Choosing a dance style

Choosing the right dance style for your child can be a cinch—or it can be one of the hardest decisions you’ll make about their afterschool activities!  Make the best choice by considering these four basic styles—any one of them can be a good fit, depending on your child’s personality and interests.

Ballet is the foundation for ALL types of dance, but usually appeals most to young children who are naturally shy or introverted and who think classical music sounds like “princess music”.

Jazz is often a great fit for the child who learns well with structure, but also likes to move around to fun pop music and learn in a fast-paced classroom.

Tap is typically a favorite class for children who love rhythms and counting!  Tap is like drumming with your feet, which high-energy children always enjoy.

Hip Hop is the way to go with extroverted children who love to express themselves with movement.  Its funky vibe suits children who are excited to try new things.

Finding the right dance style to fit your child can seem daunting, but there’s also nothing wrong with trying more than one.  Sometimes children surprise us too, and they’ll gravitate to a dance style we never would have expected.  Any choice is a great one, as long as your child is having fun while they learn!

Questions about the different styles?  You can always call, email, or stop by the front desk!  We are happy to help.

Thanks for reading!
Ms. Julie

SDC at the One Family Festival

We are so proud to have had nine of our beautiful dancers represent SDC and FYDE at the One Family Festival in Chicago!

The dancers were able to perform in an adjudicated showcase and take two full days of classes and seminars in subjects like Contemporary Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, Broadway, Commercial Jazz, Healthy Body Image, and Contemporary Ballet with amazing faculty members: Gabriella Sorrentino, Shanna VanDerwerker, Sarah Ford Hardy, Leslie Scott, Monique Joseph, Richard Smith, and Rory Freeman.

The weekend was full of dancing, friendships, performances, and TONS of inspiration!  What an awesome experience!  We are so grateful to the dancers’ families for supporting them with this opportunity, and to Misty Lown, More Than Dancers, and The Untapped Movement for allowing us participate in this fantastic event.

Dance Festival Picture Collage

Summer Dance Is Almost Here!

It’s almost time for summer dance!

From Ballerina Princess Camp to Combo Classes, we have options to fit every schedule!

Click on the image below to reserve your spot!

summer class sign up

Spring Concert Prep: Making Memories

tips-for-dance-parentsSaving memories of any dance event, a first spring concert or 10th, is important.  Planning ahead will give you a chance to make sure you take pictures in plenty of poses and keep an eye out for frames or memory books while browsing at your favorite store!

These keepsakes become precious memories for dancers as they grow up and share them with their friends, and eventually their own little dancers!

  • Memory Book – If you’re a sentimental parent and like to hang onto tickets, programs, and little keepsakes.  Create a dance memory book and gather all of those memories in one place.
  • Ballet Shoe Collage – Plan ahead!  Save your dancer’s shoes and plan to display them with their recital costumes or a dance photo in a neat row.
  • Shadow Box – Create your own piece of art with a photograph of your dancer, their shoes, costume, accessories, and even tickets!  Look for inspiration here, here, and here.
  • Snap Pictures – Be sure to snap pictures of your dancer in the moment!  While of course, the performance is the main event – backstage and preparation pictures make excellent memories!  Snap pictures of putting make-up, fixing hair, details of her costume, candid shots, and walking to the stage.  Check out this great page for more ideas.

We’d love to see how your keepsakes turn out.  Share a picture with us on FaceBook!

~Ms. Kerry

Spring Concert Prep: Backstage Bag


Your dancer has practiced and practiced her number.  The costume is on and the hair is in a bun. The show is about to begin!  Now, the wait until her number begins.  So much can happen in the time between when a dancer is dropped off backstage and when they go on stage.  Being prepared is the name of the game!  Pack a backstage bag filled with all of those “what-if” items to solve anything that comes up and keep your dancer entertained.

Be sure to include:

  • Hairspray (for those fly-aways)
  • Bobby pins/hair pins (to secure any unruly locks of hair)
  • Bottled water/kid safe cups (no spills on costumes!)
  • Dry snacks (think crackers, pretzels, etc)
  • Make-up kit (especially lipstick and blush)
  • Baby wipes or make-up wipes (great for correcting make-up mistakes or removing make-up after the show)
  • Coloring books and crayons (great for keeping younger dancers entertained while waiting for their turn)
  • Book to read (great for quietly waiting for your turn!) 

Always try-on your costume at home, practice your make-up, and putting your dancer’s hair in a bun before dress rehearsal.  This helps your dancer become comfortable with the process and will know what to expect for the performance.

If you have any questions, any SDC Instructor is happy to help!

Trip the light fantastic, dancers!

~Ms. Kerry

Spring Concert Prep: Dance Shoes

tips-for-dance-parentsWith all of the excitement around costumes and make-up, it’s easy to overlook one of the most important pieces of a dancers’ outfit – her shoes.

Has your dancer recently had a growth spurt?  It’s a good time to have feet measured to ensure that shoes are fitting properly.  There’s nothing quite as uncomfortable as dancing in shoes that are too small.  Take a look at SDC’s post about properly fitting dance shoes from July.

If your dancer’s shoes fit A-OK, be sure that they are clearly marked on the inside with their name or initials.  This is super important for Spring Concert when so many little feet (or FYDE feet!) are trying to find their pink ballet shoes!  They all look the same!

Be sure to trim the drawstring on your dancer’s ballet shoes.  Leave about 1″ to 1.5″ inches and tie it in a bow.  This should be tucked into the ballet shoe after it has been put on your dancer’s foot.  Did you know that there are a few “drawstring-free” shoes for little feet?  Check out these options from Bloch and Capezio.

Freshen up your dancer’s shoes, if needed.  Dancers’ shoes can get dirty or scuffed and may need a cleaning.  Check out how in our post from December.

Tap shoes that tie should have the ribbons removed and replaced with elastic.  This ensures the shoe is easy to put on and will stay securely on the dancer’s foot.  Ask an SDC instructor if you have questions or watch this video for a how-to.  For another easy option, you can use a button and elastic for tap shoe ties too!  Just be sure to use black elastic and a black button!

Always be sure that your dancer carries his/her shoes into the studio and changes out of them after class.  Dance shoes are made for dance floors.  They will last longer and look better if they are only worn for dance class and not worn outside – even for a short walk to the car.

If you have any questions about dance shoe care or prepping your shoes for Spring Concert, ask any SDC Dance Instructor.

Trip the light fantastic!

~Ms. Kerry


Twirling Trolls Mini-Camp!

Twirling Trolls Mini-Camp

Is your little one ready to TWIRL into dance class?  Join us for a Twirling Trolls Mini-Camp on Saturday, April 1 from 3:00-4:15pm!

Open to 3-8 year olds, this mini-camp will feature dance class basics, trolls-themed crafts, dance games, and more!

It’s just $2 cash to attend!

Open to children who are NEW to SDC!  Current students may attend if they bring a new friend.

Please CLICK HERE to sign up!  (Please complete the form for EACH child attending.)  A confirmation email will be sent within 1 business day.

Children attending the camp can wear any style dancewear or comfortable activewear, and dance shoes or bare feet.

Spring Concert Prep: Hair

tips-for-dance-parentsOne of the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a dancer, is the iconic ballet bun.

We’ve pulled together tips and tricks to get even the most unruly and challenging coifs into a neat and tidy bun.

1. Resist the urge to cut! Try to hold off on cutting your dancer’s hair until May. The more hair a dancer has to work with, the easier it will be to pull it into a bun. Shorter and layered hair can require more bobby pins and hairspray to craft a bun.

2. Aim high. A high ponytail results in a bun at the crown of the head.

3. Start simple.  A traditional ballet bun is the best place to start.  Try this tutorial.

4. Unwashed hair is A-OK. If your dancer’s hair is thin or fine, it’s ok to not wash her hair the night before. The natural oils in her hair will make it easier for hair products to work.  Wet hair also works well, especially with fine fair.

5. Try teasing. Try teasing your dancer’s ponytail to create a bit more lift and volume. This helps add volume necessary to create a bun.

6. Bobby pins slipping? Spread out some bobby pins on a paper towel and lightly spray them with hairspray or dry shampoo. These “sticky pins” will stay put through rehearsals and performances!

7. Do the donut. If all else fails, try a bun donut.

8. Spray and net it. Wrap the bun in a hair net and secure it with bobby pins. This ensures that any fly aways are caught and stay smooth. Always finish with a healthy dose of strong hairspray. It is normal for hair to feel stick or “crunchy.” This is normal dance hair – it’s generally not touchably soft.  “Helmet hair” is a term that’s often used to describe a dancer’s head.

As always, your SDC instructors are available to answer any questions you may have!

Trip the light fantastic, dancers!

~Ms. Kerry


Get Your Dance Inspiration Here


Dancers find inspiration all around them: In the music they hear, books they read, movies they watch, and shows they see.  Find even more inspiration in these quotes about finding your joy, reaching your goals, and dancing your dance!

“Take more chances.  Dance more dances!”


Spring Concert Prep: Make-Up


Wearing dance recital make-up is a unique milestone in a dancer’s life!  It can be a fun adventure or can seem daunting if it’s a parent’s first time to apply make up on their child.

Keep in mind that the goal of make-up for the recital is to ensure that your dancer’s features are visible from the stage.  Bright stage lights wash out features, and when make-up is applied in the correct colors, it highlights the eyes and smile.  (Remember to leave the shimmer and glitter at the store!)

Finding colors and kid-friendly formulations that are also pocketbook friendly can be a challenge.  We’ve pulled together a list of great shades to look at for your dancer that won’t break the budget! These products may be purchased at stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Ulta, Amazon, and etc.

We also recommend watching Ms. Jamie’s video tutorials for Level 1-3 dancers here and Level 4+ dancers here. (Password: Recital)

New this season: you can sign up for SDC’s make-up and hair workshop here.  It’s FREE to attend!

For all levels of dancers, here are some products we recommend:

Mascara – Lengthens and defines eyelashes, helps eyes appear larger.
Amped Lashes in Black from Ulta – $10.50
Great Lash Mascara in Very Black or Blackest Black from CoverGirl – $4.99

Eyeshadow – Creates a wide-eyed look and reflects stage lighting.
Mad for Matte Eye Shadow  from ELF – $10.00
Nudes TruNaked Eye Shadow from CoverGirl – $11.99

Lips – Draws attention to the dancer’s smile.
Lipstick in Red Haute from Ulta – $8.50
Ultra HD Matte Lip Color in Love or Passion from Revlon – $6.69

Blush – Brings color to dancers’ cheeks.
The Matte Blush in Beloved for lighter skin tones or Fusion for darker skin tones from Makeup Revolution – $5.00
Cheekers in Natural Twinkle or Natural Rose for lighter skin tones Soft Sable for darker skin tones from CoverGirl – $4.99

Setting Spray – Holds make-up in place and stands up to sweat.
Matte Finish Setting Spray from NYX Cosmetics – $7.99
Setting Spray from Ulta – $10.00

For our more experienced Level 4-7 dancers, we also recommend:

False Eyelashes (Level 4+) – Adds extra volume and length to lashes.
Eyelash Kit from Ardell – $5.99
VIP Lash Kit from ELF – $4.00

Foundation – Evens out complexion, prevents wash out (one shade darker than skin tone).
Stay Matte Foundation from Rimmel London – $5.49
Stay Matte Not Flat Foundation from NYX – $7.49

Eyeliner – Defines eyes’ shape, and creates a wide-eyed look.
Eyeliner in Black from NYX Cosmetics – $4.49
Color Stay Eyeliner in Black from Revlon – $8.99

Once you purchase your make-up, be sure to check it’s expiration date and toss it when it’s time!

If you have any questions about what shade or type of make up your dancer needs, please feel free to reach out to any SDC Instructor for guidance.

Trip the light fantastic, dancers!

~Ms. Kerry