We have already told you how to find the first ballet teacher. And here are 7 questions to ask a ballet school before taking your kid there.
1. How is the educational process structured?
First of all, you and your future ballet student should decide on your goals. Are you looking for a place that will be the first step on your way to professional ballet? Or do you want your child to practice classical dance for general development? Having answered these questions, choose the school that suits your requirements.
When talking with the management of the educational institution, ask them about the school concept and the goals of learning, request to show the curriculum and find out about the future life of their graduates.
2. Who teaches at the school?
Much depends on the personality of the ballet teacher. Before getting acquainted with the future teacher, ask the school management or look on the website of the educational institution who are on the teaching staff. Qualifications of the teacher, their experience in ballet and teaching - these details are crucial to clarify in the very first conversation.
3. How many children are in the group? How do the groups vary according to the level of training?
On the one hand, a large number of students proves that the ballet school is in demand. However, it is better to stick to the golden mean between intimacy and mass scale. In a beginner group of 20-30 kids, it is difficult to give equal attention to each student.
Be sure to find out how the groups are organized in terms of the level of training of the children. This will help you understand what development and growth opportunities your child might have.
4. How is the classroom equipped?
Once you are familiar with the basics of the curriculum, ask them to show you the dance classroom. A correct classroom in a ballet school is spacious, bright, ventilated, with full-length mirrors and ballet barres. The floor covering should not be slippery, sanded hardwood or specialized linoleum for choreography are perfect options. Pay attention to the equipment available in the classroom, ask how the musical accompaniment is organized during lessons. There are schools where ballet lessons are accompanied by a piano, which is more atmospheric than audio recording with classical music.
5. Is there an introductory lesson?
Good schools will answer in the positive. The introductory lesson can be free or paid, but it is essential to get to know the school and the teacher.
Sign up for such a lesson to appreciate the atmosphere in the school, to communicate with the teaching staff and parents of students. If you are invited to attend the lesson, don’t refuse this opportunity. This way you will be able to assess interaction between the teacher and the students not from the words of your child, but with your own eyes.
6. What does the training uniform look like?
In classical ballet schools, they will give you addresses of specialized stores where you can choose a uniform. The right shoes for beginners are soft ballet slippers. Girls are usually advised to tuck their hair into a ballet bun. But if you are told at school that gym shoes or jazz shoes are good for classes, and you can wear "any comfy clothes" - it is unlikely that ballet is taught seriously in this educational institution.
7. How are students motivated?
An important part of any educational process is student motivation. It can vary from diaries with stickers for the little ones to regular public appearances and reporting concerts. Find out how competition activities are organized in the school. Do children participate in competitions?
Stage experience is essential for training in a ballet school. Studying the art of classical dance without the opportunity to demonstrate the result to the audience - even to one's own parents - is theory without practice.