Creating Lifetime Memories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SDC’s Spring Concert is known for creating special memories—both for our dancers and for their family and friends.  It is a sentimental moment in time for many parents, watching their child perform in front of an audience!  For most of our dance families, it marks the closure of one year’s journey in dance and “sets the stage” for the next.

After the recital, costumes become special mementos, programs become keepsakes, photos become scrapbook centerpieces, and DVDs often become your household’s most-watched entertainment!  The time may have passed, but the souvenirs remain … along with the personal growth each student has achieved.

One comment we often hear from parents after the Spring Concert is how their child won’t stop talking about it!  The excitement lifts them up long after the curtain has come down.  We love hearing about this kind of enthusiasm, and we hope you’ll keep the dance conversation going at home.  This is an excellent time to listen to what your child has to say about what they liked best or what was challenging, PLUS it’s perfect timing to discuss what style of dance they may want to study this summer or next season.

Sometimes the memories made at recital aren’t the ones you’d expect.  Maybe your dancer became distracted at one point onstage and made a silly face that made everyone laugh, or maybe they forgot a step during the dance and seemed discouraged.  Live performances can be a little unpredictable like this, but with a growth mindset, you and your child can still choose to see the positive outcome.  Like how that silly face was sweet and entertaining, and grandma loved it.  Or that forgotten step?  What a way to show perseverance!

The lifetime memories made at the recital enrich our students’ knowledge and understanding of what a performance encompasses.  They create context for other performing opportunities, such as in theater or music, and they build the kind of confidence only experience can deliver.

Performing onstage is an incredible opportunity for dancers to share what they have been learning in class, and to showcase their progress from the beginning of the year to the end.  Learning how to dance is a gradual process, and some skills take years to fully master—but however big or small the steps are, it is a major accomplishment for anyone to perform in front of hundreds of people!  All the hard work is worthwhile when a dancer experiences the high fives and smiles and congratulations that the recital brings from classmates, family, and friends.

Whether it’s a young dancer performing for their first time or a teen dancer performing at the end of her senior year, achievements at the Spring Concert are incredibly special to celebrate.  Lifelong memories are made—and for many dancers, a true passion for dance is ignited!

– Ms. Julie

Putting in the Hard Work

teaching hard work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At SDC, we talk a lot about the willingness to do the “hard work.”  It is a quality we strive to instill in every student.  Hard work, to us, means ALL the things a dancer can do to show their commitment to better themselves, improve their skills, and lift up those around them.

Hard work is:

  • Showing up for every class
  • Being prepared
  • Having a positive attitude
  • Giving 100% effort
  • Trying over and over again
  • Focusing on the big picture
  • Doing what’s right

What’s NOT part of the way we define hard work?  The answer may surprise you: it’s talent.  Talent isn’t required to be a hard worker and build a strong work ethic.  In fact, there’s a famous quote among athletes, from high school basketball coach Tim Notke, which states, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

We’re big believers in these words.  Having talent can be an awesome attribute of course, but it doesn’t define someone’s future.  What does define someone’s future is hard work put together with opportunity.  And anyone can develop the skills and habits needed to put in the hard work!

We want to teach every dancer to work toward their personal best, not perfection.  Effort is the goal.

As teachers, we are committed to fostering the traits of hard work in our students and offering encouragement in the moments where someone falters.  If hard work is part of their dance life, our students might just carry it seamlessly into other parts of their lives too.  It’s pretty awesome to see what these kids are capable of!

– Ms. Julie

Taking Care of Your Child’s Costume

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s nothing else quite like a dance costume—it carries the excitement of performances yet to come, and of course, there are all those sparkles!  For many children, wearing a costume brings out the confidence and poise they’ve been working so hard on in class, and it is one of their most favorite parts about dancing on stage.  

Because dance costumes are made from specialty fabrics, they can’t be treated like regular clothes.  For this reason, we do not recommend washing them.  But a little extra TLC can go a long way!  Taking care of your child’s costume is simple if you keep these Dos and Don’ts in mind:

Do encourage your dancer to find a safe place at home to keep their costume.  You’ll have their “buy-in” for keeping it in tip-top shape!

Don’t allow playtime in the costume.  If something bad happens, it is too late to order a new costume and receive it on time, so save the dress-up time for after the recital.

Do keep tutus upside down on the hanger, unless otherwise specified by your child’s teacher.  This helps keep the tutu fluffy!

If the costume is wrinkled, Do allow it to “rest” outside of the garment bag.  Using a steamer is OK too if you are experienced with one.

Do write your child’s name or initials on the label of their costume, tights, and shoes.  This is a tremendous help if anything is lost or left behind.

Don’t forget that costumes are not custom-made, so small alterations (such as tacking straps or hemming pants) may be needed.  We include alterations in your Performance Package, so you can bring your child to meet with our seamstress on February 23rd and March 2nd.

Do make sure the costume is ready to go for Photo Week, which is April 1st-6th.  Make sure it is not crumpled or missing anything, and bring it with you in its garment bag.

If you ever have a question about the best way to store or care for a specific dance costume, please ask!  We’re happy to help!

– Ms. Julie

What is the Spring Concert?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve heard us talking about it.  You know it’s important.  You’ve seen it mentioned EVERYWHERE  You know there’s a lot of excitement around it … but what exactly IS the Spring Concert?

Just as soccer players have tournaments, football players have games, and gymnasts have meets, dancers have performances!  And ours is called the Spring Concert—better known to most people as “the recital.”

The recital is a memorable opportunity for our students to showcase their talents onstage.  From learning the first eight-count of choreography in class to the final bow onstage, the recital is one of the biggest highlights of a dancer’s year!

Consider this blog post your “recital primer,” where we break down a few key elements of what to expect these next few months—and why it’s all so important.

  • Choreography

Each class learns a particular routine to perform at the recital.  The choreography is the series of steps, patterns, and formations the teacher creates for each unique routine.  Your dancer will be learning and practicing this choreography during class time leading up to the recital.  This repetition allows our students to grow their confidence as well as their skills.

  • Costumes, Hair, and Makeup

Because dance is a performing art, this is where the “performance” aspect truly comes together!  As you’ve seen, each class will have a costume to wear onstage for their routine.  We will also be communicating specific instructions regarding their hairstyle and stage makeup.  These three things are the finishing touches that complete a performer’s look!

  • Dress Rehearsal

Prior to the recital, each class will have the chance to participate in our dress rehearsal.  The dress rehearsal is almost like the recital itself, except it’s just for practice.  It allows us the chance to rehearse our sound and lighting cues from backstage and helps us make sure the dancers are familiar with their new surroundings.

  • Performance

This is it!  After all the preparation and practice, this is each dancer’s moment in the spotlight in front of their family and friends.  The buildup of excitement is huge.  It’s like when an athlete performs at the Olympics … our students perform at the recital!

We understand that the thought of choreography, costumes, rehearsals, and being onstage in can be intimidating at first, so we’re here to show you what an awesome experience this journey can be.  Stay tuned here to the SDC blog for more valuable insight as we approach the big day!

– Ms. Julie

Why We Need Gritty Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gritty people have a growth mindset; they don’t give up.

This paraphrased quote is from author Angela Duckworth, who popularized the word “grit” with her famous TED Talk about the power of passion and perseverance.  She wasn’t talking specifically about dancers, but she could have been!

Children need to develop resilience in order to learn from their experiences and grow into their full potential.  This is why we value determination and tenacity so highly here at SDC, because we know these are beneficial qualities to have in life, in or out of the dance classroom.

In dance class, we want our students to know we care about them and want them to succeed.  But we also want to hold them to high standards that will require their hard work, practice, and focus.

Dance, like life, can present challenges: the step might not look correct yet; your body might be sore or injured; the audition answer might be no; you might actually, physically fall down every now and then!  Allowing a child to simply walk away from those challenges (or give up on them) only teaches them that hard work need not apply.  Persevering through those challenges, however, teaches them to bounce back; to build the work ethic they will need throughout their childhood and young adult life.

These lessons in dance will be HARD at times; it’s inevitable.  As parents and teachers, we know there will sometimes be tears or frustrations.  But that can’t stop us from encouraging these kids to push themselves. And that’s key to their success, that the push comes from within.  We can pull potential out of them sure, but if we’re doing all the pushing, how can a child really benefit?

Our dancers are becoming amazing kids who will go on to persevere through a tough exam at school, bounce back from a college rejection, move on from a job they didn’t get, or work through a strained friendship.  They are amazing kids who will become amazing adults because they have been challenged by failure and fueled by success.  They are amazing because of their motivation and their buoyancy.

At SDC, we want you to know that this message is very important to us and close to our hearts.  Through dance we’re teaching them how to be grittier and in turn, empowering them for the future.

– Ms. Julie

Looking to fill a few more class spots …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a dance class for your child?

We still have a few spots available! Contact us to check the status of our class availability and schedule a trial lesson!

Our Definition of Winning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At SDC, one of our unique attributes is that we are a non-competitive studio, meaning we do not participate in dance competitions.  Instead, we choose to focus on concert and community dancing, where rankings and placements are not part of the expectation.  We encourage performance as an overall benefit to our students, but we believe that they can thrive in their dance education without the competitive element.

For us, “winning” is about going above and beyond by:

  • Doing your best dancing, so that you are better than you were yesterday
  • Being a great teammate, and using kindness as a connector
  • Encouraging others around you, because a rising tide lifts all boats

The real win in our dancers’ lives is when they overcome their own challenges, not those against others.

Our dancers at SDC are learning to measure their value in personal growth, not trophies, plaques, medals, or money.  We’re teaching them to understand that winning in life—succeeding as a human being—has much more to do with their inner self than outward praise.  The process of studying dance, whether a dancer is three years old or eighteen, is just as valuable as the performance.

Winning to us means that every dancer has their heart centered on doing the hard work.  It means that there will be ups and downs, but ultimately the triumph is in the effort.

– Ms. Julie

Happy Holidays to All!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From all of us at Studio Dance Centre, we hope you enjoy a holiday break full of love, laughter, and of course … dancing!

We look forward to seeing you in the new year!

With gratitude,
Ms. Julie

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