Raising a Healthy Dancer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our dance classes at SDC, we are committed to developing dancers who have healthy bodies and minds—and a healthy outlook on life!  We want our dancers to feel confident about themselves and love their bodies.

What can you do at home to support this objective and boost your child’s overall wellness?  We encourage these principles as a guide to build healthy habits in your child:

  • Think about food as fuel

Nutrition plays a huge role in developing healthy dancers!  Help your child see food as fuel by referring to it that way, that food makes up the protein, fats, and carbohydrates they need to have the energy and mental clarity for dancing.

  • Make hydration easy

Whether at home or at the studio, children may need extra reminders to stay hydrated.  Make drinking water a habit by having a water bottle available whenever possible (such as in their backpack or dance bag) and inviting your child to help prepare it in their favorite way, such as with the squeeze of an orange or an overload of ice cubes!

  • Talk about bodies in a healthful way

At SDC, we are hyper-aware that body-positive talk by adults influences kids’ perspectives about their own bodies.  We encourage parents to curb any negative talk about themselves and instead model an appreciation for what healthy bodies can do, such as grow stronger muscles or learn new dance moves!

  • Take social media breaks

Dancers can easily get caught in a current of body-comparisons as they scroll through their social media.  Encouraging your child to take breaks—even just an evening at a time—interrupts those thoughts.

It’s essential for us at Studio Dance Centre to grow the mindset that dance class is about more than just the steps: it’s also a place that helps shape healthy habits for life.  As the calendar year winds down and a “fresh start” awaits in January, we hope these reminders come in handy.  We appreciate our dance families standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us on this mission!

– Ms. Julie

Parent Observation Week is Here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dance families, it’s time for Parent Observation Week!  We’re so excited to invite you into the classroom to see a demonstration of what your dancer’s class has been working on so far this year.

Here are some handy tips and reminders about this very special week:

  • This year’s Parent Observation Week is Monday, December 3rd through Saturday, December 8th.
  • Most classes will hold their demonstration during the last 10-15 minutes of class.  If your dancer’s class will present at an earlier time, we will email you!
  • Some classes may hold their demonstration in a different classroom, in order to allow for more viewing space.  The teacher will notify you if this is the case.
  • We’d love for you to invite other family members to visit during this week!  Please be aware that parking, lobby, and classroom spaces will be extra-busy.
  • Siblings are welcome too, of course!  We ask that you closely supervise very young siblings so they do not become too loud or disruptive during the demonstration so the focus can be on the dancers.
  • We encourage you to take photos or video to capture this important milestone for your dancer.  As a courtesy, please turn off or silence all screens and devices not being used to record.

One final note:  Dancers are often nervous to show their presentation, so please expect some jitters! Some dancers may freeze up, others will be shy, and occasionally we even see tears.  All of those things are normal, and all of our teachers are experienced with guiding the dancers through their emotions or comforting them if needed.  Remember that your dancer is growing his or her independence and will benefit from this experience, whether or not the dancing was exactly right. 🙂

Please let us know if you have ANY questions in advance of Parent Observation Week.  We can’t wait to see you in the “audience” soon!  

– Ms. Julie

Come See FYDE Perform on December 1st!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directed by Ms. Kayla Davey, our Frisco Youth Dance Ensemble dancers will present their second annual performance of An Evening of Dance on Saturday, December 1st!

Held at the MCL Grand Theater in Lewisville, the show includes performances in ballet, modern, jazz, and more!  It is suitable for all ages.

A donation to Traveling Tutus, Inc. will be made from each ticket sold.  Traveling Tutus is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides dance clothes, shoes, and costumes to children in need around the world.  It is a cause close to our hearts, because we believe EVERY child should experience the joy of dance!

Click here or below to purchase tickets or buy them at the door.  We hope to see you there!

Thankful for You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Studio Dance Centre families,

As Thanksgiving draws nearer, we wanted to take a moment to express our thanks to YOU, for trusting us with your child’s dance education and allowing us to be a positive light in your child’s life.  We are grateful that you’ve chosen us for your studio home.

Whether your child takes one class a week or ten, they are discovering that dance is a safe place to learn AND be themselves.  We love that the dance classroom can serve our students this way, that it can complement their lives at home and at school by offering them an outlet for exploring their potential.

To paraphrase research professor Brené Brown: “We should never underestimate the benefit to a child of having a place to belong—even one—where they can take off their armor and their hearts can exhale.”

Our mission at SDC is for each of our dancers to experience this benefit, to feel like they truly belong here.  We’re so thankful for the opportunity to serve your family and be a positive influence for your child.  Dance taught us many of the same lessons we are passing on to our students today, so it’s pretty humbling to see these things come full circle!

From all of us at SDC, we hope the spirit of this season touches your heart in the same way it has ours.  We love coming to work everyday because of the amazing children we get to teach, who make us smile and laugh and yes, even sometimes cry (happy tears!).  We might not say it enough, but they truly inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves.

It is with grateful hearts that we wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!

With love and gratitude,
Ms. Julie & the SDC team

It’s Not Too Late to Register!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November is here and we still have a FEW classes with openings!  CLICK HERE to schedule a trial lesson to see if we’ve got the right fit for you!

Tell your friends too, because our Referral Program is going strong.  You and your friend could BOTH earn $25 off one month’s tuition with a referral.

Age-Appropriate Movement

Age-Appropriate Movement Blog Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is it so important that we teach age-appropriate movement here at SDC?  Because your child’s safety depends on it!

Safe movements for young dancers are dependent on their ages and rate of physical growth.  For example, growth plates in the skeleton—the growing tissues that help bones become strong—don’t reach full maturity until a child’s teen years.

This is one reason why an eight-year-old dancer will still be introduced to age-appropriate movements even if she has been dancing for six years.  Our instructors at SDC understand that certain skills may not be safe for her to practice just yet.

To develop proper technique and a love for dance, we help all of our students build a strong dance foundation over time.

At SDC, we take pride in knowing that our teaching methods must include different approaches for different ages. Our faculty take great care in their teacher education to learn how to instruct children of all ages with the most-relevant tools and resources.  Our curricula allow us to ensure the pace of learning is just right at each level.

Here are some examples you may notice from your child’s class:

  • With little dancers, we focus on developing gross motor skills, such as marching, galloping, and hopping—not intricate technique
  • Our younger dancers also work on non-locomotor movements such as bending, turning, stretching, and balancing on one foot
  • Since the muscles that support a child’s hip joints are still developing, we never force a child’s “turnout” (the rotated position many dance steps are performed from)
  • As our dancers grow, we introduce strength and flexibility exercises only at developmentally-appropriate times
  • We ensure our dancers of all ages know to never overstretch their muscles, either in class or when they stretch on their own time
  • In keeping with our modest standards, we also take great care in teaching a mix of family-friendly traditional and trendy movements (everything is “grandma-friendly”!)

Your child’s safe physical development in dance is a top priority in our classrooms, and it is a privilege for us to be a part of their personal growth in the classroom.  We appreciate your trust in us as we help your child progress in dance, step by step!

– Ms. Julie

Practicing at Home

Practicing at Home Blog Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of our students absolutely LOVE practicing dance at home.  You’ll find them twirling in the living room and tapping in the kitchen—they just can’t contain themselves!  It’s not uncommon for a parent to tell us that their child feels compelled to create her own dances in the living room or teach their stuffed animals how to piqué and passé.

If your child is one these non-stop movers, you might have started wondering, “What can I do to encourage this practice in a safe way?  How can I foster this passion?”

We’ve got some great advice for you here with our Dos and Don’ts for practicing at home:

First and foremost, Do designate a specific spot in your house that is “dance practice” space!  This could be a room or hallway with very little furniture, or perhaps your garage—somewhere that is easy to move in.  Don’t allow tap shoes on your easily-scuffed floors, and never allow your child to practice in pointe shoes at home (even if she has earned her shoes).

Do challenge your child to practice what they remember from class, but don’t worry if they just want to improvise their own moves!  Resist the urge to “teach” the dance steps yourself; Do allow your child’s dance teacher to be the authority of those skills in the classroom.

Don’t expect perfection with at-home practice; it should feel relaxed and carefree as much as possible.  Do suggest that your child practice with music (any music!) since it will help them become even more familiar with finding the beat and keeping time with rhythms.

Also take care to supervise when your child practices; do watch what they’re doing at home to ensure they are safe—and don’t hesitate to join in the fun!

Practicing dance at home should always feel comfortable and supportive so that your child can unleash their creativity and joy for dancing.  Oh, and sneak a video to show us if you can!  We love seeing our students in their element at home!

– Ms. Julie

Why Performing is So Beneficial

Benefits of Performing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you’ve probably noticed, the team at SDC has already begun talking about next year’s recital!  Costumes will be ordered soon and the event planning is well underway.  It’s this time of year, with the buzz of recital beginning, that parents sometimes ask us, “Why should my child participate?  What’s beneficial about it?”

The recital is an investment in your child’s dance education and it’s a pretty important commitment, so it’s easy to understand why you want to know all the details.  At its core, dance is a performing art, which is part of the reason why we want every child to experience the thrill of being onstage!

We believe there are a few core reasons at the heart of why performing is so valuable, even for our youngest dancers:

  • Progress

Throughout the dance season, your child is making awesome progress in class.  And when we say “awesome progress” we don’t necessarily mean the obvious, like learning fancy ballet steps (although that is pretty awesome too!).  What we mean is that your super-shy child bursts with confidence, or your child who said “I can’t” now says “I can,” or your teen who hid her smile now shines with every practice.  Seeing this kind of progress in class is great, but having it showcased on stage is priceless!  Performing allows your child to demonstrate their progress—both with the steps AND with their self-esteem.

  • Potential

The recital is an excellent time to see what’s possible if your child sticks with dance for the long-term.  From the audience, you’re able to see the potential dance holds as you watch the variety of styles and age groups.  Your child, too, will be inspired by seeing the different dance routines, and might think to themselves, “I bet I can do that too!”  Dance offers the promise of so much growth if a young child perseveres and works hard; the recital performance brings this potential into the spotlight!

  • Passion

Performing holds an excitement like some children have never experienced before.  Nerves can transform in an instant as the dancers light up with joy when stepping foot onstage; they are swept away by the magic of entertaining the crowd.  The sense of accomplishment they feel has them hooked!  It’s this growing passion—not perfect technique or memory—that makes performing so special.

Progress, potential, passion … these are truly the foundation of what performing is all about.  At SDC, we love pretty much any opportunity to chat about these benefits, so if you have any questions about having your child perform in our recital, don’t hesitate to ask!

– Ms. Julie

Optimizing the Dance Experience

Dance Class Blog Post Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At SDC, we’re not just teaching dance steps in our classrooms—we’re developing curious, compassionate young leaders and equipping them for success!

We know that it can be a challenge sometimes to know what to do to offer support and encouragement for your dancer—especially if you are still new to the world of dance!  Here are three of our best tips for making the most out of your child’s class experience throughout the season:

  • Talk about dance at home

Although many of our young dancers take just one or two classes per week, dance is usually on their minds every day!  Read dance books together or listen to music and try some dance moves in the living room.  This helps keep your child’s mind engaged about dance in an extra-fun way—because they can share it with you!

  • Ask your child to teach you what they are learning

Since dance lessons are built on structure and repetition, teaching someone else can be a fun way to practice.  Even if your child is still working on remembering their steps, this can help exercise their memory!  (Plus, it can be pretty cute.)

  • Voice your support

The way you praise your child can be very useful in helping them get the most out of dance class!  Use phrases like, “I love watching you dance!” or “I can tell you’ve been working hard.” or “Did you try your best?  That’s what’s most important.”  Your child’s confidence and enthusiasm will continue to grow with this kind of encouragement at home and at class.

We hope these three tips come in handy as your child progresses through the season, and of course we’re always happy to help with any class curriculum or programming questions you might have.  Thank you for choosing to dance with us!

– Ms. Julie

A Dancer’s Dress Code

dress code blog post image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a common question to hear from dance parents and students alike: What purpose does the dress code actually serve?  Well, SDC’s dress code was established for a few very important reasons:

  • Safety

The number one factor in establishing a dress code is for all students’ safety in class.  A basic leotard and tights, along with hair pulled back and the appropriate shoes, ensures that there are no extraneous clothes or jewelry that can cause safety problems, such as an earring caught on someone’s sleeve.  The dress code also helps teachers see that students are using the right muscles and alignment.

  • Modesty

At SDC, we want every student to feel great about trying his or her best in class.  Following the dress code helps us make sure that everyone is appropriately covered … but not so covered that their movement is restricted!  We know that kids can sometimes feel self-conscious, and we want to encourage their confidence by helping them feel comfortable in their dance clothes.

  • Respect

A dress code is one way students show respect for their peers and their teachers.  It demonstrates an understanding of how a dance class operates, with minimal distractions and the ability to move easily for any combination of steps or choreography.  It shows that the students are prepared to learn and are willing to save their fashion statements for outside of class.

  • Practicality

Because leotards and tights also often serve as a versatile base layer for costuming, it makes sense that students become accustomed to them during class time.  Just as swimmers wear swimsuits and basketball players wear jerseys, dancers wear leotards and tights to have the freedom of movement required to practice correctly and efficiently.  It’s our version of a uniform!

At SDC, we take a lot of pride in our dress code and are happy to help you with questions at any time.

– Ms. Julie