CLASSES

Weekly Technique

Weekly classes will begin September 14th, 2020 and conclude June 9th, 2021.

Team members are expected to have regular attendance at all scheduled, weekly technique classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and/or Thursdays, whether in-person or livestream.  
Dancers have the option to attend classes virtually, even when class is being held in-person, if desired.

Your child’s weekly schedule can be found by referencing the 2020-2021 Fall Schedule on the Parent Portal, and after September 1st, will also be available to view in your child’s MindBody account

While we hope this will not be necessary, should your child’s weekly technique schedule need to change at any point throughout the course of the year to accommodate changes due to COVID (new restrictions in size of gatherings or other unforeseen circumstances), you will be notified via e-mail in advance, and the adjusted schedule will also be posted on the Parent Portal as well as in your MindBody account

In the event that a dancer can not attend their scheduled time due to illness, technical difficulties, or other conflicts, they should notify their instructor ahead of time. Full Company members should also e-mail the Company Director to receive options for make-up classes. While most years, team dancers have the flexibility to jump into make-up technique classes without advance notice, this year as a result of safety measures put into place, dancers will have the following make-up options:
- Take a livestream makeup technique class on a different day (must text “MAKEUP” with the date/time of the class you wish to take as a makeup to 517-225-0096 at least 24 hours in advance)
- Take an in-person makeup technique class on a different day (if space allows)
- Take a pre-recorded technique class online at a time of their choosing 

Wednesday Rehearsals

In addition to weekly technique classes, team members will also have a scheduled time slot every week to rehearse their competition routines. These will be mostly on Wednesday afternoon/evenings, (although some routines may be on a different day) and will take place in-person when allowed, and via livestream when not.

Dancers have the option to attend rehearsals virtually even when class is being held in-person if desired.

These rehearsals are also mandatory, and only major events such as family emergencies, illness, and graded school events will be excused. Should a child need to miss a Wednesday rehearsal, they should notify their instructor ahead of time, as well as learn any missed choreography/corrections prior to their return to class.

While we understand that over the course of the season, illness/conflicts will arise, we expect team members to make their rehearsals a priority and make every effort to avoid scheduling other activities during rehearsal time. In the event of chronic absenteeism, the faculty will reach out to the parent of the dancer to discuss options.

Closer to competition, there may be additional rehearsals added on weekends. We will do our best to provide ample notice.

Dress Code

Whether at home or in the studio, appropriate dancewear is vital to dancer success. Not only does it allow the dancer to move freely, it allows the instructor to give more accurate feedback. Team members MUST wear appropriate dancewear to every dance class. 

 

The dress code for Ladies is as follows:

All Technique Classes:

  • Light purple/lavender leotard

  • Pink tight

  • Capezio Hanami Ballet Shoes for ballet

  • Appropriate shoes for tap/jumps&turns/etc

  • Hair in bun

  • Hip alignment belt (if desired)

  • Hair secured tightly up off the face in a bun, braids, or similar

 

Wednesday Rehearsals:

  • Form-fitting dancewear (leotard and tights, dance top and shorts, or similar)

  • NO t-shirts, sweatshirts, baggy clothing, or jewelry

  • Hair secured tightly up off the face in a bun or similar

  • Appropriate shoes are required for all classes

 

The dress code for Men is as follows:

Technique/Wednesday Rehearsals:

  • Form-fitting clothing the dancer can move in

  • If wearing shorts, knees should be visible

  • Appropriate shoes are required for all classes

 

Health & Safety Measures related to Dress Code:

  • All dance shoes should be stored in a dance bag, which comes into the classroom and goes home every night. Please do not bring additional backpacks, lunchboxes, etc. to the studio.

  • Dancers should regularly and routinely launder their dance clothing, including cloth masks after class

  • Please arrive to the studio already dressed with warm-ups or outerwear over top. Dressing rooms will not be available to change this year.

  • Until further notice, warm-ups will not be allowed in the classroom; please remove any articles of clothing that are not a part of the dress code before entering the classroom and put them in your bag.

  • Dancers are required to pin their hair up tightly so that they do not need to redo it during class.

  • PreCompany/Little Spartans/BBoy Team dancers who haven’t mastered shoe tying are asked to use slip-on shoes without laces to take class in.

In the Event of Illness or Flu-like Symptoms

We recognize that this year more than ever, there may be times that your dancer feels fine to dance and doesn’t want to have to miss class, but should not attend in-person classes. For the safety of the other dancers, our staff, and our community, we ask that if your dancer is exhibiting ANY of the following symptoms of COVID, or has recently come in contact with someone who has, they abide by the policies laid out on our COVID page and stay home. If a dancer feels ok to dance, they are welcome to take their scheduled classes (either technique or competition rehearsals) via livestream in lieu of in-person classes if they wish. Please use SDC at Home classes when: 

Any dancer that is experiencing any illness, including:  

  • cold 

  • cough 

  • sore throat 

  • fever/chills 

  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 

  • fatigue 

  • muscle or body aches 

  • headache 

  • lost of taste or smell 

  • congestion or runny nose

  • nausea or vomiting

  •  diarrhea 

  • flu-like symptoms


In the event of extended absence from classes due to prolonged illness or quarantine, instructors will be notified and the dancer in question will have extended time to get caught up on choreography. In the event of prolonged absence due to COVID, depending on the amount of class missed, dancers may not be expected to make up their technique classes, however instructors will work with the dancer on a case by case basis to come up with a feasible plan for make-up classes if desired.

Please be sure to stay abreast of changes made to the COVID page.

In the Event of Injury

Although we never want to think about a dancer becoming injured, occasionally despite best practices, injuries do occur, whether dancing or participating in other activities. In the event of injury:

  • Dancers who are unable to participate in class due to their injury should take their classes via livestream until they are cleared to return to physical activity

  • When the dancer is cleared to return to dance, parents must e-mail a doctor’s note detailing what level of activity is permitted

  • In the event of severe injuries which limit the dancer’s participation for an extended period of time, a meeting between the parents and owner must happen prior to the dancer resuming participation of any level.

In the Event of Inclement Weather

At times when in-person class is allowed but dancers are still by law prohibited from taking class inside of a dance studio, classes may be held outdoors during the fall, spring, or summer. (Dancers who wish to attend virtually in lieu of outdoors will have that option.) In the event of rain, excessive heat, or similar, parents and dancers will be notified at least 2 hours prior to the class that the day’s classes will take place via livestream instead. In the event of local school closings for snow day, please check email, social media, or our text system for SDC closure.

 

Training Outside of Class

As of right now, our competitive team is only a 2-3 day-a-week program with a minimal weekend commitment. This is in an effort to keep one program from monopolizing a child’s time. However, the dancer should not expect 2 days of training a week to drastically improve their flexibility and strength (two elements essential for success as a competitive company as well as injury prevention), nor should they expect that Wednesday class alone is enough for them to master the choreography that was taught. Consequently, team members will be expected to do some training outside of the classroom as well.

Team members should:

  • Stretch sides, legs, backs, ankles daily

  • Strengthen core, ankles, and do other forms of cross-training to improve strength and stamina

  • Review and practice full out all choreography

  • Drill and improve all necessary skills like turns, leaps, jumps, and tricks

 

Team members must:

Come to each rehearsal with a solid knowledge of the material that was taught previously. Dancers who do not may be required to pay the instructor for privates, or in extreme circumstances, be removed from the routine.

 

***Note to parents: We encourage your children to utilize videos of the choreography to practice at home. However, these videos are for your use ONLY and should not be uploaded to Facebook, YouTube, etc. or shared with dancers from other studios.

 

PERFORMANCES

 

Regional Competitions

All competitive teams will attend (3) regional competitions in 2021. These competitions are held on weekends beginning as early as February. We will endeavor to stay within an hour-long drive to the event if possible, but please understand that this year, due to COVID, it may be necessary to drive between 3-5 hours to the event.

Dates of the competition weekends we will be attending will be announced at least three months prior, and a more detailed schedule of call times and performance times will be available about a week prior to each competition.

In addition to your child’s competition fees, some of our regional competitions may include a media fee. Typically the cost is around $25-$35 per dancer, and includes access to all your child’s professional photos and videos of their dances from that event. Media fees will be due the same date as the competition fee payment is due for each competition (if required.)

Dancers can not be registered for a competition unless their competition/media fees are paid by the due date.

Dancers and family members are expected to abide by all rules and regulations put forth by SDC and the competition companies at each event. In the event that the number of spectators or guardians per dancer is limited, most competitions will provide livestream access to view the competition.

Dancers and family members are expected to abide by the code of conduct and exhibit outstanding sportsmanship at all competitions.

National Competition

Should large events such as Nationals be deemed safe by the summer of 2021, Full Company will also attend one national competition this year in the summer (date and location TBD). More details to follow later in the season.
 

Recital

The team will also perform their competition routines in SDC’s end-of-the-year recital. (Tentatively scheduled at Okemos High School, however if necessary, an alternate performing arts center or outdoor venue will be found.)

Solo/duo/trios will perform in one of the shows, and group routines will perform in 1-3 of the shows.

Recital is an opportunity to not only showcase the dancers’ hard work, but is also necessary practice for Nationals. As with competition, team members are expected to be in attendance, and only major extenuating circumstances such as illness/injury will be excused.

 

In the Event of Illness/Injury 

Should a dancer not be able to attend a performance due to COVID symptoms or injury, SDC will attempt to receive a refund for any competition fees on the dancer’s behalf.

Dancers must participate fully in all classes in the two weeks prior to a performance in order to perform with the team. Exceptions are rare, but may be made if the dancer in question has shown exceptional attendance in all of their classes throughout the season as well as 100% mastery of the routines they will be performing.

In the event of severe, prolonged injury or illness, the owner reserves the right to pull a dancer from a performance if they feel it is in the best interest of the health/safety of the child. This will only be done in very extreme circumstances, and parents will be consulted prior, however the final decision remains in the hands of the owner.

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Solo/Duo/Trios

Dancers may choose to learn and compete a solo, duo, and or trio in addition to their group routines. Like group routines, solo/duo/trios will have a weekly time slot where they will rehearse.

Monthly tuition for solo/duo/trios covers the regular dance season, and is not based on how many classes are held per month, but rather the total cost of the 2020-2021 dance year. Solo/duo/trio dance rehearsals follow the SDC calendar for closed dates. Our instructors schedules are planned specifically to accommodate our solo/duo/trio dancers, and if a dancer has to miss their weekly solo/duo/trio rehearsal, we are unable to fill that week’s slot with another dancer. As such, makeup classes are not offered for holidays, studio closures, or missed classes.

In addition to monthly tuition and competition fees, there is a choreography fee of $300 per routine (divided two or three ways for duo or trios) paid directly to your child’s choreographer. Please use a check, or preferred for the 2020-2021 season, an app such as Venmo, CashApp, or Zelle.  Choreography fee MUST be paid prior to choreography being started on your child’s routine.

On the schedule page of the parent portal, there is a list of available time slots/instructors for solo/duo/trios. Please choose your top (6) slots and e-mail them to
company@spartandancecenter.com NO LATER THAN August 22nd. We will try to give you one of your first 6 choices, but can not necessarily guarantee that.

You will receive an e-mail after August 22nd notifying you of your child’s weekly time slot. Once you have received that, choreography will begin on your child’s routine.

As with group routines, instructor will choose a style, song, and costume that they feel is the best fit for the dancer. Our instructors are experienced professionals who take into account the dancer’s age, skill set, level of performance, strengths and weakness, as well as their own knowledge of judges on the competition circuit and their vision for the dancer.

Dancers have two options this season for how they would prefer to learn their solo/duo/trio:

Early-Start Option (Begins in August):

  • Dancer will received a detailed, prerecorded instructional video of their choreography

  • Once dancer has learned the choreography, they will have (2) one-hour long Zoom sessions with their instructor to ask questions, get breakdowns of sections they are struggling with, and receive general feedback on their execution of the choreography

  • Once it is legal to return to indoor, in-person instruction at the dance studio, dancer will have (2) 50 minute rehearsals to practice and perfect the routine

  • Full Company dancers will have the option for an hour-long session prior to Nationals if desired.


Late-Start Option (Begins when in-person, indoor instruction at the dance studio is permitted):

  • Once it is legal to return to indoor, in-person instruction at the dance studio, dancer will have (4) 50 minute rehearsals where they will learn their routine*

  • Full Company dancers will have the option for an additional hour-long session prior to Nationals if desired.

Pointe

Pointe is available by instructor-invite only based on child’s skill level and physical readiness. We have a strict set of rubrics and guidelines that we use to assess readiness that takes into account mental/physical maturity, bone structure, technical excellence, injuries or physical limitations, and so much more. Our rules are in place to ensure the child’s short-term and long-term health and safety. Oftentimes, dancers can be impatient to receive their shoes, especially when they see other children their age beginning pointework. We ask that you trust and support our instructors in their decisions, as they are professionals who oftentimes spend upwards of 8 hours per week watching your child dance, and know your child’s readiness best.

If your child has been invited to begin pointework, it is in part because the instructors feel that they have the maturity to follow the restrictions put in place for their safety and the success and longevity of their dance career. Please be sure that once your child has been cleared to receive their shoes, they follow the guidance of their teacher as directed (i.e. not trying on another dancer’s shoes, waiting to sew shoes until they have been approved, limiting their time in their shoes to guided classroom instruction, not attempting skills they are not prepared for, etc.).

In our experience, it is not the age that the child begins pointework, but the technique that they have developed preceding it, as well as their work ethic once they do receive them, that will determine how successful they will be. 

Dancers who have begun training in pointe shoes, or are in the pre-pointe stage, will receive age-appropriate, skill-level appropriate exercises in their regularly scheduled weekly ballet technique classes. 

Conventions

This year, we will not be requiring Full Company dancers to attend a convention, as we know that many families may be uncomfortable in a large-group setting such as a convention due to COVID. However, there are many conventions that are planning to do in-person conventions with an online back-up plan should the event not be able to run this season - we will have more information on conventions in the spring if there are dancers interested in attending.

 

 

CODES OF CONDUCT
 

The purpose of Spartan Dance Center’s competitive program is to provide dancers with an opportunity to engage in performances, develop sportsmanship and character, receive outside adjudication, and participate in community outreach. Creating a climate of respect and positivity is imperative to building strong dancers and a strong company, and therefore, we expect all instructors, students, and parents/spectators to abide by our Code of Conducts at all times. Our Code of Conduct was crafted with three main principles in mind:

 

1 - Demonstrating a positive attitude (Players, parents, and staff are expected to show a positive, respectful attitude for everyone involved in the dance community. Everyone is here because of their shared love of dance and should be celebrated, regardless of their studio affiliation.)

 

2 - Setting a good example (Each person associated with SDC is accountable for their own behavior. We believe that children learn by example, and that it is up to us as instructors, parents, and older students to set good examples and model appropriate choices and behavior.)

 

3 - Maintaining good relationships (Dancers, instructors, and parents are required to be respectful of competing teams at all times. Sportsmanship begins with respect, and without it, the positive competitive environment, which should be a perfect classroom for learning the values of dance, is undermined. Occasionally we will encounter others who do not share our values and high standards, but we should not allow ourselves to be drawn down to their level. Additionally, in an environment where our children are competing not only against other teams, but also frequently against each other, it can be difficult to control jealousies and rivalries. A successful team resembles a family in that members put their own needs second, behind the greater good of the team. Care must be taken to support all teammates) 

Instructor Code of Conduct

As teachers, coaches, and mentors, we pledge to:

  • Act with integrity 

  • Lead by example by modeling the values and behaviors we expect of our students and SDC community, both in class and at competition

  • Set high expectations that inspire, motivate, and challenge students

  • Establish a safe and stimulating environment for students, rooted in mutual respect

  • Plan and teach well-structured lessons that take into consideration child development stages, each student’s current ability level, current best teaching practices, and practical constraints

  • Keep our knowledge and skills as teachers up to date

  • Engage in self-evaluation

  • Forge positive progressional relationships

  • Offer dance education with an emphasis on maintaining age-appropriate movement, music, and costuming

  • Work with parents and guardians in the best interests of their students

Dancer Code of Conduct: While Taking Class

There is a level of commitment required to be a part of a competitive team. Dancers must have the desired level of commitment - not just for themselves, but for the ENTIRE company. Being on this team, you depend on all of your fellow teammates to all be working hard to keep the classroom a productive space in order for the team to achieve its goals, and therefore, by joining this team, you pledge to:

  • Make classes, rehearsals, events, and performances a priority

  • Arrive on time and prepared to dance

  • Dress appropriately, following the dress code

  • No gum or food in the dance studios

  • Enter the dance studio in a manner that is respectful to the studio, the teacher, and the other dancers

  • Participate in every class to the best of my ability, and put forth 100% effort, energy, and enthusiasm

  • Have an amazing work ethic! This could mean: working on my own, practicing at home, doing a step until I get it, keeping a notebook with corrections, doing a combination full out while learning it, finishing each combination well, either by dancing all the way off the floor or finishing in a nice fifth with both hands off the barre.

  • Be respectful to your instructors, fellow dancers, and all studio staff members and volunteers

  • Respect other dancers. Be aware of your personal space. Refrain from correcting others. (Giving corrections is the teacher’s job.) Keep your thoughts and words positive and uplifting towards others. Unkind behavior towards another dancer will not be tolerated. 

  • Be aware of negative body language (like folded arms, uncovered yawns) and never sit down unless you are asked to sit. If you are sitting, sit tall.

  • Be alert to all corrections given to you or other students in class

  • Maintain a positive attitude. When students criticize or complain during class, it not only disrupts the teacher’s instruction, it creates an air of negativity which is difficult for the instructor and other students to recover from

  • Thank your teacher after class. It is a tradition in dance classes to thank your teacher after class for sharing their knowledge and energy.

  • Review the social media policies and use social media only in a manner that is uplifting, positive, and encouraging to both SDC and your fellow dancers.

  • Hold my head high! I am an elite dancer. I am a friend to everyone. I am polite. I am respected because of my dedication, discipline, self-control, and grace. I am a serious artist and should be proud.

Dancer Code of Conduct: At Competition

It is a privilege to represent SDC at competitions and other events, and as a representative of my entire team, when at public appearances, I pledge to: 

  • Represent myself, my team, and SDC in a professional, positive manner at all times

  • Respect any convention/competition staff, convention/competition property, public venue, other teams props, etc.

  • Demonstrate exceptional sportsmanship at all times. This means keeping comments about other competitors and studios positive, clapping after any studio performs, and applauding for every award that myself, my teammates, or another studio receives. 

  • Arrive at all events at the prearranged call time

  • Arrive at all events in my warm-ups, and keep them on unless directed otherwise

  • When watching competitions, I will stay seated and attentive during other studio’s performances, and only enter or exit my seat/the theater between numbers

  •  Remember that while winning can feel great, the goal of competitive dance is to have fun and improve, and I should be dancing to enjoy the process and the performances, not to just to “win”

  • When I do win, I will be modest and generous, and when I lose, I will be gracious

  • I will cheer on other teams sincerely, always wish my competitors good luck, and congratulate my competitors on a job well done

Parent Code of Conduct:

I understand that as a parent, I set the tone for my child’s dance experience. In order to keep the experience positive and fun for everyone, I pledge to:

  • Support my child by giving them encouragement, helping them work towards skill improvement and good sportsmanship, and teaching them that hard work and an honest effort are more important than victory

  • Help my child to be successful by ensuring that they are prepared for performances and timely in their arrival.

  • Demonstrate a positive attitude towards all teams by applauding good performances and placements by all dancers, regardless of studio affiliation, and refrain from speaking negatively of ANY dancer, coach, judge, parent, or competition/venue staff member.

  • Model good sportsmanship. Teach my child to be gracious in victory and to turn defeat into victory by learning and working toward improvement.

  • Model good theater etiquette. Watch all performances quietly and attentively, and only enter or exit the seats/theater quickly in between dances, and remind children to do the same.

  • Focus on the process, not the outcome, and praise my child’s efforts more than their performance.

  • Foster a team atmosphere. In an environment where a child is competing not only against other teams but also frequently against their teammates, it can be difficult to control jealousy and rivalries. Be sure to avoid comparison, discussing other children in front of or with your child, and remember that all children progress at different rates. 

  • Directly after all competitions, parents should NEVER approach the teacher with questions of scores. This is a time to be supportive of the entire team, no matter what the outcome. The teacher will discuss scores with the dancers at a later date.

  • It is the Teacher/Directors decision to share video/audio critiques with the parents. They will usually be shared with the students/ not the parents. Please DO NOT ask the teacher/director when the critiques will be reviewed. They will let you know & invite you in if parents are able to see them.

  • Not all situations that a dancer will encounter will be ideal, not just at competition, but sometimes at conventions, events, performances, and in the classroom. Remember that children feed off of the energy around them, and endeavor to maintain a constructive, positive attitude regarding the circumstances in the face of adversity. 

  • Leave the coaching to the instructors during competitions. Give only positive feedback to dancers.

  • Communicate at appropriate times, about appropriate topics, and through appropriate channels with my child’s instructors.

  • Remember that dance should be fun. Agree to do my best to have as much fun watching performances as my child should have dancing in them.

Spartan Dance Center Competitive Team Policies and Expectations
2020-2021