Can we watch (or try) a class?

I can understand why parents would ask this question.    You want to know how the teacher interacts with the students, whether the material is appropriate for your child, etc.

But the short answer is no.  

Generally speaking, most studios either do not permit or do not encourage parents to observe dance classes.  
  • For one thing, young children are easily distracted.  And, some are shy and do not like to be watched by strangers.  
  • For another, it is not possible for the teacher to work with the children optimally if she is also trying to connect with a visitor and/or prospective student.   
  • Too, what you might see in any one class on a given day may or may not be typical of that group, or of how your child's particular class level might work.      
So what does a parent do?   
  • Do meet with the teacher/studio owner.   At our Yuma Street studio, I insist on this, so that I may meet the child and have some notion of what he/she might be ready for in terms of dance.  
  • Be sure to check out a teacher's credentials and/or get a recommendation from a friend.   These are excellent ways to evaluate if a teacher or a studio or a particular class is appropriate for your child.     
  • My credentials are available on this website, under About the Director.   Reference is made there to the Cecchetti Council of America, of which I am a professionally-qualified member; to know more about that group, see http://www.Cecchetti.org.    It may also help to know that for my extensive volunteer work in the D.C. public schools I have been through the vetting process and have passed the requisite criminal background check etc.   Further information is available when you visit.
What about trying a class?  I'm not sure if my child will like it.  
  • It might seem like a good idea on the surface, but what about the other children in the class?   And would you like it if there was a parade of new kids trying it out all the time once your child had enrolled?    See above suggestions.  Bring your child to visit on an Open House day or make an appointment.    Also, how old is the child and is he/she in school yet? Has she/he had group class experiences before, and how does he/she take to these?    Have you spent time with your child reading, listening to music, going to shows or concerts for young children?  Ask yourself if your child is truly ready for this, and think about what your child's day will be like -- is there a chance that he/she might be too tired at the end of the school day (weekday students) or will he/she perhaps need to sleep later on Saturday morning because the newness of the school day has worn him/her out?   Would it be better to wait another year?
  • "Well, I think you should have a short-term, try-it-out period for new children."  That would be a good idea.  But we are too small a program for that to work.  Sorry.  Think about trying out something at one of the larger studios first.  See our Pre-Ballet page for suggestions.
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