So you’ve decided to start a dance class (yay!). Whether you’re starting as a brand new student or you’re coming back after some years away, or are looking for a new environment, your first step is to find a studio. By narrowing your search and looking for a few key things, you’re sure to find somewhere that’s right for you.

Typing “dance studios near me” into your search engine is a great place to start. Narrow your search by adding in specifics. Add phrases like “adult ballet” or “teen beginning dance” to your search to see who in your area offers what you’re looking. Once you have a few contenders, here are three things to look at in detail:

  1. Credentials and/or Experience

There’s nothing wrong with a new studio and some great teachers are just starting out. But if you’re new to dance, looking for an established studio with an experienced director and teachers is key. This is not only so you’re learning proper technique, but taking class with someone who gives proper corrections prevents injuries.

  1. Values that Align with Your Goals and Values

Want to start dance for fitness and fun? A studio that focuses on competition might not be best for you. Looking for a structured classical approach? A studio that specializes in modern or contemporary most likely won’t be in line with your expectations. Look for a studio which offers classes to help you reach your goals and values.

This includes their approach to teaching. If you’re new (and it is NEVER too late!) ask their thoughts on how they approach creating their curriculum. Is the purpose of the class to work towards a performance? Work on technique? Strengthen certain skills? All of these should align with what you’re looking for in a studio.

  1. Classes that Sound Fun

Classes offered should sound fun and exciting to you. If you’re not passionate about the class, you’ll eventually lose momentum. Love new music? Check out hip hop classes! Want to keep your heart rate up? Look up Zumba or dance fitness classes! Always wanted to feel like a prima ballerina? Find an adult ballet class!

Think of your search a little like dating, you might have to try a few different options before you find one that’s right for you. The first few months are an opportunity to test the waters until you find out where you’re most comfortable.

Want to see where dance can take you? NBC World of Dance season 2 is coming in 2018. Don’t miss the latest news, exclusive interviews, performances, and more from the definitive source for all things World of Dance.