How to Choose the Right Dance Studio for Your Child

We often hear parents asking a lot of questions about dance classes, such as “My preschooler has so much energy, where should I take her/him?” or “My daughter has a great sense of rhythm, where can I get her in a dance class?” or “Should boys take dance?”

Parents also make comments like, “I feel like my dancer is having a lot of fun, but not learning anything.” or “I don’t want a studio that does competitions.” or “The dance studio we go to right now is conveniently located, but my dancer is just not progressing.”

We, along with Jo’s Footwork Studio, want to help you navigate how to choose a dance studio and find answers to your questions! John Fagan, the owner of Jo’s Footwork Studio has helpful advice and what to look for when you are deciding what to do. I really appreciate his unbiased views!

You can also learn about him, his family, and what Jo’s offers kids of all ages as you scroll down. We think Jo’s Footwork Studio is pretty great and love how it’s a family business that really cares about the kids. This post is sponsored by Jo’s Footwork Studio, but all opinions are our own.

What You Need To Know About Dance Studios

When you are looking into signing your child up for dance classes, how do you know what to look for? We recommend that you ask the owner or director some questions, see the facility and how the classes are conducted, and understand what type of instructors are on staff. John Fagan from Jo’s Footwork Studio put a helpful list together of questions that you can have in mind.

  • Are the instructors on staff Professionals, Master Instructors, Certified, or Degreed?
  • When you call to ask questions, how was the phone answered? Was your call returned within the next day? Was the person polite? Did they answer all of your questions?
  • What does the facility look like? Is it clean and presentable?
  • Did your contact person show you around? Did they seem to know what they were talking about?
  • Were you able to see classes in session?

Asking these questions and visiting a dance studio is just as important, if not more so, than the cost. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, so know what you’re getting before you make your commitment.

Why Should Boys Be Taking Dance?

The true answer is all of us should be taking dance class for the purpose of flexibility, stretching, warming up, cooling down, learning how to move, how to center our bodies to maintain our balance and postures. It’s true that most males can “lift thousands of pounds” but can’t move left or right. Also, it’s a known fact that major motor skills and movement are fully developed before a child is 12 years old. The key time to truly work on those elements, in a dance-movement environment is to start the boys as soon as one would start girls in order to have the opportunity to develop. And, it will give the boys a competitive edge in sports!

About Jo’s Footwork Studio

Jo’s Footwork has been in business since 1984. The Fagans bought it in 1997, when the original owner, Jo Irbe, wanted to “retire” from dance. Their son and daughter began their dance career in this studio; performed both nationally and internationally, and now call the studio their home.

John Fagan and his family have been residents of LaGrange for over 35 years and have always lived in Illinois. Getting into dance studio life is a family affair. First, beginning with our oldest son who began dance at the age of four and a daughter who started at 3. It’s because of them. We have always been appreciative of all arts and dance was no exception.

Dance Specialties at Jo’s Footwork Studio

Percussive Tap, Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary Modern, Lyrical, PomDance, HipHop. Classes are geared from the beginning level through advanced. They also added a new preschool dance program, called Twinkle Stars, for ages 2 through 5.

What Makes Jo’s Unique?

Consistency and constancy. Over the course of 30 years, we’ve made it a practice of having the most qualified, nurturing, and caring instructors. It’s important that a studio has strong character and when you bring in the right instructors, who are not only talented and credentialed, it’s a huge benefit to a dancer and the parent. Jo’s is a technique-based studio, which means we are dance educators, not competitive. We prepare the dancers for the next level – whether we are prepping them for middle school or junior high or high school dance teams or poms, or simply to enjoy the art. We want the dancer to excel. We want to grow the interest and the passion. Besides our regularly scheduled classes, we have 3 unique dance companies – Footwork Ensemble (a performance company), FootworkRhythmCollective (a tap company), and AllStarPoms – Elite and Teal teams. We do this as an avenue for those who want more than just class. ~John Fagan

You will find all of their class offerings, along with schedules, pricing and online registration, on their website. We highly recommend visiting their studio, observing a class, and asking questions!

Jo’s Footwork Studio
1500 Walker Street
Western Springs, IL 60558
(708) 246-6878

About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie and her kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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