When I first started at Next Step it was great (danced there for 10 yrs). She was very child oriented and centered around being sure the kids were happy, learning, and having fun. Today she is focused ONLY on competing. If you are not in the competing classes you are basically put on the 'back burners'. The teachers drop like flies, are very young, and uneducated. Many of the teachers are not even out of high school. The only education some of them have is the lessons they took at Next Step. I remember my senior year of high school I spent half of the class every week listening to my 20-something year old teacher talking to the other students about their boyfriends. I never learned anything. If you did not know what you were doing you were basically left to fend for yourself. Favoritism is also a huge issues. If you are not one of the 'best' dancers at the studio, or very social with the teachers you will be shoved to the back of the classes.
The majority of the teachers were either down right mean, or they did not care about your technique/how well you are dancing. The quality of the classes are very poor. I don't feel like my sisters who are still dancing at Next Step are really learning anything. Unfortunately my parents have not taken them out of Next Step yet, because they have not been able to find another studio close enough to our home.
It is VERY expensive. When I first started dancing there my parents sent me and my many siblings there, because she was very reasonable about prices. Today the prices are very high. If you want to enroll two or more children the tuition might be a problem (depending on your financial status).
She had also promised years ago that she would never put her students in provocative outfits. The costumes are not too bad yet, but they are definitely getting there!
The instructors are very intense about competing. They are starting the kids competing at six years old, and if they children are not perfect Terri shouts at these children. Terri is great with the preschool and kindergarten kids, but once they hit competing age they are either pushed aside if they don't compete or yelled at if they do compete. I have been in the classrooms helping when this has happened, and I was shocked when she started yelling at six and seven year old children just because they made a mistake in their dance. Does she not realize making mistakes is a part of growing up? I have also experienced this in my own competing and non competing classes that I have taken.
I was an assistant teacher at Next Step for five years. In my senior year of high school I substituted for the other teachers. I could never have imagined treating any of my students the way some of these teachers treat the children. I chose to no longer teach there, because I could not stand admitting that I was apart of a staff that treated their students so poorly.
Please look into other options before deciding to take your children to this studio. Ask to sit through classes and watch, and understand that many times when you watch the class the teachers put up a fake front.
Pros: It was good years ago.
Cons: Expensive, not professional, unexperienced staff, favoritism