New to dance?
There are things you should know when choosing a dance studio. Location, price, and schedule are the usual concerns for the parents of a new dance student, but there are some additional pieces of information that you should know before selecting a studio.
What type of floor is used?
Most dance-related injuries are either from faulty technique or dancing on improper flooring!
Dance requires a lot of jumping, which can put stress on bones and joints. The best way to prevent potential injury is to dance on a professional “floating” floor. A floating floor rests on high-density foam blocks. This helps absorb shock for tender growing bones and joints.
The top layer of the floor is very important as well. A vinyl “Marley” floor is recognized worldwide as the best surface for all dance. Professional ballet companies to “Riverdance” use these types of floors for class and performance. These floors allow dancers to slide with control, offering less chance for slips and falls.
Very few dance studios use professional flooring because of the great expense. They usually opt for a regular floor tile which is sometimes laid directly over concrete! (These tiles are usually very slippery and tap shoes get them very dirty.) At Performance Dance Center, we have invested in a floating floor and Marley-type vinyl covering because we want to reduce the risk of injuries and allow the dancers to dance longer. We feel like it was the responsible thing to do and the only option to provide to our students!
How does the studio communicate to the parents?
People today have very busy schedules. Knowing what is going on at a dance studio should be simple and easy-to-find and parents should be given plenty of notice for important dates.
- Does the dance school have a monthly newsletter?
- Do they provide a policy paper with all important details so you know all of your costs up front?
- Does it hand out notices?
- Does it put a sign on the door or on a bulletin board?
- Does it talk to customers as they come in the door?
At The Performance Dance Center, we plan well in advance and inform our customers in many ways, so whether or not you come into the studio with your child at drop off or pick up, you will be informed. We have a monthly newsletter that’s available at the studio, through email, and posted here on the website (password protected; only current students have access to this page). We also post reminder signs on the door and in the waiting area, hand out notices, and try to remind students and parents as well.
How long is the recital?
Do I stand in line for tickets?
Is it reserved or general admission?
Do I have to do anything to the costumes?
Is the venue air-conditioned?
Some studios hold three and four-hour long shows and audiences must stay to the end because everyone is in the finale. Some have “ticket days,” where you stand in line for hours, or general admission, which can mean more lines and chaos. Some studios expect parents to do some assembly to the costumes. And June recitals can get very hot in a venue without air-conditioning.
At The Performance Dance Center, our shows last about two hours, and the pre-school children never have to stay until the end. We have a ticket lottery for reserved seats, so there’s no waiting in line and no ticket day! Costumes are given to you ready for the recital, hung on hangers, with headpieces on barrettes. The most you have to do might be to safety pin a strap. And our recitals are held at air-conditioned Whitman-Hanson Regional High School.
There are no state or federal guidelines for opening a dance studio or for teaching dance, so anyone can open a school and declare themselves to be a teacher. A degree can help a teacher, but experience under a good mentor, dance training past and present, and being active socially in a dance teachers’ club are key to judging a dance teacher and his or her credentials.
For example, a professional Broadway dancer or ballerina may have great performance experience, but not know how to capture a three-year-old’s attention. A childhood education major may have knowledge of great creative movement classes for pre-schoolers, but not know any more advanced terms.
If a teacher is not currently taking classes and is not active socially with other dance teachers, she tends to stagnate and is not current on the latest techniques. Some dance teacher clubs require members to pass a test for admittance. examples are the Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston and the American Society, Dance Masters of America, Dance Educators of America, National Dance Association, and the Royal Academy of Dance to name a few.
At The Performance Dance Center, teachers are members of at least one club, they have experience in a dance studio setting, and they keep up with the current trends by taking dance class regularly. We also read dance periodicals and dance books to keep as current as possible.
All teachers adhere to The Performance Dance Center’s philosophy, which is that everyone should have fun while learning the disciplined art of dance. Technique is very important, but we also believe that building the students’ self confidence, giving them a creative outlet, and teaching them to respect their bodies and minds is very important as well. And we love teaching children how to dance!
How do I register for classes?
Please call The Performance Dance Center at 781.331.8802 to get a class schedule.
Age, school grade, and years of dance training, if any, are considered for placement.
Students must be no younger than three-years-old unless already potty-trained. First-time students at Performance Dance Center who are in 2nd grade and above or with previous dance training must be observed in a class before they are placed.
Please print out and complete the registration form, including your Master Card or Visa information for the $25 registration fee ($35 for family registration of more than one child).
Mail the form, along with a signed copy of our policy paper to:
Performance Dance Center, 317 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Unit B-400, Weymouth MA 02189
Classes may be closed or cancelled due to excess or insufficient enrollment. If there is demand, classes may be added as well. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.