Can we watch class?
Parents are encouraged to watch their children's progress. Observation windows are provided into all of our studios. That said, with Covid-19 restrictions, parent observation is by restricted and by reservation only. For our Creative Movement and Creative Movement 2 classes, one parent should remain in the building during their child's class.
Can I sit on the dance floor during my child's class?
We feel strongly that students do much better in their dance classes when parents are not on the dance floor. When parents are in the studio young children tend to be more focused on Mom & Dad than on their teacher and often spend a lot of time seeking their parents approval rather than paying attention to their instructor. Our viewing windows help because the children can see their parent(s) and know that they are there, but there is a definite separation of the spaces. We encourage parents of young children to stay in the building so that if they are needed they are close by. As the dancer gets older it becomes more important to them that the studio remain a respected space where they are allowed personal ownership of the process of training. We are sensitive to the fact that parents cherish the time they get to watch their children grow - which is the reason we have provided a viewing window and our classes open for observation (by reservation)
How are you different from other schools?
As for other schools in the Valley, we can't comment on the teachers or procedures, but we have several distinct differences from many dance schools we have seen throughout the West Coast.
Our staff is not only gifted and experienced, but also very dedicated to the improvement of our students. It's not in many studios that you'll find the same staff people who teach the advanced students, also teaching the little ones.
Our floor is another major difference - our professional floating dance floor offers additional cushioning and support to help prevent injuries and fatigue.
Administrative and/or Dance Shop staff is available during all class times.
Although we have an administrative assistant & registrar, our school is managed by its owners and principal teachers. This ensures that you will get clear and educated answers to most of your questions! If a knowledgeable staff member is not immediately available we strive to be very prompt when addressing your questions and concerns.
When does my daughter get pointe shoes?
Every little girl who has ever walked into a dance studio has dreamed of someday dancing on pointe. The pointe shoe itself has become a kind of universal icon that represents ballet's feminine and ethereal side. But unlike these seemingly effortless ballerinas who look as if they are levitating above the floor, the work these girls put their feet through is anything but effortless. Improper training combined with the wearing of pointe shoes can lead to lifelong damage. Nothing is more important to the dancer's experience as they graduate from ballet slippers to pointe shoes than excellent early training, focused on rotation and placement. While some girls, because of the shape of their feet, have an easier time of it, many don't, so the fewer bad habits they have to overcome the quicker they will progress on pointe. In the end the decision to start pointe training must be made by a qualified teacher who is familiar with the student. Not only is proper training essential to a young dancer's well being and safety but also the choice of shoe. There are literally hundreds of types and brands to choose from and new ones seem to appear every day. Sometimes picking the best shoe can be a trial and error process that takes a great deal of time and communication between the teacher and the student. We do not take a casual approach to pointe work and feel it is definitely for the more serious and committed young dancer.
When and why are private lessons valuable?
The private lesson's benefits are twofold: First, it allows a student who is struggling somewhat to get some one on one attention that can help them through a rough patch in their training. Secondly, private lessons can be of great benefit to a dancer who is being moved up a level. While being moved up is a great accomplishment it can also be very intimidating to go into a new class, with new people and maybe even a new teacher - often doing material that the student has never had before. The private allows a student to work on the new material with a new teacher in a non-judgmental, stress-free environment. This way when the dancer takes their first class in their new level they have fewer "surprises". This leads to better learning and quicker progress.
How does my child progress through the levels?
Dance schools usually use one of two methods - advancement either by age or by ability. While promoting students simply by age is easier on the school and staff alike, we don't always feel that this method is in the best interest of the student. People, especially children, are unique and any school that takes this into account should undoubtedly advance their students based primarily on individual ability. The stronger the dancer's fundamentals are the further they will go with their dancing. Sometimes it will appear to the parent and/or student that they are "stuck" in a level or not moving fast enough or being left behind. This is not the case. In many instances the one who progresses too quickly can loose momentum, while the other, who is taking things slower, steadily improves.
How can I help my child at home?
One of the best ways parents can help their children is to expose them to performances, art galleries, buy ballet books and videos. This will open a whole new world not only for your child but for yourself as well. Also, always explain to your child to be as open as possible to corrections when taking class. They should have a clear understanding of their corrections so they can apply them. Applying corrections consistently is one of the quickest ways to improve. We do NOT encourage parents "coaching" their students at home. Students always progress quickly and correctly when working in the classroom with a proven professional. Stretching at home is always encouraged!
What if I have questions or concerns?
Please keep in mind that the faculty/instructors always have the best interests of the students in mind. Our main goal is to see our students learn and progress. If you have any questions or concerns about your child's progress or class schedule, please contact your child's instructor or the school directors at any time. Be aware, however, that a teacher who has just finished teaching and is preparing for their next class may not be able to give you the quality time or answers you need. In this case a phone call or email might be your best bet!
Our Academy Handbook covers our school policies and answers many questions. Visit our download page to access our current handbook.