Finding the Right Dance Studio for Your Child:
6 Questions You Should Ask

Finding the right dance studio for your child can be a complex process, and be pretty overwhelming at first. It is a BIG decision, and wherever you select will become you and your child’s new second home. It opens up a door of opportunities and community for you and your child, and sets the foundation of your child’s dance journey. The studio you choose is important so that you feel like it’s the right place for your dancer.

It doesn’t have to be complicated, however, especially when you have a list of questions to ask when making this decision. These questions can help you filter out your needs based on instruction, location, community and overall enjoyment. 

A Brief History of JLDC

Let’s begin with a brief history of Newton’s longest running dance school, the Joanne Langione Dance Center.

Founded 48 years ago by professional dancer turned educator Joanne Langione, this renowned dance center is considered a pillar in the Boston dance community. Located in a state-of-the-art facility in West Newton, Ma, the dance center is conveniently located making it easily accessible to the Greater Boston community.

JLDC offers a wide range of dance styles and classes. This makes it a versatile and inclusive choice for dancers of all ages and abilities. Whether you are interested in playdance, ballet, hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, acrodance or tap, you will find a class that suits your interests as well as skill level. 

JLDC’s commitment to fostering a nurturing and supportive environment has been an integral part of the dance center’s 48 years of success. JLDC has been the recipient of numerous awards including Best of Boston – Best Dance Classes for Kids by Boston Magazine

Here are 6 things you should consider as a parent before deciding on the right dance studio for your child.

What dance styles are offered at the dance studio?

It is essential to find a dance studio that offers the styles you are personally interested in. Whether you are just starting your dance journey, or you are an advanced dancer ready to take your technique to the next level, having access to diverse classes can help you explore your passion and expand your skill set.

Finding the right dance studio in Newton, MA.

JLDC is an enticing option because of the wide range of classes and dance styles offered. Students are placed in classes based on their age and development, from Babydance and Playdance to teen level classes. Dance styles offered include hip hop, jazz, tap, contemporary, ballet and AcroDance. The programs JLDC offers include Babydance, Playdance, Intro to Dance. Pre-Ballet/Tap, Fundamental, Hip Hop Dance Team, Danceworks and Preparatory to name a few. For dancers interested in adding more dance training to their schedule, JLDC’s popular School for Excellence provided additional opportunities for dancers to excel and perform. JLDC also offers private dance lessons. 

In addition, theDANCELAB is JLDC’s newest program, which is an individualized training program for dancers to advance performance technique working on flexibility, turn stability, leap height and extension, correct body alignment, core strength and foot stretching skills. For the youngest dancer, theDANCELAB is a “tools in hand” training class to better understand and practice resistance using their own body weight to gain core strength, better flexibility, and posture.

What is the quality of the dance instruction at the studio?

The quality of instruction is paramount in a dance center. The Joanne Langione Dance Center prides itself on having a faculty of experts that are experienced in their respective genres. The faculty at JLDC are not only skilled dancers, but also exceptional educators. Keeping the mission of providing quality dance education while prioritizing a fun and nurturing environment is a specialty of JLDC. 

Finding the right dance studio in Newton, MA.

While staying true to the integrity of what JLDC was founded on over four decades ago, each individual faculty member adds their own unique voice and expertise to their classes at 38 Border St. in Newton, MA

Because of the strong dance background and experience found across the faculty at JLDC, the students are then able to soak up the knowledge and wisdom shared by their teachers and seamlessly incorporate everything they have learned into their dance training. 

Is the atmosphere positive and inclusive at the dance studio?

A welcoming and inclusive atmosphere is vital in any dance studio. A dance studio can turn into a home away from home. It should be a place that you look forward to going to throughout your week. A place that feels safe and helps you make lifelong friendships and memories is the recipe for a perfect fit. 

JLDC’s teachers are trained to ensure that each student receives the guidance and support they need. This personal attention can significantly enhance your learning experience and progress as a dancer. 

Finding the right dance studio in Newton, MA.

JLDC has a reputation for fostering a supportive and positive environment where dancers of all backgrounds and abilities can thrive. Look for studios that prioritize inclusivity and make you feel comfortable and encouraged to express yourself through dance. 

Do you have performance opportunities at the dance studio?

For those who aspire to perform, consider the performance opportunities offered by the dance studio. JLDC prioritizes performance opportunities for their students all year long. JLDC hosts two family friendly performances per year. Their signature Hip Hop Show is the only performance of its kind to offer an all Hip Hop show. The annual Winter Concert in January showcases School for Excellence students. In the spring, JLDC presents short, varied and exciting recitals where dancers from age 3 to 18 grace the stage. 

Rest assured, at JLDC, you will get a chance to shine on stage. JLDC believes that participating in performances is an integral and extremely fulfilling part of dance training. It is the only area dance school who has an in-house, professionally lit, black box style dance theater where students perform in intimate showcases. This provides a whole different kind of small performance opportunity.  

Finding the right dance studio is a significant decision that can shape your dance journey. With its commitment to their tradition of excellence, diversity of dance styles, and supportive atmosphere, JLDC is an excellent example of what to look for in a dance center. Consider factors like location, variety of styles, qualified instructors, class size, atmosphere, opportunities, and the chance to try before committing. By carefully evaluating these aspects, you will be well on your way to finding the perfect dance center to nurture your passion for dance and help you reach your full potential. 


And remember, it is never too late to start dancing, especially at JLDC!

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Shawn Mahoney

Shawn Mahoney began his ballet, tap, and jazz training at the Joanne Langione Dance Center and his early performing career with Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre in Boston, MA. As an apprentice, Shawn danced for American Ballet Theatre before joining Boston Ballet. At Boston Ballet, Shawn performed in Petipa, Balanchine, Kylian, Forsythe, Bejart and others. Shawn performed as a chosen member of “Tharp!”, a national and international touring company directed by Twyla Tharp. Ms. Tharp invited Shawn to be part of the creative and choreographic process for her Broadway hit “Movin’ Out” and performed in Tharp’s “Red, White, and Blues”. Shawn performed with the Suzanne Farrell/Balanchine Project, Sean Curran Company, Washington Ballet, and Bale Estado de Goias. As an educator, Shawn has taught internationally for Festa de Danca in Sao Paulo and Bermuda Civic Ballet. Currently, Shawn is on faculty at Emerson College, instructing dance classes to actors and musical theatre students and is a teacher and lecturer at Days in the Arts. Shawn founded Mahoney Agency, representing dancers for national engagements for the Nutcracker Ballet. Shawn is a sought out mentor for emerging artists and choreographers in ballet and contemporary dance.