In the course of my 32 years as an instructor of dance, students come and go…some stay a month, a year and some for a decade or more becoming more like family. I hear stories from students that “overstay” with a teacher because of fear to move on, or fear of hurting feelings, or even veiled threats of being ostracized by the other dance sisters. The important thing in life and in art is to grow and be nurtured. Once this is not happening then move on and be generous with praise and love for where you have been.
To find an instructor, you have the normal means…friends, phone book, or the Internet. Once you have identified a few that are conveniently located for you then call or email and ask if you may visit a class. Do not watch, but participate so that you may grasp the “feel” of the class, studio, and instructor. (sometimes there is a fee but better this than registration for the unknown) If the instructor/studio will not let you participate or watch, be wary…why? I personally will not allow watching but it is for the comfort of the paying students…I love to have interested dancers take my class to get the feel of my particular (or is that peculiar) personality and technique that is uniquely mine.
One more thing to research besides the obvious do you like this instructor, can they relate to you, can I afford the fee, the physical studio, space to dance, etc. is “do they want you to perform?”…and “do I want to perform” or even “are there opportunities to perform if I want to?” I often hear of “pay to play” types of studios meaning the dancer pays to perform even a booking where the instructor is being paid. Set your comfort level with performing, do I want to, am I ready, do I have talent to offer that would be appreciated. There are so many facets to this topic but set your expectations up front so that down the road, when you are ready to perform, you know what is available through your studio and troupe.