Dance school is becoming increasingly popular, and it's easy to see why. Dancing is a fun way for people to express themselves nonverbally. Dancing is becoming more popular in American culture thanks to television dance shows. Although dancing can be fun, it requires discipline and adherence to a strict diet and practice schedule. If you enjoy dancing and are disciplined enough to practice for hours daily, enrolling in a dance school may be an option for you. The United States is home to many dance schools. Each dance school is different, with different programs, requirements, and degrees. Whether you want to simply learn new dance moves or pursue dance as a career, there is a school and program for you.
There are many types of dance, so it is important to find a dance school that fits your needs. Popular dance programs include ballet, ballroom dance, dance history, disco, folk, Irish, jazz, modern dance, swing and tap. Each type of dance requires different rhythms, movements, and clothing. Dance programs are well rounded so that students learn about many types of dance, as well as movement, production, and choreography. Dancers also follow a strict and rigorous practice schedule. This requires an optimum level of physical fitness. Dance is very intense and requires grace and coordination. During dance school, students learn about their bodies' limits.
A dance school usually offers at least an undergraduate program, which requires four years of intense study of dance, performance, technique, and composition. Most dance schools are very competitive and only select students who are committed to dance as a career. Those looking to continue for two or three years beyond an undergraduate degree can move on to a master's degree, which is the highest degree that is available from most dance schools. A graduate degree is often required to teach dance.
There are many ways to prepare for dance school. Starting early, such as in high school, is the best way to gain needed experience. Many local programs operate in group settings and allow children as young as 3 years of age to participate in dance classes. If you are serious about being a professional dancer, private lessons will allow you to practice at your own pace and receive individualized instruction from a qualified teacher. Summer camps, musical theater, and high-school productions are great ways to prepare for dance school and careers in dance. Volunteer work, leadership activities, internships, and athletic activities also help students prepare for the rigors of dance.
Although there are many benefits to dancing, it can be time-consuming and hard on your body. Be sure to explore the many advantages and disadvantages of a dance career before committing to an intense program of study.
Advantages of Dance School
Becoming a dance school student has many benefits. Although the most obvious one is exercise and fitness, there are other advantages that will help you not only with a dance career, but with any other career you choose.
Dancing provides many benefits to your health and wellness. It builds muscle tone, strengthens bones, increases lung capacity, and improves heart health. Because dancing burns a lot of calories, it's a great form of exercise for those who want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. It also increases brain activity and helps relieve stress, aiding in relaxation. Dance therapy is becoming more common for those who are suffering illnesses or recovering from accidents. It has proven to help people heal faster, relieve pain, reduce the chances of developing depression, and increase self-esteem and well-being.
Dancing also helps with coordination. Precise movements and intense dance routines improve coordination through balance, posture, and concentration. This, in turn, helps increase flexibility and mobility as well as stamina and muscle strength.
Dancing can also help alleviate stage fright or performance anxiety. Many people experience this when they have to give a speech or perform in front of others. It can be even more evident in dance-school students. Dancing requires extreme focus and concentration, and having to keep from breaking concentration in front of many people during a live performance can be nerve wracking. However, dance school instructors help students get over their fear of performing. In addition, regular performances and recitals help students gain more confidence in their abilities, which is a huge benefit when it's time for them to perform.
Dance school experience also helps when marketing yourself to potential employers. Many professional dancing careers require that you be a dance school graduate. This is because attending and graduating from dance school shows that you are committed to dancing as a career, and you are familiar with the practicing and hard work involved. Dance schools teach students not only about performance, but about the history of dance and all the elements involved, such as choreography, lighting, and use of costumes and props. Having this broad knowledge makes you more attractive to employers, as opposed to someone who has the passion and ability, but knows very little about the industry. Dance school can open the door to an exciting and creative career.
Choosing a Dance School
Whether you are looking to attend dance school for fun or to pursue a career in dance, there are many things you should consider when choosing a dance school. The experience level of the teaching staff, the degrees offered, facilities, and cost are all factors that you should review. You may also investigate the school's reputation and location, and get recommendations from past students.
The key to success in dance school is having a qualified teacher. It's important that the teacher be a professional dancer and be certified to teach. Don't be afraid to ask about your teacher's background and accomplishments in dance.
You should also choose a dance school that has degree options that interest you. Are looking to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree? Or is a minor or certificate in dance sufficient for your career goals and interests? Determine how dance will fit into your life and choose a dance school based on how much time you want to invest in dance.
Because you will be spending a lot of time in the dance studio, be sure to check out the facilities and make sure they are up to par. A professional dance floor should be cushioned and have a non-slip surface. The equipment should be fairly new and well maintained. There should be mirrors on one wall, as well as adequate space to perform. You should also have access to a restroom and drinking fountain.
Class size and curriculum are other factors to consider when choosing a dance school. In terms of class size, the smaller, the better. It's hard for a teacher to give enough attention to everyone if the class is too big, so look for schools that stress smaller class sizes so you receive as much personalized attention as possible. In terms of curriculum, gauge the difficulty of the classes. Make sure there is a variety of classes, with a good mix of classroom-based and performance-based classes.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013