We understand you have questions as a parent when you’re considering signing your child up for dance classes. Over the years we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you find the answers you need!
- Is my child too old to begin taking dance classes?
We have beginning level classes for students of all ages, including teens and adults. It’s never too old to start dancing!
All classes are divided by both age and level to make sure every student feels comfortable and confident. For example, a beginning dancer who is 12 years old will not be placed in the same class as a 5-year-old beginning dancer.
- How are class placements determined?
We treat every student as an individual. This means that each student’s class placement is decided based on both their age and ability. Our staff continually monitors each student’s class placement to make sure everyone is in a class where they will be comfortable, appropriately challenged, and motivated to learn.
- Is your dance studio the right fit for my child?
Our dance classes are created to meet the needs of students who enjoy dancing as a hobby as well as those who have professional aspirations. We also provide opportunities for students who want to pursue dance further than weekly classes.
- Can my child begin dance class mid-season?
While that is possible, our dance curriculum is progressive throughout the season. Elements and combinations taught during the fall season are then incorporated into the routines taught throughout the spring season.
We recommend students begin attending dance classes as early as possible within the annual season. Makeup classes are utilized for students beginning mid-season to help them start with confidence.
- My son has shown interest in dance. What classes are available for boys?
Boys love to dance too! Our dance studio is open to anyone and all activities and themes are designed for boys and girls. Boys ages 2, 3 and 4 can participate in our Rising Stars programs. Boys can also choose ballet, tap or hip hop beginning at age 5, and jazz at age 6. Our dance instructors are attentive and can easily help modify movements to make sure our male dancers receive the proper dance training they need for every style of dance.
- How large are the classes?
Class sizes are limited to allow each student individualized attention. An instructor will generally have 10 to 14 students in a class. Our instructors are also assisted by a class demonstrator or teaching assistant.
- What qualifications do your instructors have?
We are proud to offer an extensive faculty of highly-qualified and caring teachers in a the field of dance. Dance instruction is unique in that it currently does not place educational requirements on instructors. However, we highly value excellence in our studio and continuing education for our faculty. Every teacher has been trained in our methods and principles and most have also been accepted into the membership of the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Inc.
Debra Collier, Amy Clay, Kristina Collier, and Tammy Seibold are additionally certified as Master Dance Educators through the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters (CNADM) continuing education program. Master Dance Educators have previously passed the association’s membership and Certified Dance Educator requirements, have received additional hours of training, and completed a required teaching portfolio.
- Can my child be in the same dance class as their friend?
Our students are encouraged to share dance with their friends during our annual Bring-A-Friend-Weeks in September and January. However, class placement is based on age and experience so we can’t always guarantee your child and their friends will be in the same class. It would be unfair to expect beginning students to execute elements the class has already mastered and, in the same respect, to slow the rate of progression for the remainder of the class so students can catch up.
- When can my child progress onto pointe?
A pointe evaluation is used by our dance instructors to determine a student’s readiness for advancement onto pointe. Although pointe shoes appear beautiful, they are very challenging and are not appropriate until a student has been properly trained and has gained enough physical strength.
Students must complete a minimum of one year of a ballet enrichment class along with their weekly ballet class as a prerequisite to a pointe evaluation. It is rare for a student younger than 13 years old to have completed enough physical growth to be ready for pointe. Ideally, a student’s feet should not be consistently growing while working in pointe shoes.
Therefore, a general guideline of reaching at least 13 years of age is applied when we consider a student for evaluation. If you have questions about your child’s progress and interest in pointe work, ask their instructors. We’re here to help you navigate the world of ballet with your child.
- May I watch my child's class?
We invite parents to watch the last 10 minutes of class during Parent Observation Weeks each month. This format provides a safe environment for the students to feel comfortable learning the elements along with the opportunity to perform them with confidence.
- What costs are associated with recital?
Costumes, tights and recital tickets. Parents are required to purchase a costume and tights for each class in which their child performs. The costumes are ordered in December and are distributed in May. Costume prices range from $75 to $95 for a costume and tights, with the younger students’ costumes being in the lower end of the price grouping.
Our goal is to provide a professional performance experience for both our students and the audience. Costumes are an essential part of the presentation, therefore, many steps are taken to assure each costume is ready for the performance when you receive it. When costumes arrive, each student will be individually fitted and the studio will provide any necessary alterations. Don’t worry about the accessories, we assemble those too, so you can be confident your child will look his/her best!
- Why do we have to pay for recital tickets?
We use the proceeds from the sale of recital tickets to pay for the costs of the recital itself. Our studio uses these proceeds to rent the auditorium for all rehearsals and recitals and pay for the lighting technician, custodial over-time and numerous other expenses. While annual tuition payments cover the overhead of our business, the proceeds from ticket sales are necessary to produce the recital.
- Do you offer fundraisers to defer the cost of recitals?
An optional Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn fundraiser is offered in the fall of each dance season.
- What happens during a dress rehearsal?
Dress rehearsals are attended by students and volunteers only. This allows us to proceed with more efficiency and keep the students for a shorter period of time. Students will be seated with their class in the auditorium under the supervision of assigned chaperones. These chaperones will also be supervising the same students during the corresponding recital.
This format provides us the ability to offer a safe, calm atmosphere for the students, additional organization, and efficiency which benefits everyone. Additionally, having the audience see the dancers on stage for the first time at the performance is much more enjoyable than having them watch the behind-the-scenes tasks of setting staging and lighting.