Part Three: Development
By now you know the basics to expect when looking for a quality dance studio in your area. You should find one with a low dependency on syllabi as well as one that provides social dances. I have one final piece of advice to give you in this series. Be sure to find a studio with a strong focus on the growth and development of students, instead of on profit.
Competition as a Development Tool
Many studios use competitions and showcase events as a mechanism for students to spend more money on lessons. Competition should be a tool to develop and foster lead and/or follow skills among students. This is a business model that has been around for decades, starting with the big franchise studios. Is this a bad business model? NO! Competitions and showcase events yield massive amount of revenue for studios that follow this path! Unfortunately, they are viewed primarily as a stream of revenue rather than a method of dance development for students.
Yes, when a dancer partakes in a competition they have to spend money on private instruction . There’s simply no other way to prepare. However, the primary focus of the instructor should be on the dancer development, not the money they bring in. If you look for instructors and a dance studio that feel this way, you will develop as a dancer exponentially.
Competitions and showcase exhibitions are fabulous ways for dancers to set goals, measure progress and gain satisfaction. We strongly encourage dancers to explore these opportunities. However, often in the THOUSANDS of dollars for a single competition, they put many people out of the market entirely. We at DanceCraft make sure to encourage competition formats that are both affordable and highly rewarding. Competition, if approached in the right way, will create stronger, more confident social dancers. This is our PRIMARY goal as a studio, and should be the main goal of the studio you choose.
Have you ever thought about competing in dance or performing in front of others in an exhibition format? If so, speak to your instructors and learn more about how affordable and rewarding it can be!
Focus on Student Growth
By focusing on student growth rather than money, a studio benefits from a dancer’s level of satisfaction. Likewise, other dancers will benefit by enjoying the talent created. Who doesn’t like to dance with great dancers?!!! As studio owners, the most important focus of our business should always be student growth. This should also be the focus of the studio you are looking into as a student. While all dancers have different expectations and goals, our job as instructors and studio owners should be to exceed those expectations.
A strictly syllabized approach to teaching, as I discussed earlier, lacks the customization needed for dancers to reach their goals. A lack of “revolving door” social dance opportunities limits student exposure to the dance world. Focusing too heavily on competition and exhibitions results in dancers often never truly understanding the dances they perform. This can then result in a serious lack of ability to lead and follow on the dance floor. Ultimately, the focus of a good dance studio should be on long term gains through developing talented dancers. Taking students beyond what they thought they could achieve… this is what we do at DanceCraft. We hope our success in doing so motivates others to do the same.
Until Next Time…
I hope this series helps you to find a good dance studio in your area. Remember, look for a studio that isn’t too dependent on a syllabus, supports and provides social dances, encourages competition for student progress and focuses on student development. If you are near Pensacola, DanceCraft has experience and opportunities for you to become an excellent dancer and have FUN!
“Live Well. Dance Often”