Dance Competition -vs- Recreational ….What’s The Difference?

one if by land

  As The Owner and Artistic Director Of New England Dance Academy in

North Attleboro, Ma  I get asked quite often the difference between a

recreational dance program and a competitive dance program.

“What’s The Difference?” “Does the recreational dance program

mean inferior training”? “Will my child be left behind if we don’t pursue the team

track?”  These are all valid questions, so let’s answer them.

Both the recreational and competitive classes should ALWAYS promote

learning, strength, flexibility, proper technique, endurance and confidence.

Many times parents will make the decision to go with a “less competitive”

program thinking that their child is not ready for the “strict dance

experience”. In reality all dance training should be equal, at each and

every level. The only factor that should separate a recreational student from

a competitive student… TIME.

kaylee ash

Team dancers should not receive better training, but MORE training.

At NEDA, the average team dancer commits to a minimum of 5 hours

per week. This additional time in the classroom allows for a more

concentrated emphasis on conditioning, technique, strength,

flexibility and endurance. These skills are achieved faster because

there is more TIME dedicated to the Progress.

little girls dancing (1)

Not every students will decide to make dance their

number one sport, art, or activity. Many students want to take dance

with their friends as a social activity, for health, stress release, or

just to have fun. That should be encouraged, however that should

not be an excuse for inferior training. Regardless of the age,

or the amount of time in a dance studio, there should be consistent growth.

The one hour per week student will not grow as fast as the five hour per week

student but that doesn’t mean their education doesn’t count. Students can have

fun and learn at the same time.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that Dance School is just that, it’s SCHOOL. You

wouldn’t be happy if your child wasn’t reading after years and years with the

same teacher…the same should be said for their dance education. In most

cases the tuition for the “recreational” student is the same as

the tuition for the “competitive student” so the QUALITY of the

eduction should be the same!

girl at barre

Whether you start your dancer at 2 or 12, make sure you investigate the curriculum

and the faculty. Your  dancer may not show initiative in the beginning, but if they decide

to pursue dance more seriously as their education develops you want to be sure all of the

previous time and money has been well spent.

Have more questions? send them to

Stephanie Kemp,the Artistic Director of New England Dance Academy

In North Attleboro, Ma has been running one of the most successful dance

studios in the country for over 28 years. Her “ASK THE EXPERT” blog answers

your parent/student dance questions.