Why is my dancer in the same level as last season?
Dance does not follow the same structure, or progression (1st Grade, 2nd Grade, etc.), as academic school. Dancers can expect to remain in a level for at least a couple of years. This is to ensure proper execution of their technique, strength development, musicality and confidence. Knowing what a step is and being able to perfectthe skill are two very different things. It is our goal to make sure that a dancer progresses to the next level when they are ready.
Can my dancer be in class with their friend?
Dancers are placed in class based on their age and skill level. We go to great lengths to make sure the dancers are in an environment that they will thrive in. We cannot place dancers who are not of the same skill set in class with one another. Once dancers are in class, they are sure to make some new friends with their new classmates.
When is my dancer ready for pointe work?
This is a question I get quite a bit. There are many criteria that I look for when deciding when a dancer is ready to go on pointe. First a dancer needs to be at least 11 to 12 years of age. Any time before this age the dancer’s bones in their feet are still developing. The shape of the foot is also a factor. Does the dancer have flat feet, a very low arch, or toes that are significantly different in length? If they do then they may be structurally unable to do pointe work. Does the dancer have the physical strength necessary to start pointe work? Does the dancer have good alignment?Does the dancer attend at least 2 ballet technique classes per week? Dancers should have trained consistently with a minimum of 2 ballet classes a week for 3 years. Is the dancer emotionally ready? Pointe work is very difficult and is painful at times. Is the dancer committed to their training? Dancers must dance consistently throughout the year. Dancers need to be disciplined both in an out of class. There will be exercises to do at home. Weight is also a factor. I always encourage dancers to maintain a healthy body as it is our instrument. Pointe work is not for everybody. Not going on pointe is not the end of the world. I have had dozens of advanced level dancers who have continued to the highest level in ballet technique class without pointe. Remember all dancers progress at their own pace. Not all dancers are going to be ready for pointe work at the same time as others in their class. We consider each dancer as an individual when making these decisions. We take this decision very seriously to ensure the safety and continued growth of each dancer in a positive direction.
Can I attend a different class during fall sports season?
The fall sports season is a bit of a challenge for dancers that also play sports. At times there is a conflict between practice schedules and their recommended dance class schedule. At times we are able to recommend a make up class time for dancers to attend until fall sports season is complete. Once the sport is finished dancers would return to their regular class. It is difficult for both the teacher and the dancer to start class after the fall sports season. There are skills that are being taught that dancers will miss if they are not in class from the start in September. We strongly recommend that dancers make every attempt to begin classes with the start of our program. Dancers who cannot may end up on a wait list. We don’t want you to miss out!!
Which level class is appropriate for my dancer?
Why is my dancer in this level? I know looking at the schedule on-line can be confusing. The names and levels of the classes mean something to the faculty. It is how we manage the levels and rosters. We spend several weeks grouping dancers together for the upcoming season. We want to make sure our dancers are placed in levels that are age and level appropriate and will work well together. We never place a dancer in a class that is below the ability. We also are not opposed to making adjustments throughout the season if we see that a dancer is ready to move up. It is not our practice to hold any one back. Our faculty has a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge. We will not place a dancer who is not ready for a higher level in a class that is too much for them. We want to foster the best possible learning environment for each dancer as an individual. We do evaluate the dancers throughout the first several weeks of our program. You will be notified if we feel a dancer should change levels.