Choosing a dance studio is as important as picking the right class for your toddler. It’s the place where learning will happen and it’s very crucial that it’s conducive to self-expression and improvement. Aside from the facilities and physical standards, you should also look deep on how the teachers deal with students. Knowing what makes a good dance studio for toddlers will ensure that your little one is on the right hands.
Dancing is a fun activity. Your child should find it enjoying and something to look forward to regularly. This means that they are learning and improving their social, physical, and emotional skills.
As the parent or guardian responsible for enrolling your child, make sure to include the following points on your checklist. These eight points are the foundation of a worthy studio and your guide to evaluating your options.
1. Excellent facilities
The number one aspect to look for is how equipped the studio is. Are the floors sprung and elevated to cushion force? Is it well ventilated? Aside from the studio proper, check if other amenities like bathrooms, waiting area, and lockers are clean and suitable for use. Choosing a comfortable studio will ensure that your child will have an easy time cooperating and learning the dance. Paying a short visit to the studio before enrolling is a surefire way to check this out.
You can observe a class and chat with other parents whose kids are currently enrolled in a program. This will give you a firsthand reference of how it’s like to groove on the studio. It should be an entire experience of fun. You would want to limit any factors that will discourage your kid from attending the class. The major one is the physical condition of the studio he’s going to join. A complete facility is what makes a good dance studio for toddlers.
2. Quality teaching
A studio committed to quality teaching is one for the books. The administrator of the class should have the ability to impose discipline while maintaining the fun environment. As much as possible, the approach to each kid should be holistic and caring so they will be encouraged to participate more. It’s important that the studio has the right balance of challenge and a laid-back routine.
Knowing what the philosophy of the studio is will give you the picture of their goal. Is it too competitive? Lenient? Or just the right class you’re looking for?
Quality dance teaching should know how to engage a child and keep him interested in the routines. Otherwise, it will fail to teach the students the dance they should be learning. If your kid feels like he’s not good enough, there might be something wrong that’s happening inside the studio. Being a bit nosy wouldn’t hurt at this point.
3. Reliable dance instructors
You would want instructors and not choreographers to handle your toddler’s dance class. When we say dancing instructors, they are focused on tailoring their teaching style to suit each student type. Whether it’s adjusting the steps or slowing down to focus on a certain kid. Teachers shouldn’t just demonstrate and impose. They should also encourage and show ways how it’s done to the point that’s comprehensible for a two or three-year-old child. By far, it’s what makes a good dance studio for toddlers.
Teachers who have years of experience in dance classes would likely have the skills to handle toddler programs well. It also pays if they have a degree on their craft, although it’s not much of a big deal as long as they are teaching properly.
Make sure that the dance teacher and the studio personnel are treating your kid right. The least that you want to happen is your little one being traumatized on the dance floor.
4. Inclusive program structure
If your kid feels left out, it’s a warning sign that you have to look for another studio. The teachers and the environment should have a welcoming and inclusive vibe. Dance studios should have mastered the fact that kids come in different shapes and sizes. They should have ways to make everyone meet halfway.
Aside from the studio personnel and teaching, you should choose a dance that your kid feels like doing. No matter how patient and caring the instructors are, what makes a good dance studio for toddlers is your child’s opinion about it.
It could be a hard task, but choose a studio that has an impressive track record on handling various kids. The approach should be as holistic as possible but without overwhelming your child. The studio should also have the ability to teach techniques even in short sessions. Most dance classes won’t even last for two hours, so it’s important that teachers can make the most out of it.
5. Reasonable fees
Not all parents can afford upscale dance studios. That’s totally okay. Your child doesn’t need a $100-per class kind of studio. As long as the place can teach him new things and he’s comfortable with it, you have no reason to break the bank. Studios may offer a per-class pricing that can range from $10 to $50. There could also be a monthly-based fee which should save you more in the long run.
However, don’t let the pricing be your sole reference. There are expensive studios that are worth every cent, but if you’re cash-strapped, there’s no problem with affordable classes. Besides, you’ll have to spend more on costumes and nominal charges related to the class.
The rule here is to enroll in a studio that gives the best bang for the buck. Compare prices from different studios before deciding where you’ll put your money.
6. Presence of first-aid
Dance is a very active routine. There would be lots of jumping, pirouetting, and spinning. Somehow, it’s unavoidable that kids will have bad falls and sustain minor injuries. What makes a good dance studio for toddlers is the presence of a medical staff to attend to these incidents. Your child’s safety is at stake here.
Dance teachers should also know what to do in case of injuries, including having a first-aid kit. It’s a big plus point if the dance instructor is trained to provide first aid for dance-related injuries as well as CPR. Training for the treatment of common dance injuries is affordable and given free by some organizations. This might not be a necessary factor, but it really pays off when accidents strike.
You can ask the studio upon inquiring about their dance programs. Just remember that this is just a piece of the puzzle in finding the right dance studio.
7. Child-friendly atmosphere
Observing the atmosphere of the studio before you enroll your child will give you the “feel” of how it’s like to be joining a class. Do the kids love it? Or are they bored and zoned out? Looking around and checking for some warning signs will help you evaluate the atmosphere that’s been lingering on the studio.
Know how the teachers and other personnel interact with parents and kids regardless of age, gender, and ethnicity. There shouldn’t be any hint of discrimination and the kids must be treated equally no matter how good or lagging they are.
If the studio makes you want to dance, then there’s a chance that your child will feel the same way. Kids are easily hooked to rhythms, and if as an adult the studio was able to engage you, you should include it on your consideration list. That’s what makes a good dance studio for toddlers.
8. Variety of classes
You can’t expect all kids to love ballet or any type of dance. Each child would have his or her interests and abilities which the programs offered should cover. If your child loves hip-hop, you should look for a studio that offers an excellent program. Don’t enroll him on a studio that will push him to do tap dance if he doesn’t want to.
Although the teachers might know what’s best, it’s your child’s willingness that will dictate how long he will stick to the classes. There should be a dance class for beginners too, especially if your toddler is still finding his way to the grooves. A studio with a diverse list of dance programs will also allow your child to enroll in an advanced class in the future. Take note the fewer the options are, the limited the learning will be.
Watch out for the following:
While figuring out what makes a good dance studio for toddlers, watch out for the following warning signs. The presence of at least one or two here should send you looking for another prospect.
Too much competition
Parents have varying goals as to why they enroll their kids in a dance class. They might be preparing the little one for competitive dancing in the future or it’s just an enjoyable activity to make them explore new things. Whatever your reason is, watch out for excessive competition. This atmosphere will make your child feel less about his self. There’s also a tendency that your child will develop a negative attitude of being too competitive toward other people.
At a young age, toddlers aren’t supposed to be subjected to stress or anything that will push him to the limits. Remember, your little one is just starting out; you would want to be as gentle as possible.
So how will you know if a studio fosters a healthy competition? Ask the parents and observe a class. If there seems to be a heated interaction between parents, you might want to reconsider.
Teachers who don’t correct your child
A kind and caring teacher is what makes a good dance studio for toddlers. But as much as you want an instructor that will treat your kid right, you don’t want them to be too lenient either. Remember, you want your child to learn. That will only happen if he or she will be corrected accordingly as mistakes are committed.
If the teacher keeps on saying that your child is doing well, there might be two possible realities: you have a dance superstar in the making or the instructor is being “too nice”. You wouldn’t want the latter. It will make your child think that he’s doing perfectly, when in fact he can’t even follow. But don’t get me wrong, instructors have to be as gentle as possible. Corrections should still be done in a manner that won’t hurt the little one’s feelings.
Your child’s opinion of the studio
If after a few classes and your child seems upset, you have to check what’s wrong. Ask him about his experiences in the studio and what he has learned. Learning more about his relationship with the teacher and other students will give the bigger picture of what’s going on. If your child is being bullied, you should talk with the teacher to settle the matter. You should also consider transferring him or her to another class. A friendly atmosphere is always what makes a good dance studio for toddlers.
One more thing: if the child seems to be doing the same old routine, the dance class might not be suited for him or her. There’s no point in letting your child attend a class where he doesn’t learn anything new.
Number of kids leaving
The turnover of students in a studio is a sign of its performance. If kids keep on dropping out of the program, it should raise a red flag on you. If you can, contact some parents and ask if the studio is something they would recommend. Ask about what made them pull their kids out of the program.
Don’t jump into conclusions right away. Some parents might be dropping their kids out of the class because of personal issues, schedule, or location. Think about short programs too, which has a higher student turnover rate due to the length of the class.
Do you know more points about what makes a good dance studio for toddlers? Share it with us in the comment section!