Cadance Academy
47 Roy Ave.
New Minas, NS
B4N 3R7
Call Now! 679.3616

"7 Things every parent should ask before choosing
their dance school".


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"I joined Cadance when I was 8 years old and instantly fell in love with dance. Cadance focuses on proper technique as well as providing a fun atmosphere and I have truly enjoyed my 14 years
spent at Cadance."
Megan Spencer
Former Cadance Student and Instructor

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7 Things Every Parent Should Ask Before Choosing a Dance School

1. Is the school a performance school or a competition school?

Many parents think all dance schools are the same but this is just not the case. There are two different types of schools – one that has a focus on competition and one that focuses on a non-competitive dance environment, better known as a performance school. We have trained successful dance competitors, but unlike some studios we are not focused on students who intend to compete. Our focus is on the student, and choosing the most appropriate plan for each individual to improve their dancing skills. Our focus is on the student, and choosing the most appropriate plan for each individual to improve their dancing skills.

A competition school encourages their dancers to compete in dance competitions. Quite often competition schools focus their attention on the competitive dancers, often at the expense of those students who don’t wish to compete. A student will compete against other students within their school as well as against other students from other schools. Many classes focus on repetition of the same routine throughout the year, which will then be used for competitions. The performance experience is wonderful and should be encouraged; on the other hand an over-emphasis on rehearsing for a competition may be to the detriment of the student's technique in the long run. Not to mention the additional costs associated with competitive dance, above and beyond your regular dance school fees... just ask.

At Cadance the main focus is on “technique” and “expression”. Technique is the base for developing a strong, well-rounded dancer; it allows a student to practice different exercises that will enhance their dancing. A technique class starts with a warm up which prepares the student for steps that will be executed later in across the floor work, center work, and then ending with stretching and cool down. In some classes like hip hop and jazz, multiple routines are taught throughout the year with varied music styles to capture the dancers interest and expose them to the many sides of the art.

If there is an upcoming recital the piece may be rehearsed more in class but as a whole, technique and expression are the number one priorities of a performance school like Cadance Academy. In addition students have the choice to audition for roles in our annual Nutcracker performance. Every student has an opportunity to get a role if they audition, the audition will determine the role that will best suit the dancer. Every effort is put into making this experience as close to a professional audition and performance as possible. Nutcracker rehearsals are scheduled at different times from regular dance classes.

We have found that being a performance school is a very effective way to train students into being creative and technically diverse dancers. Our year-end recital has grown to sell out audiences, to the general public as well as family and friends of the dancers and provides the students an opportunity to perform in a professional setting.

"The Cadance Nutcracker is a thoroughly delightful production, which provides vitally important performance training for the dancers in a professional setting over an extended run of shows.  It provides the opportunity for the dance teachers to develop their choreographic skills beyond the recital level. In addition, the innovative interweaving of community members establishes Cadance’s Nutcracker as an important cultural event in the region, demonstrating the important role which the arts play in building creative, vibrant communities.”
Dianne Milligan
Executive Director, Dance Nova Scotia

2. What is the school stance on injury prevention for students?

A good school has happy, eager, bright-eyed students with healthy bodies. A good teacher is mindful of health and safety with emphasizes on progressive technique. Attempting too much too soon, for example forcing turnout, insisting on extreme thinness, putting girls en pointe too young, or abandoning progressive training in favor of rehearsing for performances all the time can be injurious. Good ballet training can improve children's bodies and their self-esteem. Bad training can have the opposite effect.
It is safe for a dancer to start pointe work after the bones of her feet have finished growing (normally by about 11 to 12 years old) if, and only if, she has developed the strength and technique necessary to pull up out of the shoe and maintain turnout and ankle stability. Thus beginners should never go en pointe. This is why at Cadance we continually evaluate the progression of all our students to ensure optimal training.

3. After registering what are the extra costs involved?

At Cadance we strive to ensure there are no hidden costs. Our tuition is all-inclusive and includes a digital class photo and tickets for the June recital. In fact, the only additional fee required at Cadance is the recital costume fee (per class) and a digital download fee for the year-end show (billed once per family). Parents enjoy this because they find it more convenient and hassle free. Be sure to ask up front what the costs involved before choosing your school, it can add up pretty quick

Optional extra costs involved during the year are:
Ballet exams – Cadance offers exams for ballet students from grades 1 CDTA (Canadian Dance Teachers Association) to Advanced Ballet. There is a fee for exams (determined by grade level). A CDTA examiner comes to Cadance to examine our students. Each student is graded and given a certificate with invaluable feedback. These exams are not mandatory and the teachers will determine whether students are ready for their exam. We've been doing this since 1979 and it shows in the excellent results our students consistently achieve.
Nutcracker - This is an optional performance and is separate from regular yearlong classes. The fee for this is $75 per participant or $50 if a parent volunteers. This is to cover expenses, additional class instruction and costumes. 
Marathon/Workshops – These are optional activities for students. The cost for the marathons and workshops will vary.
Pictures – Although a Cadance Academy branded digital group class photo is included with full year tuition you have the option to purchase additional individual and group photos of you or your child/ren.

"I loved the marathon. It was really fun. My favorite part about it was the different dances and the fact that we got to choose which ones we wanted to do. I really liked the fact that there were prizes at the end and if you raised a certain amount of money you would get shorts or capri pants. I also thought it was cool that there was a show and tell kind of thing at the end of the marathon. I thought it was really great that I raised the most money! I know I will do it again next year."
Kelsey McNamara
Cadance Marathon "Most Funds Raised" Full-Year Class Winner 2010

4. Are there Teacher Assistants?

In all our younger classes we have teaching assistants who provide special care to students by dealing with any issues that may arise during the class. They work the music system, take students to the bathroom and assist the instructor, etc. This provides more personal attention to the students and reduces interruptions. It also prepares and provides an invaluable experience for the assistants who may wish to teach one day themselves.

"I joined Cadance when I was 8 years old and instantly fell in love with dance. I began taking the ballet exams and continued to become certified with the CDTA (Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association) as a ballet and jazz teacher. Cadance focuses on proper technique as well as providing a fun atmosphere and I have truly enjoyed my 14 years spent at Cadance."
Megan Spencer
Former Cadance Student and Instructor

5. Is there discipline in the dance class?

As well as having fun during a dance class it is equally important to have discipline. Cadance provides training sessions for their teachers to expand on ways to create the best interactive learning environment possible for their students. We also do regular evaluations of the teachers classes to ensure they are providing the highest quality of instruction. There is also a dress code for the dance classes (this varies with the different dance styles). We know from experience that a dancer who dresses like a dancer will feel more like a dancer and therefore will perform as a dancer. With good discipline we are not only teaching students to focus but to respect the art form they are investing the time and the money to learn.

"Cadance has shaped me as a dancer in the best way possible. Gaea is extremely knowledgeable and even more professional. She works very hard on strength, turn out and flexibility which are all mandatory for dancing. Cadance showed me my love of ballet and I couldn’t be happier with the school."
Greg Palmer
Former Cadance Student
~ Currently apprenticing under Ballet Jörgen in Toronto

6. How long do your classes run?

Cadance offers a 9 month program which runs from September to June ending with a dance recital. Also, during the year Cadance offers 6 & 8 week programs. In addition Cadance has Summer Dance Camps which kids and parents alike look forward to every year.

"My daughter has been a part of Cadance for 3 years now. She loves the classes, the teachers and the recital each year. The teachers are wonderful with the students. Cadance gives students confidence in dance technique as well as self esteem in expression."
Andrea Greig-Dugas
Cadance Mom

7. Can I get immediate assistance and customer service?

At Cadance Academy we are dedicated to providing you with the answers you need. We have a Professional Office Manager who can help you with all your questions, which frees up the time for our instructors to focus on their students.