Dear Parents and Students,

Happy October!

It’s been a great first month of dance here at AOD. We had our first Dance Buddy week, our older students are journaling away, and our elementary classes are growing. Here is an overview of what’s coming up this month:

Bring a friend day. Creative Movement, all Elementary levels, and Ballet A will have the opportunity to bring a friend to ballet class with them next week! If you didn’t get a flyer and permission slip, let me know and I’ll be happy to email you one. Speaking of bringing a friend, did you know that if you refer a friend to the Academy of Dance (any level), you get a $50 credit on your next tuition statement when they enroll? Referring students is a great way to help grow the studio so we can continue to produce the some of the best-trained dancers and dance performances in the Spokane area.

Costume Fee Due October 20. All students are encouraged to participate in our annual summer concert, which this year will be the excellent ballet Coppélia. The costume fee is $55 per student, which covers the cost of your costume so you can take it home after the concert. Soloists may opt to purchase their solo costume for an additional fee. We will be ordering costumes in November, so it is important to turn in your costume fee on time. Please note that the costume fee is different from the performance fee, which is $50 per student and will be due in March. The performance fee covers the studio’s share of costs for the concert, which this year will include at least one backdrop as well as sets.

Halloween and Dance Buddy week. Our next Dance Buddy week will be the week of Halloween! However, since Halloween itself will be on a Thursday, the Dance Buddy day for Elementary 1A, 1B, and 2A will be the previous Thursday, October 24.

From October 28-31, students will be allowed to wear costumes in class! The rules are: you still have to wear your ballet shoes and tights (unless your costume includes tights), your hair must be in a bun, and you must be able to move freely and safely through all class work (please don’t wear capes, scarves, necklaces, or anything else that wraps around the neck).

We will not be holding Elementary classes on Halloween (Thursday, October 31). Students in these classes may attend an additional class earlier in the week or the following week at the times below:

Elementary 2A may attend Elementary 1B (directly after Elementary 2A, 5:00-5:45)

Elementary 1B may attend Elementary 1A (directly after Elementary 1B, 5:45-6:30) or Elementary 1 (Tuesdays, 4:15-5:00)

Elementary 1A may attend Elementary 1 (Tuesdays, 4:15-5:00) or Creative Movement (Mondays, 4:00-4:30

Ballet C, D, E, and F will have classes on Halloween as normal. If you do miss class, please make up your absence. Level C students may attend Level B (Mondays, 5:30-7:15 or Wednesdays, 4:00-5:15). Level Ds may attend Level C (Wednesdays, 5:00-6:15) or an extra Level D/E/F class. Level Es and Fs may attend Level C/D (Tuesdays, 4:00-5:30) or an extra Level D/E/F or E/F class.

Peter and the Wolf rehearsals will start October 2. If you auditioned for Peter and the Wolf, expect a cast list and rehearsal schedule this week. Please email me to let me know of any dates you will be unavailable to rehearse between now and January 11.

Have a great month! Let's hope that snow last weekend was a fluke!

~Naomi <><

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Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to a new year of ballet at the Academy of Dance! I am so excited about the new school year, and I hope you are all ready to work hard, make progress, and have a lot of fun! This year, I'll be sending monthly parent letters to you via email; they will also be posted on Facebook, and a hard copy will be on display at the studio. These parent letters will contain all kinds of information regarding upcoming events and general need-to-know stuff. I'm dividing this one into parts based on whether the information is for Elementary students, Technique students, or everyone.

Announcements for Everyone

Dance Buddies! In order to build stronger bonds between levels at the studio, as well as to facilitate backstage operations at the concert, I am assigning each Elementary class a Dance Buddy class from our older Technique levels. Several times a year, these groups will get together for about 15-20 minutes of Elementary class time to get to know each other and do some fun dance activities. The Dance Buddy groupings are based on which classes are at the studio at roughly the same time. The groupings are as follows:

  • Creative Movement & Ballet A

  • Elementary 1A & Ballet E/F

  • Elementary 1B & Ballet D

  • Elementary 2A & Ballet C

  • Elementary 2B & Ballet B

Our first Dance Buddy dates will be September 23 (Creative Movement and Elementary 2B) and September 26 (Elementary 1A, 1B, and 2A). I'll email each class with specific times when we get closer to that week.

Possible schedule changes. Right now, our E/F Jazz class is not meeting the minimum enrollment requirements, so we may be canceling that and replacing it with a second Creative Movement class (the new class would be Tuesdays from 4:15-4:45) and Elementary 1B class (the new class would be Tuesdays from 4:45-5:30) Current students could stay in the class they're in now, transfer to the other class, or enroll in both! (there is a 25% tuition discount on the second class). Stay tuned for more information. If we do cancel E/F Jazz, we can move it to Saturday morning from 9-10; if not, students who have paid for that class will be refunded.

Water, personal belongings, and lost and found. I highly recommend all students bring a water bottle to class. It should be labeled with the dancer's name and may be brought into the studio with them and placed in designated areas. It is so important to stay hydrated! Similarly, make sure your shoes, dance clothes, and all other personal belongings are labeled with your name so that if they get left behind, we know whose they are. Please also check the Lost and Found box (located in the ladies dressing room) periodically for lost items. Right now it is full of stuff from the summer concert. Check it now because at the end of the month, I'll be emptying it out and items will either be going to Goodwill or be available for purchase at the studio.

Summer Concert. Our summer concert date is still TBD, but pencil June 13 in your calendars as the most likely date at this point. We will be performing a condensed version of one of my favorite ballets, Coppélia! All Academy of Dance students will participate in this concert (unless you opt out; participation is not mandatory). In addition to a humorous storyline and fun, colorful music, this ballet has a lot of character dancing! I highly encourage all Technique students (levels A-F) to consider taking Character with Miss Lesley, especially levels B and D (hint, wink, nudge). The second half of our concert, performed by SYB, will be Mermaid, our 1980s take on Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid. Auditions for this ballet will take place in January, after SYB's winter performance of Peter and the Wolf which was announced earlier.

Announcements for Creative Movement, Elementary, and Ballet A Students

Bring a Friend Day. Bring a Friend Day was so much fun last year that I want to do it again! All students in Creative Movement, Elementary, and Ballet A are encouraged to invite a friend to come to ballet with them during the week of October 7-11 (for Ballet A students, your friend day will be Wednesday of that week). I will be handing out permission slips to you during class a few weeks beforehand, but in the meantime, think about whom you would like to invite. (By the way, if you refer a friend to the studio and they do enroll here, you get a $50 credit on your account!)

Announcements for Ballet A-F

Mats. All students in Ballet B-F should have a yoga mat for conditioning class. You are allowed to leave your mat at the studio IF you keep them neatly stored in the baskets provided. Make sure your name is on your mat! We have MANY nameless mats at the studio, and as we run out of room for new mats, the nameless ones will be going to Goodwill. If the mats are not being neatly stored, only levels D-F will be allowed to leave them at the studio (because they are the only ones taking class every day).

Journals. Students in levels C-F should bring a small notebook or journal with them to each class. The teachers will be working with these classes on how to keep a dance journal, and we will be devoting class time each week to recording corrections and setting goals. Journaling is an incredibly valuable discipline, whether you're a dancer or not, and I believe keeping a dance journal is a huge part of a dancer's growth.

Vocabulary words. Levels A and B will be studying ballet vocabulary this year! Every month we'll have new words to study that relate to what the students are practicing in class. We will discuss the spelling, pronunciation, definition, and technical execution of each of these vocab words. Level A & B students are encouraged to keep track of these words in journals of their own.


Let's make it a great year! I can't wait to see you all this week!

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We are currently enrolling ages 3 and up for the 2019-2020 school year! Call, email, or visit us to learn more about why the Academy of Dance is Spokane Valley's premiere classical ballet school.

You can register online by creating an account at our Dance Studio-Pro site. DSP also lets you sign up for classes, view your account details, and pay tuition and fees, all online!

The studio's office hours during the month of August are Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. Call or email to schedule an appointment outside office hours (I'm really flexible!).

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Monthly parent letters are emailed to all families currently enrolled in the studio. They are reposted here along with other updates.