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dancersmomm

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Reply with quote  #26 
1st studio - close to home
2nd studio- reputation and a few people we knew
3rd studio - reputation, philosophy, knowledge, professionalism *best studio ever*
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dancedaughters

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Reply with quote  #27 
First studio was very close to our house.  I started researching places in the area and then decided my kid was 3 and close to the house was a good enough reason.  Also, they had recital with costumes.  While I understand the logic of not having that for 3 year olds, my 3 year old really wanted the frilly tutu and the chance to perform on stage.

We were there 5 years and were semi-happy thanks to one particular teacher who started a comp team.  When that teacher left to open her own studio, we went with her and are still there 8 years later.  No one studio can be all things to all people, but for us our studio is a good fit.  The level of instruction has improved over time, and the studio fosters a culture of solid values.
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Sparkles

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Reply with quote  #28 
The studio I'm at now offers discounts to parents of multiple dancers registered.
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JulieDB

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Reply with quote  #29 
I just lucked into it.  Husband was in the military and we moved back to WA where I grew up.  But my dance teacher no longer teaches and the only studios I was aware of teach mainly ballet.  Like PNB.  At the time, daughter also did tap but she has since expanded to trying almost everything the studio offers.

So...  We were out looking at the house we had bought.  Had not moved into it yet.  Went to lunch at a Mexican place around the corner and saw a lady walking with a black tote bag bearing the name of a dance studio.  I followed her right into the dance studio which as it turned out wasn't even open for business on that day.  She was was one of the receptionists and was in there to get things ready for their open house that weekend.  I spoke to her, liked what I heard about the studio and what I saw, then returned on the weekend and signed her up.

Turns out that there is another studio just across the street from where our studio was.  Our studio actually had two locations, each with 2 studios (rooms) but they moved to a location in between where those were and all four studios are now together.  Anyway...  Not faulting the other nearby studio in any way but it was not what we were looking for.  I am glad that I didn't make the mistake of signing her up there!

The studio she had been at in NY was IMO what some refer to as a Dolly Dingle type place.  Don't get me wrong.  They are highly revered in the NY area, at least on Staten Island but...  They are not the place to go IMO if you want to learn good technique or go on to advanced things.  They were heavy and tap and light on ballet when we were there.  Did not allow anyone to take jazz until age 8 or hip hop until age 13.  And they offered no pointe while we were there.  They do now.  They had no lyrical either.  They might now.  Their website seems to indicate that they have made some changes since the owner died.  Her daughters are running it now.  But I digress.

My daughter had no clue that the studio in NY wasn't what I was looking for.  As I said, my husband was in the military and for some reason that escapes me, military wives tend to stick together.  I had mentioned another studio I had seen on another part of the island and I was immediately told not to go there as "we" all went to this other place.  Turns out that "we" never actually danced so "we" likely wouldn't know a good studio from a bad one.  It was just the closest one.  She wanted to go there because her friends went there and they did give good tap instruction because ever since we moved her, she has been more advanced in tap than she was in the other styles of dance.  But I digress again.

I just wanted a fresh start and figured that one year of having fun at dance wasn't going to hurt her.  I did have her retake the beginning ballet class because she really hadn't learned much ballet at all in NY.  And that was fine.

I now know that our studio is one of the best in the area.  One of our teachers was on So You Think You Can Dance (she was also a former student) and another former student made it far on So You Think You Can Dance.  He can now be seen teaching at one of the conventions and is a backup dancer for Justin Timberlake.  One of our former teachers (although she still does some choreo there) has gone on to bigger and better things and you may well have seen some of her choreo on TV.  I don't want to say too much about that.  At any rate, it is a very good studio.  Very professional.  My daughter doesn't compete but went to two conventions and our students were always pointed out to the others as what good students should be.  They are taught how to behave in class and they do pay attention.  Sadly this was not the case with some people from other studios.  We also have quite a few students who have gone on to PNB.  

So really I feel that I did get lucky there.  Had I not seen that tote bag, I may well have put her in another studio that while good, just closed at the beginning of this school year.  Why there?  I had to drive by them on the way to my parent's house.  I didn't know then that they were good but I knew that they taught all kinds of dance.  So I had considered them.  

I doubt that I would have considered the other studio near here.  Daughter did have a party there once.  She wanted a dance party.  But she was not happy with the instruction.  I think it was okay because the others she invited were not dancers and it was okay for someone who has never danced before.  But the "hip hopping granny" taught something that to my daughter was not hip hop.  And it didn't look like that to me either.  I also was not impressed by the looks of the studio and most especially, the duct tape they put on the Marley instead of whatever that black tape (I'm sure it has a name) that is supposed to be there.  A chunk of that had come off and they left the duct tape there to trip people up.

Thankfully, our studio does parties now.  I mentioned it to the SO and she started doing them.  I don't think parties are a big part of their business but I could be wrong!  Daughter has had two dance parties there since.
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Sparklejamie1212

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Reply with quote  #30 
It was close to our house, they were they only studio in our area that had a comp team that wasn't every weekend comp, in it to win it f you know what I mean. 
also, after I met the SO, Immediately wanted my dd to go there
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LoveJillyLilly2Dance

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Reply with quote  #31 
There are lots of dance studios in our area, there are 3 within 5 miles of eachother. My DD was still an infant when I was helping my step mom find a studio for my sister. We checked out all the other studios and just weren't feeling their vibe, then we found our studio. My sister took for 2 years before she decided cheerleading was more her thing so she switched over to the studio's cheer team(which I coached) and that same year we signed DD(2) up for classes at our studio. So my DD has been going to dance since she was an infant [wink] We feel so at home at our studio and the SO, teachers and kids/families feel like our family too. We've been there 6 years.
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kmpmom

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Reply with quote  #32 
Studio 1:  close to home and expressed no concern about DD's allergy.  High end mega studio for which we'll always have fond memories and be part of their cheering section.  Gave her amazing base ballet technique.

Studio 2:  the great mystery of life.  I thought we were re-upping where we were.  Late in the summer DD brings me the laptop with the Studio 2's web page on the screen.  "I'd like to audition here."  We've been happy there ever since and she has grown by leaps and bounds.  Can't ask for more than that.

Next season?  Who knows.  Should I hide the laptop?
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highlandmom

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Reply with quote  #33 
It is the only studio in my area that offered all dance styles (highland, jazz, ballet, hip hop etc.) under one roof.  I also liked the fact that if my girls went the competition route the hours were capped at five per week.  My girls wanted to dance but also wanted the flexibility to still do there other activities.  We started there when A was 4 (now 16) and T has been there 10 years and I have seen my girls and the other girls grow.
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enki90

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Reply with quote  #34 
My older daughter started dance at age 3 at a studio that was recommended by a friend of mine and was local. We were happy there and my younger daughter also danced there starting at age 3.

When my oldest was 9, the original owner sold the studio. My daughter disliked the owner immediately and stopped dancing. Despite asking her every year if she wanted to go back, she declined. Her sister, on the other hand stayed. She was fortunate enough to have a teacher who took an interest in her.

Then disaster struck. Our favorite dance teacher left to start her own studio. We would have gone with her except it was far from our house and I was working, there were other schedule conflicts and we stayed with the school. Big mistake.

On the first day of the new dance year, I dropped my daughter off at dance and went about running errands with my older daughter. We had decided to grab some dinner and half way through, I got a frantic call from a stranger who said that my daughter was at her house and in tears (the dance school was in the basement of a private home and when the school was sold, new renters moved in). Seems that due to declining enrollment, etc, the owner decided to close that studio and transfer all classes to another studio she owned in a neighboring town. And no one bothered to let us know. 

I was livid and told the owner that we were leaving the studio and her reaction was almost like "don't let the door hit you on the way out." I called the former teacher at her new studio and even though classes had started, she said that there would be no problem. It was the best thing to happen to us. My daughter was allowed to join the dance team (the other school always had some sort of excuse), where she was immediately accepted by the other girls. She was able to start pointe, which at the time, was a dream of hers.

My daughter is now finishing up her junior year in college, she was just elected captain of the kickline team for the second year in a row (she made the team as a freshman despite never having done kickline or poms in her life. We just don't do that in this state). She gives all the credit to her former teacher and the dance school where she was able to student teach, dance in the Disney Christmas parade, compete, and made life long friends.

It was the best choice for us. They did go to competitions, but the girls danced for the love of dance, not to "win" the competition. The school was very family oriented and the owner worked with us when we had financial problems because they would rather let my daughter dance than be forced to give it up. My daughter loved all her teachers, was always made to feel welcome and I got along with all the moms - sure there were the usual dance politics, but it never interfered with my daughter's desire to dance.

Every now and then, we talk about what happened and agree that we probably should have left the other dance studio a year or two before we did, but there were other factors to consider. And the odds are if my daughter needs a job in the future, they would probably hire her as a teacher. If someone asked me for a recommendation, there would be only one school I would recommend. That speaks for itself, especially since there are so many schools in this area.


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pinnellmom

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Reply with quote  #35 
My DD was three when I started looking into dance for her as an activity.  There are two studios nearby.  I enrolled her in a combo class that was the same price for an hour class vs 45 minutes at the other studio.  I had no idea then that this would be her joy, passion and career choice.  She is now a senior dance major.  The studio ended up being so good and so focused on technique that she is doing really well.  I didn't look for a studio at that time that had competition teams or anything like that because who thinks of that when your kid is 3 and who knows they will end up wanting to dance for the rest of their life?
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crafty1

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Reply with quote  #36 
I chose our studio by luck and gut instinct. DD didn't start dance until she was 8. I drove past this studio all the time. We saw the registration sign in the window and went in. I loved the vibe and the personalities of the teachers, and they were very accomodating. We were signing her up for a rec class. They offered 1-1/2 hours of a combo class - ballet, tap and jazz. DD was not even remotely interested in jazz because she had no idea what it was. They said it was no problem - she could leave after the first hour when the rest of the class was changing into jazz shoes (and the price was adjusted down). I also wanted to sign up older sister who was almost 15. She was not even remotely interested in dancing, and yes, I was forcing the issue. The studio actually takes kids from age 3 until they graduate from 8th grade, so she was too old. They offered a one-hour hip hop class at the same time as the little one's class, and they agreed that older sister could take the hip hop class. I told them right away that she did not want to do the recital, and again, no problem.

After the second year of classes (including summer classes), DD wanted to audition for the comp team. I really never expected her to make it. Surprise!
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Skittlesdancer

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Reply with quote  #37 
We have had a few previous studios :/ but it was due to bad teachers and drama. When half the company left previous season (bullying and the kids were tired of just sitting there watching a few select dance all the time) one of the girls went to another studio. None of the other kids wanted to dance any longer including her because she honestly had enough of crap.  I talked to the mother that took her daughter to the other studio. I really hated to see my daughter lose her passion for dance and in fact her love for it had been beaten out of her.  She told me if this studio sucked she was done. I found it sad because she started dancing at 5 and was  now 16. I'm happy to say at the current studio there is no drama or nasty teachers. It's all just for fun [smile] and she is happy.  We just had recital Sunday so I was so proud to see her sparkle come back. God bless her wonderful teacher <3.
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Dancingemu

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Reply with quote  #38 

(I know a bit late to the post)

We chose ours based on the costumes (coverage and maturity level being age appropriate), location (in the city, not a drive), cost, and actual dances (one was not technical at all, one was too provocative at even the 4-5yo group). 

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