1. Dress the Part: Know Your Attire
The first step to feeling like a dancer is looking like one. Different dance genres often have specific dress codes to ensure students move safely.
For Ballet, Jazz and AcroDance classes, we recommend tights or leggings and a comfortable snug top. Ballet or Jazz uniform is not required for the dance trial, as studios typically have a studio uniform that all dancers must dressed in. Go barefoot as it's safer than wearing slippery socks. Non-slip socks might sometimes get in the way too.
For Hip Hop & K Pop and Contemporary classes, comfortable outfit like a top and pants are recommended. Either go barefoot or wear clean covered shoes.
Arriving in your dance trial outfit instead of changing at the studio saves time and makes the first class less stressful. Keep hair neat and away from the face. Grooming makes a whole lot of difference, especially for young children!
Don't forget to bring a water bottle and go to the washroom before class!
2. For younger dancers: Drop-off or Parent-Accompanied?
For young dancers, the presence or absence of parents can significantly impact their experience. Some studios encourage parents to stay, especially for young dancers, to offer moral support. Others may prefer a drop-off approach to ensure students immerse themselves without distractions. At Ritz Dance, dedicated parent-accompanied Creative Dance Classes (Ballet, Jazz, Creative Movement) (Dance & Grow) are offerred to dancers below 3 years old, or for young dancers who prefer a parent around to ease them into a new environment at the initial stages before they join drop-off classes. For dancers ages 3 and above or those ready to take on independent drop-off classes, there's drop-off Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop/K Pop, AcroDance classes for you to choose from. For these drop-off classes, parents typically stay out of the class to let their child fully experience the class independently. It's a great time to see how comfortable your child is with their dancemates, instructor and the new environment.
3. Beat the Clock: Arrive Early
Arriving at least 15 minutes early gives you (or your child) time to familiarize yourself with the studio, find the right class, and mentally prepare for the session. This also allows for any last-minute paperwork, or clarifications before the trial class begins.
4. Stepping in with the Right Mindset
The first class is all about having fun and being open to learning new things! Understand that it's okay to be a beginner. Mistakes are stepping stones to mastery. Embrace them and be patient with your progress. An open mind aids in absorbing new techniques and feedback. Tip for Parents of younger dancers: Prep your child during the week that they'll be going for a super fun dance class where they'll meet new friends and a new dance teacher; be in a new space, learn new dance steps, all without Parent (if it's a drop-off class)!
5. Aligning with the School's Vision
A dance school isn't just about teaching steps; it's about imparting a particular philosophy and direction to its students. Understand the school's ethos and opportunities and align it with your goals and your commitment: Is it competition-focused, recreational, or geared towards professional training? Aligning with the school's mission ensures you or your child will thrive in that environment. Some schools that train dancers for competitions require dancers to commit to a minimum of 3 to 5 days a week of trainings. Some schools offer recreational classes with 1 to 2 days a week of trainings. At Ritz Dance, we follow internationally-recognised syllabi such as the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD, UK) Ballet, Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing (CSTD, Australia) Jazz, Acrobatic Arts (Canada) for AcroDance. Dancers are invited to participate in dance examinations as part of a holistic learning opportunity where they work towards a goal and learn, from a young age, to be committed to excellence, in a fun and nurturing environment. Ritz dancers also have the opportunity to train and be a part of dance competitions too. Speak to us to find out more! Dance is a great way to build confidence, discipline and excellence in young dancers through fun and play. It's also a great art form for teens and adult dancers who want to cultivate aesthetic sensibilities and get a great body and brain work out! When dancers feel confident in what they do, it translates to confidence all other areas of life!