What people look for when they choose a dance studio

By Pieter Verschuren

Published 27 August 2019

Someone has made up her or his mind to join a dance school. Or let their son or daughter take dance lessons. Or maybe they are already becoming proficient in the noble art of dancing, but wonder if they have made the best choice of venue and teachers.

Here are a number of things people look for in a dance school. But first and foremost they will have taken a look at themselves.

Fun or mastery?

The first things people consider are their personal reasons for learning to dance. Do they want to dance for fun,
for pure enjoyment? Or is it their ambition to become really good, learn all the proper techniques, possibly compete? Maybe they see dancing lessons mainly as a pleasant way to work out. And how important are the social aspects for them, meeting people, belonging to the community of particular dance studio?

After having answered these questions for themselves, they’ll probably start looking around for the dance school that best suits their needs. They may get through websites and social media pages. Visit the most promising dance studio’s in their neighborhood, meet the teachers and take a trial lesson.

What’s on offer?

For many people this is probably the first criterion when comparing dance schools. Which dance styles are taught? What kinds of lessons are available – private, groups, practice sessions, specialized courses? Does the school mainly do drop-in classes or offer structured training programs?
If your prospects are crazy about hip-hop, while you focus on ballroom dancing, you will probably have a slim chance to welcome them as new members.Another consideration could be the additional activities the school offers, like social functions and participating in competitions.

What does the dance studio place look like?

Cleanness and a warm, welcoming atmosphere tell first-time visitors a lot about the quality of a dance school. If it lacks in these aspects, then probably the teaching will also be lackluster.

Who’s teaching?

That’s a tricky one. The quality level of a dance school ultimately depends on the quality of its teachers. But how to judge? A school may boast teachers who are famous, prize-winning dancers, but that does not necessarily make them good instructors. Or pleasant and empowering people.

New members will only find out after they have joined. And of course it’s also a personal thing: with some people, you ‘click’ and with some people you just don’t. Nevertheless, let’s try to define how people may distinguish a good dance teacher from a bad one.

5 qualities of a good dance teacher

A good dance teacher:

  1. Will make the lessons both challenging and easy enough to perform: you will have to work for it, but you’ll end with a sense of accomplishment rather than frustration.
  2. Can explain both partner roles with equal clarity and detail.
  3. Mixes in social dances, partners with beginners and makes them look great.
  4. Corrects errors strictly, but always in a respectful way.
  5. Makes you smile.
  6. Gives you a good schedule or work with a good working app 

5 qualities of a bad dance teacher

A bad dance teacher:

  1. Keeps on talking about his accomplishments. Boasting is often a sign of insecurity and never empowering.
  2. Does not monitor the class or ask for feedback. As a result, the lessons will go too fast or too slow for certain students.
  3. Repeatedly targets specific students. This may be out of personal feelings of antipathy or out of nobler motives, but too much is too much.
  4. Teaches during social dances. A teacher should know the difference between socializing and teaching.
  5. Remarks about things like body weight.

The bottom line: in the eyes of the students a good dance teacher teaches how to DANCE, not just which moves to hit, and makes it look easy and fun.

What do you charge?

A final argument to decide on a dance school is the money they ask. What is a reasonable fee? This brings us back to our first question: it all depends on peoples’ personal goals and expectations. They will realize that a school stuffed with celebrity teachers will have another price tag than your cozy little neighbourhood dance studio. If their ambitions are high, they’ll probably be willing to pay for the best possible instruction. But if dancing is just a hobby or a pleasant way to work out, why not choose the cheapest one that looks ok?

But then, you don’t want to be the cheapest, do you? You want to offer the best value for money. So, make sure to stress in your communication all the great extra’s and advantages that are included in your fees!

Pieter Verschuren

Communications Manager at Virtuagym. Writer, content marketer, coffee enthusiast, and afficionado of the serial comma.

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