5 Things Every Dance Parent Should Know

5 Things Every Dance Parent Should Know

There is no regulation of dance teachers or dance studios in Canada.  Anyone can open a school and call themselves a dance teacher!  So how do you choose?  What questions should you ask? And when you ask the right questions, what answers should you be looking for? Most dance studios seem to have qualified, friendly teachers and a big show at the end of the year, so does it really matter which studio you choose? Absolutely.

There are 5 things that can make a huge difference in the quality of instruction your child receives, the amount of extra work and hassles the parents must deal with, and the overall enjoyment and satisfaction of being involved with a dance studio.  Here are 5 things that every parent should consider before deciding on a dance studio for their child.

1. What are the qualifications of the teachers?

It’s always important to make sure that your child’s teachers are qualified, especially where dance training is concerned. Dance instructors are not licensed in Canada, so anyone can claim to be able to teach your child to dance! Be sure to ask for information on the instructor’s background.

Our studio strives to provide your children with the absolute best dance teachers possible. Contemporary School of Dance employs experienced teachers who have certifications in the teaching of dance from internationally recognized dance associations, and/or professional training in dance.  We feel it is extremely important that all of our students, especially the youngest ones, receive proper dance instruction from professional teachers (not teenagers!).  Our teachers are fully equipped to make your child’s dance education experience fun, engaging, and complete.  All of our teachers also have up-to-date First Aid and CPR training.  Learn about CSD Faculty by reading their biographies – Meet Our Teachers!

We teach all ages and levels, but never compromise on teaching the proper technique behind the movements of dance. Learning dance should be a fun, engaging and athletic experience at every level, with proper instruction from qualified teachers

2. What is the size of the class? Are there Teacher Assistants?

If the dance class has fewer students in it, each child will receive more personalized attention, learn more, and have more fun. Our limited class sizes ensure that teachers can maintain control of the class and properly teach all concepts to each of the dancers. Our studio limits the size of our classes according to age level. Our Toddler and PreSchool classes have a maximum of 10 students per class, our Kindies in Motion and Pre-Primary classes have a maximum of 12 students per class, and our Primary through Adult classes have a limit of 16 students per class.

Our studio also utilizes a Student Teaching Assistant program, which allows more senior dancers enrolled in our studio to be placed as Teaching Assistants with our Faculty. Teaching Assistants are supported in their training with valuable monthly feedback that helps them increase their effectiveness as assistants in classes. All of our Junior School classes have Teacher Assistants accompanying the Teacher to ensure that each child receives individualized attention throughout the class.

3. I want to see my child dance. Can parents observe classes?

Yes, parents can watch their children dance at any of their classes!  Our studio has two comfortable waiting areas with observation windows into all four dance studios, as well as French glass doors into every room.  We are also happy to provide a Playroom for parents who need to bring younger siblings of dancers to the studio!  From the Playroom, parents can easily observe classes in two studios, and children can play with the toys and books provided.  It is truly inspiring to be in a facility that is abuzz with dancing and music classes!  Our younger dancers love watching the older dancers through the windows too!   Click here to see photos of our beautiful studio!  By having windows, our students get used to being watched and are much less nervous when we have parent showings or performances.  We have nothing to hide!  Parents can see their child’s progress throughout the year instead of the classes happening behind closed doors.

4. What type of dance floor is used?

Dance is a very physical activity that requires a lot of jumping, which can put stress on bones and joints. Most dance footwear does not provide any cushioning or support, so the shock of dance movement can place a lot of pressure on the knees and back of a dancer. The best way to prevent against potential injury is by choosing a studio with a professional sprung floor. A sprung floor is a dance floor that rests on a system of high-density foam or rubber blocks, to absorb the shock of jumping.

The surface of the studio floor is also an important factor.  Proper vinyl composite dance flooring is accepted worldwide as the best surface layer for recreational to professional dance.  A dance floor allows dancers to slide, with a degree of “controlled” slip, but is not slippery so there is less risk of slips and falls. Very few studios use professional dance floors because of the expense involved.

All four of our dance rooms have wood, sprung, sub-floors. Three of our studio rooms have Harlequin dance flooring (imported from the US), and the fourth studio has a parquet wood floor. Our professionally sprung floors help reduce the risk of injuries to joints, and allow students to dance longer without fatiguing their muscles.

5. Does the studio provide good customer service?

At many studios, parents frequently feel “out of the loop” when it comes to receiving studio information and having questions answered, especially if they are new to dance. Our faculty and staff are always friendly and well-informed with up-to-date information, and you will be too, with our quarterly newsletters and email reminders!

Our office hours are conveniently posted on the office door, and we can make appointments if there is a more convenient time for you to meet. To have a good experience, it is important to choose a studio that keeps dance families well-informed, and has friendly office staff that can assist you with your questions. We try to respond to email inquiries within two business days. You can be confident that our studio will keep your personal information confidential and all accounts will be accurately maintained. Our studio is always kept organized and in tip-top shape, making it a relaxing, efficient, and pleasing environment to be in.

We send all correspondence via email including registration confirmations, invoices, and receipts.  In addition, your online account access and payment options can give you additional access to account information you need, when you need it. Where many studios still only offer cash or cheque payment options, we offer a variety of automatic payment options including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

My daughters danced with Contemporary School of Dance since it’s opening in 1997 until 2010. As a parent, it is easy and accurate for me to fully endorse the studio. CSD offers a non-competitive environment where the students work to improve their own individual level of dancing. The class size is limited, and each dancer is encouraged to improve their technique at their own level and is recognized for all of their accomplishments. The qualified teachers’ love of dance is contagious. The dancers are always encouraged to be the best that they can be, but are never pushed into something that they do not want to do. The results are solid friendships, personal satisfaction, and a true sense of accomplishment. In all their years of dancing, my daughters looked forward to every class.

- Jane Grieb