We are excited to kick off our 13th dance season NEXT WEEK and would like to welcome all of our new families!
Now that you’ve formally signed your child up for lessons and you’ve gotten all the pertinent information about the season, you are officially a dance parent at SDC!
Being a dance parent here is a little bit like being in a secret society; there’s this new lingo to learn and a whole culture that you are now a part of. Here’s the inside scoop on what you need to know for your new status as a Studio Dance Centre mom or dad:
Study up on your dancewear vocab. A leotard is the form-fitting bodysuit that dancers wear to class, and tights are worn underneath (kinda like pantyhose). Ballet shoes are usually pink and should fit snugly on your child’s feet; don’t buy them with room to grow! Tap shoes are the noisy ones, and jazz shoes look a little like slip-on ballet shoes, except with a small heel.
Practice how to do a bun. A bun is the hairstyle we recommend for most classes, as it allows students to move freely without getting hair in their face. A quick Google or YouTube search will give you oodles of tutorials to choose from—or just ask us! We can give you a demo right here in the lobby.
Pack a dance bag. Dance shoes, a water bottle, extra dancewear, and hair supplies … all of these things belong in your child’s dance bag. (Avoid allowing your child to wear their dance shoes outside; it’s damaging.) Be sure to label everything with your child’s name or initials!
Learn about the recital. At SDC, we offer an opportunity every spring for our students to perform onstage. The recital, as it’s commonly known, is when each class performs a routine onstage and in costume, and family and friends watch the show from the audience. Check your Welcome Packet for all the details!
Introduce yourself to the other parents. We love building a community of like-minded moms and dads who understand our culture and enjoy having their children involved in dance. Our super-friendly dance parents are some of the best people we know, so we encourage you to introduce yourself in the lobby. Share stories, find carpools, plan playdates, or ask about their personal experiences at SDC.
We hope this primer serves you well and helps you feel welcome at the studio. We’re glad you’re here!
– Ms. Julie
Posted in Education on 08/07/2018 | Comments Off on Welcome, new dance parents!
At SDC, we believe that learning how to dance should be an encouraging and positive experience for children at any age!
And while the dance steps themselves are an important element to every class, the benefits of dance go far beyond tendus and pirouettes.
Here are our 5 favorite benefits of dance:
1) Dance requires perseverance
In today’s world of instant gratification, dance is different because it teaches children how to work hard over days, weeks, months, and years! Consistent, developmentally-appropriate practice is the way to achieve progress.
2) There are opportunities everywhere
Every class is a chance to learn something new. Whether it’s getting better at a step you already know or trying a new skill, the chance to try and try again is always there!
3) Forever friendships are formed
There’s something pretty special about the friends you dance with … you share laughs, work together as a team, push each other to do your best, and support each other’s dreams.
4) Dance prepares kids for life in the “real world”
The dance classroom is full of life lessons: from our preschoolers learning how to take turns to our teenagers learning how to prepare for an audition, everyone is developing the discipline and patience they’ll need in life outside the classroom.
5) The “comfort zone” is challenged
Accomplishing steps. Performing in front of an audience. Reaching a goal. All of these things help children grow outside of their comfort zones! A shy child can learn how to love the stage, and an enthusiastic child can learn how to harness her energy.
As you may already have observed in your child, the immediate joy of dancing comes from the thrill of movement and music! What follows is another type of joy; one that comes from the long-term, deeply-rooted character qualities instilled during dance class.
These 5 benefits aren’t the only positives of course, but they are certainly some of our favorites! We hope you see them develop in your child as they discover their love for dance.
– Ms. Julie
Posted in Education on 05/18/2018 | Comments Off on Five Benefits of Dance
As Performance Week approaches quickly so does registration for the new dance season! With class recommendations being emailed soon, we wanted to take a moment to remind our dance families about what that means, since class recommendations are made with many, many hours of consideration and deliberation!
When selecting class recommendations for our Levels 1, 2, and 3 dancers, we are looking at which classes are the most developmentally appropriate based on a dancer’s age and peer group.
When selecting class recommendations for Levels 4, 5, 6, and 7 dancers, we are looking at the skills your dancer was introduced to this year and evaluate whether those skills are still emerging, in development, or have been fully mastered.
We also consider factors like class conduct, attitude, attendance, and which dance styles we think may suit your dancer’s personality.
SDC offers 7 levels that cover our curriculum for ages 3-18, and it is expected for dancers to spend 2-3 years in a level before mastering the skills necessary for the next level. This is what we affectionately call the “grow and grind” in dance!
As a parent, your encouragement to your dancer goes a long way towards a positive response with class recommendations. We believe a growth mindset can be nurtured in every dancer.
We expect that dancers who have reached the goal of moving up a level will continue to be gracious and supportive of their peers, and that those who are not moving levels yet understand that they are still making progress and are very much valued.
If we need to make any adjustments to class recommendations, we will do so based on what we see developmentally at the end of your dancer’s summer classes or after the new dance season has begun.
We so appreciate all of the love and support you show your dancer! We are grateful to work alongside you to create an environment where every child can thrive.
– Ms. Julie
Posted in Education on 04/19/2018 | Comments Off on Class Recommendations
Because dance is a both an athletic activity and a performing art, optimum dancer health includes a lot of different elements, including correct body alignment and technique, safe strengthening and stretching practices, and smart nutrition. Dr. Smurawa and his team are equipped to support these unique needs and to care for dancers in the event of an injury.
If you are looking for a way to enhance your dancer’s training, evaluate their strength, or rehabilitate an injury, we highly recommend looking into the services offered at the Children’s Health Andrews Institute. This is the only specialized dance medicine program in the area, so we’re lucky to have access to it!
Click below on the logo to learn more about the Children’s Health Andrews Institute, or ask us to learn more about our personal experience with the organization.
– Ms. Julie
Posted in News on 03/23/2018 | Comments Off on New dance resource: the Children’s Health Andrews Institute
With March upon us and Spring Break about to start, we are just SIX WEEKS away from Performance Week! Wow.
With that in mind, here are our 6 best recital tips for keeping your sanity during this busy time:
Label everything! Add your child’s initials to the tags inside their costumes, tights, shoes, and any other important items in their dance bag or garment bag. An easy way to do this? Write on a piece of masking tape and stick it inside the item.
Remember not to let your dancer play in their costume at home until after the recital. Although it’s tempting (and fun!) it’s simply too late for us to get a replacement if something happens to it!
Find a few extra minutes to read through your Recital Info Packet, which was handed out during Sneak Peek Week. You’ll find all the details for Performance Week right at your fingertips, but we are just a phone call away if you have any questions.
Encourage your dancer to keep a balanced schedule: help them get lots of rest, healthy snacks, plenty of water, and make sure they aren’t putting too much stress on themselves from school or dance. Even young dancers can internalize outside pressures, and we want to keep recital preparations feeling fun and exciting!
Plan ahead for Photo Week (March 22-28) and any other extra items you might want to purchase, such as pre-ordering a yearbook program or recital DVD. You’ll feel less rushed if you’re able to knock those tasks off your list early on.
Think about volunteering! If you’d like to help out behind the scenes during Performance Week, sign up with us to be a Backstage Volunteer; we have sign-up sheets at the front desk. Class Moms are able to watch their dancer(s) from wings of the stage, which of course we consider to be the best seat in the house!
And hey, don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for being an awesome parent! We truly have some of the most dedicated, involved, and supportive parents (and grandparents) here at SDC, and we’re happy you’re one of them.
Enjoy your Spring Break, and we’ll see you back in the classroom soon!
– Ms. Julie
Posted in News on 03/10/2018 | Comments Off on Six Recital Tips to Keep Your Sanity
You’ll notice that we’re offering two three-week sessions this year. Remember that you can always customize which weeks you’d like to participate in. Stay tuned for “pop-up summer camp” info too!
We encourage ALL of our dancers to participate in at least three weeks of classes to maintain their progress. If you’re not sure which class is right for you child, please ask! We’re happy to guide you in the right direction.
– Ms. Julie
Posted in News on 03/05/2018 | Comments Off on The Summer Schedule is Here!
Here’s some of our most encouraging advice for a successful recital experience with your little one!
Remember that ….
Dancing on stage in front of hundreds of people is a pretty big deal! Some dancers are shy and others ham it up. However they react, ALL of our young dancers are gaining a tremendous amount of confidence by performing.
Live performances can be unpredictable—and often in positive ways. You may wonder whether your little one will forget the dance routine or if they’ll be too nervous to perform. Though those things do happen, they are rare! Most often our young dancers surprise in the best and most adorable ways.
Success come in many forms, and we do not promote perfection as one of them! Instead, we talk in class about the dancers trying their best and having fun while they perform.
We hope you enjoy celebrating your dancer’s hard work and effort this recital season. The SDC team is super proud of all of our young dancers’ progress this year!
– Ms. Julie
Posted in Education on 03/01/2018 | Comments Off on Recital Expectations for Your Little One