Why Choose Dance Expressions Unlimited? Trying to decide which dance studio is right for your family?
We realize you have a choice between many different dance studios. As such, we have created this Parent Guide to help you make the right decision for your family. Like doctors, lawyers, accountants, school teachers and other professionals, all dance studios are not the same! As a parent, you try to seek out the best professionals for your family based on credentials, experience, values and rapport. We aim to narrow your choices by maintaining a studio, faculty and curricula that is unmatched.
What sets up apart from other dance studios?
The sparkling eyes, excited chatter after class, and the confidence from your children speak volumes. Know that your children are working very hard, but they are, also, certainly learning while enjoying classes. Quite frankly, we laugh a LOT in class and in rehearsals. Whether we are mixing up our words, tripping over our shadows, startling others, or just plain having fun – you will always hear laughter in the studio. So much so, that the year-end playbill highlights a variety of funny quotes from classes throughout the year.
#1 – No Competition
We do not participate in dance competitions – and never will. Why?
- Having judged them in the past, I know the politics involved. I understand how they are run.
- Seeing the animosity between dance studios, and even within a single studio … I won’t get involved.
- There are too many contentious circumstances – “Why is she in the front line?” “Why didn’t Susie get a solo?” Why isn’t she on the Elite Team with Jeannie when they danced together last year?” “You have favorites.” “That judge doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” And so on ….
- Then there is the judging system which varies from competition to competition. You may win a High Platinum Elite award one weekend and Gold the next. There is no real system.
- There are many more reasons … I’ll leave it at that.
While there can be benefits to performing in a dance competition, we get the same rewards without “blood, sweat, and tears.” Teamwork and camaraderie at DEU is palpable. You see dancers helping one another learn. Students run the dances independently. Someone runs over to a classmate struggling to help them out. Seniors mentor the juniors in the lobby. Many student assistants accompany the FUNdamentals kiddos in the studios. Kids clap for each other in class without any prompting – all of the time! These moments are much more precious than a trophy that collects dust on a shelf.
Parents benefit, too
By not participating in competitions, you are saving time and money. There are no insane rehearsal schedules where the kids are at the studio for a great part of the weekend. Nor are there competition weekends which often require getting out of school Fridays (some even on Thursdays now!) and booking a hotel room for the weekend. That gets expensive! That’s in addition to rehearsal fees, choreographer fees, entry fees, required makeup/hair/props/accessories, and the costume fees (which are usually considerably more than traditional recital costumes due to the rhinestones and bling). Phew … time and money.
We keep things family-friendly at DEU for so many reasons!
#2 – Small Classes
Your child’s class will have a maximum of 12 dancers, usually with at least one student assistant. Smaller classes are the key to progress and growth because you can work in small groups and spend one-on-one time with each dancer. There is more freedom to take a dancer aside and help. Frankly, dancers improve more quickly in a smaller setting and nobody gets left behind. Furthermore, classroom management is easier with less bodies in the space. Therefore, productivity increases allowing time for exciting new activities.
You’ll see the difference a small class makes onstage when your tiny dancers can do their dance very well without teachers onstage with them. Given their age and development, they have fairly intricate choreography that grows as the dancers grow. We don’t keep two simple lines onstage with 20-25 kids and just switch lines and repeat the choreography (yes, that is very common in dance studios). Not only does your child benefit from learning more material throughout the year, but the choreography is more inspiring, challenging, and fun.
Our job is to educate, inspire, and encourage with enthusiasm, energy, and excitement … while having fun with the dancers! We care for each and every individual in our classes (and their families). No, we are not babysitters with a cheap rate. Rather, you entrust your child with us to learn and have fun, which makes the value that much more precious.
#3 – Community – Holiday Concert – FREE – Dancers Choreographing
Dancers learn about giving back to the community with a few select charities, one of which is Project Santa. We have, also, been producing an annual Holiday Concert for 19 years to donate to area food pantries and the Toys for Tots campaign. We were the first … and are still the ONLY dance studio in the area producing a FREE concert for the community and our clientele. While Nutcrackers and holiday shows are now everywhere, we don’t charge admission for our show, nor do we charge for costumes or rehearsals. We donate our time to put on this wonderful endeavor each year.
Even more exciting …. while the faculty choreographs a variety of numbers for the concert, the dancers also get to choreograph their own material. Not only do they get to perform, but they get to create on their own. Dancers as young as 10 years old learn the elements of dance, how to compose a dance, and how to rehearse choreography and prepare it for a production. Such a fabulous opportunity for them!
#4 – One Show in June
We only have one show in June – usually the 2nd Saturday of June. For you, that means hassles with coordinating tickets. It, also, means more family time to celebrate the performance and make your child feel important and loved on this special day. Our production is as low-key as can be with calm and stress-free faculty and director at the helm.
#5 – Bonus Weeks
We maintain a great rhythm, both in class, and throughout the year, to keep the dancers engaged and motivated. We have a few bonus weeks throughout the year to inspire the dancers (and to challenge ourselves to seek new material, methods, manipulatives, exercises, games, etc).
- In November, after a season of learning all new material, we have a Spirit Week right before Thanksgiving. Dancers dress up and we introduce new curricula materials relating to our theme. Past themes have included Tourists, Movies, Decades, Sports, Pajamas.
- Right before February vacation we have Beach Week to break out of the doldrums of winter. We use beach music, play games, do some fun workouts, and introduce new technique elements in our classes.
#6 – More time spent on learning new things
Your dancers learn more at DEU by learning new skills and techniques through February vacation. Many dance studios start learning choreography for their spring show and competitions in the fall. Some studios will begin choreography for their spring production right after Christmas break. At DEU, we don’t begin learning choreography until AFTER February vacation. That means more traditional classes, and therefore, consistent learning for your cherubs. Your little ones will not be bored with drilling routines to make them perfect. Nor will they peak too soon.
#7 – Exceptional Faculty
Faculty at DEU is trained by Audrey Dascomb, Registered Dance Educator (RDE) and uses the various curricula created by Dascomb. Did you know … The National Registry of Dance Educators (NRDE) was founded in 1996 to provide the community with the highest quality programs and training in dance education. Primarily, the goals of the NRDE are 1) to identify professional dance educators by offering rigorous evaluations to determine whether they meet professional ethics, guidelines, and standards of practice. And 2) to recognize those who meet specified criteria as Registered Dance Educators (RDE). Audrey Dascomb RDE, the primary educator and Director of Dance Expressions Unlimited, is the ONLY Registered Dance Educator in MA & NH, one of only 40 worldwide. Dascomb earned the honor of Registered Dance Educator in 1996 after a comprehensive evaluation based on superior curricula, teaching methods, style, content, technique, safety, aptitude and ability.
#8 – Success
You will clearly see the growth and development year to year in our program. Your child will sparkle and twinkle with excitement and confidence as she acquires new skills. You son will proudly show off his new moves for anybody willing to sit and watch. As an adult, you will feel more mobile, more flexible, and proud that you have taken the time to care do something for yourself.
It’s hard to quantify success, but countless testimonials speak volumes for our family friendly neighborhood dance studio. It doesn’t matter that we don’t compete. It’s okay that we aren’t producing SYTYCD elites, Broadway babies, or ballerinas. Instead, we proudly have dancers who make a name for themselves alongside those elites, Broadway babies, and ballerinas. Many of our alumni have gone on to college for dance, continue dance post-college, or are in the yoga/Pilates fitness industry.
When your child moves with an organic, dynamic, real quality … THAT’S more genuine than quadruple pirouettes, aerials, back handsprings, “tilt Tuesdays”, and any other flashy tricks out there.
When choreographers, master teachers, guest artists, and convention teachers recognize DEU dancers for their talent, work ethic, effort, respect, presence, and ability … that’s SUCCESS!
#9 – Kids will be Kids
Kids should be kids which is why we are passionate about age-appropriate everything … including music, costumes, choreography, and curriculum. We start with the basics and build from there so the foundation is solid. We don’t teach dangerous stunts and skills at all – let alone at a young age like many studios. There are no skimpy 2 piece costumes with bras, crop tops, and booty shorts on our stage. Kids will be kids at DEU.
#10 – So many other perks set us apart
- Dancers receive a welcome pack in September … something to look forward to!
- We are very organized to help make your lives easier. We have monthly newsletters chock full of information (please read them so you know what’s going on). There is, also, a Welcome Handbook that gets delivered in September, a personalized Costume Balance statement in January, a personalized Family Report with photo shoot times/tights needed/the order of the dances in the show, and a Performance Handbook emailed in March. Boom – all questions answered in these files!
- Speaking of organization, we post on Facebook and Instagram regularly. Everything from important information to recipes to craft/seasonal ideas for the family
- DEU has (and suggests) automatic periodic payments. While it is certainly more costly on our end with the exorbitant merchant fees, it is convenient for both the parents and the studio.
- One of my favorites … we have a dance library for the younger kids.
- Workshops and sleepovers are fun events we do for the intermediate and advanced dancers.
- Another of my favorites … FREE picture downloads on our Shutterfly Photo Journal. We take lots of pictures throughout the year that are uploaded regularly for you to download (many pictures also end up on Facebook). Even our recital photos are uploaded for you to download for FREE.
- We give free DVDs of the holiday concert for our performers.
- Video and music sharing for learning choreography!
- My absolute favorite perk … DEU hangs and steams your costumes for you at no charge