancers' parents? Does it seem healthy or overbearing?

10. How are attitudes dealt with or behavioral issues? Do you agree or disagree?

Of course, no matter what we get involved in, conflict is part of our daily lives. The important thing to remember is that we cannot control the people around us, but can always remove ourselves from negative environments. If a dance academy is doing its job right, the true spirit of dance should always come through. Support, encouragement, and positivity are all great aspects of the dance world that can do wonders for anyone. Always do your research to ensure that your dancer is in the best environment possible while obviously having FUN!

Download A FREE  Parent Guide To  Choosing The Best  Dance Class For  Your Child






Tags: Dance Classes, Dance Studios, academy dance

A Starting Guide On How To Choose Dance Classes In Chicago

Posted by Brittany White on Jul 27, 2012 2:53:00 PM

The "Windy City" is the ideal place for dance for our sometimes harsh weather.  Not only is it home to great professional dance companies...it has so many options for all genres of dance and all ages.  To pick dance classes in Chicago, you need to know what you're looking for, how to look for it, and how to begin.

What style of dance classes in Chicago are you looking for?  Many Chicago studios offer ballet, hip hop, children's dance classes, salsa, ballroom dancing, and much more!  Once you know what type of dance you are interested in, the search for dance classes in Chicago becomes mdance classes in chicagouch easier!  If you are not sure what style of dance you are intersted in, see if the studio offers a trial class or at least go and watch a class.  It would always be recommended to start at a beginner level class so that you do not become overwelmed and frustrated.  Dance is a learned skill like anything else and it takes some time to get the general feel of it.

With your dance genre picked out, you can now begin to pick and choose which classes you want to take.  Many studios offer drop-in classes.  These classes allow you to pay for one class so you can try it out before committing to a package or monthly fee.  Make sure to try a couple different studios before settling.  There's so many options for dance classes in Chicago...make sure you find the best fit for you.

Once you've found a class that you love, the rest of it is easy.  Simply ask your instructor what they will expect from you each class (ex.: wearing certain shoes, bringing a water bottle to class, etc.).  Instructors who teach dance classes in Chicago are happy to answer any questions you have, so always ask.  Of course this information is often on the website too.

You're on your way to enjoying dance...what could possibly be better than that?

Download A FREE  Parent Guide To  Choosing The Best  Dance Class For  Your Child

 

Tags: Dance Classes, Dance Classes, Children Ballet, Children Ballet, Dance Studios, children activities, children activities, kids dance classes, ballet class, dance, dance classes in chicago, dance classes for children, Dance Classes Quality, Dance Class Preparation, tiny tot dance classes, dance classes for children; summer camps, Boys Dance, Big Kid Dance Class

What To Ask When Choosing A Dance Studio In San Diego

Posted by Brittany White on Jul 25, 2012 3:35:00 PM

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When enrolling your child in a dance studio in san diegoone of the most important decisions to make is WHERE you should enroll your child.Finding the right dance studio in San Diego is often a very difficult and time consuming endeavor given the number of options at your fingertips. Just remember, you are choosing a studio that not only works for your child, but also one that works for you. Choosing a dance studio that fits yours and your child’s needs is an important decision and there are several factors to consider.

Some of these factors include, but are not limited to: 

  • Location/Schedule
  • Class Pricing
  • Studio Policies/Philosophy 

Dance studios in San Diego can be highly priced, competitive, and require significant time commitments, while others will be low-cost, non-competitive, and offer drop-in classes with no long-term obligations.  Today, we’re going to focus on the questions you should consider when choosing a general neighborhood/location for dance studios in San Diego

San Diego is a very large community, with a multitude of dance studios tucked away in each area. So how do you decide where to start your search? First, decide how much time you’re willing to dedicate to commuting back and forth to classes. Consider the location of the studio and schedule of classes, in conjunction with your home/work schedules, and any other activities your child or children participate(s) in.  The timing of classes is very important when determining a general neighborhood/location to search in so consider the time of day classes are offered and whether it is during high traffic times. You will also want to look at what styles of dance and age levels are offered and at what times during the day. Does the studio offer classes for the age and style I want? Do those classes fit into the schedule that works for my commute?

Commuting takes time and energy, and you want to ensure your child’s studio is as convenient for you as possible. Your commitment to getting them to class will directly impact their growth and commitment to the program! Remember, dance classes are not usually free and you want to get your money’s worth! If you are not willing to make the commute you end up losing the money invested for that session. 

When looking at class schedules, start asking questions such as:

How old will my child be?
How much will their skills have developed over the next year?
Will they want to try new dance styles?

Children can progress quite rapidly in their dance development in just a year’s time and you will want to think about whether the dance studio offers classes at the next age and difficulty level. One year may seem far away, but it is important to consider these things in advance so that a year from now you are not starting from scratch and looking for another studio that offers the right classes (both style and age appropriate) for your dancer. Click here for an example of a progressive class schedule in terms of age and dance style.

Remember, dance studios in San Diego are easy enough to find given the growing number of programs in the area, but finding the right location and schedule for you and your family takes time and patience! So sit back and just breathe!

Download A FREE  Parent Guide To  Choosing The Best  Dance Class For  Your Child

Tags: Dance Classes, Dance Studios, San Diego

5 Questions To Ask For A Kid-Appropriate Hip Hop Dance Class

Posted by Brittany White on Jul 24, 2012 4:59:00 PM

hip hop dance classes

This week as I was chatting with a parent about various class options for her young daughter, she mentioned that Daddy said hip hop dance classes were out of the question. I didn't push the issue at all but it got me thinking... hip hop dance classes aren't just for booty-poppers! There is a stigma out there. With hip hop, it is easy for people to assume that a certain level of inappropriateness is involved. This may be the case with some teachers and studios if they are not taking the time to consider what is and what isn't age appropriate. Hip hop dance classes can be found just about anywhere these days and just like any program you involve your family in, it is smart to do your research and ask questions. Here is what to look for:

-Does the teacher use age appropriate music? (This should include content as well as curse words.)

-Is the teacher a positive role model that your dancer can look up to?

-How does the instructor teach above and beyond the classroom to incorporate life skills?

-Is the movement about having fun and creating a positive message or is it about something you're not comfortable with as a parent?

-Overall, does the dance program you are considering seem professional and family friendly? Click here for an example of a dance company that is clear about how they hire their teachers.

Exposing your dancer to something you and they aren't ready for is never a good time. On the same note, I'd hate for a kid to miss out on an amazing class that could do wonders for their confidence just because mom or dad didn't give it a chance. Hip hop dance classes are a very popular outlet for people nowadays and can be so much fun! Click here to see an example.

When they are done right, the dancer should feel amazing about themself afterwards. They should be sweaty, happy, and confident after learning something that presented the right amount of challenge mixed with fun. If this is not the case, I recommend trying a different class, teacher, or dance company. Ask if the program you're considering offers a trial class option. If they do not, see if you can observe the class before signing up. Whatever you do, don't knock hip hop until you give it a solid chance and explore the various opportunities available.

Download A FREE  Parent Guide To  Choosing The Best  Dance Class For  Your Child

Tags: children activities, Type of Dance Styles, Dance Class Preparation

3 Great Reasons To Try A Summer Ballet Class

Posted by Brittany White on Jul 20, 2012 9:46:00 AM

Every spring I am asked what class I would recommend for their child to take during the summer.  Between busy summer schedules and planned trips, will their dancer get anything out of a dance class?  Yes…they will!  Summer is the perfect time for your dancer to join a ballet class.


 * Summer ballet classes are great for young dancers who are getting readsummer ballet classy to start their first year of school.  Ballet class helps to teach kids structure that can be used in any classroom setting.  They learn to listen to the teacher, take turns, follow directions, get in lines, and much more!  Since ballet class is a more structured genre of dance, it helps to make the transition into school life that much easier.

* A summertime ballet class can also be beneficial to new dancers.  The classes are typically smaller giving more one-on-one attention to the participants.  Coming in to a large ballet class can be quite intimidating, so a smaller class can make it much easier for them to get comfortable.  Since the summer schedule is shorter than a fall/ winter/ spring session, you can 'test' if this class or studio is a place that you want your dancer to be in the future.

* Kids need to move during summer!  Even though it’s hot outside, kids need to stay active to ensure that they stay strong and healthy.  No one wants to see kids holed up inside their house all day playing video games.  If the weather is too hot outside, what is better than an air conditioned dance room while your dancer learns the fundamentals taught in a ballet class?

Overall, a summer ballet class is a great option.  The majority of dance teachers will say that the knowledge and understanding of ballet is one of the most important skills a dancer can possess...so get out and try it in a summer ballet class near you.  

Download A FREE  Parent Guide To  Choosing The Best  Dance Class For  Your Child


Tags: Dance Classes, Children Ballet, children activities, ballet class, dance

5 Things To Look For In Dance Classes For Children

Posted by Brittany White on Jul 20, 2012 9:45:00 AM

With so many dance studios to choose from, here are some helpful tips to narrow down the search when looking for a dance class for children.Dance Classes For Children

1.  A great teacher...a genuine teacher!  This may sound obvious, but teaching a dance class for children takes a special talent.  Being a dancer or dance teacher does not necessarily make the person a good fit to teach children.  The teacher must be genuinely passionate about teaching children.  You can't fake it with this age group so the teacher must provide a balance of fun and knowledge while also be engaging to keep the students' attention.

2. Great Class Management!  One of the most difficult parts of teaching children is often managing the class. Without good class management, the class can't be productive and if a class isn't productive, the teacher will often feel stressed, which doesn't lead to a good class for anyone. Class management is an acquired skill and often over looked in teacher training. Ask yourself these questions when watching a dance class for children:  Does the teacher have a clear class structure?  Can the teacher adapt the class when required?  Can the teacher multi-task without becoming frazzled?

3.  Laughter Is Key!  There is a misconception that a dance class has to be 'serious' in order to be a high quality class.  There may be some truth to that for older or more advanced classes but when it comes to a dance class for children, laughter is key!  Children learn through fun and teachers who can engage their students during the class through laughter are going to be able to teach a lot more.

4. The Right Kind Of Training!  Dance studios often try to distinguish themselves through their teachers' dance experience.  For children's dance classes, I believe the teacher's teaching qualifications are more important than their dancing experience.  When teaching children,  being a great teacher outweighs the need to be a great dancer. (Although I still believe teachers need to have a certain level of dance experience and must be able to teach and demonstrate the moves correctly.  Inspiring students with their own talent is always important.)  Further, ask the dance studio what kind of training do they provide their teachers.  It is important for anyone to continue to develop their skills and I believe it is important for dance teachers to be a part of yearly professional development workshops, teacher shadowing, and/or peer evaluations.

5. Policies That Are Accommodating!  There are a lot of 'X' factors that go into working with children, and it is importnat for a dance studio to acknowledge that when developing their policies.  Policies that allow you to try the class before registering is a great way to see if it is a good fit for your child before having to actual register.  An easy make-up policy is also key for dance classes for children to make sure you are getting your money's worth.

Download A FREE  Parent Guide To  Choosing The Best  Dance Class For  Your Child

Tags: Dance Classes, kids dance classes, dance classes for children, tiny tot dance classes