September Parent Letter: Welcome to a New Year!
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!