Picking a Studio

Thursday, November 14, 2019 1:43 PM

Picking a studio

Choosing a Ballroom Dance studio that fits you can be confusing. Here are a few things you might want to consider in your process.

Not all ballroom dance studios are the same

You have to do some research. Questions like, how long has the studio been in business?


Do you feel comfortable when you walk in the door?

Sometimes you just need to trust your feelings.  


The size of the class is important

Are the classes large or small? If your class is too large it might be difficult for your instructor to see what is going on. Will the studio let you sit in on a class so you can get an idea of how they teach?


Are the classes allowing you to progress?

In other words, can you graduate to a higher level of class? If the studio only has beginning classes, you can wonder how long the students are staying? It is helpful to be around all levels of dancers not only those at your skill level.


Can you repeat a class?

I strongly recommend repeating classes. I recommend that you take a beginning class or any other level class more than once. For the reason, you need the material to be firmly embedded in your muscle memory. There is no shame and taking a class multiple times. I have found that many of my students that repeat a beginning classes are my best and most capable students and every time they repeat the class their confidence level goes up.


Does the studio have a particular class you’re looking for?

Maybe you’re looking for a certain dance? Your instructor should be able to teach you what you’re looking for.  Or the instructor could even recommend you to another instructor that specializes in" that" dance. The teacher should be able to explain the difference between the Social or Ballroom styles.


The instructor

You and your instructor should be compatible. Does your instructor have any kind of certification? Many teachers have very impressive bios, but it won't make a difference if they can't make you understand what they want you to do. Does the instructor still take coaching regardless of the time he is been teaching? Most dedicated instructors consider dance instruction a lifetime endeavor and continually improve themselves.


Social events

Does the studio have social functions like a practice party to give you an opportunity to improve? There is no replacement for actually being on the dance floor and dancing around other people. Most studios have some kind of party where you can practice your floor craft and socialize with other dancers.


How well constructed is the dance floor?

The dance floor should be well constructed and cushioned to ensure that there'll be no injuries or fatigue caused by the floor itself. It isn't fun to go home feeling sore after a lesson. A well built floor is also less wear and tear on an expensive pair of dance shoes.


Cost of the lesson?

What you pay for instruction can vary but don't assume because they charge a lot that there's more quality. Make sure that their cancellation policies are clearly expressed especially if you're taking private instruction. Does the studio have pay-as-you-go or a contract system?


Length of the teaching hour

Teaching hours vary as well. Teaching hours can be as short as 40 minutes or as long as 50 to 55 minutes.


Where is the studio located?

Some studios are located in upscale locations and others are in a location that isn't as expensive but gives them a better space. Don't judge a studio by location,  because sometimes the price you're paying is not paying for the instruction, it is paying for the location.


Safety and Peace of Mind

Most instructors ensure that their classes are taught carefully. Because any kind of dancing should be considered athletic, the teacher should always make sure that no one is gets injured.


Also from a social standpoint, all students are instructed from the start to be courteous and respectful to others in the class. There will always be that person in class that doesn't relate well, but we all have bad days and sometimes, just coming to class makes it all better.