Upon accepting placement into the Company Division, dancers and their families agree to the following policies stated in the Company Handbook below.
PLEASE PRINT OUT & DISCUSS Dance Connection Performing Arts Centre COMPANY DANCE PROGRAM A Guide for Students and Parents
About This Handbook FOR MORE THAN THREE DECADES our school has been a leader in dance education. We believe that our success comes as a result of providing solid training and quality service, along with an underlying belief in the strength of our organization. We have created this handbook to offer our dancers and their parents a clear understanding of their commitments and responsibility to the COMPANY DANCE PROGRAM and the school. Dates and/or expenses listed in this handbook are subject to change.
For Our Dancers The first step to becoming a successful dancer is making a solid commitment to your classes, rehearsals, and performances. Strong technique is a key ingredient and class is where you develop that technique. Come to each class prepared to learn and without personal distractions. Class time is your chance to focus on yourself, so try to leave your concerns or worries at the studio door. True progress is made when you look at each class, rehearsal, or performance as an opportunity to become better at what you love to do. Dance full out, stretch a little further, become more aware of your technique, and make the most of every class. Respect for the teachers and choreographers you work with is essential. Listen to each correction given, whether it’s directed to you or another dancer. A correction is an honor; it shows you how much a teacher cares about your progress as a dancer. Always say thank you when a teacher or choreographer offers you constructive criticism. Nothing can stop those students who apply themselves in every class and appreciate their teachers’ knowledge and experience. All rehearsals are dedicated to choreography or “cleaning” the choreography. A dancer who misses a rehearsal holds back the progress of the entire group. Repeating the choreography from a previous session for those who were absent takes up valuable rehearsal time, which could result in a performance that is not up to par. When we clean choreography, we may also change it. Dancers who miss a cleaning session may not be properly prepared for the upcoming performance and could end up letting themselves, their team, or the school down. Performances and competitions are your opportunity to show the world the results of your dedication and hard work. To make the most of this opportunity: Arrive at performances at least one hour prior to the scheduled time, unless otherwise advised by your teachers. Be sure you are properly warmed up. Present yourself in a professional manner, with costumes pressed, shoes cleaned, and all accessories accounted for. Go out there and show the audience how much you love to dance! True progress is made when you look at each class, rehearsal, or performance as an opportunity to become better at what you love to do. For the Parents: “We’re in this together” We believe that children’s success depends on the support of their parents or guardians. Because your commitment to the process makes an enormous difference, we encourage you to be a part of your child’s dance education. Our program relies on a positive atmosphere for our faculty, Intensive participants, and their parents; it promotes a positive learning experience for all involved. Cooperation between all parents is expected. Showing respect for the other parents, along with the students and faculty, makes an important impression on the children. You are a role model for your child in how to interact with others in a professional setting.
Your child’s presence at all classes, rehearsals, and performances is imperative. The spirit of teamwork and the lesson of dedication are a big part of our school’s educational process. Parents and teachers may look at a child’s learning from different perspectives. However, they share a common goal: to assure that every child receives the best possible training, both physically and mentally. Mutual respect between our faculty and our dancers’ parents provides the children with the ultimate care and education.
Understanding Dance Education As a parent, the financial support of your student is important, but of equal—perhaps even greater—value is your emotional support. Encourage your child to be the best that he or she can be without regard to what others may achieve. Dance is an individual art form; each child needs to achieve at a pace that’s comfortable for him or her. No two students will progress at the same rate, even if they experience the exact same training. It’s important to encourage the children to focus on themselves, give their all, and be satisfied with their own accomplishments. Dance education encompasses far more than technique or the steps your children will learn. We believe the discipline of dance training gives young people a better understanding of commitment by offering them the chance to learn, experience the spirit of teamwork, and understand what hard work can accomplish. Our goal is to educate the minds, bodies, and souls of our students, to teach them the skills needed for a successful life, whether or not they stay involved in dance. The financial support of your student is important, but of equal—perhaps even greater—value is your emotional support.
Class or Choreography Placement The school faculty meets regularly to discuss the students’ progress and/or placement. It is our policy to offer appropriate opportunities to every child. Placement decisions are derived from many years of teaching experience. Often a child is placed in a particular group or class where he or she will feel confident, in order to promote the development of self-esteem. Some dancers who are placed in a higher level become discouraged, only to lose their passion for dance. Others respond to the challenge of being in a class with dancers who are more proficient by pushing themselves to work harder. Placement is highly individual and the factors that go into the decision are complex. Please see the school’s director if you have questions or concerns about your child’s placement.
Dos and Don’ts Some parents may compare their child’s progress or class or choreography placement to that of others in the program. Watch for this behavior in your children as well, and encourage them to focus on their own accomplishments. Looking to others for inspiration is a good thing; however, a negative focus or comparison distracts from the energy that could be focused on becoming a stronger dancer. In addition, speaking negatively about your child’s teachers, fellow dancers, or other parents in front of your child––or other students––could result in problems far beyond your original concerns. Often children will react to their parents in a way that imitates the parent’s behavior with other adults or authority figures. Children learn important lessons from their teachers and parents, acquiring important behavior patterns through their example. Our school’s faculty takes that responsibility seriously. It’s our philosophy to encourage our students to feel, think, and act respectfully to their peers, the adults in their lives, and themselves. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s dance education, please don’t talk only with other parents when questions arise. Make an appointment to speak directly to your child’s teachers or the director of the school. Please conduct all communication through the school office rather than approaching your child’s teacher or the director between or during classes or calling them at home. If you do request a conference, please listen carefully to what your child’s teachers have to say. They spend a significant amount of time with your child and can offer expertise in the field of dance education.
Class placement of students is highly individual and the factors that go into the decision are complex.
For Dancers and Parents
Image The children and parents involved in the Company Dance Program participate in many outside activities, each of which becomes a reflection of the school’s philosophy. Please keep the following in mind: We never speak negatively about teachers, dancers, or parents from other schools. We never create conflict with the directors or judges of events in which we participate. WE NEVER FILM OR USE CAMERAS WHEN NOT ALLOWED. We never recruit dancers from other schools. The school director handles all communication with the directors of our outside activities, i.e. competitions/conventions/theaters. No parent or dancer may call or question the directors of any event. If you have a concern, please contact the director of our school.
TIPS: Dress Code Requirements
GIRLS: Ballet: Solid color dark leotard with pink tights, or black booty shorts & bare legs. HAIR IN A BUN BOYS: Sweatpants and a plain, white T-shirt. Boys ages 13 & Up may be required to wear tights for ballet class. Comfortable attire for jazz, hip hop, or tap. Jazz & Tap Dancewear of your choice – proper shoes below
Hip Hop attire: Comfortable clothing in BLACK All team participants must have the following shoes depending on the teams they are placed on
Jazz attire: sweats or shorts or leggings with a dance top, leotard or t-shirt and jazz shoes
SHOES FOR JAZZ: Bloch tan or black jazz shoes – S0401L-interm/adv dancer Capezio jazz shoes tan or black (go to Encore Dancewear) Capezio black tap oxford –
SHOES FOR BALLET: Pink ballet shoes FOR GIRLS Black ballet shoes for boys SHOES FOR Tap: always black – no split sole tap shoes allowed Bloch, Capezio, or SoDanca are your choices Additional shoe styles may be required; please check with the instructor or office.
note for jazz dancers: Because the shoes wear out sooner and tan get dirty, each dancer should have two pairs of each kind of shoe, one for class and the other for performances. Also, dancers who turn a lot should get suede on the bottom of the left turning shoe.
Company dancers are required to wear appropriate shoes for all classes and rehearsals. Make sure shoes are clean and polished for each performance.
Classes All dancers are expected to attend their regularly scheduled classes in addition to all rehearsals and performances. Any team member with poor attendance will be dismissed from the program. Use your absences wisely. If you must miss, please email the office to inform us. The program for Jazz Team includes ballet (1, 2, or 3 classes depending on final placement), jazz, or jazz tech, contemporary, as well as turns tech. Your audition results emailed listed your requirements. The program for Hip Hop or Tap Teams includes at least one technique class in that style. Master classes, in which it is expected team members will participate (depending on placement), may be an additional charge. All dancers must show respect for their teachers at all times. Inappropriate behavior could result in dismissal from the program.
TRAINING AT OUTSIDE STUDIOS Taking classes at other schools is not allowed without the permission of the studio director unless the classes are at non-competing schools located in berkeley, oakland, OR s.f. area.
Rehearsals/attendance policies & Other Information Rehearsals are an important part of the commitment to the Intensive Program. All dancers are expected to work hard and arrive early enough to give themselves time to warm up. dancers who are excessively late may be blocked into a different position in the dance. dancers with excessive absences may be removed from the dance. dancers who miss rehearsals the week of the event may result in being blocked out of the dance for that event. Additional rehearsals may be scheduled at the discretion of the teacher/choreographer. All dancers are required to participate. There may be minimal choreography fees at the beginning of the season if the group director would like to give the students a large block of time on a weekend to learn the dance. Other than that, there are no extra fees for extra rehearsals. Rehearsals for the national competition will take place the TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO LEAVING. All dancers must attend. Do not leave town prior to Nationals. THIS SEASON --- THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS.
No Company dancer may miss more than three rehearsals during the season. A season starts in September and ends after EITHER THE JUNE SHOWCASE OR the national competition in July or early Aug FOR ACCELERATED DANCERS. There will be no exceptions to this rule. Dancers who need to be excused are required to notify the school 24 hours prior to the scheduled rehearsal. Any dancer excused from a rehearsal is responsible for learning any missed choreography prior to arriving for the next rehearsal. All Company dancers must attend rehearsals in proper dance attire and appropriate shoes. It is expected that all dancers will be on their best behavior during rehearsals and work as team players at all times. WE HAVE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR ANY SUBSTANCE ABUSE AT ANY TIME.
Tuition and Expense Policy Part of the commitment to the Company Dance Program is being up-to-date with all accounts related to participation. In an effort to offer all young people the opportunity to experience the Company Program, we offer a large tuition discount. Tuition is due by the 10th of each month. Payments made after the 10th of the month could result in late fees and eventual disqualification from the program. If you prefer a weekly payment plan, please check with the school office. Entry fees for competitions or conventions are due 30 days prior to each event. THIS SEASON..THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS. PLEASE KEEP YOUR ACCOUNT CURRENT AND IN GOOD STANDING.
The Focus Is Not Simply on Competition Since it is our goal to instill a passion for performing rather than merely the desire to win awards, Company dancers have performance opportunities other than competitions. They perform at a special Company Dancer showcase (tba), as well as any other outside events that come our way. We believe the lessons learned through concert performances are just as valuable, if not more so, as the competition experience. Our solid reputation for quality reflects our attitude toward competition and our goal to develop in each student a genuine respect for dance as an art form. We consider participation in competitions not simply part of our students’ training as dancers; it’s also an important part of how we influence them as people. With the right focus, the experience gained in competition can be an excellent source of self-confidence. If the dancers feel good about a performance and understand that they become better each time they go onstage, they are truly growing through the competition experience. Hitting that stage and doing the best they can is what it’s all about; whether they win––or which award they win––is secondary. Through participation in competitions, we hope to instill in our students an appreciation for other dancers and schools. We are not out to beat anyone; instead, we hope to motivate both students and faculty by exposing them to the highest caliber of talent available. Only then can we produce the best dancers and teachers possible. For us, competition is an education! We believe the lessons learned through concert performances are just as valuable as the competition experience.
ABOUT COMPETITIONS Attendance When a competition runs over the entire weekend, we expect our Company dancers to attend at least for one and half hours before they dance on stage. DO NOT ARRIVE LATE – COME TWO (2) HOURS EARLY IF NECESSARY - SOME EVENTS RUN EARLY AND YOU WILL MISS YOUR DANCE IF YOU ARE NOT THERE!! We, the faculty, always work as a team, always available to support each other – if your team director cannot attend for whatever reason, another instructor will be there to prepare the team to go onstage. PLEASE STAY FOR YOUR AWARDS IF POSSIBLE. Independent Entries No dancer may compete in any competition as an independent entry without the permission of the school director. Please email with info regarding any additional events you plan to attend. Cash Scholarships Soloists and Duo/Trios will receive a school credit for the amount of any cash scholarship awarded. It will be applied to lessons, costumes, entry fees, or other expenses related to dance training. Cash scholarships awarded to dancers who perform ensemble pieces will be deposited in the Company Dance treasury to be utilized for prop expenses and travel, or towards the large expense of master classes, guest choreographers, and other activities. COMPETITIONS/EVENTS DATES February – Company Showcase – exact dates tba Five Competitions - dates TBA in October You will receive an email 1 to 2 weeks prior with your competition info & time. They are all in the Bay Area. You don’t need to be there the entire weekend, and will get a time for each dance you are in. Ages 11yrs & Under usually go on Saturday, and Ages 12Yrs & Up usually go on Sunday. Can vary. Fridays (if necessary) are solos or duo/trios. More specific info will be sent to you during January. Each entry fees include an additional $3 charge to cover expenses associated with the school’s participation in competitions including, entry processing, office staff, expenses for teachers to attend all events including hotels, gas, food, etc. We feel since most of our teachers stay at events all weekend, 10-12 hour days usually, this is nominal compensation – even though they would do it for free because they love their students, they deserve a small fee to help compensate their time and traveling expenses. Not all teachers stay the entire weekend for obvious reasons. *june showcase & NATIONALS RULES FOR PARTICIPATION june showcase:participation is required - there are no exceptions. if you are on team that is required to attend nationals, failure to perform in the june show could be reason for dismissal from nationals. NATIONALS: Nationals are MANDATORY only for Apprentice and Senior Company Division. Optional for all other dancers but highly encouraged!!! FOR THOSE ATTENDING: MUST BE AVAILABLE THE 2 WEEKS PRIOR FOR REHEARSALS FOR NATIONALS. If you want to attend and have a conflict, contact us to see if it’s possible. Teacher discretion will be used in all cases since absences during the 2 weeks of rehearsals can affect the entire group.
CONVENTION NON-MANDATORY Optional for all other dancers * These events offer several classes on Saturday & Sunday (8am—3pm) with teachers from Hollywood and/or New York. Some students may compete (studio discretion). To take full advantage of the weekend and participate in all classes offered, students should have training in ballet/jazz/hip hop. Tap is usually offered but only 1 or 2 classes over the weekend and is optional to take. Classes are taught in a hotel ballroom and students are separated by age/ability. We recommend students be at least 7years old and have 2 years of training to attend. Approximately convention fee is $245 per student for all the classes. Competition fees are extra. You must submit payment 4 weeks prior to any convention listed. Since they are non-mandatory, the staff participation will be based on the number of students wanting to attend. You will be notified in advance if a staff member will be present. Entry fees are due in the school office 4 weeks prior to each event. (All competitions are open to the public at no charge.)
Costumes Costume payments are the sole responsibility of the parent or guardian. Team members compete in the styles of Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Tap. Depending on what groups you have been placed in, your will have one costume per group. The average cost of a costume is anywhere from $50 to $200. When costumes are ordered, you will be notified and payment is due at the time of ordering. If costume is custom made, the cost will be an approximate until delivery. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY. COSTUMES WILL NOT BE RELEASED THIS SEASON WITHOUT PAYMENT. If a Company dancer is dismissed or leaves the program, an understudy will replace him or her. The student leaving the team is expected to turn in all costumes to the school office; they will be returned to the student after the last performance of the season.
TERMINATION FEES There are termination fees if a student leaves the program early of up to $800. The fees are SEPT-OCT $300 nov/dec - $400 -- Jan-FEB $500 - MAR/APR $600 APRIL-MAY $700 - JUNE/JULY $800. Accepting placement into the Company Program you agree to the termination fees, NO MATTER THE REASON FOR TERMINATING WHICH CAUSES MUCH STRESS TO THE TEACHERS & THE STUDENTS
TIPS:Costume Common Sense Always have a second pair of tights available. Place costumes in a garment bag for travel with jewelry. Carry hats in a hatbox or container to prevent them from damage. Hang and press costumes before each performance. Place your name in all costumes and shoes. BRING YOUR OWN HAIRSPRAY, BOBBY PINS, SAFETY PINS, MAKE-UP to all Competitions/Events. IF YOU FORGET ITEMS, YOU MIGHT NOT PERFORM – teacher discretion – hard on team & teacher, so please bring EVERYTHING!!
Fund-Raising The school offers optional fund-raising for Company dancers to defray their expense. Dancers receive the proceeds from their own fund-raising. The school will keep an accounting of all funds raised and will distribute the proceeds to your account.
Fund-Raiser: See’s Candy WATCH FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS GREAT FUND-RAISER – USUALLY STARTS AROUND NOVEMBER AND FINISHES MID DECEMBER IN TIME FOR HOLIDAYS. IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS TO CONTRIBUTE TO FUND-RAISING, PLEASE LET US KNOW – WE ARE OPEN TO ANYTHING THAT CAN HELP OFF-SET THE COSTS OF THE COMPANY PROGRAM FOR YOU!!
A Final Note WELCOME TO THE COMPANY DANCER PROGRAM! We look forward to an exciting, rewarding season!
DANCE CONNECTION PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE Celebrating 36 years of Excellence in the Arts Voted Top 50 School in the Nation by Dance Teacher and Dance Spirit Magazine Voted BEST OF THE BAY by Bay Area Parent Magazine
DCPAC….a special place where students can conceive, believe, and achieve!