Dance Exploration is a Colorado Company with a long history. Our mission and values have always been child-centered focusing on a Child's Development and determining the teaching (and operational) practices that put the child FIRST! This includes finding a Pricing Structure that focuses on the developmental success of every child that enters our program!
Dance Exploration began in 2009 as an after school program serving Jefferson County Schools. Now almost 15 years later, we've experimented with several different pricing structures for our program - most of which we have found through both research and experience, DON'T benefit the child!
There are 3 Pricing Structures popular among the Dance Studio Industry, that we have found are not inclusive of your child's best interest! This isn't just an opinion piece, we will share the research behind it - and our personal experience as to why a Seasonal Pricing Structure is BEST for a child's development - and will ensure you get a QUALITY Dance Education for your child! Today we are going to look at the first Popular Dance Studio Pricing Structure that DOES NOT WORK - Drop In Dance Classes!
Drop-In Dance Classes
The first Dance Class Pricing Structure that DOES NOT WORK are Drop In Dance Classes. Drop In Dance Classes occur when a parent pays for a single class at random through out a session. While drop in dance classes can be inexpensive, you also should remember that you get what you pay for, and when it pertains to Dance Education it really means....a waste of money! We are aware it's easy to say that as a Business, whose primary goal is making an income by providing children's dance classes, but remember... we also have made it our mission for 15 years to put YOUR CHILD FIRST - so everything we believe comes after years of research, trial and error!
Why Drop In Dance Classes DON'T WORK
1) Children may suffer from Separation Anxiety
The Dance Exploration Program at the Castle Rock Rec Center offers classes to children starting at the ages of 18 months and progresses up to age 10. Separation Anxiety is first spotted in children as early as 6 months and can be present until children are 3 years old. While Separation Anxiety should gradually decrease as children begin school, it can affect children of elementary age, especially when they are nervous in a new situation! Our dance educators have personally experienced children suffering from separation anxiety (or anxiety in new situations) in every age group we teach! This just serves as a reminder that every child is different and anxiety is just as common in children as it is in adults!
How can drop in dance classes negatively impact children who suffer from anxiety? Drop In dance classes are participated in sporadically - which means that the child is not given an opportunity to become fully acquainted with their dance class, their instructor or their peers. This can cause great anxiety among children.
At Dance Exploration we have found that some children take 3-4 weeks to become fully comfortable in a new situation. If you only participate in drop in dance classes, your child has to face their anxiety at the beginning - every single time you pay for a class! If the drop ins aren't consecutive, you are essentially starting over at week 1...every...single time.
2) Different Learning Modalities
There are 4 primary learning types known as VAKT - Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and Tactile. Visual learners like to watch class before they participate. They tend to be the learner's who take the longest to actually dance with their bodies -but when they do, they know how to perform every move! Auditory learners also enjoy to watch and listen to class. They may also take a while to "warm up" to a new class - but when they do they can not only perform every move, they will tell you what each movement is called! Tactile learners may only want to dance when they have something to hold in their hand, like a scarf or egg shaker. It's not that they don't like dancing, they just learn through hands-on experiences! Lastly, Kinesthetic learners, these are the learners who will take to dance immediately. They may often times be the children who appear to have a hard time listening or following directions because they are constantly moving.
How can participation in Drop In Dance Classes negatively impact your child based on their Learning Type?
For visual and auditory learners, you are not giving them nearly enough time to become acquainted with dance when you participate in drop in dance classes! They may need to observe class for several weeks before they feel comfortable or confident enough to participate! They are very similar to our dancers who may suffer from separation anxiety, it will take several classes for them to "warm up" to dance - if you are only paying for drop in dance classes, they may never reach their full potential!
Fun Fact! Miss Jessica is a visual learner whom also suffers from anxiety. When she first started dance, she didn't participate right away! In fact, she watched several weeks of dance classes before ever taking her first dance step! When she did finally dance for the first time, she never looked back! Had her parents only allowed her to participate in drop in dance classes, she would have never gone on to experience her professional ballet career, nor found her passion to pursue small business ownership as a Dance Studio Owner and Curriculum Creator!
On the flip side, tactile and kinesthetic learners love being more hands on. They may also be the children who appear to be less "focused" and more fidgety in class! Don't worry, this is only natural for their style of learning which is through movement and hands-on experiences! A one time drop in dance class is not enough for these learners who CRAVE movement! A dance class is the perfect environment for them to thrive. One class, or even several drop in dance classes spread out randomly, won't be enough to ever allow them the opportunity to focus on truly garnishing their desire to move & turning that opportunity into a valuable tool for focus and concentration! These learners are the ones who need consistent dance and movement classes the most to support their learning style!
3) Children Love Repetition and Routine!
Any parent knows that their child will watch the same movie...over and over and over again, despite being offered several other perfectly entertaining options. That's because children thrive on Repetition and Routine.
Repetitive occurrences allow a child to know what happens next, which in turn gives them a sense of safety and reduces anxiety. The same is true with routine. A consistent routine allows a child to feel comfortable in their environment, knowing what happens next.
Drop In Dance Classes do not allow a child the opportunity to learn the routine and structure of their dance class! In turn they may choose to only watch class and refuse to participate because they are feeling anxious in an uncertain, new environment; or they are unsure how to participate because they have not been given the repetition they crave in a new environment.
Drop In Dance Classes are a "one & done" or "one in some" approach... and although they may be inexpensive - you may as well keep your hard earned money! Your child will benefit much more from a long-term, committed dance education experience where they are actually provided the tools and opportunity to foster and showcase their maximum potential.