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Every dancer is important to us and we hope we can make a difference in everyone's lives as their training progresses. We want dancers to feel welcome whether they just dance for fun or are more dedicated with a dance career in mind. The Studio should be a place where everyone feels comfortable and safe and we hope that all of the dancers are kind and respectful towards each other. Please be sure to let us know if problems arise between the dancers so that we can facilitate a resolution. We will have zero tolerance for any rudeness or bullying that may seem a natural part of growing up, but is unnecessary in our program. We remind the dancers that everyone had to start some time and there will always be someone less and someone more talented than you. If you have any concerns with the instructors we would like to be notified immediately so we can explore the issue.


FEES


There is a $35.00 non-refundable registration fee in order to hold your place in a class. If you pay this fee you will be guaranteed the classes that you would like. Please note that class fees are based upon the full program offered and NOT as a monthly fee. All classes are guaranteed 30 classes per dance season (this may include extra practices). If you sign up later in the year you are still responsible to pay for our full year program. Payment options include cheque, cash, debit or Visa/Mastercard. Class fees may be split into two payments, one at the time of registration and one due no later than January 15th  (if you are paying by cheque we require a post dated cheque for the 2nd half, if you are paying by Visa or MasterCard we would like your number on file), if you are late with the second half of your payment there will be a late fee of $20.00/wk starting Jan. 15th. We also require a non-refundable payment of $165.50 per performance class for all festival and costume fees on registration day. This portion of your payment can NOT be split into two payments. This will be the final bill for all festival fees and costumes. You will receive your costume as we receive them. After October 1st there will be no refunds for any festival fees paid (even if you are unable to attend a festival), if you are unable to make it to any festivals you need to give written notice to the office by September 30th or we will automatically enter you and you will be responsible for full payment of each festival.) There will be no refunds for September classes under any circumstances. If you withdraw from a program after September 30th, an administration fee of $75.00 (total of 110.00 with registration fee) will be deducted from any refund you are eligible to receive. After Oct 1st a total of 275.50 will be non refunded. ( This is the costume and entry fee as well as the cancallation fee.) This is due to the difficulty the loss of a student creates for the performance. New choreography and alterations are frequently required to accommodate this loss. If you withdraw after Oct 1st costumes/festival fees are non refundable no expections. and all paid the costume is then of course, yours to keep. If you do not clearly notify the studio of your intent to quit, no refund will be issued. After Sept 10th 2020 festival fees refunds for the non returning student from the 2019 festival season will not be offered. As well as credit will not rolled over to the next season.  With this season being differnt from most please take a look at our covid page for all info on our guidelines for this upcoimg season, as things have changed slightly regarding rules with refunds. We are excited to get back into the studio.



CLASS PLACEMENT


The classes will be structured to include dancers of similar ability and age, not necessarily years of training. Please allow for us to assess the classes and make appropriate changes to create well balanced classes. Our dance instructors are responsible for placing the dancers in the appropriate classes. Parents often ask what classes should my child take or why is my child not dancing with

his/her friends. We hope the following information will help you understand the development of dance.


Dancers progress at different levels for various reasons. First, the natural ability (flexibility/turnout/muscle and tendon structure, etc.) is what the students start with prior to any formal instruction. Second, is the commitment and dedication does not reach the same level as a student that consistently works in and out of classes to excel and is enrolled in a complete training program. Third, all dancers experience growth spurts which may setback the child's development, as we must wait for the muscles to catch up to the bone growth spurt, which occurs first, leaving the muscles weaker (less body control) then prior the growth spurt. This process can take from 1 to 3 years depending on the child. Pushing a child through this period when their bodies are not ready can result in injuries to the ankles, knees, hips and back which may cause permanent damage to the dancer's body. To all dancers there is no substitution for the study of ballet. Ballet is fundamental. It is the repetition that develops the dancers body.



Many parents enroll their child in a dance discipline at an early age and with little personal experience of the revolution required to develop and train a dancer. In a second or later year the parents or child choose to either change disciplines or add a second discipline.


The dancers second class regardless of their first discipline should be ballet. This is based on developing your child to be the best dancer they can be - not saying they will be professionals - just that while they are dancing they will be doing the best they can. Every beginner dancer should be taking one class of ballet per week by age 7.



The course of study you and your child choose to make is a personal one and is based on the time commitment you are willing to make along with the financial commitment you are able to make. A recreational dancer taking one class a week receives the same quality of instruction as a child studying ten hours per week.



After the first month of classes if you are unhappy with your placement please let us know and we will explore your options.



CLASS SUMMARY


Our programs are designed to combine fundamental dance steps with creative choreography, a passion for physical expression and self-discipline. Throughout the year dancers will learn new steps, improve technique of previously known steps while developing a routine that will be performed at Festivals in the spring along with the year end recital here in Edson. Please note that we need a minimum of 5 dancers in each class or they will be cancelled for this season.  


Attendance is very important and will be monitored. If you miss three or more classes without a phone call you will be pulled out of that class. If you feel this program is no longer suitable for you for any reason, Festival fees and costume deposits are NON-REFUNDABLE. Please remember that choosing to join a dance class is just like signing up for a team. Please keep in mind your other classmates before you quit as your quitting affects everyone. Please see our class summary page for information on all of the disciplines we offer. Please note that in order to be enrolled in a pre-dance class your child must be potty trained.



REQUIRED ATTIRE:


Proper dance attire is expected in these dance classes, the following is what is expected but please double check with your teachers on what color of shoes you will be wearing before you buy new ones. Thank you.



Pre-Dance Classes:


  This year we would like all the pre-dance to wear pink body suits, pink tights, and pink ballet slippers. Skirts or tu-tus optional.


Kinder Classes:


This year we have incorporated more kinder classes. So we would like all students to dress according to the class they are enrolled in. For example if you are in kinder tap or jazz please wear jazz pants (yoga pants, leggings etc), tank tops and jazz shoes/tap shoes. If you are in kinder hip hop you may wear sweatpants, track pants, tank tops, t-shirts and you will need to wear indoor runners. Please no jeans for any of these classes.


Ballet Classes:


These dancers require BLACK TANK BODY SUITS, PINK BALLET TIGHTS, PINK BALLET SLIPPERS c/w ELASTICS. Hair must be worn up in a bun with bangs back.  


Jazz classes:


These dancers require dance wear any color, any style. Yoga pants are allowed. Hair must be worn up in a pony-tail or bun with bangs back. Warm-up shirts are only allowed for the warm-up. Please no baggy sweatpants (for example groove street ones). All performance classes are required to wear BEIGE JAZZ SHOES. All “Performance Plus” classes will require BLACK & BEIGE JAZZ SHOES. (Please double check this with your teachers)


Lyrical classes:


These dancers require dance wear any color or style and FOOT UNDIES or BEIGE JAZZ SHOES (please double check this with your teacher). But note that if your class is wearing foot undies for festival you will need beige ones. Hair must be up in a pony-tail or bun. Cover-ups may be worn for warm-ups.


Hip Hop classes:


These dancers require dance wear any color or style. Dance pants and strappy tops are allowed. Please wear indoor white/white soled sneakers. Unless otherwise stated by your teacher these sneakers will be worn for festival performances as well. Hair must be worn up. Hats are allowed. No jeans!!


Tap classes:


These dancers require dance wear any color or style and all tap classes require BLACK OXFORDS (for the dancers 8 & under please check with your teacher before buying new tap shoes). Hair must be up. Sneakers can be worn until after the sale.



Dancers are required to be dressed appropriately for class. No jeans, slacks or pajama bottoms are permitted. A warning will be issued the first time you are not dressed in the appropriate clothes. The second and consecutive times a dancer is not prepared for class in the appropriate clothing they will not be permitted to participate. They will be permitted to watch the class so they will not miss any new choreography that is introduced that day.


We will be having a dancewear sale in the studio in September. The sale is put on by 'BZbodys' from Sherwood Park and they have many brand names and sizes of shoes, bodysuits, tights etc. Please try to make it to this sale as after the sale everyone must come to class in proper attire or they will not be allowed to participate.



FESTIVALS – Kinder Classes Included


Essence Dance Co. is a performance based studio and as such ALL dancers ages 5 and older are expected to participate in Festivals. This year students will attend 2 festivals. With our older dancers, (13yrs +) attending 3-4 Festivals. Festivals are usually held in the Edmonton area. These festivals are the focus of our year, where our dancers get a chance to demonstrate what they have learned throughout the season. It is a great opportunity for the dancers as it gives them confidence, showmanship, individuality and motivation. These festivals are not a competition. Everyone will receive some form of recognition for participation. There are scholarships, plaques and trophies to be won. Festivals are held from March to the end of May. We will hand out notes with the times/dates etc. for these festivals as soon as we have the information so everyone can make plans for them.


For these festivals everyone will pay a festival entry fee of approx. $25.00-$30.00 per group, $40.00-$50.00 per solo, and $30.00-$40.00 per duet (all depending on which festivals we will be attending). They will also need to purchase a costume for their dance which we will start ordering by the beginning of October. With the exception of extra routines (solos/duets) these fees will all be included in your costume and festival fee that you pay on registration day.



PRACTICES


Every year we will have extra practices, these practices are mandatory. We will hold a practice at the beginning of February to make sure all of the choreography is done. We will also hold a dress rehearsal at the beginning of March where everyone will need their costumes but no make-up. We will hand out notes notifying everyone 2 weeks in advance about these practices. Please no spectators for these practices.



SOLOS/DUETS


During the year the instructors will be choosing students by their class performance, attitude, attendance, treatment of peers and instructors, and work ethic to do a solo or duet. Children must have completed one year of dance in this program in order to do a solo, and they must also be in the ballet program (with the exception of hip hop solos). Solo/duets are purely optional. There are additional fees associated with solos and duets which are separate from any fees paid for classes. These fees will be detailed in the solo/duet contract you will be offered if your student is selected for one.



SPECTATORS


Due to the disruption of classes we request no spectators for any of the classes, including pre-dance. For the pre-dance students who are very shy and unable to be away from their parents, we recommend the parents waiting in the lobby during class, we will come get you if you are needed. We have found in past years if the children don't see their parents they are more likely to participate in the class. Do not bring any friends to classes as this disrupts the class. Every three months we will offer a viewing day where the parents will be able to come and watch. Please watch out for these days in our monthly newsletters.



COMMUNICATION


We do all of our communication through our monthly newsletters handed out at the beginning of each month. These newsletters are very important and will notify you of all holidays, festival dates, fees due etc. Please make sure your child is bringing these notes home. If you are not receiving any of these newsletters or if you have missed a class please come into the office Monday thru Thursday from 3:30 - 6:00 to pick one up. We will also have our newsletters (and any other notes) posted on our website at all times, as well as on our front bulletin board. It is your responsibility to make sure you have all of our information we send home as there are too many students for us to keep track of who left their note sitting on the bench in the waiting area, so please ask your student after each class if there were any notes handed out in class. Thank you for your co-operation.



COLD WEATHER POLICY


Due to our cold winters we have instilled a cold weather policy. If the weather is -30 or colder (with wind chill), or if we receive a huge amount of snowfall the evening before, and/or if school buses are cancelled, all of our classes will be cancelled as well as the office will be closed. Every morning on cold days we will update our answering machine as well as our website notifying you of cancelled classes. If the weather changes and gets warmer by mid afternoon classes will still be cancelled. Our website and answering machine will be our only way of notifying you if classes are cancelled, if you are unsure please make sure you check any of these options before dropping your child off at the studio as the studio will be locked.



A NOTE ON CONDUCT


As a place that is frequented by children of all ages we expect to see kindness, consideration and courtesy demonstrated by ALL visitors, dancers, friends and family. Rudeness, bad language, or any conduct we deem inappropriate will not be tolerated. Theft or significant damage to studio or dancers personal property will result in immediate expulsion of the guilty party, forfeit of all fees paid as well as a bill for any repairs/compensation for the theft or damage done. The studio and its staff are not liable for theft or damage to personal property.


Dance requires self-discipline and commitment in order to succeed and improve. We expect a high level of conduct from our students when they are both at the studio or away.


Conflicts with other extra-curricular activities have arisen in the past. If your dancer is intending to participate in other after-school activities (eg: volleyball, basketball) that may interfere with attendance, please be sure to discuss this with us. Too many absences hurt not just your dancer but the performance of the whole group.




Essence Dance Co. is committed to providing a professional atmosphere for all dancers. We therefore ask that everyone, including dancers and parents, observe the following:



*Attend classes on a regular basis


*Arrive to classes on time


*Bring proper dance attire and shoes to all classes


*Show consideration, courtesy and respect to other dancers and all instructors both in classes and at festivals


*Refrain from making any negative comments about other dancers, parents, teachers or other dance studios.


*No gum chewing allowed in classes


*No cell phones allowed in classes


*Respect all property; yours, the studios and others


*Any student wishing to do a solo or duet must be enrolled in a ballet class


*Please phone if you are unable to make it to class


*Let your instructor know well ahead of time (by October 1st) if you are unable to attend a festival


*Unexpected absent members of a “team” make it difficult for others


*Check the bulletin boards and website on a regular basis for updates and newsletters


*All students are expected to attend ALL extra practices (dress rehearsal etc.)


*All parents are expected to pay all fees on time and have read and understand our refund policies



Any questions please feel free to email us.  We are looking forward to another sucessful and exciting year.






Rules & Regulations