Foreword by Lori Shecter: OK, you all have them: the never ending questions about WHY YOUR STUDIO is the one that, well WILL change their child's life. Forever. For the better. Rhonda Foote came up with a guide that is easily accessible to all her staff, including herself, as well as posted on her website. What are your studio's answers to these questions? Or make your own list so that everyone can easily answer the F.A.Q.'s of your studio! Also, remember, you are NOT just selling dance classes, you are selling experience, memories, character, and a whole lot more!
Rhonda's FooteWorks.... a break -down of why you should choose our studio.
Fact: Dance training is expensive. But, in the realm of "costs", productive. Our unlimited membership option makes ALOT of dance VERY reasonable for your budget. Ask at the desk for this option.
Fact: Dance training is a rather large time commitment. Exactly. Our studio atmosphere, learning environment and life goals make this time well spent.
Fact: Dance training is working with muscles/bones/developmental growth. Sadly, there are no national requirements to become a dance teacher. Educate yourself. Our instructors are qualified and educated professionals. This is your child's body and health.
Fact: It is important that you research schools, ask questions and choose the one that fits what you are looking for in a school and for your child. At Rhonda's FooteWorks, our desk attendants are available to answer any and all reasonable questions. The Director can and will meet with new or established families to answer questions. Studio tours, class viewing, level auditioning and interviews are all available to new and returning students.
To save you time, we used the Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins parent check list as a guide for our studio. We hope this helps you choose us!
Ballet technique will show the studio's "temperature". At RFW, we are a Broadway focused studio with a strong ballet core. Watch a level III/IV ballet class in progress on our viewing monitor to see the accomplishments of our higher level dancers and know that our ballet program is strong and technically correct.
Schools with a set structure will help you navigate your child's education.
Dress code? check. Levels of placement based on age? check. Recitals for all students? check. Clarification between recreational and company classes? check.
Pre-professional training requires significantly more in time commitment and financial commitment. Check. This is our Outreach Company level of commitment, available at all ages and levels of ability. Company is based on focus and desire to learn combined with family time and financial support. These dancers have a variety of performance and competitive arena opportunities.
A Professional setting is important.
Studio clean? Check. Safe? Check. Inviting? Check. A welcoming place to learn? Always!
Qualifications of the teachers are important. Check our faculty tab on our website and inquire directly from our faculty their education, experience, and qualifications. We are confident that RFW instructors are "simply the best" in our community.
- How do you place children in class? First, age is important. Regardless of a dancer's ability level, RFW believes that dance is a bonding experience and a social growth experience that should be shared with peers in one's age group. Within those age groups, after age 7, we offer differing levels of study and commitment based on ability and focus and goals.
- What class do you feel will be best for my beginner child? Let us ask you- what are you seeking? type of dance, level of study, future goals... what is your child's past experience in dance or related activities (music lessons, school groups, etc). What do you hope to accomplish? Ballet is the strongest building block and we encourage starting there. However, if your child is action packed and has no interest in ballet, we offer EVERYTHING under the sun... hip hop, jazz, tap, clogging, modern, etc.
- When do we put a child on pointe? There is no simple answer here. The basic age range is 12-14 but it is an individual journey. We encourage every dancer to first visit their doctor and get clearance that they are medically ready and able to go on pointe. The instructor will first place the dancer at pre-pointe level, thus adding another ballet class to their schedule and focusing on what is needed to eventually go on pointe. We will send you to be correctly fitted for your first pair of shoes and ask you to attend an in-studio workshop to care for your shoes and your feet before you go en pointe.
- Can you tell me about your dance floor? We can! Our main studio is cushioned and features a matted floor for all types of dancing. Our studio 2 is cushioned and features a marley dance floor.
- When do we start "serious" training? Tots and Preschool dance is very carefree and fun while offering your dancer a strong foundation. As of Level I/year 2 we begin to push a bit more in class. By age 7, we expect dancers to understand our class purpose and program them to develop into strong dancers and individuals.
- Are there cross training opportunities? Yes! RFW has many conditioning classes, yoga workshops, in studio workshops and guest artists. We travel to seminars and workshops and also are Dancing At Disney this season!
- What are your expectations for my child? At RFW, we understand that every child is unique. Our program directs all dancers while allowing for individual development. Within every class, there are leaders and followers, and many "in between". We believe that every dancer is equally important to the process, regardless of natural ability or past experience. We strive daily to make certain that every dancer in our studio is progressing at a comfortable personal rate. This is no easy task, and we pride ourselves on our ability to achieve a "happy and safe dance place" for all of our students.
- Do you do competition? We do. Our Outreach Company has rehearsals separate from weekly technique classes to work on competition performance pieces. We do not spend in class time on our competition work. Occasionally, we will ask a soloist to perform or run a group piece at the end of a technique class to showcase what our company does and let the other dancers see what they can aspire to do if they decide to join the company. Many of our company dancers are studio mentors, class demonstrators and assistant instructors. We strongly believe that these dancers set a positive mood in our studio and are dancers that others should look up to and admire.
- What school or method of ballet do you teach? At our studio, different instructors will offer different training programs. RFW believes that exposing your dancer to multiple types of study is not confusing. If done correctly, it is beneficial and gives the dancer a strong base of the art. Predominantly, our studio uses the French method of ballet. We have guest instructors who have taught Vaganova, SAB and Cecchetti, also.
- What method of Modern dance do you teach? Jose Limon, Martha Graham, Mark Morris and Paul Taylor have all strongly influenced ME as a teacher. Each of our instructors will bring their personal experience to light in the classroom. We encourage our dancers to read about the "Mothers and Fathers" of Modern dance and also encourage them to watch documentaries, etc. to build their dance education.
Entering our 28th dance season in NNY, Rhonda's FooteWorks has had dancers attend The Joffrey Ballet, The Julliard School and many who have performed in Nationally known modern dance companies. Students have gone on to major in dance in college; perform at Disney World in Orlando, Florida; and dance professionally in Las Vegas, Hollywood, and on Broadway. Whether your child "just wants to take a dance class" or aspires to something larger, we are confident that our studio has a path option to fit their needs.