Communication, Studio Etiquette, Placement, Summer Attendance

Communication

  • We hold an “Orientation” for new and return students at the beginning of each Fall session. Date and time announced prior to Fall classes.
  • How to contact SESD:
    • Email us at [email protected].
      • *Add us to your contacts so you don’t miss out on monthly newsletters containing important information!*
      • This is the best way to reach us if you do not require an immediate response (emails are rarely checked after 3:00pm when Mrs. Katherine is teaching!)
    • Text us through your dancer’s Remind class. If you have not joined, please email us for sign up instructions!
      • This is the best way to reach us in an “emergency” or during “teaching hours” (after 3:00pm).
      • We use Remind for weather and other “unscheduled” cancellations or updates.
    • Call the studio phone during operating hours.
  • Office Hours *NEW for the 2021-2022 Season*
    • “Office Hours” are times in which SESD staff is available to check emails and answer calls.
    • Office Hours: Monday-Friday 11:00AM-3:00PM
    • SESD “Office” is closed on Saturdays and Sundays; please send us an email and we will contact you on the next business day!
  • Keep an eye out for our Monthly Newsletters which are emailed around the first of each month, and are posted in our lobby as well as our Facebook page.

Studio and Classroom Etiquette

We strongly believe qualities such as respect, self-discipline, personal responsibility, courtesy, and kindness are all an important part of your student’s fine arts education. We hope that our etiquette guidelines help students realize that thinking of others first creates an ideal environment for learning, and that they carry these fundamental traits into other parts of their lives and future.

  • Classroom/Studio Room Etiquette:
    • Students should arrive a few minutes before class begins to prepare for class (change shoes, remove warm ups, etc.).
    • Students should wait to enter the studio until their instructor invites them in.
    • If there is not a class in session, students should wait in the lobby. No one should enter a studio without an instructor’s permission/supervision, except to use the bathrooms.
    • In order to ensure classrooms are not over capacity, students are not permitted to enter classes in which they aren’t enrolled unless arranged ahead of time by parent and studio director. If you must drop off your student early or pick up late, please contact Mrs. Katherine by email, phone, or Remind text (if after 3:00pm).
    • Students who arrive more than 15 minutes late may be asked to observe class if the warm up has reached a certain point. The first 15 minutes of class are very important as we spend this time warming up the muscles. Activities performed without properly warming up can result in injuries that could be severe and/or life-long. Students will take notes as a form of participation.
    • Please arrive in correct class attire each week, with hair pulled back as specified in our class attire expectations before entering the studio room. Proper and uniform attire creates a cohesive and structured environment that allows each dancer to perform to his or her fullest potential, and unifies the class as a whole. Arriving in proper class attire conveys respect for oneself, instructors, and fellow students.
    • Please click here to view our “Class Attire” page.
    • All phones, tablets, and devices should be turned off before class. Toys and other distractions should be left in the lobby or at home. Any item causing disruption in class may be turned in to SESD staff and returned at the end of class.
  • General Studio Policies:
    • Doors are unlocked 15 minutes prior to the first class or rehearsal of the day.
    • In order to protect our floor toppers, shoes, gum, food, or drink should remain in the lobby.
    • Students are welcome to eat, do homework, etc. on the “snack table” at the far end of the lobby.
    • Students/guests should help keep the lobby tidy–please throw away your trash, and if a mess is made please clean it up promptly or let a teacher/director know if it’s a larger mess or if you need a broom.
    • SESD is not responsible for any items or belongings left unattended in the lobby or studio rooms. We recommend labelling everything with dancer’s first and last names (or initials), and leave valuable items at home. It’s very easy for items become lost or misplaced with the high volume of traffic we experience in the lobby.
    • The lobby is tidied up each evening by SESD staff. Items left in the lobby after classes end are either placed in the lost and found bin or disposed of. Please be sure to keep valuables at home or in your bag so nothing is accidentally misplaced and text or call (336) 509-8154 as soon as you realize your item is missing. SESD is not responsible for items that have been left in the lobby.
    • Please refrain from running, playing tag, and hiding under tables and desks in the lobby. We have a number of younger siblings who wait in the lobby, and they can very easily be injured as a result of improper behavior.
    • Please do not hang on to the window frames in the lobby and classrooms or pull up a chair to stand on to look through the viewing window. We enjoy the ability for siblings and students to watch and learn from each other, but standing on our folding chairs and hanging from the frame is very dangerous. Please give your kids a boost or ask an instructor if it’s okay for friends and siblings to sit in the studio room instead.
  • Acro & Other Studio Equipment:
    • Under NO circumstances should any one play on, pull out, or sit on the Acro and other studio quipment unless specifically instructed to do so by an instructor. This equipment are TOOLS, not TOYS, and could cause serious injury if used incorrectly and without permission and direction.
    • Dancers should only use the Acro and studio equipment when directed to do so by their instructor and should only practice at home after receiving their instructor’s approval. Many of the skills and exercises we work on in class require specific technique and until a student has performed that technique correctly in class and received an instructor’s approval, student should NOT perform Acro skills and/or PBT exercises without their instructor’s supervision.
    • Ballet barres are for ballet use only. For your child’s safety, please remind your student that these barres are not for hanging or playing on, they are tools and need to be treated as such. If used incorrectly and/or without proper supervision, children can be injured and barres can be damaged. Barres should ONLY be used as instructed by your teacher. Students should not lean against the walls or barres in class. This is a sign of disrespect towards your instructor.
    • According to our studio policy, any damage to SESD property will be the parents responsibility.

Ballet Technique Philosophy & Policies

  • Ballet Technique Classes: We strongly encourage dancers in Levels 2-6 sign up for Ballet if they take Jazz, Modern, or Acro
    • At SESD, an understanding of and the ability to execute correct technique is our highest priority; and ballet technique class does just that! A sturdy house cannot be built on sinking sand, and strong dancers need a strong technical foundation too. Dancers will neither perform to their highest potential nor develop individual artistry if they are not confident in their training and abilities. Ballet is the most technical of all dance forms, and is the building block from which all other dance forms grow.

    • With that in mind, only dancers who are enrolled in Ballet technique classes will be invited to participate in “extra” opportunities throughout the season (exception: Grasshopper Games and Christmas parades). We do not intend to “penalize” dancers who do not participate in ballet class, but rather encourage dancers to take their training to the “next level!”

    • “Extra” opportunities could include community performances, choreographed dances in Christmas parades, solo/duo/group pieces in the year-end Showcase, competitions, etc.

    • We understand multiple classes can place financial strain on families who have multiple dancers enrolled in our program. We are happy to offer multiple class discounts as well as sibling discounts, and scholarships are available on an at-need basis. Please send scholarship inquiries to our director at [email protected] or call (336) 509-8154 for more information.

Class Expectations and Placement

  • Class Placement:

    • Each dancer learns and grows at his or her own pace. Ages listed on our schedules and class descriptions are a general guideline that helps us initially place dancers. When placing students, whether new or returning, we first take the following things into consideration: physical development and strength, emotional maturity, work ethic, comprehension, and ability to correctly demonstrate level-appropriate technique. Age is a secondary consideration. Sometimes, dancers may be asked to attend a placement class prior to completing registration.

    • It is not uncommon, in fact it is expected, that students spend 2-4 years in any given level. New students can learn from those who have already completed one or more years of a level, which gives more experienced students a wonderful opportunity to be a positive example and leader in class! Promoting a dancer too quickly could result in physical harm, emotional distress, and persistent injuries.

    • Ballet students in levels 2 and above are evaluated twice a year. Mid term evaluations are in December and returned in January, and final evaluations are held in May and returned the Monday following our Spring Showcase. Please click here for more information regarding ballet evaluations.
    • We appreciate you trusting us with your child’s dance education and understanding that we have their best interest, and safety, in mind when making decisions considering class promotions.

    • Classes & Levels:
      • Creative Movement: Designed specifically for boys and girls aged 2.5-4; we introduce basics of dance and teach valuable skills while we explore both free and structured movement. Dancers will learn how to take turns, encourage other students, and follow directions. Rhythm, counting, and basic ballet technique is introduced.
      • Foundations: Introductory level class that creates a strong technical foundation for young dancers aged 4.5-5.5! Foundations will prepare dancers for the next level by introducing proper ballet and tap technique as well as encourage them to explore their own creativity.
      • Level 1 (BTJ1 & Intro to Acro): Beginner level for ages 5.5-7. Dancers in level 1 are introduced to a more traditionally structured class. Ballet warm up is completed in the center followed by across the floor, petit allegro, stretching, some basic jazz technique, and tap technique. Throughout class, follow-along and guided movement exercises (or “games”) are performed to encourage dancers to explore their own creativity as well as experience the freedom of creating their own movement (this aides in critical thinking and problem solving, too!). Dancers who complete level 1 will have a proper understanding of basic ballet, jazz, and tap terminology as well as correct body placement so they are ready to participate in beginner level classes.
      • Level 2: Beginner level for ages 7.5-10(ish). New students older than 7 are placed here. Dancers learn the importance of correct technique and begin to understand and practice concepts like alignment and controlled movement. Combinations are straightforward so dancers may focus on correct placement and alignment.
      • Level 3: High beginner/low intermediate level for ages 9-11(ish). Dancers in level 3 should have at least 1 year experience and have shown they understand and can display correct technique. They should be able to perform a bit more complex combinations without sacrificing alignment or correct technique.
      • Level 4: Intermediate level for ages 10-12(ish). Dancers in level 4 should have at least 2-3 years experience and consistently exhibit correct technique, control, and coordination. Class combinations become more complex and dancers are encouraged to explore their own artistry in greater depth.
      • Level 5: High intermediate/low advanced level for ages 11-Teen. Dancers in level 5 should be able to perform complex combinations without sacrificing correct technique, control, and artistry. Advanced steps and ideas are introduced. Pointe work is introduced as dancers become strong enough.
      • Level 6: Advanced level for ages 13-Teen. Dancers in level 6 consistently show they understand and can perform correct technique. Dancers learn complex/advanced steps and combinations and can execute these combinations without sacrificing technique, control, and artistry.

Summer Attendance

  • Summer Attendance Policy:
    • Taking more than a couple weeks off can very negatively affect a serious dancer’s training. It takes dancers DOUBLE the time they missed to “catch up” to their peers.
    • Rising/current Level 2 dancers are STRONLY ENCOURAGED to attend our summer session.
    • Rising/current Level 3-6 dancers are REQUIRED to attend the entire summer session OR a pre-professional intensive.
      • Failure to attend summer session could result in dancers not moving up to the next level, or losing the privilege to work en pointe. This policy is for dancer’s safety—training at this level requires dedication to avoid injuries that could be life-long. We value our dancer’s health, safety, and commitment to their training, and cannot make exceptions to this policy.

Click edit button to change this text.