5 Things Every Parent Should Know
Before Choosing a Dance Studio
Training dancers in ballet, elementary ballet (pre-school ballet), jazz dance, modern dance, hip-hop dance, tap dance, creative movement, Irish step dance, belly dance, and hula dance since 1986 throughout the Westchester, New York area – Ossining, Pleasantville, Mount Kisco, Tarrytown, Peekskill, Croton, Briarcliff Manor, Yorktown, Somers, Katonah, Cortlandt, Sleepy Hollow, Putnam Valley, Chappaqua, and neighboring towns.
There's probably only one Little League in your neighborhood, and one soccer club or swim team, but finding quality dance instruction for your child is a bit more challenging. If you live in an area like Westchester County, New York, choosing a dance school involves a bit of fancy footwork. In the environs of Ossining, home of the Logrea Dance Academy, studios abound and dance classes come in many forms – ballet, jazz, modern dance, hip-hop, tap, creative movement, Irish step, belly, hula, and more – all taught with varying degrees of expertise and varying potential for developmental benefit to your child. But if most dancing schools seem to have qualified, friendly teachers, and a big recital or dance concert at the end of the year, then aren't they really all the same? Does it matter which dance school you enroll your child in? Yes. There are a few basic items that can make a huge difference in the quality of the dance training your child receives, and the amount of time and energy you will have to devote to your child's dance lessons.
1 What type of dance floor is used?
Dance is a very physical activity that can require a lot of jumping – and most dance footwear does not provide any cushioning or support. The rigors of dance movement can put stress on bones and joints, in particular the knees and back of a dancer, unless the studio floor provides the necessary resiliency, or "spring." To help avoid injury and ensure your dancer's comfort, choose a studio with a professional "sprung" floor built up off the regular floor.
The surface layer of the dance floor is also an important factor. A vinyl composite Marley floor is accepted worldwide as the best surface for recreational and professional dance. Facilities like those of American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet use Marley floors for both training and performing because they allow a dancer to slide with control, without being slippery. Few community studios use Marley floors because of expense, and usually have regular wood floors with various coatings, or floor tiles with multiple seams.
All the Logrea studios have a sprung floor with a Marley top surface. These special floors help reduce the risk of injuries and allow students to dance longer without getting tired.
2 What will my child learn besides "dance steps"
When talented, professional dancers and choreographers teach the performing arts, the possibilities for young students are limitless. While not all students may have professional aspirations, they will develop poise, confidence, and a lifelong appreciation of the art of dance, music, and live theater. The focus and discipline developed during classes and rehearsals are qualities that extend to other areas of life – improved study habits and agility in games and sports.
The Logrea Dance Academy has an extensive faculty of professional dancers and choreographers, each a specialist in his or her field, with many years of experience.
3 Can I get immediate assistance and customer service?
In many studios the teacher or the studio owner conducts all classes and does the administration work as well. By trying to do two jobs at once, class quality may suffer: the teacher has to use class time for customer service issues, or the studio may have no customer service available while the teacher is in class. To have a good experience it is important to choose a studio that can assist you with details like costumes, schedules, makeup classes, and account issues, while you are there for your child's class.
Our studio has office staff available on a regular schedule, so you can usually get immediate assistance.
4 What performance opportunities are there and do they affect class time?
Many studios use class time for the entire year to rehearse for the end-of-the-year performance – at the expense of learning basic technique. And there may be only one, very long end-of-term performance for parents to sit through.
We produce three different spring weekends of multiple performances; each concert is only an hour and a half long and features an appropriate array of specific ages, abilities, and dance genres. In all disciplines, class time is dedicated solely to technique until January, when part of each class is then devoted to performance preparation. Certain students also have the opportunity to audition for the Westchester Ballet Company and its annual production of The Nutcracker. Rehearsals for Nutcracker are on weekends, and offer the student many hours of additional training and performance experience.
5 Which is the right program for my child?
Some students may prefer a more intensive dance program while others will not. So that each student will receive the best dance education, the Academy offers an intensive program as well as an enrichment program. When registering, the Logrea staff will help guide you to make the best decision for your child.