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5 Things Every Dance Parent Needs to Know


If most dance studios seem to have qualified, experienced, friendly teachers and a big show at the end of the year aren't they all pretty much the same? Does it really matter which place you decide to enroll? Yes. There are 5 things that can make a huge difference in the quality of instruction your child receives, the hassles the parent must deal with and the overall enjoyment and satisfaction of being involved with a dance program. Here are 5 things every parent should consider before deciding on a dance studio for their child.

1. 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 injury is by choosing a studio with a professional "floating floor" (a floor that rests on high density block to absorb the shock of landing).
The top layer of the dance floor is also an important factor. Where a wood floor is superior for tap, a vinyl composite "marley" floor is accepted worldwide as the best surface layer for recreational to professional dance. A marley floor is not slippery so there is less risk of slips and falls. Very few studios use professional marley floors because of the expense involved, and usually opt for floor tiles or wood directly over concrete. All of our classrooms have floating floors, and a marley surface is used in rooms not designated for tap.

2. What is the size of the class? If the class has fewer students or multiple teachers, a child will receive more personalized attention, learn more, and have more fun. Our smaller class sizes make sure that no fundamental concepts are being missed, and allows teachers to ensure that students are not developing bad habits or improper technique. With our very young dancers, we always have teaching assistants in addition to the designated instructor to give one on one help where needed.

3. What are the extras required in addition to lessons and attire? At Perrysburg Academy everything is optional. We offer many opportunities for our students, and you decide which, if any, are right for you. No student is required to perform in any year-end recital unless they want to. For recitals a costume is required, and we make sure to take care of ordering all hosiery and accessories. All of our families are given a complimentary DVD of the recital as our "Thank You" for your patronage.

4. Can I get immediate assistance and customer support? In many studios, the teacher or studio owner conducts classes and does the administration. By trying to do two jobs at once, the class may suffer as the teacher has to use class time for customer service issues, or the studio may have no customer service available if the teacher is in a class. To have a good experience it is important to choose a studio that can assist you with details like costumes or schedules, even if a teacher is occupied in a class. Our studios have office staff on hand during all regular class times, so you can get immediate assistance.

5. Can I observe my child's class? At Perrysburg Academy we are extremely proud of the classes offered by our staff and encourage our parents to observe as often as they like. We have installed a closed-circuit television and a one-way viewing window so parents can observe classes in our comfortable waiting room without causing a distraction to the students and teachers. If necessary, we even encourage parents of our littlest dancers to come into the classroom, until the child is ready to separate from Mom.
Parents are always welcome at Perrysburg Academy.