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.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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. http://www.newenglanddanceacademy.com