Guide to Choosing a Ballet School in Utah
Because there are so many ballet schools to choose from in Utah, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to know when to start. If your child is just starting out in dance, it can be tempting to choose the ballet school that is near your home and has the most convenient class time. However, not all ballet programs are created equally. Below are some considerations for choosing the best ballet school for your child.
1 . What type of program are you looking for?
There are many different types of ballet programs available. Some programs, such as the pre-professional trainee program at Central Utah Ballet are meticulous in their training. These are a good fit for students looking to build their resume and technique for scholarships or career opportunities. Other ballet schools in Utah may have programs that are “just for fun.”
Tip: If your child is just starting out and you’re not sure where their interest may lead, it is often worth it to go with a higher quality beginning ballet program. These programs introduce beginning ballet concepts in a fun, engaging way. If your child ends up loving the program, they will have a solid foundation and won’t have to unlearn bad habits that may set them back.
2. Where is the school located?
While this shouldn’t be your primary consideration when selecting a ballet school in Utah, it shouldn’t be a nonexistent one either. Focusing on the shortest possible commute limits your options, while signing up for a long commute can make it difficult to get your child to and from dance class—especially once the weekly hours start ratcheting up.
3. How many hours can you commit?
That brings us to the next consideration for choosing a ballet school in Utah for your child: how many hours can you commit? In most ballet schools, the number of weekly hours increases based on how advanced a program is. Depending on how serious you are about ballet, you may want to consider a program that will give your child the most experience possible—or one that doesn’t require too big of a commitment.
4. Vet the instructors.
It doesn’t matter how perfect the program looks from the outside—if it is run by inexperienced teachers, it won’t do your dancer any good in the future. Before joining a ballet school, it is worth it to look up the instructors and to vet their experience. You should look for instructors that have professional dancing experience as well as experience as an instructor.
5. Take an introductory class.
Before joining a ballet program, it can also be helpful for your dancer to take an introductory class. If introductory classes aren’t offered at your prospective ballet studio, schedule a one-hour private lesson. This lets you and your child get to know the teacher and instruction style before committing to a program.
6. Meet the director.
It also helps to meet the director. Take time during your visit to meet the director of the school and to get to know how the school functions.
7. Look for connections.
Well-connected ballet schools in Utah mean better opportunities for your child. Is one of the ballet instructors a faculty or board member of a ballet program you’re interested in? Does the faculty list include former dancers of companies your child may be interested in joining? Not only can these connections open opportunities down the road, but they also mean you can receive invaluable advice about the program and what they are looking for.
8. Attend a performance.
If you want to get a feel for how the hours of program experience will influence your child’s development in ballet, attend a performance. Pay close attention to the dancers in the program or company your child is considering. They should be at the same level as or slightly more advanced than your dancer—but not significantly below or significantly above.
9. Read reviews.
Last but not least, read reviews. These can give you the deepest, most honest view of the dance school.
Ask a Question
Are you looking for more information about how to choose the right ballet school for your child? Let us know in the comments below. We are happy to help!
About the Author
Owner & Artistic Director
Jennie Creer-King is the owner and artistic director of Central Utah Ballet Academy. She is an award-winning dancer, instructor, and choreographer. Among her awards include “Best School Award” by the Youth American Grand Prix, “Best of State” in Choreography and Youth Performing Group, and the Presidential Scholar’s Teacher Recognition Award. Jennie has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Utah School of Dance with an emphasis in Ballet Performance and a Master's Degree from the University of Utah School of Dance emphasis in teaching pedagogy and choreography.
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