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mookiel

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Reply with quote  #1 
If you were going to meet with a SO to discuss potentially moving your daughter there, what kinds of questions would you ask?
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czmcdaniel

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Reply with quote  #2 
are your teachers background checked??????  people may laugh but in 6 years we have had to deal with bad situations 3 times in 2 different places! (thank god my child was not involved personally but it was a huge blow to our little world!)  I know for a fact every teacher at our new studio has active child abuse clearances on file.... and I'm aware that it doesn't mean nothing would happen bc it only tells you that they've never done anything (or been caught) in the past but it is a start.

are the teachers ever completely alone with the students? are there aids in the classes?  

look for hidden costs - what's included in our tuition? costume fees? competition fees(if applicable)?

Typical class size






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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #3 
Do you provide feedback to dancers individually?  Do you have set requirements for leveling up?  There were major issues around that at DD's former studio.  No clear path.  Some got moved up - others didn't.  It wasn't clear what was required to get to the next levels.  I much preferred when dd was swimming and at each level there were specific skills that had to be mastered before you could go to the next level.  That studio at the very least didn't seem to have it and if they did they didn't share it. 

Once thing I would say is that you can ask all the right questions (I thought I had) and still end up at the wrong studios.  Often studios will promise the world or at least share their "perfect" state which may not be how they are truly working.  Good luck!
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hsealover

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Reply with quote  #4 
-If you're looking for quality ballet/technical training, I would ask how many hours of ballet are required for pointe or for the competitive teams. This doesn't tell you how good the classes are, but a lot of times its a good start at least.
-Ask about the teachers' qualifications and experience.
-Ask about what kind of costs aren't included in the tuition that you may run into during the year.
-Dress code. Ask if they must wear form fitting clothes. Usually if they don't have some kind of guidelines, there isn't much order and they may not be as serious about technique, you need to wear proper attire to see body alignment.
-What kind of performance opportunities are offered? This is to ensure its a good fit for what you're looking for. Some studios only perform at recital time, others compete every weekend. Find something that works for you!
-Attendance guidelines. As much of a pain as it is, this is important. If half the class/group isn't there, its hard to make any progress on dances.
-Is rehearsal/choreo time separate from class time? You pay them to teach your children how to dance, not a dance.
-Teacher background checks. I just wanted to reiterate this one, more important than you may think.
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1tinydancer

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Reply with quote  #5 
I would ask if it's ok to watch a class. I'd then pick a class that has a bunch of parents hanging around and then ask THEM the questions. Of course, the SO is going to make their studio seem perfect! I asked the moms anything and everything that I could think of and they answered everything whether the answer was good or bad.
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tendumom

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I was going to add 2 things to what has already been said, but 1tinydancer beat me. Talk to people who already have children who go there! 

A facility question is to make sure they have appropriate flooring. They should have what is called sprung floors. If not, there's an increased rate of injury if they are jumping, leaping or doing acro. 

Ohh... yeah.. acro... that reminds me that you should ask about teacher training. I tend to not look any further if I read that all the teachers only trained at that studio. I do not want my child taught by a teen. A teen can be the assistant, but most teens are not actually trained to teach dance. Knowing how to dance and how to teach dance can be two different things. 

This is related but not totally on topic. I prefer to see a website with teacher names. I want to be able to research their backgrounds for myself. I've been around the block a few times and seeing very inflated resumes is commonplace.

 

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mookiel

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Reply with quote  #7 
This is great. Thank you! My daughter is nine. How many hours of ballet a week should she be doing at this age? We are not looking for her to do this professionally but at the same time, if we are going to be investing so much time and money into this, I want her to be getting good, solid training.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #8 
How many hours of ballet at 9 might depend on whether she is at a ballet school or a competition school or recreational school. At 9, in a ballet school environment, dancers are usually taking a minimum of 4.5 hours each week (3 1.5 hour long classes). Often, it's a bit more with classes that may last as long as 2 hours, pilates, possibly character dancing, etc. At a non-ballet school, it may be the same or it may be less.

Know that an hour long ballet class is not a true full ballet class. Something is missing if they are teaching only hour long ballet classes all the way up through the levels. With younger dancers, they do schedule shorter classes because of attention span and development. But once they reach about age 9 or so, most are ready for a full 90 minute class or more. 
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1tinydancer
I would ask if it's ok to watch a class. I'd then pick a class that has a bunch of parents hanging around and then ask THEM the questions. Of course, the SO is going to make their studio seem perfect! I asked the moms anything and everything that I could think of and they answered everything whether the answer was good or bad.


I agree with this completely; SO wants you there so will tell you what you want to hear.  I would try to talk to a dance mom that goes there already.  I'm not sure I would observe a class; teacher will be on her best behavior if you're in there.  You would get to know a bit about how the class is run, class size, attire, etc though.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #10 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom
How many hours of ballet at 9 might depend on whether she is at a ballet school or a competition school or recreational school. At 9, in a ballet school environment, dancers are usually taking a minimum of 4.5 hours each week (3 1.5 hour long classes). Often, it's a bit more with classes that may last as long as 2 hours, pilates, possibly character dancing, etc. At a non-ballet school, it may be the same or it may be less.

Know that an hour long ballet class is not a true full ballet class. Something is missing if they are teaching only hour long ballet classes all the way up through the levels. With younger dancers, they do schedule shorter classes because of attention span and development. But once they reach about age 9 or so, most are ready for a full 90 minute class or more. 


Not questioning your experience, just taking a moment to say that that seems rather high for this area. Boston Ballet, for example, is only 2-3X/wk... & the twice/wk classes are only an hr long.  Koltun has 90 minute classes for 9 yos but they're also 2-3X/week (depends on if it's L3 or L4).  Brookline Ballet (also reputable) offers 2 60 minute or 2 90 minute classes for that age depending on level.  (& actually, because you had me curious now, I checked the schedule for 8-10 yos at JKO & even they are only scheduled for 2 90 minute classes)

Not trying to "correct" you....just interesting to see the differences when, I agree that, we are often led to believe that there is some straightforward formula that all "reputable" ballet schools will adhere to.

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