How to choose a dance studio? As any important consumer decision, this is a question you should educate yourself on. Much like choosing a math tutor, you’re not going to come knowing what to look for unless someone else tells you. Dancing may be something you’ve never tried in your life, and so you might just consider joining the first dance studio you find on a Google search. That could lead to unsatisfactory results, however, so beware and listen up because I’m going to tell you exactly how to find the studio that’s right for you. It only takes three easy steps.
Step 1: Figure Out “Why”
“Why” is perhaps the most important question you can answer to make your dancing experience awesome. Knowing why you’re doing something gives you conviction, and conviction makes you much more likely to see it through.
“Why” gives you power over your dancing experience. If you figure out, for example, that you want to start dancing to lose weight, you can determine which kind of dances you want to learn (fast ones with lots of movement!) and which you don’t really need. Forearmed with this knowledge, you can help your instructor determine which course of education is best for you.
Step 2: Figure Out “Where”
It’s not totally necessary to stay local, but it helps. Search for Arthur Murray studios in your area. If you live close to a studio, you will have an easier time joining in its activities, scheduling lessons on short notice, and generally being flexible with your scheduling. Trust me, this is a big deal! A hobby that causes you stress is one you’ll quickly get bored with!
When figuring out how to choose a dance studio, “where” also includes the studio itself, its interior and especially its culture. A dance studio should feel like a warm and welcoming place. When you enter its doors, you should feel, as one student once said to me, “like you’re walking into a theme park for grown ups”. Feeling this way is important, because dancing is a deeply personal experience, and you deserve a location that allows you to learn in comfort.
Step 3: Figure Out “How”
This comes into the picture after you’ve figured out the “Why” and the “Where”. The “How” is going to come out in discussion with your new instructor. It’s important to ask a potential teacher “how will you help me achieve my goals?”
If an instructor can’t answer this question, you should seriously reconsider if he or she is a teacher you want. Any instructor worth their salt will be able to tell you not only what dances you’ll learn, but how they’ll use in-studio and out of studio opportunities (events, competitions, performances, seminars) to give you a complete experience.
Never just assume your instructor has a game plan. Ask, and you’ll quickly learn the measure of your new partner!
To sum it all up, I’d advise anyone interested in learning to dance to approach it with an open mind, but a critical eye. Trust your instructor when they tell you how to dance the dances, but always be sure to keep them accountable for your progress! If you feel like you’re going in the right direction, everybody wins!