BEFORE enrolling your child in a Dance or Gymnastics school.
First, go to the studio! Try to go when classes are in session. First impressions mean a lot. Does it look like a place that your child will flourish and learn? Is there a positive environment? Are the students well behaved? Take a good look around and get a “feel” for the studio. Then, get answers to the following questions.
QUESTION 1 --- What are the professional qualifications of the teaching staff? Do the teachers attend regular training to stay current? At The Academy, our teachers attend special training to master techniques for young (pre-school) dancers. They also attend more advanced training in New York City with professionals currently performing on Broadway and other venues. In addition, we bring outstanding performers and choreographers from Los Angeles, Canada, New York City and Las Vegas including finalists from “So You Think You Can Dance”!
QUESTION 2 --- Is the studio a member of Dance Masters of America (DMA), Professional Dance Teachers Association (PDTA) and Dance Educators of America (DEA)? Dance Masters of America is especially important because members must be “Certified by Test to Teach” after qualifying with teaching experience as well as passing written tests and performance tests. At the Academy, we have been members of all three organizations for many years. Linda Haas, the owner, has been an active supporter and advocate of excellence in dance education since she opened her studio in 1981.
QUESTION 3 --- Who will actually teach my child? Does the school use qualified teachers for the advanced students and then teach the beginners with “assistants” or “students” from the studio? At the Academy, ALL classes are taught by qualified adult teachers. These teachers are the same ones who train constantly and teach the more advanced students. Proper technique must be learned right from the start and it is the building block for more advanced skills. Taking beginner classes from qualified teachers is the only way to ensure that YOUR child learns the basics properly and is well prepared to advance to more difficult classes with the proper technique.
QUESTION 4 --- Does the studio have a performance or “competition” group? At the Academy, not every dancer wants to compete. A major part of our studio is devoted to recreational dancers who want to learn proper technique in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and modern dance. They participate in one or two performances each year, they have fun and they enjoy the experience. We believe that a competitive dance group is important because it ensures that every dancer in our studio receives outstanding training. Our recreational program is the starting point for our more advanced dancers. A competition group ensures that our training, from beginner to advanced, is taught to the highest standards.
QUESTION 5 --- Does the studio conduct performances each year that showcase the students in a positive manner and demonstrate excellent dance training? If you can attend a performance, you will learn a great deal about the program of any studio! At the Academy, we conduct several performances each year. All of our dancers love to perform! They have fun and are proud to demonstrate what they have learned. We receive many compliments concerning the excellent training and “professionalism” of our students. The competition dancers have won hundreds of national awards and it shows. Equally important, our first year dancers do a wonderful job and are able to demonstrate actual dance skills, proper technique, poise and showmanship.
QUESTION 6 --- Does the school have an outstanding reputation in the community? At the Academy, we have a commitment to excellence in everything we do. Our commitment goes well beyond just teaching dance. Each year we conduct performances to benefit both Operation Smile and The Leukemia Society. As of this year, our students have raised enough money through dance to pay for over 513 surgeries to correct facial deformities in young children. We believe that being well rounded and learning the value of service to others is important. Our students are leaders in the community. They are excellent scholars, presidents and vice-presidents of their classes, scholarship winners and leaders in athletics. Some have gone on to perform on Broadway. Others have become Radio City Rockettes and members of professional ballet companies. Still others have left the Academy to become doctors, lawyers, engineers and school teachers!
QUESTION 7 --- Does the school teach students more than just dance? In other words, is the school concerned with teaching life lessons as well as dance lessons? At the Academy, we use dance and performing arts as vehicles to teach life lessons. We believe that it is important for young people to develop personal responsibility, dedication, a strong work ethic and teamwork. It is our goal to help our young dancers learn the value of working towards a goal and the joy of accomplishing that goal. These lessons last a lifetime and help shape our students as they become young adults.
Thank you for your interest in our program! We look forward to working with your child!
And, The Academy was voted “Best Dance Studio on the Peninsula” in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010!
Winner of over 400 National Awards in Dance
Home of the “Showbiz Kids” Dance Team Members: DanceMasters of America Professional Dance Teachers Association Dance Educators of America
30 Years of Motivating Young People to be the Best they can be!