If your young daughter or son have expressed interest in taking ballet classes, now is the time to start looking for ballet schools! If you aren’t quite familiar with dance, this may seem like a difficult task. Here are some tips to help you decide and hopefully narrow down a few options.
- Cleanliness and Quality of Facilities. One of the first things you may want to consider is the quality of the facilities. Most schools would offer or have no problem giving you a general tour of their studios. While the studio doesn’t need to look state-of-the-art, you want to make sure that its a safe and inviting setting for your child to take classes in.
- Professionalism and Qualification of Faculty and Staff. While it may take a couple weeks to get the full feeling of the faculty, the first impression should at least leave you feeling good about enrolling your child. Not only should the staff act professional around both you and your child, but they should generally have a positive attitude in the way they teach. Also, take a moment to read up on the teaching faculty to see their experience level and make sure you feel comfortable with what you see.
- Variety of Classes Offered. Especially when they are young and starting out, it is a good idea to introduce your child to many different types of dance. Who knows, maybe they will end up enjoying Jazz more than Ballet? Or possibly Tap? Even if ballet ends up coming out on top, they will have still gained quite a bit from these other dance forms since they all revolve around the discipline of learning a specific technique.
- Performing Opportunities. Most schools will have an end of the year show and possibly more throughout the year. Performing on stage is the end result of taking classes. Without school performances, it would be like enrolling and practicing baseball every week, but never playing a game! The ability and exposure at a young age can benefit your child in a multitude of ways in the future, even outside of ballet. It takes a lot of courage to go out in front of a large crowd and doing so can help build confidence.
- Number of Students per Class. While this becomes increasingly more important as students reach their teens, an overcrowded class is no good as a young student either! If you feel the class is too large, say 30 students, then that may not be a good fit and your child may be easily overlooked. If the class is 30 with 2 teachers, that’s a different story, but most classes are taught by a single teacher.
- Tuition. Everyone’s budget is different and it’s important to make sure you find a school that fits within your own. Ballet may end up being just a couple year activity that your child enjoys but decides to move on and pursue other fun things. Should that happen, you don’t want those few years of classes to leave you with a bitter taste.
Remember, They’re Just Starting Out
Whether it was your child’s idea or your own to enroll them in dance, remember that they’re just starting out and the main goal needs to be that it is fun for your child. Not many children around the ages of 4-6 have a strong grasp on the idea of working hard toward a career. If you push them too much in the beginning, it likely won’t seem fun and they may lose interest.
Let them have fun when they’re trying it out and if you feel that they would possibly benefit from a school with better training, then you can start exploring options again. We’ll discuss that soon in another post!