Wow. This is quite a topic. I hope that I can provide some information about the benefits of both but at the same time highlight the differences. As you know Stepnout Performing Arts offers both streams of dance. It’s wonderful to have options but deciding which option best suits your child and family circumstances can make the waters a bit murky.
Recreational dance classes are a main feature of our timetable and we have many different dance styles available to sink your teeth into. All students at our studio attend recreational classes and have the possibility to extend themselves and really push to achieve great things in dance class. All our recreational classes have a technical aspect regardless of style to assist students to reach their potential. The children are not pressured to competitively perform but as long as a student is willing to work very hard and focus in class there is no limit to what they can achieve.
Performance Team classes have a very specific aim and the students are encouraged to extend themselves every week. These students have the opportunity to perform on stage multiple times throughout the year. They spend their class time advancing their technical skills while promoting teamwork, goal reaching, and self-esteem. The classes are designed with the serious dance student in mind and they demand a huge commitment to the team and studio. Our teams attend several dance competitions throughout the year as a way to stimulate and encourage personal growth and help children excel in something they enjoy, as well as giving a sense of achievement.
There are many professional dancers that never took part in a Performance Team but there are certainly benefits to being part of the competition circuit. This provides opportunities to develop the child’s confidence in his/her dance skills. Competitions provide students with the opportunities to learn and share techniques with other students from ours and other studios. Competitive dance also instills dedication and a love for dance since they devote so much time practicing and improving.
Most recreational dancers want to learn dance in a relaxed atmosphere. Learning is enhanced when children enjoy the classes and have fun first before concerning themselves with achieving the goals. They enjoy dance and love to hang out with their friends but they don’t always have the desire to extend themselves and stay focused.
Any student who attends several classes a week has the possibility to improve their skills faster but those students that are part of the Performance Teams will generally fast track improvements as they also have a class with like-minded students and work in a more intense environment. The team is taught dance structure, discipline, respect and hard work. These dancers also learn the importance of working as a team to achieve goals.
Competitive dance does come with a higher financial and time commitment from parents as well as students but the results prove that it is money and time well spent. Parties, holidays and other events must be sacrificed for performances and workshops but as the results show the love of dance brings these students joy and self-confidence.
In 2018 under the tutorage of Ashley Grottoli our Performance Teams have taken the next step and are now performing and competing at more experienced competitions. This has required a much greater commitment from everyone but the results are there to be seen. We are looking to extend these teams even further in 2019 so students and parents alike must be prepared to come along for the ride if they want to be part of our Performance Teams. If this is for you contact the office to find out more.
We can’t wait to showcase their work in our annual concerts in November and December.