Is your dancer at the right studio?
This question comes from the mother of one of my Future Redhead Ballerina Ambassadors. Her daughter has decided that she needed more than her previous studio could offer, so it was time to look for a new one. It’s wonderful that her daughter was vocal about wanting more. Not all children will do this, so it’s important to keep tabs on how they are feeling.
Luckily, most dancers might have a few options in regards to studio choice in their area. If this is the case, here are a few things to think about to find the right fit!
The most important decision in choosing the right studio...their COMMITMENT!
What level of dance is your child interested in? Has your son or daughter wanted to be on stage from day one and will do whatever it takes? Maybe they enjoy dancing for the social aspect? They could even just like to move and groove because that’s what makes them feel happy!
Here are some things to look for in a studio-
-How often will their class be meeting? Decide with your child how many days or hours a week they would like to dance.
Most studios will meet after school and have a class or two in the evenings. But there are other options for the ambitious dancer. Some schools offer conservatory classes once a dancer gets to a certain age. They may have a shorter school day or have students homeschooled and thus have the opportunity to attend more dance classes per day. Again, most conservatory programs will only take dancers at a certain age, but it depends on the program. For younger dancers, they can always ask their teachers for possible private lessons to log more hours at the studio. They may even be able to attend a lower level as an extra class to get some extra technique time!
-Do they offer stretch or conditioning class outside of their scheduled ballet class?
I highly recommend adding some outside work from ballet class. Cross training for dancers is extremely valuable for dancers of all ages. Learning different exercises to keep their bodies healthy and strong to prevent injuries will lengthen their ballet career so that they can dance to their fullest potential!
The Redhead Ballerina is currently partnering with Dance Performance Training aka DPT FIT, made up of Dr. Scott and his beautiful wife and former dancer, Nicole. They are located in Florida, but have a great virtual program for dancers. I have just finished their virtual “New Season, New Heights” program and had a lot of success! They also offer other online training sessions.
Some studios might have a stronger program depending on age or level. There are programs that emphasize either their older or younger program. Going to take a test class, if available, can be helpful to see if the studio is a good fit and to view other dancers at different levels.
-Style of Technique
In the ballet world, there are many different styles of ballet. The most common are Vaganova (Russian Method), Balanchine (American style), Cecchetti Method (Italian), Royal Academy of Dance (English style), and Bournonville Method (Danish), and French School. Most schools in the United States use a mix of these methods. There are many schools that will only teach one method or style. Each has its own ways of explaining and teaching steps. Each of these techniques are slightly different when it comes to styling of arms and execution, but there is no “best” technique in my personal opinion.
I plan on elaboration more on this topic in the future.
-Do they offer other forms of dance?
Having the opportunity to try other forms of dance is very helpful to create a well rounded dancer. Even if your dancer is set on being a prima ballerina, taking contemporary classes are a great addition! Ballet companies today do more than just classical ballet. Nowadays ballets are known to have ballroom, acrobatics and even tap included! Make your dancing stand out by being versatile.
Remember that each child is different in their own dance path to success. There are many different teachers and studios in the world so why not take some time and find a good fit! You may have to do this many times depending if your student needs more or less. Be in constant contact with them to see how they are enjoying their class so that they get the most of their experience. They will certainly thank you for trying to make their dreams come alive!
The Redhead Ballerina