Lessons from the Dance Room
We believe that the experience of dance teaches every dancer life-lasting skills. Children learn to respect a superior, follow instructions, learn to be an important part of a group effort, and are exposed to a broader selection of music that they don’t often hear on the radio. The benefit of these skills are often applied throughout life.
Q: How old should my child be to start lessons?
A: Dance is developmental. Though each Childs personality is different, most children are ready to take a dance class by the time they are 3 or 4 years old. Many of these classes offered are considered pre-dance and focus on listening skills in a structured but creative environment.
Q: Where should my child dance?
A: We believe that every school has something wonderful to offer, however not every environment is a good fit for every child. Our recommendation is to explore a variety of options and consider your Childs personality. The most important relationship is between teacher and student. When he/she leaves the dance room with a smile on their face, you have made the right choice. For older children who are studying a particular discipline, it is important to also expose them to a variety of teaching styles. They will know what environment challenges them in the most positive way.
Q: Why shouldn’t I buy dance shoes without my child?
A: The proper fit of dance shoes is very different from the fit of street shoes. It is important that the muscles in the feet control the shoe. When a dancer is learning technique in any discipline, if they are fitted with shoes too big, they will most likely spend the whole class simply trying to hold on to their shoes rather than learning technique. With that said, we do allow a margin of growing room for young children. For any dancer, when their dance shoe fits properly, they have the freedom to think less about their shoes and more about developing their skill.
Q: When is it ok for my child to dance en pointe?
A: Every school has different levels of preparation and evaluating readiness. The average age for a first time pointe dancer is between 10 and 12 years old. We believe there is a level of ballet technique and a development of strength and flexibility in the body that every young dancer needs to acquire before safely going up en pointe. By the time a dancer gets her first pointe shoes, she should have been in ballet for at least 5 years with the previous 2 years concentrating on pre-pointe technique and in a minimum of 2-3 classes a week. No dancer should purchase pointe shoes without approval from her teacher.
Q: Why do I have to make an appointment for a pointe shoe fitting?
A: A first time pointe shoe fit in our store is by appointment only because we concentrate on educating the dancer first and foremost on how to lower some of the most common injury factors that may occur the first year of pointe work. We emphasize safety first and assure this is a valuable experience for every first-time pointe dancer. In your pointe shoe fitting we talk about body alignment, the importance of strength and flexibility, hip rotation, strength and flexibility in the feet, hygiene, toenail care, and the overall responsibility and commitment involved in being a ballet dancer at this level en pointe. We do require a parent or guardian to be present for a child’s first pointe shoe fitting. The average time length is one to one and a half hours.
Q: How long is a dance shoe supposed to last?
A: In general, dance shoes are made to take a beating. Depending on the type of dance shoe, the fit, frequency of use and the type of floors, these are all factors in the wear of the dance shoe and how long it will last. The growth of a child is also unpredictable. Though we make a great effort to allow an appropriate amount of growing room, a child may often outgrow their dance shoe before they outwear it.
Q: Why is your price more expensive than Discount Dance/online?
A: Yes, most of our prices are higher than what you will find on Discount Dance. However, we run a professional dance shop that offers a level of expertise in fit and knowledge that is valuable to all our customers. It has been our pleasure to service the needs of dancers throughout the Bay Area for twenty four years. We are committed to continuing that with your help. Supporting local businesses such as ours also has benefits to the dance community overall.