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Kids

The litmus test for Ms. Jane (and the hiring committee) has always been “Do I want my own daughter learning dance from this teacher”.

As a team, DAU offers the strongest dance staff in California. Jane Carter has 3 daughters Jessie, Jamie and Jodie ages 22, 18 and 17 respectively. The litmus test for Ms. Jane (and the hiring committee) has always been “Do I want my own daughter learning dance from this teacher”. Things get real clear real quick with that question. We literally receive hundreds of applications each year; we only select the very best. We “team interview” which means Ms. Jane, The Director of that Genre, a Management Team Member and one other instructor collectively interview all candidates – as a team. We find this produces a result that is unanimous and thorough.

DAU has over 50 employees on staff. We have always believed that is it important to introduce a student to as many teachers as possible. If a dancer is learning from only 1, 2 or 5 instructors, their experience will be limited and development diminished. At its very core, dance is an athletic art form. As such, each dancer/instructor will have a slightly different interpretation of expression – an opinion of sorts. It’s important that a young dancer learns in an environment that is structured but open to ideas of individual expression and creativity. This can only happen within a dance studio that offers many options of learning – 20 to 50 instructors. One size doesn’t fit all. We are all human and have our own preferences, interests, likes & dislikes. A large staff offers our student-body lots of amazing options under one roof!

How stable is the staff? It’s an intangible. Does everyone know what is expected of them? Do they work as a team? This can only happen with time. Periodic turnover is a normal part of life, but it’s important to have an experienced staff that has been on the team for many years. Some of our instructors have been with DAU for 22 years (from the beginning). As a team, our staff has been with DAU for over 291 years collectively. This creates great fluidity, a predictable product and an experience that is high quality.

DAU has NO student teachers (except one). All instructors are seasoned professionals. Think about it, would you want your son or daughter learning Environmental Studies from a 16-year-old. Of course not, you would want someone that is seasoned, experienced and battle-tested. The foundation of dance is critically important as mentioned. We have some of our best teachers (ones that could teach Master Classes all over the nation) teaching Creative Dance to 3, 4 or 5-year-olds. Why? Because it’s important that kids learn proper technique from the beginning. We register new students regularly that have been taking dance for 3, 4 or 5 years elsewhere that we literally have to retrain (the fundamentals). And the truth is that it is almost impossible to fully “catch-up” for lost time and training. It’s too important to a dance student’s development – we do not allow student teachers.

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