Things Every Parent Should Know Before Choosing A Dance Studio
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 direct a lot of pressure to a dancer’s knees and back. The best way to protect against potential injury is by choosing a studio with a professional “sprung floor” or “floating floor.” These dance floors rest on a system of rubber feet or high-density foam to absorb the shock of jumping. The top layer of the floor is also an important. A vinyl “marley” floor is accepted worldwide as the best surface layer for recreational and professional dance. Facilities for the American Ballet Theatre, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater all use floating floors with a marley overlay for their dance surfaces. A marley floor allows dancers to slide with a degree of “controlled” slip, but without being truly slippery, which reduces a performer’s risk of falling. Very few studios use professional floors because of the expenses involved and usually opt for imitation or less expensive flooring. Marley floors provide the best surface for a dance floor, but do not provide any cushion for dancers unless placed on a sprung/floating floor. When placed on a concrete floor, marley provides no cushioning at all. Preston Center Dance equips all its dance rooms with floating/sprung floors beneath a top surface of high-quality marley. Our special floors reduce the risk of injuries and allow students to dance longer without fatigue.
How are classes formed?
A dance class should be formed with the student’s age and ability taken into consideration. A 5-year-old beginner should never be placed in a class with a 3-year-old student. As children mature, their attention span and ability to learn becomes more developed. Every child will progress at a different rate and each one should be evaluated on an individual basis. Parents need to pay close attention to the age range in any dance class, which will help to determine how their child will advance. At Preston Center Dance, each student is placed in a level based on both age and ability. Our program is structured so that most dancers will progress to a higher level each year.
Who will be teaching your child?
A dance Instructor should be able to relate to the students they are teaching and be able to share their love for dance with those children. They should also be current and up-to-date on the most recent styles of dance that they teach. Preston Center Dance instructors have extensive dance backgrounds, and all of their bios are published here on our website. Our instructors are also encouraged to continue their education by attending various national dance conventions throughout each year. This allows them to not only teach our students the fundamentals of dance technique, but also the most current styles and methods of performing these techniques. They are required to pass a criminal background check, for the safety of our students.
What to expect at the end-of-year recital?
Many studios require dancers to attend countless rehearsals in addition to their regular classes. PCD students rehearse their dances in class and only require the dancers to attend one dress rehearsal before their show. We provide parents with very specific recital instructions so to fully prepare them for the performance. We provide the costume and appropriate tights at a base rate for each student that is well below what most studios charge for costumes. Preston Center Dance strives to make our recitals worry free and no-hassle for all involved. Every dancer will perform a routine specially choreographed for their age. Both their costume and music are age-appropriate for each recital number. Our year-end recital is produced in an exemplary, professional manner at McFarlin Auditorium on the SMU campus. But we are always the most proud of our dancers - for us, they make it the best show in town!