Dance Parent Survival Guide
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve made the decision to enroll your little one in dance class! Being a parent of a young dancer, especially if you've never danced before, can be an intimidating experience.
WHAT TO WEAR: Dancers should come to class dressed and ready to DANCE! In many cases our little dancers will wear leotards and skirts. This is not a requirement unless you are in a ballet class. However, they should always wear their dance shoes. Stocking feet are not recommended as the floors can be very slippery. Ballet slipper ties should be tied and tucked into the shoe. Hair should be pulled back away from the face. We encourage you to dress in layers as the studio is almost always cold! Dancers can always take off a sweatshirt or sweatpants as they get warmed up in class. I recommend you bring a water bottle to class. Lastly, please, always label your belongings. You wouldn’t believe the amount of dance shoes that get left behind!
TEARS: It’s possible your dancer may have a meltdown his/her first day of class (or two or three classes). Don’t panic! This is normal especially for our youngest dancers. It’s important to have patience with our little ones. They may need mom or dad to sit in the classroom the first few weeks and that is OK! If your little one cries, it’s best to take him/her out of the classroom to calm them down. It’s important to not force your dancer to participate. We want your dancers first experience to be a positive one!
PARENTS IN THE CLASSROOM: We kindly request that parents wait in the waiting room during class time (unless your little one is having trouble adjusting). We always invite the parents into the classroom for the last 5 minutes of class. Kids will perform what they have worked on and instructors will give important announcements and handouts.
PERFORMANCES: We have a Winter Recital and a Spring Recital. We also provide our performance classes with a minimum of 2 additional community performance opportunities. We expect our dancers to participate at recitals and community performances. However, we understand that things come up and at times dancers are not able to attend. However, your child has worked really hard! One of the many amazing things that dance teaches a child is discipline. They deserve to have their hard work and dedication acknowledged. These life-lessons extend far beyond the studio too! Please note you may have to pay an admission fee to get into performances. When at all possible we schedule performance opportunities that do not require an admission fee for friends and family, however these opportunities are limited.
MAKE-UP: I do not require our dancers to wear make-up to performances; I feel that it is a personal choice. However please keep in mind when dancers are on stage, their facial expressions can add to and enhance the movements of a particular piece. Not wearing makeup in a performance can cause a dancer’s face to look blank from the audience’s perspective, being washed out by the spotlights and stage lighting.
WAITING ROOM ETIQUETTE: With so many people coming and going the waiting room can get cramped and messy. Please pick up after yourself and your children. Please keep language and conversations clean (I know…seems like common sense but I wouldn’t put it in here if I wasn’t speaking from experience). Don’t feel pressure to become “real life” friends with all the other dance parents. Obviously be friendly, but don’t feel pressure to form a more in-depth relationship. If one naturally forms, that’s great!
PLEASE DO NOT DROP OFF YOUR CHILD EARLY AND PLEASE BE ON TIME TO PICK YOUR CHILD UP. Staff members cannot be responsible for your children left unsupervised before or after class time. It is HIGHLY recommended that you escort your dancer to the studio and not drop them off in the parking lot.
STUDENTS MUST WAIT TO BE INVITED INTO THE CLASSROOM BEFORE ENTERING. Often times classes run back to back leaving only 1 or 2 minutes for staff to take care of their personal needs. Do not send your child into the classroom before they have been invited in.
PLEASE ENTER AND EXIT THE STUDIO QUICKLY. Leave jackets, boots, and bags stored in the cubbies located in the waiting room.
ABSOLUTELY NO GYMNASTICS OR RUNNING. We cannot allow gymnastics or running during class time or in the waiting room. This is how injures happen and they can easily be avoided with your help in enforcing the rules.
PLEASE VISIT THE RESTROOM BEFORE CLASS TIME.
PLEASE NO GUM, CANDY, OR POP IN THE STUDIO.
REMOVE ALL JEWELRY BEFORE ENTERING THE STUDIO.
CANCELLATION POLICY: If for any reason you need to withdraw from a class, you must provide notice in writing to the DanceNation office. There is a 1-month penalty for dropping out before the completion of the season. You have reserved a spot in class and we expect you to finish out the season.
REFUND POLICY: Classes will not be pro-rated for your absences planned or unplanned. Credits and refunds may be issued under limited circumstances. Requests for refunds or credits must be made in writing and approval is at the sole discretion of DanceNation management.
TIPS FROM “All About Dance” FOR PERFORMANCES & RECITALS: It’s performance time! Don’t panic! Here are some helpful hints to get you through.
Pay attention. All of those flyers, handouts and emails you have been receiving with recital information are actually really important. Read them closely. Organization is key to a successful recital experience.
Form a mommy alliance. Reach out to a few moms (and dads) from your child’s dance class in case you have a recital-related question. The studio is really busy this time of year, so they will appreciate your independent problem solving.
Costume preparation. When you get your costume, have your dancer try it on and dance around a bit. This is the best way to see what needs adjusting or fastening.
Arrive early. There might be unforeseen parking or seating issues you have to resolve. You also want enough time to get your dancer settled with his or her group. Especially for young dancers, separation anxiety can set in when it’s time to say goodbye to mom.
It’s important to remain seated during performance numbers. Only move about the auditorium or performance venue in between routines.
Don’t forget the flowers! Luckily most recitals will have flowers available for sale, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Just remember that no matter how much you prepare, something unexpected will happen – and it’s okay! We’ve all been there, and there’s always someone close by to help. Enjoy the show!
MOST IMPORTANT!!! ENJOY THE SEASON AND HAVE FUN!