Choosing a good ballet studio for your child can be a challenging task, but here are some key factors to consider:
- Reputation: Research the studio’s reputation in the community and among other dancers and parents. Look for reviews online, ask for recommendations from friends, and visit the studio to observe a class, if possible.
- Affiliations: Check the studio affiliations to internationally acclaimed organisations like the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing), RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) and likewise. More studios are now coming up with CSTD and ABT program certifications too. Remember, these certifications are generally given to the teachers and not the dance studios, which brings us to the next point.
- Qualified Teachers: Make sure the studio has experienced and qualified teachers who are trained in ballet technique and are passionate about teaching. Ask about their credentials, training, and teaching experience. You should be able to find qualified instructors’ profiles on ISTD and RAD websites.
- Structured curriculum: Ballet has a long history and there are different methodologies to train students of different ages with focus on first developing understanding and technical abilities and later focusing more on performance as the students matures to become a pre-professional ballet dancer. ISTD and RAD both offer a structured curriculum carefully designed keeping the ages of students in mind so physical development goes hand in hand with gaining technical proficiency.
- Class sizes: Smaller class sizes may allow for more individual attention and better engagement between the teacher and the students. This is also dependent on the teacher’s capacity and can vary from studio to studio. Discuss with the dance studio.
- Safe and supportive environment: Look for a studio that prioritises safety and creates a positive and supportive environment for learning and growth.
- Focus on proper technique: A good ballet studio should prioritise proper technique and help students develop strength, balance, and control. There should be no compromise on technique.
- Performances : Look for a studio that offers consistent opportunities for your child to perform on stage . Too many performances can be an overkill too as class time gets divided between learning choreography and technical skills. Just focusing on performance may come in the way of your child gaining confidence and technical abilities to meet the requirements to progress through different grades in ballet.
- Facilities: The studio should have appropriate dance space, ballet barres, and proper flooring to ensure the safety and well-being of the dancers.
- Dance program: The studio should have a well-rounded dance program that includes not only ballet, but also other forms of dance and complementary activities, such as stretching and conditioning.
- Community : Look for a studio where you and your children can socialise with other like minded families. Does the studio offer opportunities via community events, volunteering where you can meet other families? Remember you would be seeing a lot of children and parents regularly and perhaps make some good friends too, while waiting for your child to finish a class.
- Cost: Consider the cost of tuition and other fees, but also be aware that quality dance education can be worth the investment.
It’s important to keep in mind that the best ballet studio for your child will depend on their individual needs, goals, and personality. Take time to visit several studios, observe classes, and speak with teachers and students to find the right fit.
Best of luck!