Does My child have to do Ballet? They aren’t really a ballet type
We recommend that all students take ballet, as it is the basis of most technique for all other dance types. Ballet has so many more benefits than just learning technique. Ballet improves posture, balance and co-ordination, as well as teaches students discipline. Your child does not have to do Ballet, but they will find learning steps etc in classes more difficult and not progress as quickly as others, if they don't.
Why does my child have to do two ballet classes per week?
We recommend two ballet classes per week because it helps students to learn the exercises in class and helps them to remember them better, as the second class reinforces what they learn in the first class. As ballet involves lots of technique, two classes helps this progress faster and makes muscles and dancers stronger and beter. As dancers progress, they need to do at least 3 hours of ballet per week to maintain their technique, strength etc.
What do they wear to classes?
Uniforms are explained in out Uniform portal.
Where do I get Uniforms?
Please referr to our Uniform portal.
Why does my child need to wear the uniform?
A dance uniform is important because it makes the students feel like they are part of the class and the dance school. Quite often students will say they want to dress like the other kids. At events, uniforms identify our dance school and our students wear them with pride.
How do I pay?
Fees can be paid via the payment option in the Parent Portal.
What is Acro?
Acro is a class that students can take that not only teaches tricks such as cartwheels etc, but helps develop strength, flexibility, balance and fitness that aids in all other dance classes. Contemporary students must be taking acro and Jazz students should also, as it is incorporated into many dances in these classes.
Do I stay while my child is in class?
Parents are not permitted to stay and watch in the studio while classes are being conducted. We find that Parents are distracting to students. You want to make sure that your child gets the most from their dance lesson and not spend the time looking at you. You may wait for your child in the waiting area, if noise is kept to a minimum, but the door while remain closed while classes are on.
We do have Parent viewing days and you will receive notice of when these are via our website and Parent portal.
Why does my child have to have their hair in a bun?
A dancer can not dance properly, if they have hair in their face and a ponytail or plait swinging into their eyes. As dancers move, hair is distracting and I have often seen students wiping hair from their faces in the midst of dancing. The bun doesn't have to be perfect, just all hair pulled back off the face and tied up.
Why is my child in a class with younger students?
If your child has just began dance and is a little older (eg 9/10), they must learn the basics and therefore need to go into a class where this will happen. Dance is not aged based, it is based on how long you have been learning and what level of techique you are caple of. Most likely those younger students have been learning for about 3 – 5 years.
As a dance teacher, I find that those younger students find it very frustrating when they have to “re-learn” basic technique that a new student doesn't know, in order for them to “catch-up”. It is like learning to read – you must firstly be able to recognise letters and small words before jumping headlong into Charles Dickens or War & Peace!!!!
Why can’t my child go up a level when “Mary” has?
When your child starts dancing, the teachers will determine what classes they need to go into. Sometimes, students progress faster than others and are able to go up a level. Sometimes a student may have to go into a higher class, as their correct level wasn't available at the time. Teachers want to make sure that students get the most from their dancing and will not allow a student to progress if they feel it will not be good for them and maybe damage them physically and emotionally when they aren't capable of performing the required exercises. You need to trust that the Teachers want the best for your child and have the knowledge and experience to make that happen.
What is the Eisteddfod Team?
Our Eisteddfod Team is a group of students who, along with their Parents have committed to competing in numerous Dance competitions throughout the year. Being a part of the Team involves extra hours at dance, as well as certain requirements with regards to classes taken. There is extra cost involved with costumes and traveling to venues. Our Eisteddfod team is a supportive, hard-working, easy-to-get-on with group who have a great time being part of this group. Each member has to sign our Eisteddfod agreement to participate. It takes lots of time, effort & commitment.
Does my child have to do exams?
Exams are not compulsory, but very beneficial for students. We only do Ballet exams.
Exams give the students feedback and things to work on to improve. We have our exam medal presentation, on stage, at our post-concert presentation at the end of our dancing year.
What does doing exams involve?
There is an exam fee. This varies according to the grade. The students must wear the correct uniform and have their hair extremely neating done and be very well presented. Exams are held in August or early September. They are always on a school day and students need to be able to miss some school. Bronze Medals onwards require a theory book ($30) and Gold Medal – Gold Star require character skirts and shoes and seniors require pointe shoes.
Does my child have to participate in the Concert?
The concert perfomance is not compulsory. If your child is not participating, you need to let the Teachers know by Term III. This is when we begin to choreograph routines and little dancers especially don't like to have to change things.
When is the Concert?
Please refer to the Rehearsals etc Portal – note to all, don't ask your teacher!!!!
My child can’t come to rehearsals, can they still perform at the concert?
No. A very important part of the concert is rehearsals. Rehearsals allow dancers, young and old to become familiar with the stage they will be performing on. This is very important for those who have never danced on stage before.
Dancing on stage is very different from dancing in the studio in class. There are certain procedures that the students must learn to follow and this happens during rehearsals.
Dancers can become very dis-orientated when first on stage – so the first time, can not be during the performance. Rehearsals are an important part of dance.
Why does my child have to wear tights?
Dancers wear tights to help keep their muscles warm and pliable while dancing. Even though it is hot outside, dancers muscles need to be warmed up at the start of class and tights help to maintain this. Dancers wear tights to help create the beautiful lines of the body in dance – they look so much better with tights on. It isn't hot in our studio – we have air-con!!!!!
Why are there studetn teachers in my child’s class?
We have student teachers in the small dancers classes because we have only 30 minutes in which to teach them all they need to know. Smaller dancers tend to take along time to organise themselves into lines and to move into position. Student teachers help make this happen quicker and give us more time to dance and learn. Student teachers are also demonstrators and show the smaller dancers how and what to do. I find that the little dancers and student teachers form a lovely bond. I am often asked “where is Miss Mary?”, when a student teacher is away. Student teachers learn the routines for concert and will go on stage with their class to help give them confidence and reassurance. Student teachers will also be able to begin class, if I am held up talking to Parents with queries.
I began my dance teaching career as a student teacher too.
Why isn’t Miss Leaha taking my child’s class?
Firstly, Miss Leaha doesn't take Acro because Miss Tessa does. Believe me, you don't want me taking Acro!!
Miss Lauren takes our Imagine Me and Beginner Acro and is wonderful with our littlies.
Miss Jamie takes some classes, as I have taught her for many years and have been so very impressed with her conduct and abilities. I feel that the students will benefit from a younger teacher, who has enthusisam and loves dance as much as they do. I choose teachers because I have every confidence in their abilities and that the students will learn much from them. I have been teaching dance for over 35 years – I need a little break now and again.
Can I bring a friend to watch class?
We don't encourage friends watching classes other than in the Viewing sessions. There are a few exceptions, such as Grandparents, who live in England are here on holidays, can they watch a class? Of course.
Japanese Exchange students are another.
My child was sick and missed a class, can they make it up?
Unfortunately due to our very full timetable, we are unable to provide make-up classes for children who have been sick or have gone away. If for some reason, a teacher cancells classes, these will be made up, but it will be on a weekend. There are no refunds for classes missed.
Why is it important for shoes to fit firmly?
Dance shoes need to fit firmly or they can cause major problems for students feet. I have noticed many times that Parents have insisted on buying a pair of shoes that their dancer can grow into. This is really bad for the child's feet, in growth and development. As a dancers feet are very important to their art, we need to look after them properly. Please check with your teachers, to make sure your shoes fit correctly.
Do you accept the Sports Vouchers?
No we don't as we do not qualify as an incorporated, not-for-profit, sporting organsiation.
Why do eisteddfod students need to do musical Theatre?
Musical theatre is a class we have begun to help improve the stage presentation of our students, especially in the competition arena. Dancers need to be able to use their faces, as much as their bodies to convey the story of their dance.
Musical Theatre is awesome for building confidence in students, not only at dance, but in their everyday lives as well.
Why are some classes half an hour and others 45 minutes?
We find that the younger students can only concentrate for short periods, so we have classes that are 30 minutes, so they can get the most out of their dance lesson and not waste time and their parents money. As the students advance through the levels, they are older and there is more involved in each grade, so we need more time to cover all we must. Our seniors have some classes that go for an hour or more.
Acro classes are an hour, as they are broken up into sections and students are able to cope with this.
We have heard that Focus On Dance is very strict, my child just wants to have fun
At Focus On Dance, our aim to teach the students every aspect of dance. Dance is a discipline and requires each student to master certain things in order to learn and improve. Dancers will learn that hard work pays off. They learn that they must listen and concentrate in order to learn. They must learn that there is a time for fun, but you must know what you are doing so you can relax and enjoy it.
Dance will make your child a better person if it is taught with rules and guideline. Students who think they can learn their own way and who don't want to do what's asked, will not learn life lessons that will serve them well. Everyone has to take instructions sometime.
There are other dance schools in town, that maybe be better suited to those who don't appreciate what discipline will bring to your child.
By discipline we mean, following rules, concentrating, showing respect for Teachers, fellow students, and students from other dance schools.
All we hear about on social media is the Eisteddfod kids!!
As our eisteddfod team spends quite a lot more time at dance than other students, the opportunities for them to be part of our social media is greater. Our eisteddfod students also spend many days of the year, dancing at comps, in beautiful costumes, why wouldn't we use these on our social media.
Our Eisteddfod students put in lots of hardwork to be part of our Team and deserve the attention. All students are able to be part of our Team, you just need to commit!
Focus On Dance seeks to give your child a happy environment where they will learn so much more than dancing. We help to give them a sense of belonging to a group and a dance family, as well as build their self-confidence. They will develop a level of self-discipline and respectfulness for their Teachers, classmates and fellow students. They will find encouragement and praise and a genuine love of dance as they progress through the levels in each dance genre. At Focus On Dance, we love to dance and we want that to show in our performances with the smiles of our students, as they show you all that they love it too.