Parent Guide

Why Choose Us For Dance Classes?


If most dance studios seem to have 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 enrol at? Yes. There are 6 main things that can make a huge difference in the quality of instruction your child receives, the amount of extra work the parents must deal with and the overall enjoyment and satisfaction of being involved with a dance program. Here are 6 things that every parent should consider before deciding on a dance studio for their child.

1. THE SCHOOL'S PHILOSOPHY

What is the Artistic director's vision? Everything comes down from the top. What are the principles behind the teaching methods employed in the studio?  What are the goals of the studio?

Our school’s main goal is to help students develop a love for dance and a self-confidence that lasts them for a lifetime. Director Janielle Scott’s mission for the school is “to provide excellent, quality instruction in a safe and nurturing environment. We want to develop in students a love of dance while improving their self image, perseverance and concentration.”

2. FACILITIES

The overall environment of a dance studio is key to your child's success. The dance studio should be warm and inviting, as well as the staff. The studio should be clean and well-maintained. The dancing room should be well-ventilated and spacious, with mirrors covering at least one entire wall. Your child should be provided with adequate space to change clothes and easy access to washroom facilities. Certain styles of dance can put stress on young bones and joints, especially ballet, with its many leaps and jumps. Look for a professional floor that is well-cushioned to absorb the shock of jumping. Never allow your child to attend a dance class on a concrete floor.

Exisdance has a sprung dance floor, which is very important for dancers. This type of floor helps absorb the impact of dancing and helps keep teachers and dancers more energized, while greatly aiding in injury prevention. There are full mirrors throughout the studio to help students observe their movements while learning and two levels of ballet barres to accommodate the differing heights of the dancers. The studio is a bright and spacious place to learn. Our studio also offers viewing times for parents and there is a comfortable waiting area which is used by parents and young siblings during class times. There are also plenty of off-street parking spaces.

3. RECITALS

A formal late spring recital is recommended for all children and should be a satisfying, informative experience for the child and the families. For all children a chance to perform can be an important and exhilarating experience.

Our annual year-end recital is held before a full-house at the Yates Theatre, giving our students the opportunity to perform publicly with family and friends present. Some studios may require parents to sew their child’s costumes. This can be inconvenient and frustrating for parents who are busy or can’t sew. Our studio orders or sews costumes for you, so parents do not have to worry about costume hassles.

4. DIVISION AND SIZE OF CLASSES

How are classes divided--by age or technical ability? Division by age means that the class is composed of students with different degrees of ability. If the dance class has fewer students in it each child will receive more personalized attention, learn more and have more fun. With younger students it is easier for a teacher to maintain control over the class and make sure each student understands the concepts and instructions.

At Exisdance we feel class size is extremely important. For 3- 5 year olds our classes have a maximum of 10 children per class. For ages 6 and up we have a maximum of 12 students per class. Our classes are divided by both age and technical ability. Our smaller class sizes make sure that no fundamental concepts are being missed. Our smaller class size also allows teachers to ensure that students are not developing bad habits or improper technique.

5. QUALIFIED TEACHERS

A dance class should be disciplined, encouraging, and nurturing. Just as all dance studios are not alike, neither are all dance instructors. Your choice of dance instructor is crucial to your child's future success as a dancer. Bad habits learned at a young age are extremely hard to break. Make a point to check the dance instructor’s qualifications. Make sure he or she holds a diploma or degree in dance, is certified to teach dance, or has danced with a professional company.

Exisdance only hires instructors with professional experience as well as post secondary education and or certification in dance or kinesiology/movement.

Click here to see our instructors page. What do I look for in a teacher? (Click here)

6. 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 a teacher is occupied in a class.

Our studios have office staff on hand during weekly class times, so you can get immediate assistance.



Footnotes
*Dance Magazine, Sept 1994 by Yasuko Tokunaga, Emiko Tokunaga 
*Dance Masters of America website