e have started our season again at the studio. I always enjoy seeing all of the returning faces but the new faces and the new dance moms are always the ones that are the most fun. Being a mom of three myself, I understand the anxiety that comes with starting any new activity with your child. Did I get all of the right 'stuff' for them to be successful at this dang thing? Did I buy everything they needed? Was it the 'best' brand, was it good quality, OMG, someone tell me that I GOT EVERYTHING AND THAT IT WON'T BE MY FAULT THAT THE LOOK CRAZY ON THAT FIRST PRACTICE DAY! Yep, I have been there too! I feel your pain! Ok, so CALM DOWN now and take a DEEP BREATH! It is all going to be OKAY! I promise! I soon realized after a couple of those, I'm about to throw up I am so nervous for my child, moments that it is okay to not have it all figured out. The truth is no one really ever does; including the mom that has done this for 19 bazillion years. We all are on our own learning curve and the curve moves as our child grows older.
So what does a dancer need to be successful for dance class? Every dancer no matter what age, will need a leotard and some tights. For the little ones, one that is absolutely CUTE, PRETTY, SPARKLY, and did I mention FUN? Oh, yeah and it probably should have some sort of skirt that stands out when she twirls around. Generally you are going to be safe with pink ballet shoes and go ahead and spend the few extra bucks and get the correct ballet shoes, not the slippers that some stores sell. Ballet shoes should have ties at the top of the shoe (where the toe slides into the shoe). The ties help to tighten up the shoe to help it properly fit and stay on. Also, ballet shoes should have an elastic band that goes across the top of the foot. Ask the studio if you aren't sure exactly what you need because we have pictures and can also size and order exactly the right 'stuff'. You will need tap shoes for tap, jazz shoes for jazz, clogging shoes for clogging, etc. We have a list on our website, in our studio handbook, and once again, DON'T PANIC, we have pictures for you and can order it. :)
Below is a list of questions that we put in our September newsletter to help new parents - These will help you!
We are new to Center Stage and/ or to dance, what are some things to expect this year?
1) Will my dancer learn and grow? Dance is a progressive activity. Your dancer will learn new things every single week. All dancers learn the basics and then the teacher will begin to build upon those basics. We encourage practicing at home as well to further what our students learn. 2) Can I watch class? Absolutely! We have a video monitoring system in the lobby that allows you to see the entire class. We also bring parents in periodically to view the classes. 3) What is recital? Recital is the end of the year showcase that we put on. It is a very special show. We put a lot of time, effort, and expense in to trying to make the day extra special for your student! We want to Celebrate all of their hard work. Although we want everyone to participate in recital, it is not required. 4) Do we have to buy a costume for recital? We do purchase costumes for our recital. The costume gives our students the feeling of being a super star. We want to make your student feel extra special and be able to show off their hard work for their family and friends. 5) What does the recital fee cover? The recital fee helps to cover the expense of renting the venue. We rent the Enterprise Performing Arts Center which is not only extremely nice, but also state of the art. The recital fee is charged in January. 6) Do I have to pay for the costumes all at one time or can I make payments? You can make payments, as your budget allows or pay all at one time. All payments are due by December 1st though. 7) Are there other requirements for recital? You will need to have the correct color shoes; which are not included in the price of the costumes. We also automatically order tights, to go under the costumes, for everyone in the correct color. The tights will be ordered in January. 8) Are there other costs associated with recital? There are optional costs that are associated; but these are NOT required. Recital ads, flowers, Recital DVD, recital program, pictures, and commemorative shirt are some of these optional costs. We try to bundle as much as possible and these will be offered well in advance to allow you time to budget for the expense, if you choose to purchase any of these. 9) Can I pay my tuition and fees online or by automatic draft? Absolutely! Everyone was set-up at registration into our online system. You should have received an email with your login information. You can make payments online, register for classes, see any class notes from the instructor; including videos and/ or music that has been uploaded for our students to practice with! 10) Can I drop my child off and come back? Absolutely! Feel free to run errands or whatever. We just ask that you pick them up immediately following class time and that they NOT wait outside for their ride. 11) What kind of shoes do I need or what does my child need to wear and where do I get it? If you will refer to our studio handbook, we have our dress code policy listed. We can order all of your dancewear needs at the studio for you! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask us! 12) Since you are closed for a holiday or we missed because my child was sick is my tuition prorated? No, we do not prorate tuition. Just like we don’t charge you extra for the months that you receive 5 lessons instead of 4. We base tuition on an average number of weeks per season/ lessons per month. 13) Will I receive a statement every month? No, we do not send out statements except to overdue accounts. Tuition is due by the 10th of the month and a late fee of $15.00 will be applied on the 11th.
So as you can see, it will all be okay mom. Just relax and enjoy the year of dance with your child! The newness passes and we are here to help you! I know how you feel and believe me I want you to feel like you 'know' everything that there is to know about your dance experience! I look forward to seeing you for the next few years and you being able to help all of our 'new moms' as they arrive with what you learn; because let's face it you'll be an old-hand at this in no time!
Crystal Sizemore is the owner and artistic director of Center Stage Dance Studio. She has a MBA and Bachelor's degree in Business with a minor in dance. She lives in Enterprise, Alabama with her husband and 3 kids.
Inspiring excellence one child at a time. Striving to offer an encouraging, supportive, family-oriented, and loving environment that teaches not only proper dance technique, based on a structured curriculum; but also teaches life skills taught by a passionate and caring faculty.
Enterprise Location - 1107 Rucker Blvd., Enterprise