Tips & Advice
How long does it take to become proficient in a dance style?
The time it takes to become proficient in a dance style really depends on the dancer and their goals. For a proficient dancer to pick up a new style well enough to dance it socially may only take a month or two. However, for a complete newcomer to pick up the same style might take six months or more. To become truly proficient in a first dance discipline, starting from beginner level, will take years--maybe five or six at minimum, but probably eight years of intense training to get to performance level. From there, however, to get to competition level in more disciplines might take only a couple more years per new discipline.
What is the proper clothes to wear to dance class?
Proper clothes depend on the dance class. The main consideration is ease of movement, although of course the attire should suit the environment. For ballet or contemporary classes, girls may be required to wear leotard and tights with proper dance shoes. Boys wear slim sweat pants with fitted tee-shirt. For hip-hop or street dance styles, the attire tends to be looser fitting and casual, with sneakers or dance trainers as footwear. Ballroom classes often encourage dress pants for the men and flowy mid-length skirts for women.
Are there age requirements for taking dance lessons?
The only age requirement for enrolling children in dance class is that they be toilet trained -- and even that isn’t a set rule. There are dance studios that have classes for toddlers. Typically, classes are divided by age, so for example, a large studio might have different classes for age 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. In many studios, there may be a lower age limit for teens to be allowed into advanced or performing groups -- this is typically 13 or 14.
There is no upper age limit for social dance lessons, especially in the ballroom world. However, for certain more rigorous styles of dance, such as ballet and contemporary, most people don’t come in as adult beginners. That being said, many adults pick up hip-hop, jazz, Latin, or other dance for exercise and social purposes.
What styles of dance are taught at dance studios?
Many styles of dance are taught at dance studios, the popular ones being ballet, hip-hop, contemporary and jazz/funk. Of the Latin styles, salsa and tango are two styles that are popular enough to be taught in studios nationally. Some people also consider Zumba, barre and pole dancing fitness classes to be dance, but they tend to focus more on fitness than learning routines.
Ballroom is its own universe within dance, and people who study ballroom will also learn ballroom versions of many other international dance styles, including rumba, samba, mambo and merengue. This is in addition to traditional ballroom dances like the foxtrot and the waltz.
How much do dance classes cost?
Most dance classes for children cost, on a monthly basis, anywhere between $50-$150, depending how many times a week they are, the class size, and how advanced they are. Typically children’s dance classes don’t allow pay-per-class. Some adult dance classes that are more for social activity than exercise allow people to drop in and pay per class, at a cost of $5-$25 per class. Typically the cost per class is less if you buy a monthly membership or a package of several classes. Private lessons cost significantly more, as do competitive classes.
What is the difference between the ACT and the SAT?
Both tests are very similar and test on nearly identical subjects. The major differences between the ACT and the SAT are that the ACT includes a science test section and the SAT has a math section that you cannot use a calculator on. Both tests are timed, but the SAT test gives you more time per question. There are key math components that are different. For example, the ACT has a greater focus on geometry then the SAT. The SAT factors in math more, so if that is not your strong suit, consider the ACT. The last key difference is the optional essay section. On the SAT you will read and analyze a passage, and dissect the author’s position using evidence and logical reasoning. You do not give opinions. On the ACT essay you will read and analyze the passage’s issue and provide not only different perspectives on the issue, but a personal opinion as well. Outside of the method of scoring, those are the major differences between the two tests.
What is a good ACT score?
The American College Testing (ACT) scores are the average of the test takers sectional scores in math, science, English, and reading: 36 is the highest possible score, and one is the lowest. The average ACT score is 20.8, which puts you in the top 50 percentile, so 21 and above puts you in the upper echelon. Getting 24 is a strong score, puts you in the top 25 percent and gives you more colleges to choose from. Anything above 24 is a very strong test score. Once you get more than 24 you are in the top 20% and from there your chances are outstanding. Obviously each institution has there own standards, but generally speaking, higher scores are a good way to push your application to the top of the stack, in what can be a very competitive environment.
What is a good SAT score?
The best score you can get in your SAT’s (Standard Aptitude Test) is a 1600, so if you can reach that, you’re probably a lock for any school in the country. The average score on the SATs is between 1000 and 1100, so a score in that area puts you in the “50th percentile,” which is the minimum you should be shooting for. Getting 1200 to 1300 is going to separate you from the pack, and above 1300 puts you in the upper echelon. Since this is literally a competition, you cannot aim for average if you want to maximize your chances (and options). If you do grade out near the average, don’t freak out, you will still qualify for plenty of schools, and scores are just area a school looks at for admission.
What is a good GPA for getting into college?
Your GPA will have a major impact on the school you get in to. For the most competitive colleges you are probably going to need a 3.5 – 4.0 GPA, which is the highest and means an “A” average. The minimum most schools will take is a 2.5, which is a C-plus average. Online schools and for-profit institutions might have lesser standards, but those are going to be the minimum and maximum ranges for admission into most schools. If you have a 4.0, you will likely have your pick of colleges. The minimum you should be aiming for is probably a 3.0. Remember, college admissions are competitive, the higher your GPA, the higher up the ladder you are from the competition. GPA is only one of the factors for college. High SATs or ACTs, the other major factor in the admission process, and can potentially offset a lower GPA. However, each school sets its own admission standards.
What to expect from college?
The truth is that college is going to be what you make it. There are so many schools and so many choices that the college experience of the past is not going to be the same for everyone. With the emergence of commuter and online schools, you don’t even have to go to a campus anymore to get a degree. Yay, right? Not necessarily. While that convenience is a fantastic option for many people, particularly adults who may have day jobs, there is nothing quite like being a full-time student on a campus and taking advantage of the entire experience like dorms, Greek houses, student body events and activities, and game day if you go to a school with major sports programs. Your situation will dictate your experience. If you’re lucky, you get to go to a school of your choice and live the college life. If that is not an option for you, you can still get a quality education without that experience.