Types of Dance Studios

Choosing a Dance Studio is more important than one might think! This could be the place where your Star spends the next 6-16 years. The longer you stay in one Lake Norman Dance Studio place, the more your Star is going to grow because there is no learning curve each year. You want to choose the RIGHT studio for your Star, not just the most convenient or the one with the easiest schedule. Of coarse those things are very important, too. But the right studio will listen to your needs as a parent and use that information to create an awesome class schedule. Learn more about the different types of Lake Norman Dance Studio studios before you make your decision. We urge you to shop around and take classes in at least 4 different studios before making a final decision.

Let us be your first stop!

Technique School

This studio’s primary concern is overall experience and individual growth. This is the most typical of the American Dance Schools that we have come to know over the past century. A Technique School’s primary focus is teaching proper technique and putting it on stage as often as possible to celebrate the performance aspect of the art. A Lake Norman Dance Studio Technique School may compete as well as have recreational classes for the Star looking to have fun with their friends. A technique school requires a dress-code but shows leniency toward the Star who may have forgotten a bun or the correct color tights. There are usually more offerings at a Technique School by way of genre because a Technique School is not focused on just Ballet or just Competition. The competition team is an auxiliary part of the curriculum and not a requirement to take classes. Instructors of a Technique School come from varying backgrounds but mostly those who grew up in the studio life. The Technique School is challenging your Star to do his best and holding him accountable for rehearsing at home and promoting Stars based solely on their individual progress. Costumes are typically purchased for the recital and competition at a reasonably low rate around $70-$100. The instructors understand that not every dancer wishes to become a professional and has a keen sense of what class is really about: learning life lessons and peer cohesion, graceful defeat and humble triumph, challenging one’s self and supporting others in their goals. GCAPA is proud to be a Technique School. We find it is the best of all worlds. We strive to teach proper technique in graded classes, progress our preschoolers while enjoying the excitement of the class, offering a place for recreational dancers, building team love and giving Stars a place to belong, matching families to one another for a common goal, celebrating dance through performance in the community and offering competitive Lake Norman Dance Studio opportunities to those who seek more stage time and a bigger challenge. We hope that you will shop around and decide on us if we fit your ideals. We would love to have you and your Star as part of our genuine community. If your Star was born to perform or just wants to try something new, we are the Studio for you!


Recreational Studio

This studio’s primary concern is your Star’s feelings. Is she happy? Did she have fun? Did she make friends? Does she like her costume? A recreational studio is very family-oriented and focused on student happiness. Sometimes a Recreational Studio will have a competitive team, but this is atypical. Sometimes a Rec Studio will have instructors with a strong, diverse dance background. It would not be uncommon to find that the instructors of a Rec Studio had degrees or previous experience in primary or preschool education. A Rec Studio typically does not have a dress code or does not enforce it. Individuality of each student is the focus and it begins with the freedom to wear what makes you comfortable. Costumes are typically reasonable and under $100 each. Recreational Studios will love your Star and make her happiness their one priority.


Competition Studio

This studio’s primary focus is their competition team. They have a schedule for the year and are ready to go from Day One! First, there is choreography, then polishing routines, then rehearsal and then comp season. Some Competition Studios stick to their calendar, but you can’t control what happens on the other end….like when a comp sells out or cancels. Some Comp Studios permit dancers to participate in other extra-curriculars and some do not. If you like bling, this is where it’s at! Everything has rhinestones, but find out who has to put them on. It might be you! They put on some really great routines and have an extensive budget for props and scenery and the parent involvement is super….most dads spend the competition weekend moving props on and off stage and might even be found on stage rotating scenery from the back during the routine! It would be understandable to find that most instructors have a Lake Norman Dance Studio college background in dance either via their degree or as a member of the Dance Team. Costumes are typically in the range of $250-$450 each before bling. A Comp Studio does not typically have a plethora of recreational classes for dancers older than six and their calendar is typically year-round because of Nationals held in July in an exotic location. Competitive Studios will push your Star to be the most flexible, turn the most rotations and wear the blingiest 2-piece costumes. If your Star is a go-getter with a thirst for dance fame, bling and stunts, a competitive studio should be one of your options.



This Studio’s primary goal is to put on the most exquisite Ballet Performances. Kids who attend Conservatories are very well trained in Ballet, Pointe and a variation of classes that revolve around Ballet. There is no doubt that these Stars are amazing technicians. They learn proper placement and safe alignment and push themselves without anyone having to ask. Everything they learn is to strive for Ballet perfection. Each class has a dress code and often their leotard color is a sign of Lake Norman Dance Studio progress. Conservatories typically employ one single Ballet method which is ideal for growing dancers. Most Conservatory dancers love Ballet and sometimes they hold interest in other recreational classes offered like Tap, Jazz or Musical Theatre. It would not be a surprise to learn that the Instructors of a Conservatory spent their performance days as a member of a professional Ballet company. A Conservatory’s primary focus is progress and putting on a spectacular Ballet with near-perfect execution. This Studio sometimes puts on a recital for their preschool and recreational classes, however most of their graded technique classes do not perform unless their Stars audition for a role in one of the three annual productions. Costumes are typically rented from the facility for a lower cost than purchase. There is not much leeway with dress code or hair, and for good reason. This is a tried and true method that works toward fulfilling the purpose of a Conservatory. If your Star has a true passion for Ballet and strives for a life en pointe, this is a studio to look into.