New to Dance?
That is awesome! We are here to answer all of your questions. We realize that you may not know where to begin. Your child says, "Mom/Dad, I want to take dance classes!" And you think, "Where do I begin?" You googled dance classes and HERE YOU ARE!
Our goal is to make every dancer excited about dance starting from their very first class. The following are some highlights designed to help parents know what to expect in dance class and answer several common questions. This is especially helpful for our dancers ages 2 years through 6 years old.
1. Please arrive 5-10 minutes early so your dancer has time to go to the bathroom, put on his or her dance shoes and be ready to enter class when it starts. All preschool Ballet/Tap classes will start their class in tap shoes. Dancers for combo classes will require a small bag packed with their dance shoes. Dancers will change into ballet shoes in the dance room and will not come back to the lobby to get their things from parents. We highly encourage that the dancer's name is on ALL dance shoes and their bag.
2. Do not let your dancer wear their dance shoes outside. The concrete & asphalt will ruin the dance shoes. Please provide your dancer with a cover up for their dance wear.
3. Parents are welcome to watch their child’s class from the TV in the lobby. We do not allow parents in the dance room. It is our experience that dancers are more focused and perform better without their parent in the room. Dance is also about learning independence. You will see your dancer grow so much in confidence from their dance classes. If your dancer is feeling anxious about being in class without you, you can help by explaining to your dancer ahead of time that you will be in the lobby waiting and watching them while they take dance class.
4. For Preschoolers, it is very common to have tears the first week or 2 of classes. Please do not worry! Going into the dance room without mom or dad can be intimidating at first for some young ones. They will get more and more comfortable as the weeks go by. If they are very upset and do not want to go in we suggest parents watching class on the TV screens with your dancer and talking about what they get to do when they go in. Whenever they are ready to come in, our staff will help encourage them into the dance room.
5. Parents are also welcome to drop their dancer off and come back at the end of class to pick them up. If you decide to leave and your dancer needs to go to the bathroom, the female dance assistant will escort them to the bathroom at the end of the studio hall. Please know that tights & leotards are sometimes difficult for young dancers to pull on and off on their own. If you choose to leave during class, we do not mind helping them if needed, just be aware of this. You can help by encouraging a potty break before class starts.
6. We encourage parents to ask their dancers what they learned in class so they can practice at home. Have your dancer show you a new step they learned that day or ask them to tell you the name of a dance step they have learned. Our young dancers learn so much that a little practice between classes can go a long way.
7. All preschoolers, the last week of each month, will be sent home with a coloring page showing what they have learned for that month. You can use this page to practice with your dancer at home.
8. Trust our amazing instructors to know their job. Our staff instructors are here for your dancer. Our instructors are well trained in their respective genre of dance and maintain a certification or degree in that genre. Our preschooler dance classes maintain a curriculum under the direction of Twinkle Star Dance. This curriculum is age approriate in choreography, music and costume. The syllabus changes each month and will be a different theme each month.
We spend a lot of time preparing class material, training and coming up with new ideas to keep dancers engaged and having fun. If you have a question about something done in class please ask the instructor before or after class. Sometimes instructors have back to back classes and do not have time for lengthy conversations, but we are still here for you! Please let the front desk know what your concern is and if the front desk cannot help you they will make sure your dancer's instructor contacts you when they are done teaching. PLEASE NOTE: Some of our instructors teach until our last class and most likely will no contact you until the following day.
9. Do not compare your dancer to others in the class. Each dancer is unique with their own strengths & weaknesses. Dancers will grow and develop at different rates and that is ok! Keep the focus on YOUR dancer rather than on others.
10. Dance is different than school in that dancers will not move up a level every year. Sometimes it takes more than a year (in fact can take 2-3 years) to master all that is taught in a specific dance class level. We are here to help place your dancer in the correct level that will benefit them the most. If they do not move up a level, it does not mean that they “failed” or that they did a poor job. It simply means we think they can still learn and grow more in that class or it may be more developmentally appropriate for them then the next level up. The dancer as a "whole" is considered when determining if they are ready to advance to the next level.
11. Please check your emails routinely. This studio's #1 communication tool is our email. You may also consider signing up for our BAND app, which is a text messaging app that is FREE to parents. We will also notify you via this app of emergencies such as inclement weather, studio closures, class cancellations due to illness, etc. The BAND app also has a calendar, where special events, holiday closures, birthday announcements, etc are noted.
Unless you check your email routinely throughout a day, the BAND app is a key element to become an ISPA PARENT IN THE KNOW!
Open communication will help your dancer have a positive dance experience and to help the year run smoothly for all. We welcome you to contact us regarding any questions you might have about dance in general or our studio.
The ISPA Parent/Dancer Handbook is available on the ISPA Parent Portal under Documents. During recital season (September-November), we will post a Recital Handbook on the ISPA Parent Portal for your review. You are encouraged to review both handbooks. Most likely most of your question's answers can be found in these handbooks.