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Parents Primer

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GETTING READY TO DANCE
(For students ages 3-8)

We believe it is important to teach parents about dance, as well as the students, so together we can make the dance experience a positive and exciting one for your child. The following are a few facts and a few rules new dancers should know.

1.  How to wear ballet slippers properly

Unlike regular shoes, a correct fit for ballet slippers means the shoe fits like a "glove".  Because adults are finished growing, an adult dancer would purchase a streamline fit for ballet slippers with little or not space in the shoe.  Since young dancers are still growing everyday, a streamline fit is not always practical or the slippers would not fit for more than a few lessons.  Since most parents want to get a season's use out of the slipper, you may wish to purchase them with a little room to grow, but do not purchase slippers with too much space at the tow or heel.  A young dancer needs to manipulate her feet readily in the ballet slipper without slipping or having excess space making pointing the foot difficult.  Select a shoe with just a little extra room for growth.  The slipper will stretch to allow some additional growth.  Often, parents feel it's time to purchase new shoes, just as the toes reach the boundaries of the foot - but the slippers are just beginning to fit correctly!  You need to purchase a new pair only when the slipper is so tight that the toes can not lay flat and square on the floor.  The soft leather will stretch and mold to the shape of the foot as your child wears the slipper.

To wear ballet shoes properly, you must pull the drawstring carefully so it only takes up gaps in the width of the shoe.  Do not pull this drawstring tightly or the back of the shoe will cut into the sensitive  Achilles tendon causing pain and discomfort.  Once pulled, it is almost impossible to loosen a ballet slipper's drawstring.  (This is why you can not purchase shoes too large and use the method of pulling the drawstring tightly to "make them fit.")  When properly fit, knot the strings, tie into a bow, then cut off excess string.  When you put on ballet slippers, tuck these bows into the front of the shoe.  The bows are not designed for looks, but for a functioning fit system.  Tucking in the bows allows for a professional stream line look, and for young dancers it assures class time will be spent dancing rather than tying bows time and again!

2.  The Proper Dress For Dance Class

Dancewear is designed to allow a student freedom of movement while allowing a teacher to see the lines and musculature of the body.  For these reasons, simple styles work best, however, we also understand that each child has a unique personality and this is often displayed through the choice of clothes.  We ask you to choose your dancewear keepign in mind the ultimate goal of the dance lesson: maximum freedom of movement with nothing distracting!  You may wear any style of dance wear in the classes for children 3 - 7, but choose with an eye towards simplicity.  Please wear tights.  For modesty sake, and for comfort in every activity, a dancers legs must be covered.  If your child does not like tights, consider a unitard or leggings.  Do not wear underwear under dance clothes.  For a streamline look, and ease of movement dance wear is designed to be worn independently.

Do not wear costumes to class.  It distracts other dancers, and confines certain floor exercises.  Traditional dance wear only!

3.  Follow the Dance Class Rules

  • Try to be on time
    Children feel uncomfortable and will not participate well when arriving late.  Each class is designed with a set pre-warm-up and exercises which graduate to more challenging work.  When you miss the beginning of class, your child's dance experience lacks continuity and sets bad habits for future training.  Learning to dance is learning self discipline and self control and this begins with arriving to class on time and being prepared for the lesson.
  • No parents are allowed in the studio so please do not ask to come in to watch.  Even if you feel your child is anxious and does better with you near, understand that your presence will distract your child as well as all of the other children.  Be considerate of all the students and stay out of the studio space.  It will only take a lesson or two for your child to discover the joy of dance, and if she learns from the first day on that the studio is for "dancers only" she will quickly understand customary dance classroom etiquette.  Siblings should stay in the lobby at all times.
  • Never open the door or interrupt a class to correct your child, or give her "pointers".  Trust that we will correct her as is appropriate.
  • Do not allow children in the studio unattended.
    If you come early for class, and the room is empty, please do not allow your children to go into the room to "play".  It is important we send the message that every moment in the studio is spent on movement education.  When children play in the studio they get confused messages regarding proper studio behavior and what the materials are for.  Never allow your child to touch the materials without a teacher's supervision.  The things we dance with are not toys, but important movement education materials and must be treated as such.

AND REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING:

  • Try to be on time
    Children feel uncomfortable and will not participate well when arriving late.  Each class is designed with a set pre-warm-up and exercises which graduate to more challenging work.  When you miss the beginning of class, your child's dance experience lacks continuity and sets bad habits for future training.  Learning to dance is learning self discipline and self control and this begins with arriving to class on time and being prepared for the lesson.

          Read the information sent home. The more you know about the studio activities, the more you can get out of dance!

PARENT'S PRIMER

HOW WE SHARE DANCE WITH YOUR CHILD. Dance education is a creative adventure in self expression!

As a parent, you provide dance education for your child hoping to give them an experience which will enrich their lives on several levels. 

  • You want your child to develop coordination, grace and physical  fitness. 
  • You want your child to stimulate his/her creative side and develop self expression. 
  • You want him/her to build self esteem and confidence and to feel at home in her body o growing up is easier.
  • You want your child to develop a life long appreciation for music, dance and the arts.
  • And most importantly, you want your child to be engaged in an activity which is healthy and VERY, VERY FUN!

......and the goal of our classes is to provide you with all of this and more!

Our classes are designed to make youth dance a very special experience. Care is given to every detail, from the manner we address your children to the creativity of the program and learning to love dance at the same time! Click here to be entered into drawing.  In the subect of your email type in "FREE DRAWING," and put your child's name in the body of the email.

UNINTERRUPTED CREATIVE TIME

 

 

                                      Contact Miss Ellen Gray at (281) 379-4139 or (832) 274-0662