When you are planning to sign up your child for any activity there are many things that you consider. You want the program to provide an activity where your child can grow, learn, be engaged, and be happy! But how do you know what to ask? Or what you should be looking out for? Well, we are here to help! Listed below are 8 things you should know before registering with a dance school. They include many helpful hints to help you make this decision. It takes a village to raise a child; make sure you're choosing the right one!
1. Mission Statement & Core Values
A well thought out school will always have a mission statement and core values. It should be well displayed so everyone knows what the expectations are for being a part of that community. From the owner, director, faculty, dancers, students, families, and staff they should know and appreciate that guiding light whenever needed. It helps everyone stay on the same page and when questioning a decision they should be able to use those values to help them make the best decision they can.
2. Customer Portal, Online Registration & Payment
Registering for dance should be easy. Gone are the days of paper registration slips and showing up in person to register. Everything can be done online these days and registering for classes shouldn't be any different. You can sit with your child in the comfort of your own home and go over the schedule, look at the classes and opportunities that you may want to be a part of.
Attending a school with a Customer Portal will give you so much information to help you. Your class schedule, your account ledger, easily register for classes, make a payment, and contact information for the studio. With these systems in place, studios can offer you AutoPay and Auto Tuition opportunities so you'll never have a late fee again!
3. Clean Welcoming Studio
A clean studio is a direct reflection on how that studio operates and the value and time they put into that environment. Having an organized space will help your student be organized as well. A place for their shoes, bags, hats, gloves, boots, etc... The bathrooms should be immaculate and any areas that your dancer may need to change out of their tights and leo before heading out. Students in dance studios walk around in their bare feet and sit on the floor to stretch and warm up quite a lot so the floors should always be extremely clean.
During this time of COVID you should also ask the studio what their Safety Precautions and Guidelines look like. They should be able to direct you to a page on their website, a video, or handout helping families understand the guidelines that they are working in and how their staff is working to keep the studio clean and sanitized.
4. Organized & Communicative
Organized processes and consistent communication is key! In todays age we are bombarded with information, emails, texts, and spam calls. We are in information overload! A great studio needs to cut through all of that and make sure that you are knowledgeable and up to date on anything that pertains to your dancer inside the studio. This can be difficult but a great studio will make sure you have multiple resources to find the information that you need; such as newsletters, emails, blogs, texts, website, customer portal, Facebook, instagram, direct messages, phone calls, etc.... You should always be able to find the information that you need or be able to call the studio directly to have an office manager or studio manager answer all of your questions!
5. Engaging Teachers and Superior Support Staff
A faculty at a dance studio needs to be a great team. There are many points of contact for your family and each point needs to be ready and willing to help you with anything you or your student needs. From the moment you walk through the door you should be greeted and welcomed to the studio and have any questions you have answered. In the studio the teachers should be organized with lesson plans ready for that days class. Students should feel engaged and excited during class. The growth that can happen when a student trusts their teacher to take them on this journey is mind blowing. Leveled classes and curriculum give teachers and students a framework on which to build amazing dancers and performers.
6. Multiple Learning Paths
Students come with many interests and capabilities, so should a dance studio. Not
every dancer is going to be interested in the same things. Some focus on ballet, some on jazz, some want to compete, some just want a good workout, some want to have fun with friends, and some are preparing for college. Whatever their interest a studio should have an avenue for them. Most times students will start in our 2-3 year old classes loving their tutu and the princess dance and will graduate wanting nothing more than hip hop. On their journey from 2-18 years old they will have not only figured out what style of dance they prefer but who they are! Working with a child for 16 years is a dedication like no other. Finding out what you love and having the courage to step out on that limb by yourself is two very different things. A studio needs to be there for your student every step of the way through that realization and have opportunities and programs ready for them when they are ready for it.
7. Easy Website & Well Maintained Social Media
Ever try to find information on a website only to scroll and scroll and never find what you're looking for? It can be so frustrating. A great dance studio should have an up to date website that stays current and has easy navigation to get you where you need to be. Their social media also needs to be current and up to date with weekly or daily goings on. This is a great place to look and see what the environment is like or what kind of culture they are developing. Is it just about competing? Or just about fun? Maybe it's very focused disciplined learning. Each studio will have its "vibe" make sure it matches with what you are looking for!
8. Great Parking!
This is an easy one and often overlooked. A great studio needs to have great parking! A nice big lot for you to easily park and get your dancer into class without circling the block or dropping them off in the middle of the street (which is how I used to get dropped off when I was young!). All of us are always running late and trying to be everywhere all the time. The last thing you want to do is struggle to find a parking spot.
At TSDPAC we offer year round registration. So contact us today or sign up for a free trial from our website! www.tsdpac.com We'd be more than happy to discuss all your options with you and see what would work well for your dancer and your family!