5 Things Every Parent Should Know Before Choosing a Dance Studio
1. What type of dance floor is used?
Dance is a very physical activity that requires a lot of jumping, which can put stress on bones and joints. Most dance footwear does not provide any cushioning or support, so the shock of dance movement can place a lot of pressure on the knees and back of a dancer. The best way to prevent against potential injury is by choosing a studio with a professional “floating floor”. A floating floor is a dance floor that rests on a system of high density foam, rubber or other material that can absorb the shock of jumping. A “sprung” floor also absorbs shock and usually consists of a wood structure built over a regular floor.
The top layer of the dance floor is also an important factor. A vinyl composite “Harlequin” floor is accepted worldwide as the best surface layer for recreational to professional dance. Facilities such as the American Ballet Theatre, The Julliard School, Martha Graham Dance Co. and Metropolitan Dance Co., all use Harlequin floors as their dance surface. A Harlequin floor allows dancers to slide, with a degree of “controlled slip”, but is not slippery. There is less risk of falls. Very few studios use professional Harlequin dance surfaces because of the expense involved.
Charlene’s School of Dance uses Harlequin surfaces installed on “floating” or “sprung floors”. This can help to reduce the risk of injuries and allow students to dance longer without getting tired. 2. What is the size of the class?
If the dance class has a positive teacher to student ratio each child will receive more personalized attention, learn more and have more fun. With younger students it is easier for a teacher to maintain control over the class and make sure each student understands the concepts and instructions. Positive teacher to student numbers make sure that no fundamental concepts are being missed. A smaller class size also allows teachers to ensure that students are not developing bad habits or improper technique.
Our studio limits all of our combination classes (age 6 and up) to maximum of just 15 students per teacher. With our “kinderdance” classes (ages 3 -5) we limit the classes to a maximum of just 10 students per teacher. 3. Can I get immediate assistance and customer service?
In many studios the teacher or the studio owner conducts classes and does the administration. By trying to do two jobs at once, the class may suffer as the teacher has to use class time for customer service issues, or the studio may have no customer service available if the teacher is in a class. To have a good experience it is important to choose a studio that can assist you with details like costumes or schedules, even if a teacher is occupied in a class.
Most nights CSD has office staff on hand during all regular class times, so you can get immediate assistance. 4. The Dance Studio. Is it safe? Is it easy to access? Is it a quality facility?
Many dance school operators rent temporary facilities to serve as the dance school. Often a few mirrors, a portable bar and the buildings existing floor serve as the make shift studio.
Charlene’s School of Dance is an 8,000 sq. ft. state of the art facility consisting of 3 dance rooms, a dance store where parents can find all of the needed dance apparel – no running around. There are locker rooms, showers, and a waiting area with an observation window. It is located in the middle of Cresson with easy access to a large lighted parking lot. We try to make attending our studio a safe and fun experience. 5. Opportunities to perform and travel.
After all, practice makes perfect. But once the practice is over, most area dance studios only provide one chance for your child to perform and that is at their annual recital. It is not fair for a child to work all year and only perform in one show.
At Charlene’s School of Dance, we know that to a dancer, being on stage and showing his or her talent and technique is a priority. That’s why, at CSD, we not only produce an annual recital, but provide many opportunities to perform and to be acknowledged by the public. Every December the studio produces “The Nutcracker Ballet All Jazz’d Up”. Every April the All Star Dance Team is proud to be part of the National Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, DC. Also Idlewild Park’s Showcase of Stars and the Altoona Curve baseball pre-game shows have been on the CSD schedule for several years. Festivals like the Lilly Fireman's Carnival, Cresson Catholic Community Festival and Lilly's Polish Picnic are always great ways for the dancers to display their talents.
We at Charlene’s take every opportunity to have our students doing what they do best – dance! Since 1989, the studio has conducted a dance camp each summer. Practice makes perfect!
CSD’s Elite Dance Company members have the opportunity to travel to workshops and conventions where they take master classes from some of the world’s top choreographers and teachers. They also have the chance to compete. Charlene’s dancers have traveled to Pittsburgh, King of Prussia, Las Vegas, New York City, Toronto, Disney Land, Disney World, Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach and many other cities.
Conventions and competitions improve the child’s ability to comprehend quickly, to pay attention to detail, and to react positively to new challenges and environments.
Charlene's School of Dance
103 Keystone Ave, Cresson, Pennsylvania 16630, United States