Thursday, March 21, 2013

Choosing a dance studio or instructor

Choosing a quality Dance Studio or instructor takes some research and common sense. If you are shopping around and are looking for the cheapest thing you can find, keep in mind that you generally do get what you pay for - you may learn a few steps, but you might not be learning how to dance.

Some of the factors you might consider include professional certification. Some studios employ teachers who are not certified. Certification is simply a professional affirmation of a skill level, and is always nice, but perhaps you are not looking for an instructor that will drive you to winning competions in a few months.

One of the things I have noted in the past is that students work best when they are comfortable and relaxed, so be sure that you actually like your instructor! That should be the first thing you decide when you start your lessons. Take advantage of a Trial lesson, which is either low cost or free. (But be prepared for the interview afterward, when the instructor or studio presents their comments and recommendations, and of course the Pitch. After all, the Studio does want to sell you lessons - it has to, to stay in business. But do not let a hard sell trap you - if the studio has to resort to being a used car salesman, it may not have a lot of confidence in its instructors.)

Know what you want, going in. Do you want the personal attention you get in a private lesson? Do you want a slower paced Group lesson? You will learn faster in a private lesson, but group lessons are much less expensive, and can be a lot of fun. Would you prefer to have a small group of your friends come in together and make a private Group lesson? There are always lots of options.

Look for atmosphere. Are people friendly? Is the Studio clean?

And always have fun.

Peter Jones
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